6.1/10 (5,897 votes)
84% (143 reviews)
3/4

Dora and the Lost City of Gold Movie Details

Directed by James Bobin
Produced by Kristin Burr
Screenplay by
  • Nicholas Stoller
  • Matthew Robinson
Story by
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Nicholas Stoller
Based on Dora the Explorer by Chris Gifford Valerie Walsh Valdes Eric Weiner
Starring
  • Isabela Moner
  • Eugenio Derbez
  • Michael Peña
  • Eva Longoria
  • Danny Trejo
Music by
  • John Debney
  • Germaine Franco
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Edited by Mark Everson
Production company
  • Paramount Players
  • Nickelodeon Movies
  • Walden Media
  • Media Rights Capital
  • Burr! Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • August 9, 2019 (United States)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $49 million
Box office $110.2 million

 

To say that I am not the target audience for this movie would be to state the obvious. I’d seen the trailer and thought it looked surprisingly ok, but I still wasn’t sure that it would be a film I’d bother to see. Having come out of a morning screening of ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’, I had no other plans for the first day of my week off work, so I checked to see if there were any other films away to start. Dora and the Lost City of Gold was the only film starting within the next half hour, so I figured why not? Turns out it wasn’t a bad call.

Based on the kids cartoon, ‘Dora the Explorer’, this movie sees Dora (Isabella Moner) have to deal with the awkward struggle of going to a public school for the first time; before she and her friends are forced into an adventure to save her parents and find the titular lost city of gold.

There are times in this movie when I had to suspend disbelief and remind myself that I was watching a kid’s film. For example, in a more realistic movie Dora would probably have died twice within the first 10 minutes, and multiple times thereafter.

There are also a couple of pretty average CGI animals that I struggled see much point in. One is a sidekick monkey called Boots because it wears boots. The other is a thieving fox called Swiper, who wears a blue facemask that he appears to have stolen from Leonardo – the leader of the teenage mutant ninja turtles. Having never seen the cartoon I’m going to assume they are part of the show and therefore something for the kids who have seen it link back to.

The film begins with Dora as a 6 year old girl, playing make believe with her cousin Diego. It’s at this point that we learn an important lesson from Dora’s parents, Cole (Michael Pena) and Elana (Eva Longoria), that treasure hunting is bad and exploring is good.

Probably my favorite part of the film occurs as Dora grow up a few years and is sent to stay with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) in Los Angeles while her parents go off exploring. The film quickly becomes a fish out of water comedy, as we see Dora (who has spent her whole life in the jungle) going to an American high school for the first time. I must admit I laughed quite a lot as we watch her enthusiastically, but naively, try to make friends and generally survive such a socially fragile environment.

Isabela Moner, who I thought was brilliant in ‘Sicario 2: Soldado’ and ‘Instant Family’, played the role of Dora completely straight, which was what made her performance so funny. Her character was clearly awkward around other kids, but her constant positivity was endearing. Her likability would remain throughout the entire movie, even if the film itself did lose me at times when the story returned to the jungle.

As the adventure section of the film began I thought it was fun, without always holding my attention. At various points, I felt as though I was watching a combination of ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’. There were some interesting things for Dora and her friends to experience, but (being a kid’s film) I never felt like anything bad was going to happen to these kids, despite the dangerous situations they found themselves in. I also thought that the villains were quite weak and forgettable, which is always disappointing when that happens.

Again, I did laugh quite a few times though. Over the course of the whole movie light comedy is the one thing they absolutely nail. I might not have been in hysterics, but in terms of laughs per film, this might actually be one of the funniest films of the year.

Obviously not everyone is going to want to go see this movie. As an adult, there are definitely times when I had to just go along with some unbelievable stuff. But I figured beforehand that would probably be the case. On the plus side, the pacing is good, it’s consistently funny and in Isabela Moner we see a fantastic young actress giving another great performance. I’d say that if you have any interest in seeing this then I’d definitely say it’s worth a watch, especially if you have young kids.

 

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