It seems like Hollywood is obsessed with turning animated animated films and television shows into live action movies. Disney started the trend. It seems like other movie studios have jumped on the “animation-to-live-action” bandwagon. The latest entry is a live action film of a popular animated television series – Dora the Explorer.
Dora the Explorer was an animated series back when my kids were little. It first premiered on Nickelodeon on August 14, 2000. I believe it’s one of Nickelodeon’s longest running series (I could be wrong). Dora still airs on television, but she has grown up since back in the day when my kids used to watch the series pretty much every day.
Dora is a young girl from South America who enjoys exploring. With the help of her best friend, Boots the monkey, her backpack and map, Dora solves puzzles and gets around obstacles. Along the way she teaches children how to say things in Spanish. Admittedly I learned a lot of Spanish words and phrases by watching Dora the Explorer, and I’m an adult!
I learned how to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish, compliments of Dora (“Feliz Compleanos”).
I was a bit surprised to see that Dora the Explorer was being made into a live action, full length movie. What next? A Barney movie and/or a Teletubbie movie coming to a theater near you?
Honestly, I didn’t hold out much hope for a movie based on Dora the Explorer. To my surprise, the first time I saw the official trailer, I quickly changed my mind. Dare I say that the movie could be, good?
Based on Rotten Tomatoes (84% Tomatometer, 88% Audience Score), Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a hit.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. I was sent a copy of the film to review, along with some fun supplies that can be used to go on my own exploration adventures (more on that later).
Dora and the Lost City of Gold stars Isabela Moner (Dora), Eva Longoria and Michael Peña (Dora’s parents), Jeff Wahlberg (Dora’s cousin Diego), Eugenio Derbez (Alejandro), Benicio Del Toro (voice of Swiper the Fox) and Danny Trejo (voice of Boots the monkey).
Dora lives with her parents in the Amazon jungle in South America. Her cousin and best friend Diego used to live with them too, but his parents moved to the “big city” (Los Angeles, California).
Dora has always love to explorer, even on her own. Being an explorer is in her blood, thanks to her professor parents.
Her parents discover the possible whereabouts of a lost city of gold, Parapata. They feel as though Dora is not ready to go with them, so they send her to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin Diego in the “big city.”
Adjusting to regular life, most especially high school, is the hardest “adventure” Dora has ever had to go on. People are not very kind or accepting of her. In fact, they make fun of her for being difference, and for having a positive outlook and a overly perky personality. Even her cousin Diego is put off by Dora just being herself. When asked to make changes, Dora simply replies that all she knows is to how to be herself.
On a field trip, Dora, Diego, a nerdy classmate and a snooty classmate who doesn’t like Dora at all, end up getting kidnapped and taken to South America.
Once in South America, Dora learns that she was kidnapped to help them find her parents. They have no interest in finding her parents. All they care about is finding Parapata and they know the Dora’s parents know where the City of Gold is located.
Dora, Diego and their classmates were able to escape thanks to a mysterious “friend of her parents” named Alejandro Gutierrez.
Now it’s a race against time to find her parents before the rebels find them or the Lost City of Gold. But the surviving the jungle is not that easy, especially for Dora’s classmates who have no experience being in the jungle.
Will Dora find her parents before it’s too late? Does Parpata really exist? Will Dora ever be able to return her life back to the way it was before venturing to the big city? To find out you need top pick up, download or rent Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Look for it where ever movies are sold or rented.
In the beginning I thought the movie was a bit too “dorky” (for lack of a better description). Young Dora even goes so far as to say a word and look directly at the camera and ask viewers if they can say the word too (reminience of her animated television series). Between that and a poor CGI version of Boots, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this film. But… I gave it a fair shot, so I kept on watching it.
As each minute passed, the film got more and more entertaining. Sure, there were still some goofy parts, but for the most part I found myself very entertaining, especially towards the end of the film where the story peaks.
I’m very impressed by Isabela Moner. She IS Dora. She has the look, the manerisms and the overall “vibe” of being Dora the Explorer. She was the perfect choice to play that role.
In real life Isabela is 18 years old, yet she comes across as a few years younger in the film. By the way, the REAL animated Dora does make a cameo in the film.
I enjoy Eugenio Derbez. I have seen him in a few films and I have always enjoyed them. He’s a funny comedian, not only with his acting, but also with the expressions on his face.
I first thought this would be a film only five year olds would enjoy, but by the time the time the film had ended I realized that it’s a fun, family film for all ages – even adults.
The film is rated PG. I honestly don’t recall any foul language, and there is no nudity or sexual situations (two teens give an innocent kiss, that’s about it). I think the PG mostly comes from intense action scenes.
Along with the screener copy of the film, I also received a backpack filled with essentials one would need to take with them when going on an exploration. The backpack included;
- Dora and the Lost City of Gold backpack
- Young Explorer drawstring bag
- Boots tote bag
- Magnifying glass
- Flashlight that powers up when you push down on the side of it.
- And a beautiful flashlight from Maglite.
I may not be an explorer like Dora, but these goodies will come in very handy. The Mini Maglite flashlight will be helpful in case of a power outage, which we happened to have last night (transformer blew – most of the county lost power!).
The flashlight that powers up using the “button” you push on the side of it, is currently in the glove box in my car. You never know when you’ll need a flashlight when you are out and about.
The compass is also in my car. After all, you never know when you might need it.
The binoculars I am holding on to since that I can use them to do some bird watching from our balcony window.
You can never have enough crayons, especially if you want to do some Dora and the Lost City of Gold activity sheets. I have included the activity sheets (below). It’s a zip file.
The whistle I have been using at work to get the attention of my “work kids,” most especially for fire drills.
Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment. Please note that this is the theatrical trailer. The film is no longer in theaters.
*I received a copy of the film as well as other goodies. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.