Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a family action and adventure film based, of the Dora the Explorer kids TV program. The plot revolves around Dora, (Isabela Moner), going to the city after her parents go away on an expedition. Once there she meets her cousin Diego, (Jeff Walhberg), who she has not seen in 10 years and tries to adapt to high school; then through a strange series of events ends up being shipped back to the jungle to try and track down the titular Lost City of Gold, Diego and plucky group of friends in toe. Now before I get into it, the main reasons I wanted to see this film was that it looked hilariously bad and, because it hit me with a lot of nostalgia from my childhood. I wasn’t disappointed the film overall is very funny, there are laughs that both children and adults will find amusing, these range from fart jokes as they walk through quicksand, to self-referential jokes about the nature of the show, mainly Dora talking to the camera and saying, “now you say”. The comedy works greatly as Moner plays it mostly straight, seemingly unaware that what she is doing is weird, or odd.
Furthermore, her father played by Micheal Pena is also a standout of the film making for some hilarious scenes. To continue on the thread of funny scenes, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the drug-induced hallucination scene. Said scene takes place towards the film’s third act, as the gang are running through a field of flowers that all release spores, these spores make the characters view each other and the world around them, in the same art style as the TV show, this scene is a masterstroke, as it shows audiences what they know and love and was easily my favourite of the whole film. This film doesn’t just appeal to children there is also a lot for adults to like especially the high school sequences which have a lot of culture clash humour, which is a welcome twist on the show. The animated characters of Boots and Swiper easily steal the show, Swiper is funny and likeable while also being threatening and believable as the villain. Benicio Del Toro’s captures the character perfectly he’s memorable as the character, and I would like to see him reprise the role in further films. Danny Trejo voices Boots Dora’s pet monkey which she claims can talk and in one hilarious scene he does, and Trejo milks it for all its worth; being one of the films best scenes. The adventure of the film is rather standard it never really does anything that any other movie hasn’t done before, so if you’re going for novelty or originality, this may not be the film for you.
Overall, Dora and the Lost City of Gold might not be anything new, in terms of adventure films, but it is fun wholesome fun for the whole family, it captures the spirit of the show and adds something new to it with a self-referential take. There is a lot to love about this film, and it is one that both parents and kids can enjoy together.