Dora and the Lost City of Gold Movie Review: Gratifying Adventure targeted at the Pre-teens
Targeted at the fan base and largely pre-teen audience, Dora and the Lost City of Gold plies a relevant, though old-fashioned value system
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
U/A: Adventure, Family
Cast: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Micke Moreno, Nicholas Coombe, Eva Longoria, Madeleine Madden, Adriana Barraza, Jeff Wahlberg, Temuera Morrison
Director: James Bobin
James Bobin's live-action film adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon animated series 'Dora the Explorer,' caters largely to a built-in fan base. Dora was only 7 when the TV audience met her in the introductory episode of the series and it's been 20 years since then. This live-action film begins with that first episode origin element. We get to meet Dora as an adventure-loving kid living with her explorer Parents and then –cut to a preteen grown-up Dora( Isabela Moner) and her first experience in L.A., studying at Silverlake High. If you are expecting a tale about raging hormones, young lust and boys then perish that thought. Her Parents' ( Micheal Pena & Eva Longoria Parker) have already warned her about those vicious excesses so good girl Dora whose only interest lies in exploring the wild goes that way even in high school.
The always perky, lively and inquisitive (rather exaggerated and toonish) Dora gets kidnapped during a field trip to the Natural History Museum, by a gang who gets to know about her parents' attempt to find the Parapata (Lost City of Gold). And the adventure in the wild begins.
Targeted at the fan base and largely pre-teen audience, this film plies a relevant, though old-fashioned value system. In the age of the internet, it's hard to find a pre-teen willing to forgo the pleasures of online life for the real gritty world of jungle exploration. But despite being dismissed as a Dork by almost every member of her school, Dora does just that and her ebullience is so infectious that those kidnapped along with her, including her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg, nephew of Mark), a condescending intimidator, Sammy (Madeleine Madden) and ultimate nerd Randy (Nicholas Coombe), can't help but join in.
Watch Dora and the Lost City of Gold Trailer here:
Despite bad guy, Alejandro's (Eugenio Derbez) presence, Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, Alice Through the Looking Glass) serves up mild, unassuming action-adventure keeping the targeted demographic in mind. The drama is rather fickle – giving in too easily without any really critical or life-threatening experience. Even the so-called high-risk moments like their tryst with sinking mud, a poisonous golden frog and encounter with deadly gas spewing giant flowers, give off a ridiculous vibe. The director is obviously attempting to keep hormones at bay by trying to make an 18-year-old Moner and 19-year-old Diego look pre-teen. Dora's unsinkable self-esteem, eagerness for knowledge and friendliness despite being ridiculed, are highlighted in this vivid experience. The toon elements are all there too – including Dora's Simian friend Boots, her backpack which doubles as a utility sack and a wily fox called Swiper( voiced by Benicio Del Toro). Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe ("Thor: Ragnarok") generates a hyper-stylised jungle environment while Bobin opts for semi-realism. It’s an endearing combination that keeps the audience invested and entertained!
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