Dora the Explorer, the famous childhood Nickelodeon cartoon, which premiered in 2000, revolves around a seven-year-old Latina girl and her numerous adventures with her pet monkey, Boots.
Fast forward to 2019, the series was made into a live action film that actually stayed true to the heart of the original cartoon. While not being a child in the film, we are introduced to a now teenage Dora who is just as adventurous as the last time we saw her, if not more. The film starts off with a familiar introduction of the characters we know and love such as Dora and Diego.
Along with the adorable introductions, the film also starts off with some hilarious moments that really set the tone for the rest of the film. We then are shown a glimpse of how deep Dora and Diego’s friendship goes, as the cousins are split apart leaving Dora alone in the jungle while Diego goes to live in the city of Los Angeles.
10 years later, Dora is as curious and audacious as ever, stumbling across a final piece to locating the lost City of Gold. Although Dora wants to help her parents locate the city, they decide she is not ready for such an adventure, which is a total joke because she’s Dora the Explorer, but regardless she goes to stay with Diego and learns that, although she may have not changed, everything about him has.
What I really appreciated about the film was how it incorporated the tones and themes from the original series such as “Swiper no swiping” and Dora looking into the screen to ask you to spell something. It was so creative to see something from most of our childhoods come to life in the way that it did. Dora was somewhat of a superhero when it comes to the jungle, which was very visually pleasing to see on the big screen.
Along with Dora and Diego, we also have characters Randy and Sammy, who are forced to go along with the adventure in the film after they get kidnapped by a gang of treasure hunters trying to direct Dora to locate her parents and the City of Lost Gold. The major hi-jinks involved prompts some of the best scenes in the film to come to fruition. The special effects scenes were done nicely and pleasing to the eye, especially for it to be labeled as a “children's movie.” Swiper and Boots were also two of the best things about the film, they were done so nicely and incorporated in a very realistic way. Swiper was a part of one of the best scenes in the film in which he faces off with Dora, you really appreciated him being in the film. Seeing Boots be voiced by Danny Trejo was something special all in itself.
This film was surprisingly pleasant. Whatever preconceived notions you may have had about the film, trust me, see it first and then make your opinions on it. With the main character fitting the role so perfectly, played by Isabela Moner and being a Latina woman, is groundbreaking for children of all ages to see. In a world where a lot of adventure films have primarily male characters, this is a step in the right direction. Go see Dora and the City of Lost Gold so we all can have a feeling of nostalgia and scream SWIPER NO SWIPING!
Echo Grade: A