Dora and the Lost City of Gold – Film Review

Back in the year 2000, Dora the Explorer first hit TV screens becoming a popular animated TV series aimed at younger children. It has now branched out and become a live action film titled Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

The live-action film starts off with a young Dora (Madelyn Miranda) playing with her cousin Diego (Malachi Barton) and their fury monkey friend, Boots. The two young children share a wide range of imagination of exploring and adventure. Dora and Diego get along quite closely till the two are separated when Diego’s parents decide to pack their bags and move to the big city.

Skipping forward 10 years, Dora (Isabela Moner) is now a 16 year old teenager with the fascination of discovering the jungle surround her home, and following in the footsteps of her two explorer parents Elena (Eva Longoria) and Cole (Michael Peña).

When potential clues to the Lost City of Gold are traced, Elena and Cole decide that Dora isn’t old enough to join them on their discovery and make the decision to send Dora to the big city and stay with Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) and his parents. With Dora growing up in the jungle, her social game amongst other humans isn’t her strongest skill, and you see the awkward interactions she has with her fellow students.

While on a school adventure to the museum, Dora and Diego are teamed up with school peers Sammy (Madeleine Madden) and Randy (Nicholas Coombe) but are soon lead on a path away from their class where the group are captured and put to sleep. Waking up not knowing where they are, the small group are rescued by Alejandro (Eugenio Derbez) where he explains to the teenagers that they’re in the jungle and he’s a friend of Dora’s parents who have gone missing.

Running from the people who kidnapped Dora and her friends, Alejandro informs them that the bad guys were after Dora’s parents to lead them to the Lost City of Gold. No one knowing the jungle as well as Dora, she leads the small group on a trail into the jungle to find Elena and Cole in hopes to find them before the bad guys do.

I can’t say I’ve ever watched an episode of the animation TV show of Dora the Explorer, but I did have a small understanding of the popular characters name and history. Going in with very little knowledge of the franchise, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t understand the inside jokes or characters, but it didn’t take long to pick up on who Dora was and her passion for exploring in the jungle. Bringing Dora the Explorer to a live action film, exposes the franchise to new audiences who, like myself, don’t watch the TV show. And I’ve got to say -I highly enjoyed this film.

Not once did I feel as though this film was only focused in entertaining the young fan base of the popular series. I wouldn’t even say this film was focused on the younger audience. This was definitely a film for young teenagers and adults. To be honest, I went to see this slightly embarrassed that I was seeing a film based on a kids TV show and ended up leaving the cinema laughing at how enjoyable the experience was.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold began filming on the Gold Coast, Australia using some of our very own Australian actresses, Pia Miller and Madeleine Madden. As much I loved seeing some of very own Aussies on the big screen, Isabela Moner stole the spotlight and does a great job in her performance of a teenage Dora. I was able to understand who her character was quickly, felt the high energy Dora brings and Moner looked perfect for the part.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a film for the whole family to enjoy. I recommended this film to families, young teens and for those who enjoy a fun, family film with a bit of action and adventure. Dora and the Lost City of Gold will leave you shocked with how surprisingly good it is.

So make sure you get a ticket to go see Dora and the Lost City of Gold which is showing in cinemas across Australia now.

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