If I was a 10-year-old girl, I think I would have loved the DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD. As a grown woman who loves kids movies, I enjoyed it – well, most of it. There were a few things that honestly left me super confused, but overall, it’s not a bad film.
It starts with a young Dora (Isabela Moner) and Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) driving a jeep through the jungle, while Boots, backpack, and map are all talking. “Ok,” I thought, “it’s gonna be that kinda movie”. Nope, turns out that was all in their imagination and the kids were just playing. In the real world, there are no talking backpacks, and children don’t get to drive. So far, I was on board. We then meet Dora’s parents (Eva Longoria and Michael Peña) and learn that Diego, her cousin and best friend, is moving to The City with his parents. 10 years go by, and we’re treated to a much older Dora, walking around the jungle by herself, talking to frogs and trees, and living her best wilderness girl life. But her parents feel like, even though she can get around the rain forest alone and carefree, there’s still a jungle she hasn’t mastered; high school. So they ship her off to The City (which we then learn is actually Los Angeles) to live with Diego and his family.
Poor thing, she was not prepared. Diego isn’t her bestie anymore, the kids at school don’t understand her, and the real world kinda sucks. But you know what will make it better? A field trip to the natural history museum! The class is split into teams of four, and we find Dora, Diego, Sammy (the smart girl no one likes played by Madeleine Madden) and Randy (the weird kid no one likes played by Nicholas Coombe) forced to team up. While looking for the oldest relic in the museum, they are tricked by the bad guys and end up being locked in a crate, smoke-bombed to sleep, put on a plane, and taken to Peru. Fortunately, they are rescued by Alejandro (Eugenio Derbez), a friend of Dora’s parents.
So far this movie had done a great job putting Dora in the real world, dealing with real-world things like high school, being different, and being an outcast. What it didn’t do was give you any idea that magic or talking animals, or anything in that realm was real.
Until now. Enter Swiper.
The bad guys (large, mean-looking mercenaries with guns) see that Alejandro and the kids are getting away, but they need Dora’s map, so they send one of their team after them! And by “member of their team” I mean Swiper (Benicio Del Toro), a CGI fox with a purple mask on who talks. Y’all, there was no set up for this. In fact, from this point on, it almost feels like someone else wrote the movie. There are magic and goddesses and giant plants, and even Boots can talk (although Danny Trejo is NOT the voice I expected to come out of that little monkey).
Overall, it’s a fun movie, and if you’re a fan of the Dora the Explorer cartoon or have kids under 10, I think it’s worth seeing. Be prepared to be a little bit confused; however; but in a fun way. DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD is now out in theaters.