We have lots of cross connections between “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” and the various versions of the “Dora the Explorer” TV series.
Star Isabela Moner played Kate rather than Dora in “Dora and Friends: Into the City.” Writer Chris Gifford both wrote and produced the long running “Dora the Explorer” TV show. They even hired Sasha Toro to voice the backpack as Toro did the same in the animated TV series. This gives the movie version a familiar feel to it for the young fans who will want to watch this very mild PG movie.
As much as I try, I can not fathom the reasoning of movie producers. Director James Bobin achieved his fame for directing the ill-fated Johnny Depp bomb “Alice Through the Looking Glass” of 2016. Maybe they thought a PG movie would be less of a challenge? Screenwriter Nicolas Stoller has a load of better quality credits. Yeoman word slinger Stoller inked the screenplays for such wildly different projects as “Fun with Dick and Jane,” “Captain Underpants” (a kids movie) and “Sex Tapes.” He has a gift for the comic line.
Very experienced and professional 18-year-old actress Isabela Moner plays Dora, a girl just entering high school. She played with Benicio del Toro in the very much an adult film “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and the less serious 2017 “Transformers: The Last Knight,” a clank fest for kiddies. Michael Pena, an actor who can play anything but who can crack funny with the best of them, has a too small role. Eva Longoria (of “Desperate Housewives”) fame also serves. They play the lost parents of the young explorer, Dora. Eugenio Derez, star of the 2018 “Overboard” remake, mugs for the kids in the audience.
Nickelodeon helped produce the film and it has the joys and flaws of an expanded TV show for kids in the earlier years of primary school. Dora has a relentless cheer that we can admire. The script can make sense only to people too young to realize that pygmy elephants do not live in the upper Amazon.
“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” gives youngsters a pleasant way to spend a couple of summer hours. The makers did not shoot for anything more than that and they achieved nothing more than that.
That said, the grown-ups in the session I attended outnumbered the kids by five to one.
“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” runs for a shortish one hour and 42 minutes. The two-and-a-half saw blade movie carries a very mild PG rating. Children of all ages will enjoy the moving pictures and bright colors.
Fun Fact: Oscar winner Benicio del Toro plays the voice of Swiper, a talking cartoon fox that works for the bad guys. Jeff Wahlberg plays Diego, the friend and cousin of Dora. Wahlberg has Donnie and Mark Wahlberg for uncles in real life.