After spending most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents Cole (Michael Peña) and Elena (Eva Longoria), Dora (Isabela Moner) has grown up. But the next exploration Dora’s parents take will be without her, as she is sent to Los Angeles to be with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) in the film Dora and the Lost City of Gold.
High school can be as treacherous as any jungle and Dora is just trying to “be herself” as her parents told her, but that kind of positivity is foreign to the teens creating a different atmosphere for our young lady.
While on a field trip to the museum, Dora, Diego and their friends Sammy (Madeline Madden) and Randy (Nicholas Coombe) are kidnapped and taken to South America. Their captors want the young Dora to traverse the jungle environment to find her parents and, ultimately, the lost city of gold that the bad guys crave. They are met by Alejandro (Eugenio Derbez), a friend of Dora’s parents, who helps them escape, and the four kids join Alejandro to explore the jungle. But who will find Dora’s parents and the lost city first?
There are elements of the Dora the Explorer television show here — Boots, Backpack, the map and even a trio of musical “artists” who pop up after the credits are a few of our friends who appear on the journey. This film is a fun adventure for the younger set, but I left scratching my head and asking: Who is this film geared toward? Dora is in high school, but her appeal has always been to younger kids. Will now grownup teens and 20-somethings see this film? And will kids in the younger set connect as thoroughly to the film as they do with the animated show?
While Dora is a fun journey, it seems to be a film that tries to be grownup and young at the same time, and that causes confusion in the messaging. Dora’s positivity is infectious, and hopefully that comes through for those who explore alongside our friend. Although the map doesn’t have all the answers here, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is an exploration worth taking for fans of the series.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available On Demand and on DVD beginning 11/19. Check your cable system for availability