Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a 2019 adventure comedy film directed by James Bobin (Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Muppets / Muppets Most Wanted, & Da Ali G Show). It’s a live action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s television series Dora the Explorer. It was written by Matthew Robinson (Live Die Repeat and Repeat, Monster Trucks, Monster Problems, Jerked, & The Invention of Lying) & Nicholas Stoller (Friends from College, Night School, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Zoolander 2, The Five-Year Engagement, & Yes Man). Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes was originally involved with the project when it was first announced. The budget was $49 million & it grossed $118.9 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
Deep in the Peruvian jungle, Dora spends her days going on adventures with her monkey friend Boots (played by: Danny Trejo from Heat, Machete 1/2, From Dusk Till Dawn franchise, The Replacement Killers, & The Devil’s Rejects), her cousin Diego, imaginary friends Backpack (played by: Sasha Toro from Dora the Explorer) & Map (played by: Marc Weiner from Dora the Explorer) while thwarting the fox thief Swiper (played by: Benicio Del Toro from Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War, Sicario 1/2, Sin City, & The Usual Suspects). She is the daughter of explorers Cole (played by: Michael Peña from Ant-Man 1/2, The Mule, CHIPS, Crash, & American Hustle) & Elena (played by: Eva Longoria from Harsh Times, Frontera, The Baytown Outlaws, & The Sentinel). When Dora is six years old & Diego is seven years old, Diego leaves to be with his family in Los Angeles while Dora’s family remains searching for the hidden Inca city Parapata. Ten years later, Dora’s (played by: Isabela Merced from Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Transformers: The Last Knight, & The House That Jack Built) parents decipher the location of Parapata but choose to send Dora to Diego’s (played by: Jeff Wahlberg from Future World) school in Los Angeles while they travel to the lost city. Staying with Diego’s family, Dora meets fellow students Sammy (played by: Madeleine Madden from Ready for This & Picnic at Hanging Rock) & Randy (played by: Nicholas Coombe from Imaginary Mary & Spy Kids: Mission Critical) but Diego considers her an embarrassment. On a class field trip to a museum, Dora & the others are lured to its off-exhibit archives where they are captured by mercenaries which includes Powell (played by: Temuera Morrison from Green Lantern, Barb Wire, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Aquaman, & From Dusk Till Dawn 3) who fly them to Peru. When they land, a man named Alejandro (played by: Eugenio Derbez from Geostorm, Overboard, & Instructions Not Included) who claims to be a friend of Dora’s parents helps them escape. In the process the mercenaries aided by Swiper steal Dora’s map. Alejandro reports that Dora’s parents have gone missing & that the mercenaries are searching for them in hopes of getting into Parapata to steal it’s treasures. The group travels through numerous obstacles to find the missing explorers. Who can they trust now? Will they find the lost city & gold before the mercenaries????
Dora the Explorer is very popular so I am not surprised at all that they finally made a live action film. If you are a fan of the series or very young, you might enjoy this feature. I personally thought it was a rough watch & it was very hard to finish. I will say that the visual fx were top notch in this, everything looked amazing & the locations were beautiful. My favorite things about Dora was the voice acting from two bad ass actors Danny Trejo & Benicio Del Toro usually known for other genres, those two had fun with their characters. Michael Peña was the only funny thing about this movie, Eva Longoria was decent plus she’s always great eye candy, & Temuera Morrison was a solid villain. I thought the rest of the cast tried way too hard & no pun intended but they came off too cartoonish. I am not saying they were horrible or anything but I felt like they were one of the biggest problems with this production. The script was awful, it was cringe worthy & failed on most comedic moments. It was very awkward & random. I’ve reviewed a good amount of features this year & this is one of the worst that I’ve experienced so far!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Paramount Pictures! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks stunning on blu ray, I am actually surprised that it didn’t get a 4K release considering the high quality visuals. Top notch effects & the jungle locations really shine here. It’s loaded with a variety of audio options which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1 & Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this release. Everything sounds great here. The dialogue is very clean, the action is elevated, & the music has a nice boost to it. It also has a huge variety of subtitles which includes English, English SDH, French, Japanese, Spanish, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Traditional), & Thai. This is a very impressive blu ray when it comes to the technical aspects.
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! 11 “Deleted and Extended Scenes” that are a little over 12 minutes. Nothing special here, not surprised that they didn’t make the final cut but it’s still a nice extra to have if you are a fan of Dora. A little over 2 minutes of “Bloopers”. I didn’t think the film was funny & I feel the same way about these goofs from the set but at least it looks they had fun making the film. “All About Dora” is almost 9 minutes. It has interviews with director James Bobin, actors Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Isabela Merced, & Jeff Wahlberg. They chat about the original series & how popular Dora is. They talk about them finally doing a live action version. They bring up that they found the right actress for the known role. They mention their experience on it. “Can You Say Pelicula?” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with the cast & crew, This mainly focuses on the Alejandro character & Eugenio Derbez. They all chat about the role & what it adds to the story. They talk about the actor, they praise working with him & all his talents. He goes over his experience from Dora. “Dora In Flower Vision” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with the cast & crew. They go over the production design & visual effects. They really focus on the animation scene from the feature. “Dora’s Jungle House” is almost 4 minutes. Lead actress Isabela Merced gives a tour of the set. Cast & crew chat about the production design & locations some more. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right out.