Based on the successful children’s animated series “Dora the Explorer”, director James Bobin’s live-action film of the same name is now coming to cinemas. And it is reminiscent of a wild mix of “Jumanji” and “High School Musical” and is a Bobin film through and through, which is always aware of being a film. More to Dora and the Lost City of Gold we reveal in our review.
Dora and her two explorer parents Elena and Cole (Eva Longoria and Michael Peña).
The plot summary
Little Dora (as a child: Madelyn Miranda) grows up in the jungle with her explorer parents Cole and Elena (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria). As a teenager (now played by Isabela Moner), Dora ends up in the big city. At the side of her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), she gets to know the customs of a normal high school, but also repeatedly offends her classmates with her open and warm nature. Soon Dora no longer feels so comfortable in her own skin and would like to go back to the jungle. A trip to a museum is supposed to bring the desired change, but Dora, Diego and two other classmates are kidnapped on site. Into the jungle. Near her parents’ discovery camp. The teenagers are able to free themselves quickly and Dora quickly finds her beloved monkey Boots (originally spoken by Danny Trejo). But the crooks seem to have something very special planned for the kids. Does the mysterious Golden City have anything to do with it?
Dora and the Lost City of Gold Movie Meaning & ending
In particular, in his two “Muppets” film adaptations “The Muppets” and “Muppets Most Wanted,” director James Bobin had the opportunity to let off steam on the meta level. Both films are a prime example of anarchic comedy that you rarely see on screen these days. And all of this without any fecal humor below the belt – a rarity! Even though he wasn’t able to let off steam as much as he had hoped with “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” , his animated series adaptation “Dora and the Golden City” now has a lot of Bobin DNA in it again; somewhere between “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and, yes, “High School Musical.” By this we do not mean that there is a lot of singing in “Dora and the Golden City”. There are one or two musical interludes, but warbling and making music are not the focus here. No, it’s more the well-measured madness, the wonderful self-irony, through which the “HSM” films were able to achieve cult status, especially among adults, and which is now also present in abundance in the “Dora” film. Bobin’s latest adventure is not just a “‘Jumanji’ for kids”, but a very own work of art that we are already quite openly hoping for a sequel to. Also because there is hardly anything like that to be seen these days, similar to the “Muppets” films.
Nicholas Coombe, Madeleine Madden, Isabela Moner), Jeff Wahlberg and Eugenio Derbez.
In the animated series “Dora the Explorer”, known in German as “Dora”, the main character is an early school child. This is the live-action Dora in “The Golden City” too – at least in the prologue. But then a jump in time takes place and from then on Isabela Moner, known for the stunning comedy “Suddenly Family” , takes on the lead role, running through the jungle with her little monkey Boots and taking on breakneck tasks. James Bobin oscillates very cleverly between “taking the absurdity from the original” and “reducing the absurdity of the original to absurdity”; two examples: In “Dora the Explorer”, the young main character regularly addresses her young audience in order to explain particularly difficult concepts in more detail. And at the end, the little ones are supposed to say the term they have just learned again themselves. That happens here too. Twice. The first time, six-year-old Dora chooses a relatively simple vocabulary, but the second time, the technical term chosen by teenage Dora is difficult to pronounce, even for adults. Isabela Moner’s cheeky wink shows that none of this is really meant seriously anyway. Nor can the human Dora jump over ravines of similar size as her cartoon counterpart. But it is very charming how the creators bow to the cartoon template here: a flower rush (similar to a drug rush) transforms all the human characters into their cartoon counterparts for a short time. A truly charming idea to pay tribute to the series.
Furthermore, the (meta-)absurdity extends to things like Dora’s need to sing a song every minute to deal with stress or other unpleasant emotions (the “I Grab a Poo-Hole” song also lingers with you). The film will still be remembered for a long time – unfortunately!). But her friends also submit to the tonality; for example, by constantly trying to avert danger using the knowledge they have learned from films about how to get out of dangerous jungle situations. Admittedly, it’s not particularly subtle. But it’s nice to know that Bobin is often very conscious of the graphic nature of his film. This shows self-confidence and allows you to easily overlook creative weaknesses such as the poor animation quality of the monkey boat. Apart from all these meta-gimmicks, “Dora and the Golden City” is ultimately still a really fine adventure film – including jungle puzzles, underground water whirlpools, quicksand and mysterious treasures that need to be discovered. The script by Nicholas Stoller (“Bad Neighbors”), among others, repeatedly makes it clear that there is a difference between treasure hunters and explorers. With their thirst for knowledge and their curiosity about foreign cultures, Nora and her parents are clearly the good guys, while the kidnappers who want to enrich themselves with the same treasures are the bad guys. Both parties not only chase each other through the jungle, but also have their own ideas about how to deal with foreign cultural assets. This means that at the end of the film a lot of knowledge is left with the young viewers without having to constantly tell them in advance.
Conclusion: “Dora and the Golden City” is an all-round successful adventure that offers slapstick and well-dosed “Jumanji” flair for the little ones and delights adults with lots and lots of meta-humor.
“Dora and the Golden City” can be seen in USA cinemas from October 10th.