Dora and the Lost City of Gold Strikes, Well, Gold!

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The Good
Great adaptation
Fantastic cast
A well-thought out movie
The Bad
Did you guys know that there's gonna be a Playmobil movie?

It’s not a secret that Hollywood is running out of official ideas for movies. Just about everything’s an adaptation, a reboot, a remake, or a sequel at this point. And while it is getting quite ridiculous (Playmobil: The Movie, really?) there are a few a gems that make it all quite worth it. Like the Dora the Explorer adaptation: Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Translating what is essentially a kids’ educational show to an actual live action narrative is no easy task. It would obviously be a strong temptation to discard any attempts at serious story-telling or character development. But writers Nicholas Stoller and Matthew Robinson, along with director James Bobin, outdo themselves at making Dora more than just a cartoon come to live.

Not to say that Isabela Moner doesn’t wonderfully capture everything about the animated character with her acting. Pulling all of the wide-eyed eagerness of the Nickelodeon icon, Moner also sprinkles her now familiar brand of straight-faced menace which made her performance in Instant Family essentially boost the entire movie.

While it’s always nice to see veterans such as Michael Pena and Eva Longoria step into roles mentoring this new generation of actors, the young cast has to be given props for shouldering a bulk of the movie themselves.

The real star of the movie, however, remains its creative choice to homage its animated source material in a comical way while also retaining Boots and Swiper as exceptionally cartoon-y characters. Where it would have been easier to either have just done away with them or hitting out with some Detective Pikachu level CGI, the movie embraces its somewhat Mary Poppins era nature and works with the characters while retaining their very familiar 2D looks.

While the movie definitely carries a sense of being made for kids, a certain amount of self-realisation keeps it entertaining for adults, especially those looking for a little cheeky criticism at how movies have come to adapting properties not necessarily meant for the big screen.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is in theatres now and is a pretty great way to spend your weekend with the kids… or just as adults.