Yes, I am 35 years old and I went to see Dora and the Lost City of Gold opening night in theaters — and I don’t regret it one bit because it is insanely fun and hilariously self aware. I expected a cute movie. I expected references to the cartoon my children made me watch over, and over, and over for 5 solid years. What I didn’t expect was to have a smile on my face the entire time, to laugh until I cried, and to cry because yes, there is heart in this movie too. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is easily my favorite movie of the summer.
Hilariously Self Aware
In the trailer we see Dora face the camera and address the audience. Even though I had seen that scene several times, I still laughed out loud in the theater. But the self awareness doesn’t end there. Oh no. It continues throughout the entire film.
If you have seen the cartoon version of Dora, you are going to have the BEST TIME watching this movie. I can pretty much promise you that. My kids loved it, I loved it, even my husband (who has slept though many episodes of Dora) loved it. Talk about a great family moment — all four of us laughing our heads off at Dora on the big screen. Something I never expected to happen. Thank you Dora. Thank you.
It Has Heart, Too
Dora and the Lost City of Gold isn’t all fun and games though. There is some serious heart in this movie. They address issues that kids deal with every day. Issues like being bullied and made fun of. A character in the movie said it best (I do NOT want to ruin that fun surprise), “You are not a child, but you are not an adult. You are teenager, and it is a confusing time.“
I think part of the reason these issues really got to me is because I had a hard time in high school. And I fear that my daughters will too. I try to explain to them they need to be themselves, no matter what, but will they listen to their mom? Who knows… but maybe they will listen to Dora.
That Cast, Though!
If you have seen the trailer I don’t think I have to tell you that Isabela Moner absolutely kills it as Dora. I mean, she IS Dora. Not just in looks either. In personality. There is one line that made me tear up (gosh, I know, I am a sap) — it is along the lines of “I have to be myself, I don’t know how to be anyone else.“ What a great lesson for kids!
In fact, toward the beginning my six year old turned to me and said, “Mom, if they would just get to know her, I am sure the kids would like her.“ From the mouths of babes guys… the world needs more of this.
As for the rest of the cast — they are great too. Jeff Wahlberg, who plays Diego, plays a moody teenage boy perfectly. And Eva Longoria and Michael Pena, Dora’s parents, had me cracking up more than once. As did Nicholas Coombe and Madeleine Madden, who played their roles to perfection. Sure, the characters were over the top… but that is how they were meant to be. It works. Trust me.
The opening scene of Dora and the Lost City of Gold immediately put a beaming smile on my face — and it never faded. I was singing along every chance I got, and I didn’t care who heard me. My girls were singing with me, and bopping along. There are many songs from the animated series, but also some new ones that are pretty fantastic. Even one about going number two and I dare you not to sing it to yourself next time you are in the bathroom.
If you watched the animated Dora cartoon — you are going to recognize many familiar faces! Yes we know that Boots, Swiper, and Diego are in this movie, but there is more. I don’t want to ruin anything but let’s just say, I was thrilled to see these characters. And yes, I started yelling their names out in the theater and pointing. Because I am totally a grown woman who was hyped to see them. Sorry, not sorry.
Yes this movie is corny, silly, and a predictable, but the fact that Dora and the Lost City of Gold is willing to make fun of itself makes it a must see. I have not had this much fun in the theater in a long time. I laughed until I cried. A couple of times. I was rooting for Dora and Friends (see what I did there?) throughout the whole movie.
Seeing the pure joy on my daughters’ faces as they laughed, giggled, and repeated Dora warmed my heart. It made fun of itself constantly. And it worked. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is easily my favorite movie we have seen this summer!
About Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora (Isabela Moner) for her most dangerous adventure ever – High School. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), a mysterious jungle inhabitant (Eugenio Derbez), and a rag tag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents (Eva Longoria, Michael Peña) and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost city of gold.