Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Dora (Isabela Moner) is no longer a child explorer on television, but an enthusiastic teenage explorer on the big screen. However, although Dora is grown up her parents (Eva Longoria and Michael Peña) still think of her as their young girl. So when they embark on a quest to discover a lost Incan civilization they send her to California to stay with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg). But when Dora doesn’t hear from her parents for an extended period of time she leads herself, and her new high-school friends, on a quest to save her parents.
It doesn’t matter if you loved Dora as a child, you’re a parent who has seen too many episodes, or you’ve never watched the show, this Film adaptation is bound to make you a fan. This is thanks to the heartfelt Screenplay written by Matthew Robinson and Nicholas Stoller. Robinson and Stoller have themes of belonging, identity, family and courage within their script that can resonate with any audience member. The Script is also laced with humour for those both young and old, therefore making it a Film the entire family can enjoy.
Yet Dora and the Lost City of Gold isn’t all about sentimentality it’s also about having immense amounts of fun. And that fun comes from Director James Bobin who shoots many action sequences with intensity and energy while interweaving them with intelligent humour. One scene in particular that will be a stand out is when the Film changes dramatically between live-action and animation. Bobin brings together the old and the new creating nostalgia and paying homage to the TV Show.
The Film also has ample amounts of characters who are three-dimensional and act their age. It’s hard for many to write teenager characters that speak and act like teenagers. However, Robinson and Stoller have written these characters exactly how teenagers speak and act. And these characters are brought to life through an amazing cast of talented actors. The star of the show is Moner who is an exuberant presence that commands the big screen. Longoria and Peña are very well cast as Dora’s parents, however, it’s Peña who steals every scene he’s in. He’s the comic relief whose jokes are aimed to please the parents in the audience, and he hits every note.
Paramount Pictures Canada release DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD Friday, August 9, 2019.
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