Dora and the Lost City of Gold Review



Zach Dulny, Critic

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is a 2019 movie based on the early 2000s children’s tv show, “Dora The Explorer”. This movie is good for kids, but for teenagers, it lacks the ability to keep you wanting to watch.. From its child humor to its characters, this movie does not appeal to an older demographic. Its nostalgia, satirical humor, visuals (some), and wonderful performance from the female lead makes the film more watchable. Other than those tiny instances in the movie, it’s an unenjoyable experience for those who have grown past their young childhood making me give it a 1.9/5.

As I said, this is a good movie for kids, not high schoolers. The reasons why this film doesn’t connect with high schoolers is obvious. If you’re a high schooler who never watched the TV show then don’t see the movie unless you are going with a child who has seen the tv show. 

The first  is the humor. The movie starts off really well with some satirical humor about some of the iconic bits in the tv show. But with that, it still overuses its satire too much making it become annoying. Speaking of annoying are the supporting characters. Their performances are good for what they are meant to do, entertain little children. But the humor is humor that will annoy anyone who isn’t younger than twelve. And it’s mostly characters who were not present in the tv show thus the nostalgic factors wouldn’t even apply to these supporting characters.

Next is the visual effects which in some cases are hit or miss. Boots on one hand enters the uncanny valley while Swipper’s animation style fits his cartoonish nature and really gives an enjoyable experience to watchers of all ages. Some of the scenery and visuals are nice to look at while others just seem fake to our grown minds. But with visual effects, it is mostly a miss for an older audience members.

But in the plot comes some of the better moments and some of the weirdest. The story starts off as a tribute to the tv show and then leads into a coming of age film. It then goes to a adventure/fantasy kind of story for the last two acts of the movie. But the adventure part of the story feels whimsical and childlike. Like Indian Jones for younger minds. But with that adventure part comes some of the weirdest, and my opinion, best scenes from the movie. There is a drug trip scene which transforms the live action actors into their cartoon versions which is completely wild. Also around an hour and forty minutes in comes the weirdest character “reveal” from Boots and is never mentioned after the one minute section. But other than those weird moments the story is probably one of the best parts of the movie, being a nice adventure story with fantasy involved giving an imaginative experience.

Probably the best part of the film is the leading actress. The woman who plays Dora looks and plays her with a perfect innocence and style that makes this movie even watchable to older viewers. She embodies the role so well and really brings you back to the TV show with your nostalgia. Her performance can’t be matched to anyone else’s in this movie and gives one of the most powerful portrayals of Dora you would ever see. 

This movie was made for kids. And it’s a good movie for kids thus its rating on Rotten Tomatoes being around 80. But for teenagers it lacks in many of the aspects of a masterful all ages film that you could watch at any age and enjoy. Other than the curiosity of seeing Dora in live action and the nostalgia that comes from it, this movie should stay with children. It may even be hard to watch for highschoolers because of how obvious it is just for kids. 


Grade: F (1.9/5)