Movie buffs, if you’re truly a movie fan, you’ll notice a current trend that’s taking over the movie industry: live-action films.
It’s as if the new pre-requisite making films nowadays is to turn everything we once knew and love into a live-action cinematic experience.
And the latest to succumb to this trend is the beloved children’s TV show, ‘Dora The Explorer’.
From exploring and swinging vine to vine on the small screen, Dora has graduated to real-life dimension through ‘Dora And The Lost City of Gold
So, does the live-action treatment live up to the original animated series?
Here’s what we think of the movie and why you should (or shouldn’t!) watch the film.
#1 Likeness To The Original Series
‘Dora And The Lost City of Gold’ has gotten essentially every character and its storyline close to perfection, if you compare it to the original animated series. If you’ve watched the animated series, you’d know how the show works – Dora sings almost every time, asks audiences at home if they can pronounce a certain word, goes on her own adventures alone, and sometimes Diego will pop out at random times to join her.
Now, imagine real-life Dora suddenly turning into her animated character and asking the audience with a deadpan face “can you say delicioso
?” mid-way talking to her dad? Hilarity ensues and the audience roared with laughter. We’re pretty sure her dad is worried she’s been consuming magical mushrooms she discovered while exploring the forest every time she does that whole Lizzie McGuire thing.
Later on, she’ll burst out singing made-up songs to make her or someone else feel better every time they encounter a sticky situation but eventually, it’ll annoy the hell out of the latter.
We loved the fact that Dora channels her animated character at random, unsuspecting times, which made the film quirky and not too childish.
In the live action version of the film, every character had the exact same name and likeness as seen in the original series, including Boots and Swiper (created digitally via CGI, of course). Dora’s backpack and map sadly can’t talk in real-life because that would just be a little creepy, but keep a close eye out because who knows; in a brief moment they’ll actually slip out a few words.
Dora’s appearance and resemblance when she was a child to a teenager are very consistent, where as for Diego, we’re not sure if it’s a glow-up or if he morphed into someone else once he hits puberty.
The Diego we know now has raging teenage hormones, sporting a sporty haircut, is tall and lanky while Dora seems like she just grew physically, is a little behind on social cues and lives in her own carefree world.
But hey, who could blame her if she's been living in a jungle with a blue monkey as her best friend her whole life?
One thing we wished the studio would change is to give Swiper (Benicio Del Toro) more screen time because he plays a pivotal role in the animated series and it’s a shame we can’t see more of his mischievous antics. It feels as if he’s merely a supporting act when he should be the star instead.
Unfortunately, nothing memorable comes to mind for Swiper. Guess our minds were swiped out everytime he comes on.
But, kudos to the them for not ruining Dora (or the rest of the characters) and not giving us a real-life living nightmare that’ll be mocked for many years to come (read: the live-action ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’).
The storyline is pretty much straight forward – just like its title. Dora, who’s fascinated by the lost city of Parapata since she was a little kid, eventually gets an opportunity to discover the city rumoured to be filled with gold come to life but in the least expected way – kidnapped and deceived into thinking she’s actually on the hunt to save her parents.
Along with Diego, and two other schoolmates plus her parents’ friend who they met along the quest, the unlikely gang spends a lot of time navigating through the jungle trying to locate Dora’s parents and this is where the journey gets draggy.
Sure, they encountered some misfortunes and obstacles along the way, but you can’t help but compare their adventure to the awesomeness and wilderness of the live-action remake of ‘Jumanji’ and 'Tomb Raider'.
In that sense, ‘Dora And The Lost City of Gold’ pales in comparison to the other movies with similar backdrop or storyline. Guess they were trying to keep the movie family-friendly, so they had no choice but to tone down the real thrill of venturing into unchartered territories and unknown paths.
So, would we really recommend you to watch the live-action ‘Dora’? Well, it really depends on what perspective you’re going to watch it from. And we know, you might say that the ‘Dora And The Lost City of Gold’ trailer looks really promising, but we advise you to not get your hopes up too high.
If you’re looking forward for a wholesome movie to be enjoyed with the whole family, this is it. Your kids or little siblings will probably love it but if you grew up watching Dora, you’ll probably be a tad bit disappointed. Not to worry though, because you’ll find yourself laughing a lot throughout the film -- either for its humour or its sheer absurdness -- and that will somewhat compensate for what this movie lacks.
There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s a shame that this beloved children’s animated series lost its opportunity to shine. In the end, it was the studio who swiped away some of the characters' airtime and the movie's real potential from the moviegoers, not Swiper.