Dora and The Lost City of Gold: Let’s Thank Director James Bobin for Making This Work (Blu-ray Review)

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DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD debuts on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand November 19 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Here is my review of the Blu-ray:

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Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora (Isabela Moner, Instant Family) for her biggest challenge yet – high school. When her parents mysteriously disappear while searching for the Lost City of Gold, Dora must swing into action and lead a group of ill-equipped high schoolers on a wild quest to save them. Hold on for a high stakes mission as Dora and her new friends navigate the jungle, outrun treasure hunters, and solve ancient puzzles to unlock the mystery of the fabled city.


Review:

It works. I don’t know how it happened but let’s start by thanking director James Bobin for actually making a live-action sequel? to the Dora The Exporer animated series not only function correctly and make complete sense, but also for making it entertaining and legit funny to boot. Speaking of which, yes there’s a monkey with boots called boots and at one point in the film he finally speaks – with the voice of Danny Trejo. Dora and The Lost City of Gold pokes fun at itself, the franchise but never disrespects it either in a way that some film adaptations of other TV shows have in the past (like Baywatch).

Isabela Moner plays our titular backpacking hero Dora and we’ll get to see her move from the jungle into the city, but then she winds up back in her element once more on an adventure that has her singing songs about digging holes to poop in etc. The film is genuinely surprising and Nickelodeon must be eternally grateful for having James Bobin come in to make this sucker work and breathe new life into a franchise that seemingly felt dead to me for a while now. Bobin helped create the legendary Sacha Baron Cohen characters Borat, Bruno, Ali G and he helped launch Flight of The Conchords before directing the recent Muppets flicks. Needless to say, he’s damn good at bringing the funny and his work here is once again perfect.

Moner manages to capture all of the silliness of the Dora cartoon character while introducing us to more human elements in the process considering she’s now a teenager and is dealing with the harsh reality of growing up and interacting with other kids her age. She steals the show alongside Eugenio Derbez who accompanies her on an adventure to find the lost city of gold. I wasn’t familiar with Derbez but he’s so damn good and funny that I hope to see him pop up in more comedies. The scene with Derbez and the sinkhole might be one of the most hilarious moments of the year actually…

Dora and The Lost City of Gold is one of those rare adaptations that just works. It actually makes sense as a sequel to the original cartoon series and it manages to be entertaining for people who have never even seen the show as well. I could have used a bit more Benicio del Toro as Swiper the Fox, but the few times he pops up to wreak havoc are still pretty damn fun. That’s what this movie is – FUN. Check it out – fan or not, it’s worth your time.

Special Features:

  • Bloopers – Take a trip to the wild side with hilarious bloopers of the cast’s funniest on-set mishaps.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes – Journey deeper into the jungle to find the “lost” scenes not shown in theaters.
  • All About Dora – Discover how Isabela Moner transformed Dora into a jungle-savvy teenage adventurer for a new generation.
  • Can You Say Pelicula? – Unlock the mystery of underwater stunts and surviving quicksand with Eugenio Derbez.
  • Dora In Flower Vision – Explore the movie’s playful animated sequence, a treasure trove of nods to Dora’s cartoon origins.
  • Dora’s Jungle House – The adventure continues with this behind-the-scenes tour of Dora’s jungle house, part museum, part laboratory, and always a place for family.

The special features are all pretty good. The Dora in Flower Vision sequence was one of the best parts of the film so I’m happy they took us behind the scenes of that moment.

Rating: 4/5

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