Film: Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Cast: Isabel Moner, Michael Pena, Eva Longoria and the voices of Benicio del Toro & Danny Trejo
Rating: * * * *
From days of yore, people have perceived the divine in nature: From mighty mountains and trees to rolling rivers and dark caves. The 6th century Brhat Samhita notes this in an effusion of poetry. Children in particular will enjoy this movie which combines fantasy, myth and history.
I’m not familiar with Nickleodeon’s English-Spanish pre-school TV series, the source material of this thoroughly enjoyable live action adaptation revolving around a spunky young titular heroine who has spent most of her life exploring the South American jungle with her archaeologist parents (Longoria and Pena, delightful).
Isabela Moner is as enchanting as the city of gold, the El Dorado that sought by fortune hunters. A personal quest propels our beautiful young know-it-all (well, almost) explorer, to lead a motley group including her pet monkey Boots (Trejo) and a few teens on an exciting adventure to rescue her parents and solve the mystery of a lost Inca civilisation.
On their heels is a band of menacing baddies; in their midst is a dangerous quisling. Clearly, the target viewership is a slightly older viewership but Dora and the Lost City of Gold makes a nod to the original audience by incorporating a riotous animated sequence which may or may not be hallucinatory.
For adorable Dora who breaks into song as a panacea for problems, the jungle is less daunting than high school in the US city where her cousin Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg) is ashamed of her and unable to defend her from silly classmates. Expectedly, there are displays of bravery and courage in action scenes galore; betrayal too and humorous situations culminating in a grand song and dance finale. All in all, an enjoyable outing for the entire family.