May 7, 2019
By Lea Torppey
“We did it!” This summer, Dora the Explorer will hit the big screen. After a five year absence, the iconic backpack-wearing explorer returns, but she is not so little anymore. Dora is now in high school and must face even greater challenges.
“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is set to open on Aug. 2, and the first trailer dropped on March 23 during Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ Choice Awards.”
The children’s animated series “Dora the Explorer” premiered in 2000 and concluded in 2014. With eight seasons and 172 episodes, it was one of the longest running Nick Jr. shows of all time.
In the cartoon, protagonist Dora is depicted as a seven-year-old Hispanic American who teaches viewers life skills and Spanish vocabulary. Dora undertakes adventures with her monkey companion Boots, her talking purple backpack and her talking map while trying to stop the sneaky criminal fox Swiper. A spinoff called “Go, Diego, Go!” featuring Dora’s cousin Diego aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2011.
This summer’s live action movie will present Dora as a teen who is taking on a whole new adventure: high school. Her life seems to be normal until her parents go missing. Dora quickly finds herself leading a group, which includes her cousin Diego and her companion Boots, to help rescue her parents and discover the mystery of a lost Inca civilization.
Giving off an “Indiana Jones” vibe, the trailer leads viewers to believe Swiper, the antagonist in the original cartoon, is behind the conflict.
Junior Adriana Vazquez said she definitely wants to see “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.”
“When I heard it was coming out and watched the trailer, I was very excited, especially since she still wears the same pink top and orange shorts in the movie and goes on adventures with Boots,” Vazquez said. “Watching ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ would be a way to connect back to my early years and bring back some positive nostalgia. I was obsessed with Dora as a kid.”
Vazquez said she believes the movie will appeal to all ages because it has elements of adventure, action and comedy.
“‘Dora the Explorer’ has been around since the year 2000, holding a special place in the childhood of all present teens and children,” Vazquez said. “I think this movie is something the whole family can enjoy. It would be perfect for a Friday night out at the movies and is not exclusive to any set audience.”
Vazquez said she likes the idea of Dora appearing as a teenager rather than a seven-year-old.
“Personally I think this makes sense considering the years that have gone by,” Vazquez said. “For my generation, it’s as if Dora grew up with us, and it makes the film more relatable.”
Vazquez said filmmakers might have decided to make a live action movie inspired by “Dora the Explorer” because Disney is popularizing a trend with live action versions of animated classics like “Dumbo,” which came out in March, and “Aladdin,” which is set to be released on May 24.
“Filmmakers could have seen the great reaction that these live action movies caused among the public and thought, ‘Wow, maybe we should give that a try too and see where it takes us,’” Vazquez said.
English teacher Mrs. Ruiz said “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” will appeal to many different age groups and audience types.
“Those who used to watch the cartoon when they were younger will probably think it is cool to relive their childhood, and live action allows for older audience members to enjoy the film as well,” Ruiz said. “Also, younger children who are watching the show currently may be inclined to see it, although it may be a little over their heads, depending on their age.”
Ruiz said live action films are also good for adults who are bringing their children to the movies. She said they can enjoy the plot even if they are unfamiliar with the characters or had no previous interest in the subject matter.
“Live action films seem to usually appeal to the parents as well in that they are not just a cartoon and oftentimes have some hidden stuff in there to make parents chuckle,” Ruiz said.
Junior Samantha Piromalli said she remembers watching a live action Dora the Explorer parody trailer on YouTube in 2012. The parody was created by CollegeHumor. She said she believes Paramount got inspired by the video, as the trailer bears a lot of resemblance to CollegeHumor’s parody.
“I was a child, and I actually believed a live action movie was going to be released. I remember laughing at the jokes being made,” Piromalli said. “Cut to seven years later, and there’s actually a movie coming out. Honestly, I can’t wait to see it. I just want to see if it’s like anything I expect it to be. No matter what it is like, it’s my childhood. I’ll watch it no matter what.”