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Dora and the Lost City of Gold Blu-ray Review - Fun Family Adventure

A spunky leading lady takes us all on a colorful adventure.

Reviewed by on Nov 19, 2019
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the Blu-ray set for Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Does it look and sound great? Were you a fan of the animated TV show? Are the extras fun? Will you want to collect and/or gift this set?

Dora and the Lost City of Gold stars 16-year-old Dora (Isabela Moner) who has grown up in a jungle with her explorer/scientist parents Elena (Eva Longoria) and Cole (Michael Pena). They decide to search for a lost Incan city in Peru and send Dora off to high school in L.A. with cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) to get some real-world experience. Dora is having enough trouble adjusting when she, Diego and fellow nerds very smart Sammy (Madeleine Madden) and awkward Randy (Nicholas Coombe) who is attracted to her, are kidnapped by mercenaries and end up back in South America searching for her parents and the lost Incan city.

Dora loves an adventure.Dora loves an adventure.Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Jungle Baby

Six-year-old Dora and her visiting cousin Diego play, explore, learn and frolic in a South American jungle but Diego leaves to go back to Los Angeles while Dora continues to be home-schooled and live with her parents in their posh jungle stronghold. Ten years later, 16-year-old Dora is an expert jungle navigator who pretends she has an audience while living and video-documenting her fantasy dream of hosting an adventure show in the rainforest with her fave monkey Boots. When her parents find clues to the location of the lost Incan city of Parapata in Peru, they make a big decision.

Dora's pet monkey BootsDora's pet monkey BootsCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

L.A. Exile

The parents send Dora off to live with her childhood friend/cousin Diego in Los Angeles because they want to keep Dora safe and worry that she will be a social outcast without interacting with kids her own age. She’ll go to a regular high school. They tell her to just be herself. Dora finds high school overwhelming and it doesn’t help that, being new and weirdly different, she is teased, made-over and generally mean-girl dissed. She meets fellow outcasts, bright girl Sammy and awkward science dork Randy. Diego seems embarrassed by everything Dora does. She behaves like she is studying some rare, isolated tribe of jungle natives.

In high school with DiegoIn high school with DiegoCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Kidnap on a Field Trip

Dora feels alone and keeps in touch with her parents on a two-way radio that they use to update their daughter on their location when they can. After months of communication, the radio goes silent which doesn’t scare Dora until she, Diego, Sammy and Randy end up getting kidnapped during a field trip to the Natural History Museum by greedy mercenaries who want to use Dora as a tracker to find her parents and the lost city’s golden treasure. Alejandro (Eugenio Derbez), a professor friend of Dora’s parents, rescues the kids when they reach South America and they make a bumpy escape into the jungle where Alejandro freaks out about nearly everything. They have to find Dora’s parents before the mercenary baddies get to fabled Parapata.

Dora's parents are in troubleDora's parents are in troubleCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

 Adventures in the Jungle

In the jungle, the group is almost drowned in a temple trap, survives noisy quicksand, is almost eaten by several jungle “monsters”, has hallucinations, meets Swiper, a threatening, thieving, talking fox….in a mask and finally, with Dora in the lead, starts to put together mystery puzzles that will finally lead to Dora’s parents and that amazing lost golden city. How will the kids beat the mercenaries to the city and manage to find Dora’s parents?

Following clues to Dora's parentsFollowing clues to Dora's parentsCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Special Extra Features

This Blu-ray, take home set looks and sounds great. Very bright colors!

  • Bloopers – always fun. These are short and silly.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes11 of them! They are mostly quite short. Some are silly and some add to the story. Worth a one-time watch.

A longer scene on the adventureA longer scene on the adventureCourtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • All About Dora explores the famous character that originated as T.V. animation. Isabela Moner is shown putting her stamp on the older (teen) Dora. Filmmakers talk about keeping many of the elements of the original show and still modernizing and up-aging Dora.  Nice.
  • Can You say Pelicula? – features actor Eugenio Derbez who plays Alejandro taking us through the underwater stunt and his quicksand scene. Funny and fun.

Isabela with actor Eugenio DerbezIsabela with actor Eugenio DerbezCourtesy of Paramount Pictures
  • Dora in Flower Vision- concentrates on the field of huge flowers that produce hallucinogens taking our actors into animated form. Actors and filmmakers talk about the scene and loving to be portrayed as animated characters. Cute and interesting.
  • Dora’s Jungle House features Dora actress Isabela Moner guiding us through the cool jungle mansion/lab/museum where Dora lives.  Really cool set!

Wrapping Up

As we said when we covered this film in theaters, “As a pre-schooler you might have watched the “Dora the Explorer” animated  Nick TV show in which perky, cute very young Latina Dora taught us cool things and helped us solve puzzles while on adventures.  Now live action Dora is in high school but she’s the same education-crazed, very moral, curious adventuress who had rather learn new things about an old civilization than be a gold-digging mercenary treasure hunter.”

Isabela (center) does a great job portraying DoraIsabela (center) does a great job portraying DoraCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

“Isabela Moner does a great job of playing the spunky teen as she talks to the camera in Spanish a few times “Can you say delicioso?”  and whips up songs on the spot.  The cute monkey and fox from the original series seem out of place but should appeal to younger kids”.

“Despite some silly slapstick stumbles and fart jokes in the jungle, the film is also a 1980’s (Goonies, Indiana Jones, later Tomb Raider), warm, PG family adventure although the tone (mean-girl comedy, coming of age tale, cartoony adventure….what?) is uneven. There are some entertaining action sequences but you feel like you’ve seen most of them before in other adventure “jungle” films”.

Dora represents strong valuesDora represents strong valuesCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Extras on this home entertainment set are cute, informative and short. The movie might to too squeaky clean for older teens but tweens and younger should get into it and, hopefully, the cool messages to be yourself and have faith in your abilities. We award three stars.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold Blu-ray Rating: 3

Dora and the Lost City of Gold Blu-ray and DVD CoverCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Buy Dora and the Lost City of Gold in stores now.

Leave an Adventurous Comment!

Are you curious about the world and its people like Dora? Where would you go on an adventure? Will you think of collecting or gifting this Blu-ray set for the holidays? Can you say…leave a comment or note on your Kidzworld profile page!


By: Lynn Barker 

Dora represents strong valuesDora represents strong valuesCourtesy of Paramount Pictures