A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Younger viewers may learn a few Spanish words (as on the Dora show), as well as information about astronomy, the rainforests, local animals, and certain details about the ancient civilization of the Inca (though some of the information is fictional).
Positive Role Models
Dora is determined, intelligent, and kind. She's curious about the natural world and dedicated to her family and new friends, using unwavering optimism and courage to believe the best in people. She also has no problem taking on leadership roles. Dora's parents are protective but also want to help her socialize with kids her own age.
Dora is a brave and compassionate teen played by Isabela Merced, whose parents are White American and Peruvian. Dora's supportive and caring mother, Elena, is played by Mexican American actor Eva Longoria. Elena and Dora's father, Cole (played by Mexican American actor Michael Peña), value family and show respect for elders. Another character of color, Dora's best friend, Sammy, is played by biracial White and Aboriginal Australian actor Madeleine Madden. Main characters meet Indigenous Peruvian Quechua people in the forest. Their queen is played by an actor with Peruvian-Quechua ancestry, and the Indigenous characters are portrayed in a positive light.
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Violence & Scariness
Dora and her friends are gassed, kidnapped, and held at gunpoint. They end up overcoming several close calls, including quicksand that nearly kills one of their crew, arrow attacks, booby traps, chases (both by car and on foot), frightening flora, a scorpion on the face, and a fierce group of warriors.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A teen couple flirts, exchanges lingering looks, and shares a hug and a quick kiss. In an animated sequence, a character undresses and runs through fields, their bare bottom briefly visible.
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Infrequent use of words/phrases such as "pain in the butt," "stupid," "weirdo," "be normal," "shut up" (repeated several times), "freaking," "brats," "what the flip," and "oh my God" as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
Herschel backpack, GMC car. Dora is an established brand with tons of offline merchandise available.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Kids are gassed. In one scene, it seems like spores from the jungle's flora cause hallucinations.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a live-action adventure based on the beloved animated series Dora the Explorer. Since this Dora (Isabela Merced) is a teen rather than a very young girl, the movie is geared toward slightly older viewers than the show. The story is a mix of fish-out-of-water high school comedy and true-to-Dora adventure and rescue mission. Expect peril, including a kidnapping, an armed hostage situation, and several close calls with danger, injury, and drowning. Kids are chased and gassed, but there's also lots of humor and slapstick, and everyone's favorite explorer ends up completing her mission safely. Characters use a bit of insult language ("shut up," "stupid," "weirdo," etc.), and there's some flirting and a quick kiss between teens. In an animated sequence, a character's bare bottom is briefly visible. Expect themes of teamwork, communication, compassion, courage, curiosity, and perseverance, and the movie depicts Latino and Indigenous characters as kind and well-rounded. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This surprisingly funny, earnest adaptation of the beloved bilingual kids' show features an unwaveringly positive teen version of Dora. Although it's unclear precisely to which audience Dora and the Lost City of Gold will appeal—teens nostalgic for the Nickelodeon series they grew up watching? younger fans curious to see an aged-up protagonist?—one thing is immediately obvious: It's incredibly well cast. Peruvian American Merced doesn't just look like Dora with her expressive brown eyes and signature bangs; she nails the precocious, generous, and inquisitive young explorer's personality. And Longoria and Peña are caring and comedic as Dora's parents, who have ambivalent feelings about their little girl growing up but remain supportive. Their warm household dynamic is a joy to watch, especially for bilingual viewers who speak both English and Spanish with family and friends like they do.
The supporting roles include some big-name Latino actors, including slapstick master Derbez, who's also a producer; Mexican superstar Adriana Barraza as Dora's abuelita; Benicio Del Toro as the voice of Swiper the thieving fox; and, in a single hilarious cameo, Danny Trejo as none other than the squeaky-voiced Boots. Wahlberg (Mark's nephew), whose mother is Dominican, is promising as cousin Diego. But some of the movie's jokes are overly predictable, there's an unnecessary (but super low-key) romantic subplot, and the relationship between Dora, Diego, and their two classmates isn't as compelling as, say, the one between the teens in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Still, the Australian forest doubles nicely for the Amazonian rainforest, and the action sequences are just perilous enough to be tween friendly without being too scary. It's always clear that Dora and her pals will be able to proverbially yell "We did it! Hooray!" at the end. Watch through the credits for a cute bonus number featuring Merced, who gets to show off her musical theater skills.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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