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Film / Dora and the Lost City of Gold

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Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a 2019 adventure film, based on the Nickelodeon children's show Dora the Explorer.

Dora has spent years exploring the jungle with her parents, having great adventures. Now older, however, she must face her greatest adventure yet - high school. She is soon forced to return to her roots, however, along with a group of her classmates and her monkey friend Boots, to save her parents, and solve the mystery behind a lost Incan civilization.

The titular character is played by Isabela Moner, who's no stranger to the Dora franchise - she was one of the main voices on Dora and Friends: Into the City!, where she played Kate. Jeffrey Wahlberg stars as Dora's cousin Diego, with Michael Peña and Eva Longoria as Dora's father and mother (Cole and Elena), Danny Trejo as the voice of Boots, and Benicio del Toro as the voice of Swiper. Marc Weiner reprises his role from the show as Map, and series creators Chris Gifford and Valerie Walsh served as executive producers.

The film was theatrically released on August 9, 2019.

Previews: First trailer. Second Trailer.

Tropes in this film:

  • Actionized Adaptation: The original cartoon had little to no violence, being made for preschoolers, in contrast to what happens in the film: Dora's parents kidnapped and held hostage, mooks actively seeking to harm her, and Dora herself wielding a machete.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Dora and Diego's parents were only known as Mami and Papi in the original series, whereas in the movie they get named Elena and Cole for Dora's and Sabrina and Nico for Diego's.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Eva Longoria as Dora's mother.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Dora and her parents. Elena and Cole are both stated to be professors (in addition to explorers) who home-schooled their daughter. Consequently, Dora shows off a lot of knowledge throughout the course of the film.
  • Adapted Out: In the cartoon, Dora had younger siblings named Guillermo and Isabella. Here, she is an only child.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Swiper was always an antagonist in the cartoon, but he was more of a mischievous inconvenience than an actual threat and even had some heroic and nicer moments here and there to prove he's not completely heartless. Here, he's aligned with dangerous mercenaries.
  • Advertised Extra: Danny Trejo only voices Boots in a single scene. To be fair, said character is still in a decent chunk of the movie.
  • Age Lift: In the original cartoon, Dora was a 7-year-old, and in Dora's Explorer Girls she was a pre-teen. The prologue shows Dora and Diego at six years old, while most of the movie takes place ten years later. Dora is now a teenager, attending high school.
  • Animated World Hypotheses: When the movie does an Art Shift into the original style of the series, it's made explicit that the characters are in fact seeing themselves as animated.
  • Arc Words: "We did it" and variations thereof, are said whenever the character survive or otherwise succeed in a particular task... again much like the original series.
  • Art Shift: During the Mushroom Samba sequence.
  • Audience? What Audience?: The prologue shows 6-year-old Dora facing the camera and asking the audience to repeat "delicioso", like the TV series' Fake Interactivity. Her parents look confused and say that it's a phase. Her father tries it to no avail.
  • Bathos: While there are a few dramatic sequences, the film never takes itself too seriously and is by and large a lighthearted and over the top comedy adventure and affectionate parody of the show its based on. Even the climax manages to sandwich in a few gags to offset the drama.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Swiper runs on top of a parked airplane's propeller to make it spin. Dora effortlessly catches a blade between her hands, and the sudden stop sends Swiper flying.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Diego and Sammy.
  • Beneath Notice: Boots utilizes the fact he is a wild animal to distract the mercenaries from being suspicious of the noises coming from the group.
  • Big Bad: Alejandro, who was really leading the mercenaries and tricked Dora and her friends into leading him to Parapata.
  • Big Finale Crowd Song: The film has its own take on "We Did It", where Dora, Diego, Sammy and Randy sing about the adventure during the school dance, accompanied by the other students.
  • Bilingual Bonus: During the animated sequence, Alejandro panics and sings a common Spanish healing song: "Sana, sana, colita de rana. Si no te sanas hoy, te sanarás mañana."Translation 
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The spears wielded by the Guardians of Parapata have tips coated with gold.
  • The Cameo: The animated versions of Map and Backpack, along with Benny the Bull, Isa the Iguana, Tico the Squirrel, the Grumpy Old Troll, and the fiesta trio show up during the animated hallucination sequence.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The film ignores Dora and Friends: Into the City!, showing Dora to have lived in the rainforest for sixteen years when she moved to Playa Verde sometime before the spinoff.
  • Cassandra Truth: A more villainous example as after Alejandro survives the quicksand trap, he breaks down and proclaims himself to be a bad guy, but Dora tries to comfort him and convince him otherwise, believing that he just feels guilty for leading the high schoolers into danger. However, once he reveals his true motivations, it turns out that his proclamation of being a bad guy was not an exaggeration.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The poisonous tree frog that Dora identifies near the start of the film ("Can you say 'severe neurotoxicity'?"). In the third act Dora uses it to stun Powell and Swiper.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Randy mentions being able to hold his breath underwater for up to seven minutes. This comes in handy when he helps free his friends as they are trapped in an aqueduct.
    • Unused: he also laments that he'd learned Mandarin instead of Spanish, but never has to read it (or some suspiciously similar language).
    • Dora's backpack gets raided at the security checkpoint at school, only given her yo-yo back. She replies in all sincerity "The yo-yo is my most dangerous weapon." Later in the movie, she uses it to disable a mercenary and let her friends escape. She even does a Bond One-Liner while doing a yo-yo cradle trick.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Dora is definitely this way compared to other high schoolers. Her backpack has flares, tents, a portable generator and anti-venom.
    (Dora produces a Rambo-style bowie knife)
    Sammy: "Oh look, Dora brought a knife on the field trip, everybody!"
  • Credits Gag:
    • There is a statement from the Fox Council of America at the start of the film: "Everything you are about to see is true. Except that foxes don't swipe. That is a hurtful stereotype." However it has Swiper's face on it...
    • At the end of the film, the Fiesta Trio, who usually appear at the completion of a quest in the show, do a curtain call.
  • Dance Party Ending: The first roll of credits features Dora, Diego, Sammy and Randy at their school dance, singing a film version of "We Did It!", accompanied by the other students.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the cartoon was made for preschoolers, this film has much more perilous and life-threatening situations, there are actual references to dying/getting killed and Toilet Humor though it does retain the spirit of the show. There's also a scene where Dora asks Diego if he wants to "mate" with Sammy. The mating scene with the two scorpions is also quite shocking as Dora never had any sexual innuendos.
  • Death by Materialism: Subverted. Alejandro's obsession with getting the treasure of Parapata leads him to trigger a trap that drops him down a flaming pit, with Dora pointing out his greed caused this. However, he manages to grab the edge and survive. Instead, he is made a prisoner of the Guardians of Parapata.
  • Durable Deathtrap: The lost city of Parapata and its surroundings have death traps that continue to function after centuries. Then it is revealed that its people still exist, so they are the ones who maintain and reset the traps.
  • Extended Disarming: Dora's backpack gets examined when she enters school.
  • Evil All Along: Alejandro.
  • Feather Boa Constrictor: Dora puts a snake around her neck for the sake of a pun.
    Elena: Why are you wearing a snake?
    Dora: It's a boa boa.
  • Fish out of Water: Having spent years exploring the jungle with her parents, Dora has a little trouble adapting to city and high school life.
  • Foreshadowing: After the quicksand, Alejandro sobs "I'm a bad guy," but Dora assures him that he's not. Turns out he was being literal; he is the true Big Bad.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Much like the original show, a lot of Spanish words and phrases are peppered throughout the dialogue, some subtitled but others left obvious due to context. There are some moments of complete Spanish conversations, as well as the Incan language Quechua. Inverted in the Latin Spanish dub, where there is Gratuitous English.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Not done intentionally, but the simplistic "big head" style of the animated show was always going to contrast Dora being played by an attractive teenage actress (even Dora's Explorer Girls was mildly controversial for trying to glamorize her). But the movie itself doesn't try to capitalize on itnote , in the Dance Party Ending Dora wears an undershirt to prevent any inadequate moments while moving around.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Not done to the extremes, but Dora's backpack has just about anything they need. Noted by Sammy when she pulls out a collapsible latrine shovel.
  • Genre Shift: The preschool Edutainment nature of the original show would simply not work as a feature length movie. This is more Indiana Jones-for-kids.
  • Group Costume Fail: When Dora's high school holds a costume party, the students are told to dress as a "star", i.e. a celebrity. Both Dora and Randy pun on this by wearing clothes that allude to real stars — Dora dresses as the sun, while Randy wears a shirt with the chemical symbol of hydrogen on it.
  • Imagine Spot: The opening scene implies that most of Dora's adolescent adventures were exaggerated by her imagination, such as a talking Backpack, Map and Boots, with her and Diego's miniature jeep made of cardboard. She later talks to the camera at dinner, which her parents hope is just a phase. Swiper's existence does call some things into question.
  • Manly Tears: Dora's father is prone to this, notably towards the end when Dora decides to navigate high school over exploring with her parents.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Pygmy elephants in Amazonian jungle
  • Mushroom Samba: Dora, Diego and Alejandro arrive in a field with hallucinogenic spores. Alejandro bumps into one that initiates all of them to begin spewing gas. The result is the three seeing the world in the same animation style as the show, including caricatures of Sammy and Randy.
  • Mythology Gag: A few of them from the show.
    • The film opens with young Dora and Diego playing make believe in a yellow jeep, essentially recreating one of the intros from the show.
    • Little Dora talks directly to the audience in the prologue, mimicking the show's famous Fake Interactivity. Her parents assume that she's just going through a phase.
    • Dora's abuelita is introduced wearing a pink apron reminiscent of the one her cartoon counterpart always wore.
    • The entire Mushroom Samba sequence is essentially one big love letter to the show. Thanks to the hallucinogenic gases in the spore field, Dora and Diego briefly turn into their classic cartoon forms, while the world around them becomes fully animated. Both the Map and Backpack appear as their usual sentient selves (voiced by their original voice actors, no less), and even Dora's animal friends Isa, Tico, and Benny show up in cameo appearances.
    • When Swiper plunges face first into a pile of cereal boxes, he lets out his usual catchphrase.
      Swiper: OHHHHHH... man, I'm stuck upside down.
    • During the Dance Party Ending, Diego, Sammy, and Randy are wearing outfits in all blue, yellow, and pink respectively, evoking the Fiesta Trio.
    • Dora has a habit of breaking into a song about random things, saying it helps her remember important survival tips. Most of the songs are the traditional Once an Episode jingles that come up when she uses Backpack or Map.
    • After the credits roll, the actual Fiesta Trio comes out to play their iconic fanfare to mark the completion of the film before taking a bow.
  • Naked Nutter: When the main cast starts tripping due to hallucinogenic pollen, Alejandro takes off his clothes and runs around naked.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Dora's parents, who were known as Mami and Papi in the original series, are now given the names Elena and Cole respectively.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted, with humorous results. In the jungle, Dora realizes that an embarrassed Sammy really needs to poop, and digs a hole for her while singing about pooping. Naturally, Sammy isn't helped by this. She's also interrupted later when the group gets attacked, and has to hastily pull up her pants then run away. At the end, she sings about how everybody saw her pooping (although they claimed to be looking away).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Alejandro's entire goofball and Cowardly Lion act was just act. He's actually the leader of the mercs that kidnapped Dora's family.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At some point after Boots rescued Dora and her friends from Alejandro, the Guardians of Parapata were somehow able to defeat mercenaries who are armed with assault rifles and handguns despite themselves being armed with only crossbows, swords and spears. Of course, it helps that the Guardians are under the direct command of a powerful mage with destructive magical powers.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dora winds up with has this reaction upon learning that her parents weren't actually friends Alejandro like the latter claimed they were, and then shortly afterwards that Alejandro had stolen her parents' journal, lied to her and her allies to trick them into trusting him, and was actually the true leader of the mercenaries/treasure hunters.
    Dora: Oh, Miercoles!
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Dora takes out one of the mercenaries using a yo-yo. When the others find him one says "He got yo-yo'd again!"
  • Pocket Protector: Randy gets shot in the side with an arrow and freaks out when he sees red liquid spilling. Then it turns out the arrow hit a juice box in his pocket.
  • The Pollyanna: Throughout the film, Dora's attitude tends to be very optimistic, even in great danger.
  • Prefers Rocks to Pillows: On her first night in America, Dora sleeps in the garden rather than her bedroom.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Quicksand is one of the perils that the heroes encounter. More realistically than most examples, Dora coaches the others in the correct way of getting out, not by struggling to break free, but letting oneself sink in further then lying on your back to float your whole body up to the top. Unfortunately, Alejandro is too stubborn to try it and ends up having to be rescued by the others.
  • Raised by Wolves: Played with, Dora is not entirely familiar with the high school crowd but this results in being overly friendly and enthusiastic, rather than lacking basic social awareness. She later admits she knows kids think she is a dork but refuses to not be herself.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: They tackle the Fake Interactivity from the tv show in two different ways - as a child, the parents dismiss it as "just a phase". After the Time Skip, Dora is shown still narrating her adventures... as she's recording everything on smartphone.
  • Scary Scorpions: Subverted. While Alejandro is stuck in quicksand, two scorpions crawl on his head, causing him to completely freak out, but the scorpions start mating with each other and don't harm him.
  • Self-Interruption: Done twice by Dora herself:
    Dora: Sh...oot
    Dora: Mier...coles (doubles as a Bilingual Bonus)
  • Ship Tease: While Diego and Sammy have a Big Damn Kiss, there is only the slightest hints of something between Dora and Randy and it's mostly on Randy's side. A deleted scene has Randy confess his love to Dora, only for her to friendzone him.
  • Shout-Out: Has quite a few.
    • The person who rescues Dora and the other three teens from the wooden crate they were placed into by the kidnappers says "Come with me if you want to live." word-for-word.
    • Swiper has a variation of the famous line from Scarface with "Say goodbye to your little friend!"
    • Dora's trip to Los Angeles has the Indiana Jones "map with a dotted line to where she is going" image, done with a "hand drawn on cardboard" style to it.
  • The Stinger: The very end of the credits sees the Fiesta Trio from the series play a fanfare and bow.
  • Stuck in the Doorway: Dora's backpack gets stuck between the school bus' doors, leaving her screaming for help as the bus drives off with her still hanging on the side.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Boots communicates largely via noises provided by Dee Bradley Baker, but, in the face of danger, can talk to Dora in the voice of Danny Trejo. She's as surprised as we are.
  • Swiper, No Swiping!: Zig-Zagged. Dora tries this on Swiper when they meet up again, but he ends up ignoring it. During the Dance Party Ending, however, Dora's parents try it on him successfully (albeit by saying it just once instead of thrice), complete with the classic "Oh, man!"
  • Translation Convention: Boots communicates largely via noises provided by Dee Bradley Baker, but, in the face of danger, can talk to Dora in the voice of Danny Trejo. She's as surprised as we are. When the other characters return, all they hear is Dora making monkey noises at Boots.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Dora has an unhealthy habit of doing this, much to everyone else's annoyance.
  • Toilet Humor: Used literally, as Sammy has to confess she needs to relieve herself. Dora assists by retrieving a "poop shovel" and even has a song for digging a latrine.
  • Token White: Randy is the only prominent non-Hispanic of the cast (the few mercenaries seem slightly more diverse). At one point Dora, Diego and Sammy all talk in Spanish with subtitles and he says "Sorry, I took Mandarin. What are you talking about?"
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Dora was more about traveling from one place to another, while there was sometimes a little bit of peril most of it was about Free-Range Children. Her teenage self here is introduced escaping a herd of stampeding elephants while explaining their specific subspecies via livestream, and is more of an Adventurer Archaeologist.
    • While somewhat downplayed, Swiper is so much more competent and threatening than in the show. Given that he's the mercenaries' right hand fox. To top it off, this time he does not concede defeat to the whole "Swiper, No Swiping!" thing (or at least not as easily).
  • Villain Ball: While Alejandro manages to avert it for most of the film by keeping himself as an incompetent ally of Dora, after he reveals himself he rides it by triggering a booby trap that he could have avoided with Dora's help.
  • Vocal Evolution: While almost none of the characters in the film sound exactly like their animated counterparts, there are two examples that stand out the most.
    • In the original series, Swiper was voiced by Marc Weiner, using a high-pitched, cartoony New York accent. Here, he now has a deep, suave voice with a Puerto Rican accent courtesy of Benicio del Toro.
    • Boots, even more so than Swiper. He sounded like a young boy in the cartoon, whereas in the film, during the brief moment where he gives Dora a pep talk, he had a deep and gravelly voice that wouldn't sound out of place for a grown man.
  • Wham Line: When Dora and her parents reunite she says it's all thanks to Alejandro. But as she notices her parents' increasingly perplexed looks, it slowly dawns on her that Alejandro's the mercenary leader.
    Dora: It's all thanks to Alejandro.
    Elena: Who?
    Dora: Your old friend Alejandro. From the university. You sent him your journal.
    Cole: My journal was stolen days before the expedition.
    Alejandro: (into walkie-talkie) This is Alpha Leader.
    Dora: You...don't know him, do you?
    Alejandro: We found them! Delta Rendezvous Point! You have my location!
    Dora: You lied to me!
    Alejandro: No, I just outwitted you. As I've outwitted every adversary that came before you. The greatest investigative minds of the century have failed to thwart my heists! The crown jewels of the Ivory Coast, the Comtesse de Vendome necklace and now the Gold of Parapata! Who would've believed that my greatest achievement—the final act of a prosperous treasure hunting career—would find me squaring off against a socially inept jungle nerd and three high school losers! Now if you please, you will lead me to Parapata.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While Alejandro ends up prisoners of the Incas at the end, and Swiper is last seen trying to steal from Cole and Elena during the Dance Party Ending. What happens to the other three mercenaries is never shown, leaving their whereabouts unknown.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The mercenaries have no qualms whatsoever threatening a group of teenagers, Alejandro included.


Video Example(s):


Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Hallucinogenic spores cause Dora, Diego and Alejandro to see everything animated like the original show.

How well does it match the trope?

4.97 (31 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArtShift

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