Dora the Explorer was a big part of my older kids' lives, and I couldn't be more thrilled about Dora's reinvention as a live-action hero, complete with a big screen Indiana Jones-style adventure. Although many parents share my excitement, others might be concerned Dora & the Lost City of Gold isn't appropriate for toddlers. It's a valid worry, and on that note, here's what parents need to know about this upcoming film.
As Common Sense Media detailed, the film follows Dora 2.0, meaning she's a bit different from the Dora the Explorer character you fell in love with circa 2000. That beloved character taught viewers Spanish along with her helpful monkey friend, Boots, and the show was geared toward pre-schoolers.
But in Dora & the Lost City of Gold, the plot features themes for older kids, including lessons about fitting in and becoming empowered, according to the plot's synopsis. And to get a little more specific, an older Dora (played by Instant Family's Isabel Moner) leaves her parents and beloved jungle behind for an arguably more cutthroat place: high school in Los Angeles, California.
While in L.A., Dora must try to blend in (as if, right?) with cousin Diego (played by actor Jeff Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg's nephew) who is attending the same school. But Dora's foray into high school is cut short thanks to a kidnapping plot, which sends her back to her roots. Once back at home, she has to fight for her family (veteran actors Michael Pena and Eva Longoria star as dad and mom) and her culture's lost gold.
Although I'm impressed by the creativity of reimagining the family-oriented show into an action-adventure flick, I understand why parents might have questions about whether this film is age-appropriate for toddlers.
What might help answer this question is the film's PG rating, meaning "parental guidance is suggested." And while the overall film is kid-friendly, it's important to note it includes a kidnapping subplot, some weapon-brandishing moments, a heart-pounding race through the jungle, and jokes that might fly over your little tyke's head.
Translation: Every child is different, so use your own judgment when deciding whether or not you should take your little one to see this film.
If you do decide to take your child to see Dora in action, it sounds like you're in for a treat. As The Wrap reported, the film features engaging twists and an impressive cast and crew, including director James Bobbin of Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted fame.
But maybe best of all, the Dora movie has a cool educational aspect you won't find just anywhere. Not only will the tale expose kids to Latinx culture, with Dora and her family speaking both Spanish and English, but it will also feature the indigenous language Quechua, a Peruvian dialect.
Not to mention, you can't go wrong with award-winning actors Benicio Del Toro and Danny Trejo, stars who voice Boots and Swiper respectively. Talk about an impressive cast.
With action, adventure, and exposure to new cultures, Dora & the Lost City of Gold sounds like a great option for many families when it premieres on Aug. 9. But is it the right answer for your family looking to entertain much younger kids? Well, just as the original animated Dora had to often puzzle things out, that's a riddle you'll have to solve for yourself.