EXPLORER: Isabela Moner plays Dora, who embarks on a quest to save her parents.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

  • Family adventure; Cert PG; 1hr 42mins
  • Starring: Isabela Moner, Jeff Wahlberg, Benicio del Toro, Eva Longoria, Michael Pena, Eugenio Derbez and Temuera Morrison
  • Director: James Bobin

WITH lots of children’s movies on these holidays, Dora and the Lost City of Gold would be my pick, whatever your age.

This lively comedy is aimed at pre-teens who have grown up with Dora, this most popular of television heroes, but it will also appeal to their parents and even younger children who still enjoy the series.

Mousekateer-bubbly Isabela Moner, who is actually in her late teens, plays Dora, who is about to embark on her biggest challenge of all, high school.

The highlight of this movie’s humour is its self-awareness.

Dora has been raised away from civilisation in a remote Peruvian jungle by her explorer parents. Her habit of fourth-wall-dropping asides – “can you say severe neurotoxicity?” – and imaginative play has become a source of consternation for her parents, played by Michael Pena and Eva Longoria. They decide she is too isolated and lacking socialisation so send her to Los Angeles to attend high school with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg).

Oblivious to social norms such as not singing in the street or shouting “Hola” at everyone she meets, Dora’s new peers aren’t sure what to make of her.

However, just as this movie goes too far down the track of a tragic high school mean-girls story, Dora, Diego and a couple of classmates are kidnapped by treasure hunters and transported back to Peru.

What follows is, thankfully, more Indiana Jones than High School Musical.
An animated, Benicio del Toro-voiced Swiper the Fox adds lots of fun to this already hilarious movie.

Temuera Morrison does villain duties as treasure hunter, Powell.