Nickelodeon’s favourite explorer – Dora has come to life. To the uninitiated, Dora the Explorer is a US kids-show and the central character is a young six-year-old girl whose friends are an anthropomorphic monkey named Boots (because he loves red boots) and a talking backpack and quite similar to a magician’s hat. Her antagonist is a fox Swiper.
Fast forward a decade and after having spent her entire childhood exploring various jungles, nothing has prepared Dora (Isabela Moner) for her next adventure – High School. After packing Dora off to her school, her parents Cole (Michael Pena) and Elena (Eva Longoria) are on their own adventure – in search of the lost city of gold of the Incas. Predictably, they run into trouble. Now it is up to Dora to save everyone. Giving Dora company is her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), the self-styled school “Queen” Sammy (Madeleine Madden) and science geek Randy (Nicholas Coombe). Troubling them along the way is Swiper (voiced by Benicio Del Toro).
It is difficult looking at Dora the teenager when just the other day you have seen her as a six-year-old in a cartoon. After getting over the fact that Dora is now a teenager, you would appreciate the fact that she is exactly what you would think a 16-year-old version of the cartoon character would be. Moner has nailed the character to the dot. One cannot help but like her. Comparisons are bound to arise with the Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones series. There is where one would err. This is Dora not Lara Croft or Indiana. This is for the kids.
For the kids in the grown-ups too. It is through unexpected quarters that you are entertained the most – Boots (voiced by none other than Danny Trejo). Boots’s talking scene is the best of the film. No other scene in the movie comes close to beating it. Director James Bobin takes it slow in the first half, as expected in any first outing. Once the boundaries are defined, the script picks up speed. The CGI is at the standard that you would expect from a Hollywood outing.
Statutory Warning – This is a Nickelodeon film. Please do expect slapstick antics and the fart-jokes.
If you are a kid, watch it. If you have kids, take them to watch it. If you plan on having kids, watch it. If you have time, watch it. Actually, don’t miss it. This outing is worth exploring.