Dora the Explorer’s influence is so large that even if you’ve never watched the series yourself (though you almost certainly have, at some point), you know how Dora’s fourth wall-breaking call and response schtick works. She says something in Spanish, challenges you to say to say it, you say it, and then everyone’s quite pleased with themselves for having said the thing.
The bit makes sense for a kids’ show about building up vocabulary skills, but it’s become something of a joke for older audiences who grew up watching the Nickelodeon classic. Paramount’s banking on that nostalgia factor to draw people into audiences for its live-action reimagining of the young explorer’s adventures.
The latest Dora and the Lost City of Gold trailer gets right to the business of acknowledging how odd a child like Dora – one who frequently, enthusiastically spoke to people nobody else could see, as if she were the star of a kids’ cartoon – must have been to raise.
But, in keeping with the film’s somewhat grittier, “cooler” framing of Dora, things quickly take a heroic turn as the teen ends up fighting for her life in the depths of a jungle.
Surprisingly, Swiper the Fox makes a brief appearance and he looks… not that bad, all things considered?
It’s good that The Lost City of Gold’s not above taking potshots at the objective silliness of the source material while also making an honest effort at turning Dora into a cinematic action star. But whether that formula will translate to box office success remains to be seen until Dora and the Lost City of Gold opens in Australian theatres September 19.