The live-action Dora the Explorer film, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is officially in theaters. Check out Eric’s review here!
The majority of us who write for this site are clawing each other for the chance to review Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I’ll probably see it because I greatly enjoy the atmospheres and fantastical elements that Guillermo del Toro creates. I’ll be the first to admit that horror is not my genre of expertise nor is it one that I fully appreciate. So instead of being a child and forcing my own biased opinion on someone who might otherwise enjoy the movie, I decided to be a child and go critique a film meant for children – Dora and The Lost City of Gold.
This film is reminiscent of the Nickelodeon movies from the ‘90s and early 2000s. It’s fun, colorful, and full of poop jokes. Poop jokes can be hilarious when used effectively and not just solely because this film is marketed to children. Blazing Saddles used it to poke fun at the fact that cowboys are always sitting around eating beans. This movie used it to make some really awkward racially motivated poop jokes that break your suspension of disbelief. I use this example as a warning to those that cannot remember that this movie is for kids – mainly because Ni-ni-ni-ni-ni-ni-ni-nick – Nickelodeon will remind you.
The opening of the film was wonderful. It playfully touches on the aspects of the show that were odd and wouldn’t make much sense in a reality like our own. And then it moves on…moves on…on…from that joke…we get it! This was probably my biggest pet peeve of the movie—they just stay on the same joke forever and makes a really short film feel much longer than it is. You know when you make the mistake of giving a kid too much validation from a joke and so they spend the next 10 minutes telling you variances of the exact same joke and expecting you to laugh equally as hard each time? That kid was in the test audience for this film.
Once you get past all of my issues, though, it’s a fairly solid film. The acting is sub-par and the plot is as predictable as it is passable, but it’s a kids’ movie. It’s fun in that you watch the hyper-optimistic entity have to interact with how some screenwriter in his forties thinks teenagers behave. The movie is in the jungle and full of so much color that it won’t matter if something funny isn’t happening right that second. The message about being true to who you are was great, and I hope that resonates with kids everywhere.
If you have young kids and you want to be able to repress the trauma after you made the selfish decision to take them to go see Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Dora and the Lost City of Gold will brighten them up for sure.
3 untimely poop jokes / 5 wasted Bencio Del Toros
Okay cool the parents got what they needed and I can complain about things in a kids’ movie like the jerk I am.
I wish that being a “kids’ movie” didn’t mean you could just make something at a lesser quality because most people won’t care. A lot of the decisions in this film are bothersome to say the least. They try to set it up so that each of the kids has a quality that makes them essential to making it to the lost city, but only Dora and Randy really have any skills that made them essential. The scene with Sammy literally shows both her and Dora figuring their puzzle out, reducing Sammy’s character to the uptight girl who ends up liking everyone by the end after surviving a traumatic event. Diego was a waste in this movie. He is just kind of there and then tells people to jump one time. Danny Trejo was more impactful to the film than Diego as a whole
My biggest problem though: Swiper. Why was there a need to even begin this movie when Swiper, as he is in the show, is an actual thing in this universe? The antagonist is wanting to get to the lost city to steal all the gold – not realizing that he is sitting on a goldmine already. YOU HAVE A FUCKING ANTHROPOMORPHIC TALKING FOX AS A FRIEND! You could sell him to science. You could make a TV show—the merchandise alone would make you the next George Lucas. Why the hell are you going through the trouble of kidnapping children and threatening people to lead you to a lost city in the middle of the rainforest? Why are you reducing your furry little friend to a burglar or grunt whose sole purpose is to steal shit when you can have him do anything else in a public setting and make waaaaaayyy more doing something completely legal? You done fucked up, Bad Guy in a Kids’ Movie!