When you go to the theater and the trailers start, part of the game is trying to figure out which licensed property the current trailer is based on before the title comes up. In this day and age, no investor will finance any blockbuster film that isn’t based on a pre-existing IP, so if a trailer starts and a hippopotamus appears, you think “this must be a Hungry Hungry Hippos movie.” Or if a chef in a white hat appears, you think “this is a Chef Boyardee movie.”
The moment this one starts, though, it’s a little hard to believe. You see a Latina girl standing in some ancient ruins, on the precipice of a cliff, about to take a flying leap. Then you look closer and you notice she’s wearing a pink shirt, red shorts and carrying a blue backpack, and you think……NO. No, this can’t be right! I’d believe a movie based on a board game or pasta soup, but…this CAN’T be what it looks like, can it?
Oh, it can. A Dora the Explorer movie has been in development since 2017, with Michael Bay attached at one point (dwell on that for a second). This is the first footage we’ve ever seen of it, and no one really knew what to expect until now. The best thing about this trailer is that despite the completely different settings, Dora’s characterization is completely unchanged. She stands there wide-eyed, enthusiastic, in day-glo clothing and a backpack full of explosives, while everyone around her looks in her direction quizzically. And you better believe she has a monkey.
It has been an unusually long time since we’ve had a live-action movie aimed at kids, starring kids, where the KIDS have wild adventures ON THEIR OWN (which, as a kid, I always enjoyed seeing). Hollywood used to make these all the time; in fact back when Nickelodeon first started releasing movies, this was their typical output. There was already an attempt to bring these kind of movies back this year with The Kid Who Would Be King; however that one was a flop. Maybe Dora’s star power can make a difference, and she can ABRE the door for the return of the Goonies era.
Dora And The Lost City Of Gold opens August 2.