Preview: What have they DONE to “Dora the Explorer,” in “Dora and the Lost City of Gold?”

There’s almost certainly market research backing up Nickelodeon/Universal’s decision to put “Dora the Explorer” in high school, strip the “boots” off “Boots” — her digital monkey pal, and generally “Tomb Raider” the daylights out of this adorable pre-tween character, her singing map and handy talking backpack and annoying fox-villain “Swiper.”

Eva Longoria and Michael Peña are good choices for the parents. Benicio Del Toro is Swiper in this version. Not a fox, which is fine.

Isabel Moner of “Instant Family” is plucky, but 18 — ready for teen magazines, a record deal (if she doesn’t have one already) and unwanted tabloid attention (at least in today’s culture).

This trailer grates in its wrong-headedness. She’s too old, the whole set-up is too grown up. There’s no childish magic, childish innocence or childish childishness to this Aug. 2 release.

The one nod in that direction is casting Eugenio Derbez, who sets a different tone (overly dramatic adult in a child’s “action” adventure) and I think, the right one.

Younger Dora, younger kids around her, take teen/tween pinup appeal out of your decision making and maybe you can do right by an admittedly infantile TV show, but one which little kids just loved.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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