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.

 

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