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Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a live-action adventure comedy film based on the Nick Jr. series Dora the Explorer. Produced by Nickelodeon Movies, Walden Media, Media Rights Capital, and released by Paramount Pictures (through its Paramount Players label), it was released in theaters on August 9, 2019 right after the show aired it's final episode.

The film focuses on an older Dora Márquez as she goes on a quest to find the lost city of Parapata with her cousin Diego Márquez.[1]


Deep in the Peruvian jungle, 6-year-old Dora Márquez, daughter of jungle explorers Cole and Elena, spends her days going on adventures with her monkey friend Boots, her 7-year-old cousin Diego, and imaginary friends Backpack and Map while thwarting Swiper the thieving fox. One day, Diego and his family leave to Los Angeles while Dora and her parents remain searching for the hidden Inca city of gold, Parapata.

After 10 years of exploring, Dora's parents decipher the location of Parapata and choose to send a now 16-year-old Dora to Diego's high school in Los Angeles while they travel to the lost city. Staying with a now 17-year-old Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) and his family, Dora meets fellow students Sammy and Randy. Due to Dora’s intelligence, the nerdy Sammy sees her as her rival. Still, Randy is amused by Dora’s intelligence and her being very nice to him and develops an immediate crush on her. Dora enjoys her new life, but Diego is embarrassed by her eccentric behavior; it culminates in mocking and name-calling by several of their peers when Dora publicly dances to a conga song at the school dance. As Diego walks outside, Dora tries to comfort him, but Diego says that she is no longer in the jungle, which leads to a fallout between them.

The following day, on a class field trip to a museum, Dora and the others are lured to its off-exhibit archives, where they are captured by mercenaries led by Powell who fly them to Peru. When they land, a man named Alejandro, who claims to be a friend of Dora's parents, helps them escape. In the process, the mercenaries, aided by Swiper, steal Dora's map.

Alejandro reports that Dora's parents have gone missing and that the mercenaries are searching for them in hopes of getting into Parapata to steal its treasures. Dora resolves to find her parents first with Alejandro's help, while Diego comes along to look after Dora, with the other teens tagging along in hopes of being rescued.

The group travels through numerous obstacles, including quicksand, Inca ruin puzzles, hallucination-inducing spores (that turned them into animated characters in the style of the original cartoon), and attacks from forest guards of Parapata. During the journey, Sammy warms up to Dora and becomes nicer to everyone. Dora and Diego eventually reconcile, and Dora notices Diego has a crush on Sammy.

After numerous hazards, Dora reaches her parents just outside the borders of Parapata, but Alejandro reveals he was the mercenaries' leader all along and captures them. The other teens are caught as well, but Boots appears and helps them escape. With Dora's parents still prisoners, Boots helps Dora to find her confidence and tells the teens that they need to find the way inside Parapata to acquire the treasure so they can use it to bargain for Elena and Cole's release.

Inside the hidden city, Dora and the others solve its temple's puzzles and dodge its traps, bringing them to the central shrine. Alejandro secretly follows them. While he thinks that the gold is the rightful answer, Dora warns him that the test could have bad answers for those who fail it and that she and her friends are safe while he stand on the trap which soon opened and falls in it. The soldiers guarding Parapata defeat the mercenaries and confront the teens. Dora speaks to their queen in Quechua, assuring that the kids only came for her parents and to learn. Kawillaka listens to Dora and wants to see the rightful path, but Swiper soon appears and steals the idol, thus angering the gods. Dora returns the idol back into place. The Incas are grateful for saving their treasures and permit them all to have a single glimpse of their greatest treasure.

After the group leaves, Diego and Sammy become a couple. Dora's parents and the teens arrive at her jungle home, where the other teens' parents are waiting and are happy to see them. Her parents discuss going on another expedition as a whole family, but Dora decides to return to school in Los Angeles.

During the credits, Dora and her friends celebrate at the school dance while singing the extended version of "We Did It", Alejandro remains a prisoner in Parapata with some guardians by his side briefly heard singing "You'll be here another thousand years!", and Cole and Elena prevent Swiper from making off with one of their items.


Tico the Squirrel, Benny the Bull, Isa the Iguana, the Fiesta Trio, and the Grumpy Old Troll appear during an animated sequence, but do not have any lines.


On October 24, 2017, a deal was struck for a live action version of the television series to be made, with James Bobin directing. Nicholas Stoller and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel were hired to pen a script. Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes was announced as producer, though Bay and the company were ultimately not involved.

The film depicts a teenage version of Dora.[2] It was issued an initial release date of August 2, 2019.[3] In May 2018, Isabela Moner was cast to play Dora.[4] Eugenio Derbez began negotiations to join in June,[5] and was confirmed to appear in July. Micke Moreno was cast to play Diego, though had to withdraw and was replaced by Jeff Wahlberg.[6][7] Eva Longoria and Michael Peña were cast as Dora's parents that August.[8][9]Madeleine Madden also joined the cast of the film.[10]In October, Q'orianka Kilcher was added to the cast,[11]and in November, Pia Miller was set to play Dora's aunt Sabrina.[12] In December 2018, Benicio del Toro joined as the voice of Swiper,[13] and in March 2019, Danny Trejo announced that he had been cast as the voice of Boots the Monkey.[14]

In an interview with Forbes, Moner stated that she learned Quechua language for the character. She said that the film would "take audiences to Machu Picchu" to "explore the Incan culture," and commented that "Dora is very cultured and she knows everything about everything," and that she "doesn't have a defined ethnicity."[15]

Filming began on August 6, 2018, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia,[16][17]and concluded on December 7, 2018.[18]

The visual effects are provided by Mill Film, Moving Picture Company and Cheap Shot VFX, supervised by Lindy De Quattro, Andy Brown and Richard Little with visualization services provided by Proof and 2D animation provided by Blink Industries.


Box office

Dora and the Lost City of Gold grossed $60.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $60.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $120.6 million against a production budget of $49 million.[19]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside The KitchenThe Art of Racing in the RainScary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Brian Banks, and was projected to gross $15–20 million from 3,500 theaters in its opening weekend.[20][21]The film made $6.7 million on its first day, including $1.25 million from Thursday night previews. It went into debut to $17 million, finishing fourth at the box office; 46% of its audience was Latino, while 32% were Caucasian, 11% African-American and 10% Asian.[22]It dropped 51% in its second weekend to $8.5 million, finishing sixth.[23] It then made $5.3 million in its third weekend and $4.1 million in its fourth, and $2.7 million in its fifth.[24][25][26]

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 84% based on 148 reviews, with an average rating of 6.48/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Led by a winning performance from Isabela Moner, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a family-friendly adventure that retains its source material's youthful spirit."[27] Metacriticgave the film a weighted average score of 63 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported that adult and children filmgoers gave it an average of 4.5 and 3.5 stars out of 5, respectively.[28]

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote, "Whereas most of the cast (and especially Derbez) play broad, borderline-slapstick versions of their characters, Moner has the wide eyes and ever-chipper attitude we associate with Dora, but adds a level of charisma the animated character couldn't convey.[28]


Movie clips



  • Marc Weiner and Sasha Toro reprised their roles as Map and Backpack, respectively. but for some reason, Marc Weiner doesn't do the role of both Map and Swiper this time, even though he's always both their voice actor, but Swiper has a new voice actor for the very first time, he only does the role of Map.
    • Apparently, Sasha Toro confirmed that she is reprising her role as Backpack on her Twitter and Instagram while NickALive announce Marc Weiner reprising his role as Map.
  • Isabela Moner, who plays Dora in live-action, also voiced Kate in Dora and Friends: Into the City!.
    • She's also responsible for her various roles in various movies as well.
  • John Debney's fifth music collaboration with Nickelodeon Movies. It is also his first to be composed with a second composer, Germaine Franco.
  • This is Walden Media's second involvement in a Nickelodeon film, following 2006's Charlotte's Web. Their third is Playing with Fire, released in November later that year.
  • This is the second live-action theatrical film based on a Nickelodeon animated series. The first was The Last Airbender.
    • Ironically, it is also the first to receive a favorable reception.
  • This is the first Nickelodeon film to be released by Paramount Players since its founding in June 2017.
  • The film was originally set for release on August 2nd, but it was pushed back to a week later on August 9th.
  • Julia Pistor's first involvement in a Nickelodeon film since The Spiderwick Chronicles in 2009. She once again serves as an executive producer.
  • The 2D-animated sequence, which pays a homage to the original Dora the Explorer series, was done by Blink Industries. Known for its work on the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared web series, Blink also provided animation to some Nickelodeon Animated Shorts Program shorts, including Werebeast and The Tall Tales of Urchin.
  • This is the last Nickelodeon film to use the 1967 MPAA logo.
  • When Dora, Diego, and Alejandro breathe in fumes from a patch of tropical flowers, they hallucinate their animated forms. This scene features cameo appearances from TicoBennyIsa, the Grumpy Old Troll, and the Fiesta Trio. This is the first Nickelodeon film to use hand-drawn animation since 2015's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
    • Speaking of Fiesta Trio, they appeared at the VERY end of the movie when the credits were done rolling, playing the fanfare and then walking out of the screen after taking a bow along with the spore field scene.
    • During the hallucination sequence where after Alejandro panics, he says "I don't need these clothes!" so he takes off his clothes and his underwear is flung on Dora's face. He then runs away through the bushes naked. This was cut in some showings of the movie
    • Boots is the only character not to appear in the hallucination sequence.
    • Big Red Chicken was set to be in the movie, however he ended up not appearing at all in the final product.
  • Alejandro is the first character to be revealed as the main villain of the movie ever since Solan and Bree Blackbern from The Wild Thornberrys Movie.
  • While the Fiesta Trio don't appear in this movie, not even playing their fanfare music after Dora passing every place, they still performed in their 2D animated forms in the post-credit scenes.
  • Some parts of the film where Dora, Diego, Randy, and Sammy get sent to the jungle and got captured by Alejandro and his helpers and ending up at the Ancient city were all reused story elements from Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie.
  • This movie reveals Dora's parents' names (Elena for Mami and Cole for Papi).
  • This is the first Nick Jr. theatrical movie to be released in theaters.
  • Michael Bay's studio Platinum Dunes was rumored to have produced the film, which would've marked its first family friendly film.


Main article: Dora and the Lost City of Gold: Music From The Motion Picture


  1. 'Dora the Explorer' Movie in the Works With Nick Stoller, The Hollywood Reporter, October 23, 2017

External links