Dora and the Lost City of Gold – Blu-ray Review

I never grew up watching Dora the Explorer. Yet I was always aware of what the show was like. So when there was an announcement that they would be making a live-action Dora the Explorer film, I was understandably skeptical. So how did Paramount get Dora to work? Slightly poking fun at itself while still keeping the core characteristics of Dora alive.

Screenwriter Nicholas Stoller and Matthew Robinson’s meta idea of what Dora is supposed to be is what makes this film work. It adds to the fun because it’s self-aware of its animated roots. That’s the most surprising thing about the film. It’s all because of creative forces behind it—director James Bobin and Stoller have a knack for this kind of film.

Also, a lot of the fun happens with the fish out of water trope. For the first act of the film, this trope applies to Dora in the big city. Sadly, her happiness and weird behavior do get annoying. You don’t mean to feel this way because you know this is how the character is but you just can’t help it. Nevertheless, this bubbly personality is one of the core characteristics that transferred over from the show.

Things seem to settle down once Dora is in the jungle and in her element. As a result, the rest of her friends in the jungle and now Dora’s friends are the ones that are the fish out of water. The concept of three city people surviving in the wild is always a fun idea, and that’s the case again here.

But there’s an inherent Indiana Jones vibe to the film—albeit a franchise that caters more to children. The MacGuffin that everyone is chasing after, the traps, and supernatural elements are all tropes you find in an Indiana Jones film. It even includes a similar ending to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Overall, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a surprisingly good adventure film that caters to kids. The film also does a great job of paying homage to the animated film while also making an adaptation that fits in a cinematic world. It may be the biggest surprise of the year.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Video

Dora and the Lost City of Gold - Isabela Moner and Eugenio Derbez

Dora and the Lost City of Gold hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Surprisingly, Paramount isn’t releasing a 4K Ultra HD release for Lost City of Gold. Despite that, the picture still looks great. As a whole, the picture has a medium contrast. So this leads to an overall bright picture with brilliant whites some bloom. Thankfully, the bloom isn’t so terrible that you lose many details in the bright areas. The picture also has some deep-looking blacks with some crush in them too. Similar to the brightness levels, the crush isn’t so bad that you lose many details in the shadows.

The colors are rich and vibrant that pops from the screen. As you can imagine, it’s very colorful as a Dora film should be. Not to mention, the details and edge details are clean and crisp. Overall, the picture looks tremendous despite the lack of 4K HDR.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Audio

Dora and the Lost City of Gold - Eugenio Derbez, Madeleine Madden, Nicholas Coombe, Jeff Wahlberg, and Isabela Moner

Dora and the Lost City of Gold hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Dora and the Lost City of Gold‘s Dolby Atmos track. Although Paramount isn’t releasing a 4K version of this film. At least, they provided the 1080p Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos track and it’s a really good audio mix. The mix features a lot of dynamic sounds that move all over the soundstage. There are also several instances where the overhead effects come into play. It’s not a ton of moments but they are accurate to the context of a scene. It adds to the immersion of the mix.

The mix also has some wonderful atmospheric sounds of the jungle coming to life. At the same time, the audio mix layers the score and covers you from all over—back and overhead channels included. Thankfully, the dialogue is crisp and audible even among the adventure and jungle noise. Overall, this is a phenomenal mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

Dora and the Lost City of Gold - Jeff Wahlberg and Isabela Moner

Dora and the Lost City of Gold have the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Bloopers
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • Dora Hates Chores
    • Rave Music
    • Bathroom Break
    • Time For Bed
    • Bedtime Partners
    • Markers on the Map
    • Alejandro Thinks They Are Lost
    • They Are On the Right Path
    • Randy’s in Love
    • Swiper’s Speech
    • Abuelita’s End Title Song and Dance
  • Can You Say Película?
  • Dora in Flower Vision
  • Dora’s Jungle House

The blooper reel is a bit funny but it’s not anything special. The deleted scenes are good but that’s mostly because of Michael Peña’s beatboxing his version of rave music. Needless to say, it’s amazing. “All About Dora” is a great behind-the-scenes featurette where you get to learn a lot of story and character details. “Película” focuses on the hilarious Eugenio Derbez and his involvement in the film. You get to learn a bit about his character and see a lot of behind-the-scenes footage. It’s also a “love fest” featurette for Derbez as well.

“Flower Vision” shows the making of the hallucinogenic flower scene. It starts with Bobin and Wahlberg talking about the scene before we get to the actual behind-the-scenes stuff. “Dora’s Jungle House” has Isabela Moner clearly off a teleprompter and giving us an in-depth tour of her home. It also has the designers talking about some of their decisions for the look of the house.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms


Overall, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a fun children’s adventure film that’s fun for the whole family. Even though the picture is great, the audio mix is downright perfect. Unfortunately, the special features leave much to be desired.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1517 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.