Today’s the start of production on the upcoming live-action Dora The Explorer movie. To mark the occasion, Paramount has released the first look at actress Isabela Moner suited up for the role, along with more details on the rest of cast and story…and I’m not sure what to think.
As a parent, I’ve watched a LOT of Dora the Explorer. I watched it 6-7 years ago with my son (when he was a toddler) and I’m watching it every day now with my daughter (currently a toddler). While the outfit is a very literal translation from the cartoon, it still feels off. Part of which has to do with the new High School setting, which is where this story takes us:
Dora the Explorer stars Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Instant Family) in the film’s title role. Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents nothing could prepare Dora for the most dangerous adventure ever – High School. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego, and a rag tag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.
Aging her up makes sense, but it leaves me wondering what audience this is going to appeal to most. My toddler isn’t going to be old enough to sit through this film when it launches next year, and my son, who grew up loving the show and would better understand the time shift, has little interest in the brand anymore. It just seems to sit at a curious point between age groups, but it’s cool to see how diverse the cast is in bringing the iconic show to life:
Seventeen-year-old actress Moner is joined in the film by one of Mexico’s biggest stars, Eugenio Derbez (Overboard, Instructions Not Included, How to Be A Latin Lover), who plays Alejandro, a mysterious jungle inhabitant who tries to protect the teenagers from the marauders. The film also features big screen newcomer Micke Moreno (Escobar: Paradise Lost), in the role of cousin Diego; Nicholas Coombe (“Spy Kids: Mission Control,” Midnight Sun) as Randy, a fellow high schooler who develops an immediate crush on Dora; Madeleine Madden (Picnic at Hanging Rock,” “Tidelands”) as the school’s snooty class president, Sammy; and Academy Award® nominee Adriana Barraza (Babel, Amores Perros, Thor, The 33) as Dora’s grandma, Abuelita Valerie. Temuera Morrison (Green Lantern, Moana) will play the role of Powell. Additional key casting announcements are forthcoming.
The film is produced by Christopher Robin producer Kristin Burr, who is joined by longtime Bobin associate, executive producer John G. Scotti (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, Alice Through the Looking Glass) as well as executive producers Julia Pistor (The Spiderwick Chronicles, A Series of Unfortunate Events) and Eugenio Derbez.
Bobin has assembled a talented team behind the camera that also includes reunions with Oscar®-winning production designer Dan Hennah (Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Alice Through the Looking Glass) and costume designer Rahel Afiley (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, “Flight of the Conchords”). The pair will be joined by six-time Goya Award winning (and BAFTA nominated) cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, A.S.C. (Secretos del corazón, The Others, Blue Jasmine, Thor: Ragnarok), film editor Mark Everson (Paddington, Paddington 2) and BAFTA-nominated VFX supervisor Andy Brown (Black Panther, House of Flying Daggers, Moulin Rouge!)
Dora the Explorer will film entirely in Australia’s Gold Coast, in the state of Queensland on the continent’s east coast south of Brisbane. Village Roadshow Studios, where the production will headquarter, has been host to several major Hollywood movies in the last few years, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Shallows, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and, most recently, DC’s Aquaman. In addition to designer Hennah’s stage builds, the production will utilize Queensland’s diverse landscape, notably tropical forests near Tamborine Mountain and Tallebudgera, to portray Dora’s jungle habitat.
Dora The Explorer will arrive in theaters on August 2, 2019.