Fans of Dora, that most famous bilingual explorer, got their first look at her jump to the big screen during this weekend’s Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards. The trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold lives up to its title, turning the wide-eyed animated girl into Tomb Raider Jr., a kick-ass smart teen who’ll have to use her wits to reunite with her parents while in the treacherous jungle she knows all too well. With an aesthetic and a comedic sensibility that borrows from the recent Jumanji reboot as well as director James Bobin’s films (The Muppets, Alice Through the Looking Glass), Dora’s live action adaptation looks like a welcome Latino-centered family-friendly affair.
The first glimpse we get of Dora (Instant Family’s Isabela Moner) already alerts us this isn’t your childhood Spanish-teaching girl: like a fast-running female Indiana Jones (or a clothed Tarzan), we see Dora running through the jungle before hitching a ride on a vine. Her father (Michael Peña in full sitcom Dad mode) can be overheard telling her, “The jungle is a part of you.” Joining Peña is Eva Longoria as Dora’s mom. The two have found a map to El Dorado, presumably, and inform their young daughter that they’re shipping her up to the US to her cousin’s Diego’s house while they embark on their dangerous adventure in the jungles of Peru.
But don’t worry, despite the trailer milking Dora’s fish out of water story at an American high school for all it’s worth (she’s clearly carrying more than she’s allowed inside her backpack!) the film soon returns her to the green, vibrant world she knows best. Only, she’s flown back to South America as a kidnapped asset, along with three of her schoolmates, including Jeffrey Wahlberg’s Diego: “You’re so skinny and tall!” she tells him. That’s where things go full adventure film mode, with Eugenio Derbez’s Alejandro playing a bumbling rescuer/guide to the four teens.
The action-packed trailer may look only slightly more kid-friendly than that College Humor live-action Dora trailer from a few years ago (with less guns and more yo-yos as weapons, thankfully), but not by much. After all, the film’s recruited Danny Trejo as Boots, Benicio del Toro as Swiper, and looks to have plenty of adrenaline-heavy sequences underwater and on high-speeding jeeps. That said, if you were hoping to see Dora speak any word of Spanish (or Quechua as Moner has teased), you’ll have to wait until the family title opens in theaters later this summer.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold opens in theaters on August 2, 2019.