When you think of Dora the Explorer, the things that come to mind are usually in the ballpark of “cute”, “cartoony” or “why is she exploring and not in school?”
But for a certain film critic over at The Hollywood Reporter who reviewed the live-action film adaptation, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, it seems like they’ve either watched a completely different film or a porn parody because their review is both thirty and creepy as hell.
For the record, I’m a big fan of this reviewer’s work (who shall remain nameless in this article) and think their film reviews are the bee’s knees. But they’ve wandered into “creepy weirdo” territory with their Lost City of Gold review, which contains a number of ill-fitting references to the birds and the bees.
The review starts off relatively drama-free until we get to a certain bit about Dora, who is described as 16 years old and played by the “the earnestly conscientious, rather mature and nothing if not lively Isabela Moner,” who herself is described “18 and looks it despite preventative measures.”
Yeah, nothing creepy and cringy about that description since Isabela was only around 16-17 when she filmed the movie.
Things only get worse as the reviewer points out how all of the actors are undeniably older than their characters before going into gratuitous, borderline thirsty detail about it.
They describe the film’s tonal disconnect as something you can’t not notice “between the essentially innocent, borderline-pubescent nature of the leading characters and the film itself, and the more confident and mature vibes emanating from the leading actors,” and pointed out the director’s efforts in “trying to keep the hormones at bay” but failing since it seems like the actors are one googly eyes moment from everything going down the route of a porno.
And as a cherry on top of all this, the reviewer wraps everything up by declaring Lost City of Gold as “committed to projecting a pre-sexualized version of youth, while throbbing unacknowledged beneath the surface is something a bit more real, its presence rigorously ignored.“
Good god, dude.
Never thought I would see the words “hormones” and “throbbing” in a Dora the Explorer review.
For a film that’s clearly aimed at children, the reviewer definitely didn’t think of the children when they wrote this “review” and there’s no objective way I can possibly defend this monstrosity without getting locked up in jail.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a long, cold shower to wash away the unsavoury feeling that this Dora the Explorer “review” has left me with. If you really, really want to read the whole thing, you can do it here but I suggest you just avoid it unless you want to feel gross for the rest of the day.