Australian Council on Children and the Media

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

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Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 8 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Dora and the Lost City of Gold
  • a review of Dora and the Lost City of Gold completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 September 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 5–8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children over the age of 8 Suitable for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sense of threat
Length 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Dora (Isabela Moner) has been brought up in the Amazonian jungle by her professor parents, Elena (Eva Longoria) and Cole (Michael Pena), who have home-schooled her. They have instilled in Dora a love of exploring and a love for the jungle. Elena and Cole’s main ambition is to discover the famed lost city of Parapata, known for its mythical treasure trove of gold. Now sixteen years old, Dora’s parents decide to send her to live with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) and her Aunt, Uncle and Grandmother in the city where she can attend high school. Dora is afraid of leaving the world she knows but her mother tells her to just be herself and she’ll be fine.

At high school Dora takes her mother at her word and treats everyone as if they’re her best friend. This soon gets her into trouble as she is seen as socially inept, much to the embarrassment of Diego. Whilst on a school excursion, treasure hunters set out to trap Dora in order to use her to find her parents and, of course, Parapata. Dora is with Diego and two friends, Sabrina (Pia Miller) and Randy (Nicholas Coombe), when they are kidnapped by the treasure hunters. They are taken to the jungle where they meet Alejandro (Eugenio Erbez) who tells them he’s a friend of Dora’s parents and will help them escape. Things go from bad to worse as Dora and her friends escape from the bandits and try to reach her parents. They meet all sorts of danger along the way and puzzles to solve, requiring them to use all of their powers of deduction. This continues even when they finally find Elena and Cole and the fabled Parapata.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Adventure and exploring

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Dora chases after Swiper (an animated fox) who steals her map. Dora sends Swiper flying.
  • While walking in the jungle, arrows are shot at the four friends. They hide in a hollow log which starts to roll down the hill.
  • The explorers find an old woman in a cave and when they tell her they’re trying to find Parapata, she makes fire explode. She then places five figurines on the table and smashes them with a rock.
  • Dora, her friends and her parents are all seen with their hands tied behind their backs. They are marched along at gunpoint.
  • Dora knocks a man out with a yoyo.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Dora tries to leap across a cavern but doesn’t make it and falls into the centre.
  • Dora’s school bag gets caught in the door of the bus and she gets dragged along by it.
  • Sabrina is quite nasty to Dora at first, as she sees her as a threat to her status as being the smartest student.
  • The explorers are walking along a mountain path which collapses beneath them and they fall into an ancient underground aqueduct.
  • One of the bandits gets bitten by a poisonous frog.
  • Alejandro falls into a pit of fire.
  • The treasure hunters have angered the gods who cause earthquakes and explosions to occur.
  • In the jungle several animals chase Dora, such as wild pigs and a crocodile, but Dora is never harmed.
  • Dora enters a cave and bats fly out in a shrieking noise.
  • The friends have to walk through the jungle which is covered in mist. It looks quite eerie and there are scary sounds.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Diego tells Dora that high school is ‘life or death’ and it’s hard enough without having to look after the school weirdo.
  • The bandits are quite mean-looking, large men.
  • The four friends get stuck in quicksand and Randy thinks he’s going to die. A scorpion starts to climb over Alejandro’s face. Then another female scorpion meets up with the other one. Alejandro sinks beneath the mud but they manage to get him out.
  • Alejandro walks into a large spider’s web and gets covered in it. He screams and falls down.
  • Dora pulls out a large knife.
  • Dora, Diego and Alejandro walk into a field of pink flowers. The flowers squirt a substance over them and they turn into cartoon characters. As a cartoon character, Alejandro strips off his clothes and runs off naked.
  • In the ancient aqueduct the water starts to rise and the friends find themselves trapped. Just in time, Randy opens the sluice gates and they all get sucked into the drain and slide down a channel into a lake.
  • The Inca temple provides a series of challenges. It seems like the friends will all be crushed by walls, they fall down a sloping fall seemingly into sticking up spears, etc.
  • The lost guardians appear as ancient Incas armed with crossbows. The old woman magically turns into a young queen.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Nothing further of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Big Mac

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Dora says that ‘a life-threatening experience can accelerate the mating process’.
  • Diego says to Sabrina that they’ll have to start a family.
  • The two scorpions start to mate.
  • Diego and Sabrina hug and kiss.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Alejandro wakes up from being a cartoon character and is back to normal. He is still naked but covered by a blanket.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The treasure hunters knock Dora and her friends out with a sleeping gas.
  • The flowers produce a substance which causes strange dreams and behaviour.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Oh my God
  • Shut up
  • Freaking

Some name calling such as:

  • Dorka
  • Pain in the butt
  • Socially inept nerd

In a nutshell

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is an adventure movie requiring Dora and her friends to use all of their powers of deduction to save themselves and Dora’s parents. Having grown up in the jungle, Dora is a little naïve and she is also oblivious to the nasty comments from her school peers. She relies on her knowledge and her skills to solve her problems. While the movie does contain some violence and scary scenes, they are mostly brief and the impending threat is short lived. It is therefore not recommended for under 5’s and parental guidance is recommended for 5 – 8 year olds but it is likely to be a great movie for ‘tweens’.

The main messages from this movie are to be yourself and not let other peoples’ opinions upset you and the importance of teamwork.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Self esteem
  • Determination
  • Inclusivity
  • Kindness
  • Curiosity
  • Perseverance

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Why are some people so greedy for gold and money that they're prepared to do anything to get it?

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