Dora and the Lost City of Gold Blu-ray Review

Dora, a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold. Check out Ralph Potts’ Blu-ray review of Dora and the Lost City of Gold from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Paramount – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Pena, Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo
Directed by: James Robin
Music by: John Debney, Germaine Franco
Written by: Nicholas Stoller, Matthew Robinson
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 19, 2019

“Unlock the Mystery”


“Dora, a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a Lost City of Gold.” – Paramount Home Media Distribution.

My Take:

Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora (Isabela Moner) for her biggest challenge yet – high school. When her parents mysteriously disappear while searching for the Lost City of Gold, Dora must swing into action and lead a group of ill-equipped high schoolers on a wild quest to save them. Hold on for a high stakes mission as Dora and her new friends navigate the jungle, outrun treasure hunters, and solve ancient puzzles to unlock the mystery of the fabled city.

I have to be honest I know next to nothing about Dora the Explorer, the animated adventurer upon which this live-action feature film is based. I don’t recall my kids watching it when they were younger but, its not a conceptually difficult theme to grasp. I am a fan of Isabela Moner, having seen her in “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “Instant Family” and, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” although I will say seeing her here seemed like a leap given her age and the type of characters she portrayed in those films.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is squarely aimed at a specific target audience and in that regard, hits the bullseye. Moner’s performance is really quite good, especially if this is your first time seeing her onscreen (and have no preconceived notions). Otherwise, there is nothing especially remarkable about the film but, it is vanilla flavored family entertainment that checks all of the right boxes. Aimed at preteen (and under) audiences the situational humor, adventurous story and familial accord are good natured fun mixed with a sentimental chaser that all proves mildly entertaining. The cast seems all in and has a good time which adds to the merriment. At the end of the day Dora and the Lost City of Gold isn’t a standout in its genre but, makes for a decent way for the kids to spend a rainy afternoon.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for action and some impolite humor.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Dora and the Lost City of Gold comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This is a great looking video presentation from Warner Brother Home Entertainment. High level detail is present throughout so that images are rendered with pristine quality. Colors are bright and visually pleasing and fleshtones are naturally rendered with discernible complexional delineation among the various members of the cast. Contrast and black levels are stable with ample depth and perceptible delineation. I didn’t observe any signs of video related anomalies or artifacts. All in all, this one looks great on Blu-ray.

The 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD (Dolby Atmos Core) soundtrack makes excellent use of the entire surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, crystalline dialog and plenty of room filling bass. This mix doesn’t bombard you with constantly aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines discretely placed directional cues with rear channel ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound fields work in unison to render the soundtrack with excellent imaging and presence. The LFE channel is actively engaged and offers bass response that is punchy and clean. This is a surprisingly good and well-rounded audio presentation.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety that makes steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics, music and discrete sound effects. This is done very well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The mix effectively places effects/sounds within the soundstage which place you within the scene, in turn, adding an enriching element that heightens the feeling of immersion. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere combined with discrete object placement. I think that it complimented the source material and made the experience of watching the film a bit more fun.

Bonus Features:

  • • Bloopers – Take a trip to the wild side with hilarious bloopers of the cast’s funniest on-set mishaps.
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes – Journey deeper into the jungle to find the “lost” scenes not shown in theaters.
    • All About Dora – Discover how Isabela Moner transformed Dora into a jungle-savvy teenage adventurer for a new generation.
    • Can You Say Pelicula? – Unlock the mystery of underwater stunts and surviving quicksand with Eugenio Derbez.
    • Dora In Flower Vision – Explore the movie’s playful animated sequence, a treasure trove of nods to Dora’s cartoon origins.
    • Dora’s Jungle House – The adventure continues with this behind-the-scenes tour of Dora’s jungle house, part museum, part laboratory, and always a place for family.
  • DVD
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Based on the lovable animated adventurer Dora and the Lost City of Gold is high spirited family entertainment that is sure to strike a chord with young fans. It comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring excellent high definition video, rewarding lossless surround sound, including a complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and a fan friendly supplemental package. Dora and the Lost City of Gold won’t prove engaging to parents or older siblings but, makes for pitch perfect entertainment for young viewers. Feel free to give it a rent on Blu-ray.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems