Come on Dora! Do-Do-Do-Do-Do-Dora!
Some things just go together: milk and cookies, beans on toast, Jekyll and Hyde, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, or Michael Bay and explosions.
An example of something that doesn’t necessarily go so well together, might be Michael Bay and an educational children’s cartoon, like Dora the Explorer. Not that it’s stopping the Transformers director from producing a live-action version of the world’s favourite 7-year-old adventurer.
Bay won’t actually be directing, that not-so-enviable task will fall to Nick Stoller, who previously directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall and wrote 2011s The Muppets. Although as with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (also produced by Bay), Dora could still be complete Bayhem.
Created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh Valdes and Eric Weiner, Dora the Explorer ran for 172 episodes from 2000 to 2014. The show focused on the adventures of Dora, Boots (a blue monkey wearing red boots), and Backpack (a purple backpack that talks, original); and repeatedly broke the Fourth Wall to involve the audience in the action. Each episode Dora and her friends would set on a quest to a place the young explorer wants to go. Along the way, viewers had to make sure Dora passed two landmarks and help her overcome a number of obstacles. Those challenges could be finding items stolen by Swiper (a thieving fox) or solving the Grumpy Old Troll’s riddle to be able to cross the bridge to wherever Dora’s going. At the end, after completing their quest Dora and Boots would sing ‘We Did It!’ to celebrate. Adorable.
The live-action Dora won’t be so cute, as the film will follow a teenage Dora moving to an ambiguous city to live with her cousin Diego. Not only that but as Michael Bay is producing, Dora will be a gun wielding loner, with a genetically enhanced blue monkey companion, and AI backpack. Her mission to save the city from a troll and cyborg fox, who can make things explode just by looking at them. For his part, Diego will be a gym addicted strongman who spends the whole film in shock that Dora is an actual female, and occasionally drools or says something sexist. The ending will result in collateral damage, confusion, and an itch to go home to watch the real Dora.
If the film’s successful, it might even inspire the producer to turn more children’s TV shows into gritty action films (*shudder*). No one’s ready for: Brum, the story of a malevolent demon trapped in the shape of a car; or Big Cook, Little Cook, a tale of two cannibal chefs. Still, count on Michael Bay to ruin childhood nostalgia with violence and fire.
At that time, in the immortal words of Helen Lovejoy: ‘Would somebody please think of the children?’
Dora the Explorer is targeting a 2019 release date.