Before the advent of smartphones, tablets and virtual reality, kids had to make do with play-dough, outdoor games and (if they were lucky) interactive episodic shows like Dora the Explorer. Created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh Valdes and Eric Weiner, Dora the Explorer was made to provide preschoolers with a pleasurable learning experience, and the show even won the Peabody award for its unique teaching techniques.
As it gained popularity throughout the years, the tale of Dora, Boots and Swipper were adapted into books, video games and toy collectibles before it ended on June 5, 2014 after 8 seasons and 172 episodes. However, when THR reported that Michael Bay is producing a live-action film on the enthusiastic adventurer, the internet went into a tizzy.
Although it would have been nothing short of badass to see Dora pull out a rocket launcher during one of Bay's iconic spinning shots, Collider reports that the Transformers director isn't actually involved with the project.
Paramount has clarified that even though Bay's production company Platinum Dunes is funding the film, only his production partners (Andrew Form and Brad Fuller) will be overseeing Nick Stoller's (The Muppets, Neighbors) direction. While the rest of movie's framework remains the same, one thing is for sure, Bay fans are certainly not going to throng the theaters when Dora the Explorer arrives.
No More Bayhem: Is That Good Or Bad For 'Dora The Explorer'?
Although Michael Bay's work has been debated for years between critics and fans, there is no denying that the director has a certain code that he adheres to - which allows him to connect with his hardcore fan base. That's why, while the 2017 summer box-office witnessed a major slump, it was The Last Knight that surged past King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Power Rangers to gross $605 million. In addition to that, he has produced quality shows like Black Sails and successful movies like Ouija, The Purge: Anarchy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Therefore, by disassociating himself from Dora the Explorer, the movie will be losing the niche group of fans who would've bought a ticket in a heartbeat on the basis of Bay's name.
On the other hand, the fact that Bay isn't involved with the movie means that the filmmakers will be able to pander to preschoolers and remind them of Dora's interactive and playful origins. As most of Bay's films tend to over sexualize characters (Megan Fox as April O'Neil) and rely on hyper-violent sequences, his absence might mean that Dora the Explorer will be devoid of such tropes - thus making it a pleasurable watch for toddlers. Considering how impressionable children are, Stoller can even transform Dora's story into a coming-of-age movie with a compelling message, instead of delving into the guilty-pleasure realm of Michael Bay.
However, if that doesn't satisfy fans of the director, they can always check out College Humor's re-imagining of a Michael Bay-directed Dora the Explorer, while waiting for the theatrical version to release in 2019:
What are your thoughts about the live-action Dora the Explorer film? Let me know in the comments.