Dora and the Lost City of Gold (PG)***

Dir: James Bobin

With: Isabela Moner, Jeff Wahlberg, Eugenio Derbez

Runtime: 102 minutes

The long-running Dora the Explorer, an educational cartoon with a commendably strong Hispanic flavour, receives a big screen facelift with this likeable family adventure that gets by more on personality than content.

As a six year old, Dora lives in the jungle with her parents (Michael Pena and Eva Longoria doing nice turns). They (and she) are obsessed with the lost Inca city of Parapata and its legendary gold, but as her parents keep impressing on her, they’re explorers, not treasure hunters.

Some years later, and for no particular reason other than allowing extra characters to be drafted in, teenaged Dora (Moner) is sent to the city while her parents go exploring.

So the initial stages are a passably amusing fish out of water comedy as the endlessly upbeat Dora travels from Peru to Los Angeles and completely fails to fit in with high school life. But the main plot quickly kicks in when some baddies who are also in search of Parapata kidnap Dora along with three of her classmates, forcing them to track down her parents and therefore the lost city along with them.

Occasional nods to the cartoon are designed to please fans, like the funny songs or Dora addressing the viewers, though tots who were watching on TV first time out will be well into their 20s by now. But the essence of the show is hard to recapture while still providing multiplex-friendly high jinx for a wide audience with no prior knowledge, so the wise decision has been made to go slightly older and aim for the Jumanji crowd, albeit falling some way short of that bar.

As a jungle adventure it’s fairly basic and derivative, rehashing the sorts of puzzle and traps that we’re used to seeing in Indiana Jones or Lara Croft.

It mostly gets by on exuberance and a silly sense of humour and in some ways, when it flirts with animation or introduces a talking fox voiced by Benicio del Toro, it’s completely off its nut. But it’s all held together by the peppy performance of Moner, whose resourceful and acrobatic Dora helps maintain the breezy tone throughout, even when the storytelling is at its ropiest.