Entertainment

The New Dora The Explorer Movie Is Fighting Dangerous Stereotypes And Her Fans Are So Excited

During a political climate that is feeding off portrayals of Latinos as drug lords, criminals and sexually violent sub-humans, it’s rare to find a casting opportunity like “Dora and The Lost City of Gold.” The movie itself isn’t unpacking modern Latinx issues of our time like “Orange is the New Black” touches on mass incarceration or “Vida” dissects Latinx and queer identity. 

By itself, it makes a huge statement. Latino families deserve to go to the movies and see themselves portrayed on screen–not as underlings in a white society or combatting the very real obstacles of racism. We deserve to see a brown Latinx cast living out an action-packed plot. We deserve to see Dora the Explorer grow up to be a courageous, adventurous, bright teenager and see those traits be what set her apart from the rest. And Dora’s all-Latino cast agrees.

The Los Angeles premiere of Dora gave us intel on what it was like for stars to be part of an all-Latino cast.

@isabelamoner / Twitter

In the film, Isabela Moner gets her break out role as Dora while Michael Peña and Eva Longoria play her parents. We also see huge names like Eugenio Derbez as Alejandro Gutierrez and even Danny Trejo as the voice of Boots the monkey.

“There was no forcing or checking the box of diversity,” Eva Longoria said on the red carpet.

@evalongoria / Instagram

“If you think about Dora being Latina, you automatically get to populate her world with Latinos,” Longoria told The Hollywood Reporter. “There was no forcing or checking the box of diversity if you represent Dora and her natural culture.” Creating stories where a Latino cast is just the most natural option is more of what we need.

Longoria was shocked to learn that Dora was a beloved international icon.

@NewBeginningsE / Twitter

“I thought she was an icon for the Hispanic community but she’s global,” Longoria told Variety. “She taught English all over the world and people were learning Spanish through her. The representation matters. The fact that it’s authentically an all-Latino cast matters and I’m so proud to be part of this project in that way.”

Eugenio Derbez was in it to change the Hollywood stereotype of Latino “criminals and drug lords.”

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Derbez basically plays the adult chaperone explorer, Alejandro Gutierrez, but it wasn’t just that role that attracted him. He sees Dora as a “Latina superhero” and thinks that seeing positive stories of the Latino community is what entertainment needs more of. “I always wanted to change the image of Latinos in Hollywood because they’re always portraying us as criminals and drug lords,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Michael Peña similarly joined the project in an effort to normalize the authentic Latin family story.

@doramovie / Twitter

Granted, there’s nothing normal about uncovering ancient indigenous cities and their secrets, but for a Latina superhero, this would be her mission. At the end of the day, Peña is proud to support a strong, young Latina stereotype to get out into the Hollywood universe.

Peña told Variety that Latinx representation is “a reason to do this kind of movie. Number one, it’s going to be a fun movie and people are going to like it, but number two, 24 years ago when I started acting, this would have never happened. There was no big-budget movie that I know of that any Latin person was even starring in. It’s cool that this is just kind of normal now in a way but for me, it’s especially satisfying.”

Isabela Moner felt like playing Dora was the most natural persona to take on.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Peruvian-American Moner is just 16 years old and taking on the role of a lifetime. “Whenever people think that a woman needs to be strong, they think that she has no emotions, is super serious, but Dora loves pink, she wears orange shorts, she loves dancing to Gloria Estefan, she’s super girly,” Moner told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s important to break up the stereotype that women have to act like men in order to be strong.” 

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is out in theaters on August 9!

@mallofamerica / Twitter

Don’t miss out on watching America’s favorite little Spanish teacher grow up and out of that funny phase and into her strong, confident, chingona self. She’s going to make a lot of niñas feel strong, poderosa and worthy of being the star of their own life movie.

READ: The New Face Of Dora The Explorer On Learning English And Being Obsessed With Her Dog

The New Face Of Dora The Explorer On Learning English And Being Obsessed With Her Dog

Entertainment

The New Face Of Dora The Explorer On Learning English And Being Obsessed With Her Dog

If you haven’t met Isabela Moner yet, first, where have you been? Second, the 18-year-old Peruvian-American actress is about to blow up Hollywood. Moner is playing the role of a grown-up Dora the Explorer we all grew up with in upcoming film “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” Spoiler alert: Dora grows out of the Spanish teacher phase and becomes a very adventurous teenager.

Isabela Moner, on the other hand, could have used an English-teaching Dora the Explorer as a child. Today, she’s bringing her culture and bilingual mind to Hollywood and it shows.

Isabela Moner was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Her mother was born in Lima, Peru and her father was born in Louisiana. Her mom immigrated to Indiana in the 80’s as an exchange student, where she eventually met Moner’s father. At home, Moner’s family spoke exclusive Spanish and Spanglish, and she struggled with English when she started going to school.

In fact, her teachers wanted to hold her back a grade because her English grammar wasn’t up to par.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Moner was bullied for her shoddy English so much that she focused on speaking English and slowly lost some of her Spanish fluency. In an essay for PopSugar, she confesses, “I don’t think they meant it to bother me, but hearing me translate Spanish into English and jumbling phrases into things like “house brown” or “car big” would usually provoke much laughter.”

Then, she skipped two grades and got into college at age 15.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Moner went on to major in psychology…before she even started learning how to drive. Morale of the story: fitting in is lame.

Moner feels more Peruvian than she feels American.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

All her teachers and peers thought it was strange that Moner struggled with assimilating to American culture even though she was born here. When Moner visits Peru, she feels at home, and she thanks Latinos for welcoming her “even though [she] wasn’t born on Latin American soil.”

Moner has spoken out against gun violence, asking fans to help get a bus for student activists to “March for Our Lives.”

@isabelamoner / Instagram

“PLEASE READ,” her Instagram post reads. “We’re young, but we’re not dumb. The students in Parkland, Florida have made way more of an impact and change than the Legislative branch has. And now my good friend, Sara and her friends are doing something about it in my hometown of Ohio!”

Moner is a Renaissance Woman–a singer, Broadway star and movie star.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Moner was the first Peruvian girl to star in a Broadway show, Evita. She also became the first Latina to have a leading role in a Transformers film. She also contributed to the soundtrack for Instant Family, a film that she starred in with Mark Wahlberg and Joselin Reyes.

She is *obsessed* with her dog, Pluto.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

No, really. Pluto shares the frame with her at every single at-home fashion shoot. Sometimes, he gets his own photo shoots depicting “the morning routine of a wise man.” The wise man is Pluto.

Oh, and she brought Pluto to the #DoraMovie set on Bring Your Dog to Work Day.

@DoraMovie / Twitter

The #DoraMovie Twitter account shared this hilarious on-set video of Moner sharing a carrot with Pluto the best way she knew how.

Moner has used her powers of Dora for good, asking her fanbase for prayers for this fan.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

In a heart-breaking Instagram post, she pens, “This morning I discovered Balil is severely ill. When I first met you I had no idea of your circumstance.

When I heard the news I was so angry. I was dwelling on the fact that you might never get to drive, go to a school dance, or graduate. You remind me of my little brother. You told me you loved super heroes and that you wanted to have strength like Superman and super speed like The Flash. Your mother has such a good spirit about her. She doesn’t deserve this yet she carries no resentment.

We have very little to complain about. We may have rough days but at least we have them. What makes me so sad is his disposition. The thought of losing a soul like his. We need more people like him.

I’m not as appreciative as I should be. My faith is shaky. I’m angry. And I really don’t have words. Bilal, I sincerely wish I could take away all your pain.

I continue to praise, no matter how hard this is for me to understand. I need everyone to pray for him and his mother. Even if you’ve never stepped foot in a church. Any good energy sent his way will make the world of a difference. Thank you.”

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” comes out August 9th.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Be sure to support Moner, her movie parents, Eva Longoria and Eugenio Derbez and even Danny Trejo as the voice of Boots the Monkey. If  you haven’t seen the trailer yet, que estas esperando?

Plus, Isabela Moner knows que es mejor sola que mal acompañada.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Be like Isabela Moner and get your very own “Mejor Sola” sueter only at mitú. Next time your mami wants you to put on a sweater, you’ll have one to answer to all your tía’s preguntas mismas. 😉

Here’s Why Some People Are Talking About Hulu’s ‘Culture Shock’ A Horror Film That Highlights The Migrant Crisis

Entertainment

Here’s Why Some People Are Talking About Hulu’s ‘Culture Shock’ A Horror Film That Highlights The Migrant Crisis

In the most recent installment of Blumhouse’s “Into the Dark” Hulu TV movie anthology series, “Culture Shock”, a story about a Mexican woman who finds herself trapped in a warped American utopia after attempting to cross the border, Blumhouse explores the horrors of the migrant crisis, adding a dose of supernatural to the already chilling situation many migrants are face when striving for a better life. 

“Culture Shock” follows Marisol, played by Mexican actress Martha Higareda, a poor young pregnant woman living in Mexico who dreams of a better life for her and her unborn child.

Hulu

“Culture Shock” immediately establishes the harrowing conditions that many immigrants face in their home countries before deciding to emigrate. Indeed, one of “Culture Shock”‘s first scenes shows Marisol being raped by Oscar, a man we had previously been led to believe was her loving boyfriend. Shortly after, we also discover that Oscar stole money she had given him to secure her passage across the border to the U.S. This leaves Martha stranded and alone in her home country of Mexico, and also now carrying the child of the man who assaulted her, which adds even more urgency to her situation.

Marisol bravely decides to attempt the crossing one more time to secure a future for her and her baby, paying a “coyote” hundreds of dollars to help smuggle her into the U.S. The journey isn’t an easy one–at nearly every stop on the way to America, Marisol is strong-armed into giving every new handler additional money–money that she wasn’t told about before. If nothing, “Culture Shock” gives a realistic, if infuriating,  portrayal of all of the injustice desperate migrants are subjected to while trying to cross the border. And the danger is steeper than ever for Marisol, a single woman who is also pregnant. The threat of sexual violence on Marisol’s body is constant, and what’s more disturbing is how habituated to sexual and other forms of violence she seems to be. It’s just another subtle nod towards her complicated and traumatic history.

After being caught at the U.S. border, Marisol wakes up in a pastel-colored paradise that embodies the American dream in every aspect: the residents are beaming, the food is delicious and abundant, and the pervading sense of peace and harmony of the so-called town of “Cape Joy” easily lulls Marisol into an immediate sense of security. It’s here that the director, Latina auteur Gigi Saul Guerrero, begins to flex her artistic muscles. The cinematography is disorienting, with off-center and odd-angled close-ups, quick cutaways that mimic Marisol’s constant confusion, and a visual stark contrast between Marisol’s old, dreary life in Mexico and her new, vibrant life in Cape Joy, USA.  

But something isn’t right in Cape Joy.

Hulu

Not only does Marisol have no recent memories of what happened to her after being caught by US Border Patrol, but the fellow immigrants she crossed over with have no idea who she is. And while Marisol mysteriously gave birth to her baby while she was presumably unconscious, she’s never allowed to hold her. When Marisol expresses concern to her host mother, Betty (Barbara Crampton) about her missing old belongings, Betty tells her: “Don’t worry about what you’ve lost. Think instead of all that you’ve gained.” It’s lines like this, which are obviously meant to convey more than just the literal meaning of the words, that the movie leans hard into.

Throughout “Into the Dark”, there is an underlying current of not-so-subtle political messaging that makes it obvious that this movie isn’t your typical straight-forward horror film. It’s as much a vehicle for social commentary and critique on the migrant crisis and America’s inhumane treatment of migrants at the border as it is about delivering stomach-churning gore and jump scares. The movie, directed by,  confirms the existential fear many migrants have of looked at as sub-human when they try to cross the border. Sometimes, the social commentary comes off as a little too on-the-nose, with Big-Bads saying things such as: “Nobody gives a fuck about these people,” and “We’re not paid to give [them] the American Dream. We’re paid to keep them out of it”. 

When the mystery behind the oddness of Cape Joy is finally revealed, the element of sci-fi and horror that’s added to Marisol’s story can almost feel like a relief, purely due to its obvious fictional tropes. The more terrifying parts of the movie–the abusive boyfriends, the violent men, the human traffickers, and the Mexican cartel–are arguably more frightening than the supernatural parts.

And lest, while watching, you trick yourself into thinking the movie isn’t really a horror movie, prepare yourself for a few jarring scenes.

Hulu

The climax of the movie is an extremely gruesome and violently gory climax that establishes the anthology installment as exactly what it markets itself as: a horror movie. But as we’ve seen in headlines that flood the TV, the newspapers, and our phones, sometimes, reality can be more horrifying than fiction.