“Did the Dora Movie have a Token White Character?”
No. They didn’t. Tokenism is faking inclusivity by recruiting underrepresented races, genders, sexuality, etc. Dora and the Lost City of Gold was purposefully filled with a largely Latino cast (Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, to name a few), using most Caucasian characters as background. The exception, Randy, played by Nicholas Coombe, was an amusing role akin to tokenism, but without the awful connotations of veiled racism.
Randy represented the vulnerable white man, watching minorities become the majority, forcing him to adapt to equality. He has three distinct quotes that I’m going to look too deeply into, making claims about woke-Dora that may be misrepresenting the intentions of the movie.
“Why did I take Mandarin?”
While the other characters communicated in Spanish, Randy wonders out loud why he wouldn’t take Spanish, a nod to the fact that Spanish is by far the most spoken language in the US, after English, and is the fastest growing. It’s time our education system take secondary languages seriously.
“I’m ready for my parents to come get me!”
In imminent danger, all of the characters are scared, but Randy is the only one that asks for his parents. I’m reminded of growing up in a largely white, suburban, Republican town, seeing white parents fighting their kids’ battles for them, never allowing them to take responsibility or have their views challenged. It’s interesting to know that they’re probably well-adjusted citizens today, since institutional racism keeps favoring them, just how they’re used to.
“It’s a jungle puzzle.”
Finally, there’s a scene where Randy ignores everyone else’s claims that there’s no such thing as a Jungle Puzzle, and trusts his cinematic knowledge over the expert explorers he’s with and endangers the entire crew by pulling levers willy nilly. He has this condescending belief that he will be the white savior, and his complex almost drowns everyone. It’s time we stop believing everything movies tell us, especially insensitive representation of minorities.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold makes broad strokes in the right direction for Hollywood. As far as Dora goes, I never expected to be so impressed by the characters, plot, and woke-ness, even if I projected some. I recommend everyone to give it a chance.