Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez talks popular Latina explorer 'Dora' taking the big screen

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dora is back, but this time her exploring takes place on the big screen.

"Dora and the Lost City of Gold" is now in theaters after being released Friday.

While the live-action film is based on the popular children's cartoon character that debuted in 2000, "Dora and the Lost City of Gold" presents a new, older version of the character.

The film's Dora is encountering society for the first time in years when she is sent to California for high school. But Dora gets kidnapped and taken to the jungle, which leads her along a search for her parents and a mysterious civilization.

Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez, who's also a producer for the movie, plays the guide helping Dora. He's an acclaimed performer and filmmaker, well known to many in Chicago.

"It's funny because all the Latinos, they know me pretty well and here, Chicago is one of the most Latino crowded cities in the U.S.," Derbez said. "But the Americans, I'm a new face for them, so it's like living in these two worlds. It's crazy."

The film was shot deep in an Australian jungle.

"We were completely apart from everything, no signal, no internet, no nothing and you know, I loved it, loved it," Derbez said. "I felt again connected with myself and with nature and with my cast members, it was amazing."

The actor has started a production company to create his own roles and projects.

"I was tired of being called to portray the gardener, the cook, the criminal and I said I need to do something to change the stereotypes, the image of the Latinos in Hollywood," Derbez said.

Derbez said he's excited about working on a new animated movie based on the beloved Looney Tunes character, Speedy Gonzales. He'll voice the "Fastest Mouse in all Mexico."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.