Newest Review: ... to look a bit like a platform computer game. Often Dora will ask the viewing audience questions and an arrow will appear on screen to po... more
Audience Participation has waned!!
Dora the Explorer
Member Name: wendybull
Dora the Explorer
Advantages: Enjoyable for pre-schoolers - will learn a few spanish words
Disadvantages: Children outgrow her very quickly
We seem to have been watching Dora the Explorer in our house for a couple of years now so she certainly seems to have staying power in the minds of our children.
Dora is a little Spanish cartoon girl, who lives with her mum, dad and twin baby brother and sister. Her grandmother and grandfather live close by as do her cousins, Diego and Alisha.
Each cartoon follows Dora on an adventure where she has to either find something or get somewhere to help something. For instance, she has a best friend - Boots the monkey - and one day he has come for a sleep over but has lost his teddy on the way. Dora and Boots set off to try and find Boots' teddy bear.
They enlist the help of Map - a rolled up map who comes alive and tells them the way to go when they get lost - and backpack - Dora's rucksack that also comes alive and helps them out with things stored inside him when they become stuck along the way.
I am not really sure what the appeal is to my daughter to be honest as Dora is not really a girly girl. She wears shorts and is somewhat of a tomboy, which is the exact opposite to my four year old. Occasionally Dora has to dress up like a princess or to go dancing and this is heartily received so the differences are recognised.
Dora speaks Spanish a few times within the programme too and my children have picked up a few words here and there. For instance they can count to five or so in Spanish and they know the word for "open" and "thank you". Thank you in particular holds great appeal and I am sure I don't need to explain any further why!!
This cartoon is the kind that tries to engage the viewer in some audience participation and Dora is always asking you questions or asking for your help to do various chores through the adventure. To begin with my children always shouted at the TV or got up and did the actions but as the months have passed and their familiarity with the programme (not to mention the repeats) has grown, they have participated less and less. Occasionally my daughter will say a few words but she never gets up to do any actions any more. I guess you can't fool a four year old that pulling your arms through the air will make Dora's boat sail through the river faster!!
Each episode is on for half an hour although they do special shows that are movie length as well. My daughter enjoys these more than the normal cartoon these days, although this may be because Dora does more girly things than normal in them. Saving mermaids and Dancing to the Rescue are far more appealing than finding Boot's teddy.
However, when flicking through the TV, she will usually be pleased if a Dora the Explorer episode is on and we can stop on that channel, but I don't think it will be too long before she is banished in favour of Bratz or something more to her "grown up" tastes.
We watch Dora the Explorer on Nick Jnr (channel 615 on Sky) at 8.30am and 5pm.
Summary: RECOMMENDED xx