DoraDora the Explorer or simply Dora is an educating character of cartoons, which are made in an interactive manner for the smallest TV and YouTube viewers (primarily, up to 10 years). It speaks to viewers from the screen, asking them what she shall do next in the cartoon, allowing them to think about her further actions and give their answer. Although all of her actions are predefined, little viewers of cartoons with Dora do not know that and take this game as serious assignments, which develop their brain connections, critical thinking, and general knowledge as various things are taught to them.
Dora’s cartoons are about various adventures that she willingly undergoes, performing various things and gathering achievements, allowing the small viewers to better understand the world they are growing in.
Dora Marquez is a character of an American animated series by Nickelodeon, which was first premiered in 2000. It had 8 seasons, airing from June 1999 (pilot) and August 2000 (as the main sequence) to June 2014, although 6 last episodes were specifically made 5 years later to be aired in July-August 2019 to support the upcoming theatrical release of the film Dora and the Lost City of Gold. The film starred Isabella Merced as Dora with such large stars as supporting characters as Michael Pena, Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo, and Benicio Del Toro. The film was a commercial success.
Dora’s appearance is as follows:
• She’s a child of 7 years old (this age is also named tween, which is pre-adolescence)
• She has a swarthy skin color, attributing her look to the Latina origin
• Round face
• A simple haircut of a chestnut color, which is elongated in the sides, making her head look like a plum in the shape
• Big close-to-round brown eyes
• Short extremities, with a string of a simple adornment on one of the wrists
• A T-shirt and shorts
• White sneakers
• Purple backpack that accommodates needed belongings, most part of which helps from a series to series, especially, the Map.
She is a positive and smiling girl, whose best friend is a monkey of purple-light-blue-and-yellow colors wearing large felt boots of red color. The apparel and footwear that the main characters wear during the series and seasons may change. Dora embarks onto quests and various undertakings, which have a similar pattern through the series, and common rituals that she does along the way or overcoming a foe or an obstacle. The things end well, allowing little viewers to feel that everything’s all right. Although, some series do not fall into this pattern, presenting viewers with longer adventure patterns or changing places of some recurring events.
Dora’s main enemy throughout the series is an anthropomorphic fox Swiper. Also, some things in the cartoon also have their voices – backpack, map, and explorer stars (which are given for the fulfillment of tasks, as it would happen in games).
The series was developed by Nickelodeon as a successor of the studio’s hits Little Bear and Blue’s Clues. It combines the narrative of the first and the interactivity of the second. The character is developed to be pan-Latina to cater to all such cultures on the planet, not specifically limiting to just one Latin place or root (so, she is not Mexican, as some people believe).
The series of Dora became popular immediately. In 2014, it received a spin-off with 4 friends of Dora named Alana, Emma, Kate, and Naiya: Explorer Girls.
Dora series were translated into over 100 languages of the world (featuring in 141 countries through its lifetime), as many countries fairly considered Dora to be a great example for children, as well as an amazing narrator, who would be able to explain things around us in an easy and comprehensible manner without unnecessary over-complications.
What’s interesting – due to so many translations, Dora’s name was altered according to the national sound and naming preferences. Thus, in Russian adaptation, she became Dasha; in German – Fedora; in Arabic – Dawraan; in Cantonese – Duola; in Greek – Ntora; in Korean – Dola; in Malay – Teara; in Persian – Dura; in Tamil – Toravin; in Thai – Dxra. Some changes are connected to the lack of some sounds in languages; others because ‘Dora’ would not sound great or decent in the given language. There are also other reasons for changes. Personally, we liked the translation option into Spanish, which sounds perfectly rhyming: Dora la Exploradora.
There are tonnes of official and unofficial merch. You can buy the first in such large retail networks as Nickelodeon store, Amazon, Kohls, Walmart, Etsy, eBay, Mulberry, and others (find a local store in your country if any of those are not present in your place of living). The categories of the Dora merch include:
• Clothing for all genders and ages (tank tops, T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, skirts, leggings, dresses, socks, scarves, masks, backpacks)
• Phone cases
• Stickers and wall art
• Accessories (zipper pouches, water bottles, tote bags, tech accessories, pins)
• Stationery (notebooks, postcards, hand-cover journals, greeting cards)
• For home (plates, drinkware, tapestries, shower curtains, cushions, pillows, magnets, jigsaw puzzles, bedding, coasters, clocks, aprons, bath mats, throw blankets, ornaments, acrylic blocks, pencil tins, hopper balls)
• For office
• Digital art and photography
• Gifts and collectibles
• Toys (primarily manufactured by Mattel and Lego but also by other contractors)
• Furniture and blankets (chairs, beds, playroom tables, bag chairs, bedding sets, valances, curtains, regular and decorative pillows, foam wall stickers, and other pieces of adornments)
• Various branded gadgets including computer mice and earphones
• Ice pops
• Action figures and playsets
• Things for coloring and painting
• Dolls and dollhouses
• Fashion accessories
• Toys for construction, including building blocks
• Board games and puzzles
• Lunch boxes and dinner sets
• Beach and bath items
• Things for sports and outdoor activities
• Stuffed plush toys and Teddy bears
Dora in official and simple online games
The games made with Dora participation are vast and have been released for an array of gaming platforms, including PlayStation, Wii, Nintendo, GameCube, and Game Boy. Whilst these official games and platforms are done under the patronage of the company that owns the copyrights, there are more half-official or unofficial games with Dora that are available to be played online for the users of Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux (the latter is available by playing on websites).
The official long-playing games featuring Dora include Barnyard Buddies, Super Star Adventures, Journey to the Purple Planet, Dora Saves the Mermaids, Dora Saves the Snow Princess, Dora Puppy, Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom, and Cooking Club. They all have been releasing from 2003 to 2010.
Simple games featuring Dora are met on various entertainment online sites, where everyone can play them for free. However, they are small and easy, which means that the biggest part of such games is passable within minutes or an hour at most.
The list of simple games includes such types:
• What she mostly does: going on adventures, embarking on various undertakings
• Visiting a doctor for various injuries, skin lesions, bee stings, fixing bruises and wounds, fixing ears, nose, and sight, fixing teeth, and providing the first aid to her. In some simple online games, she can be a nurse or a doctor
• Building a candy car or another unusual transport
• Caring for puppies, crocodiles, zebras, and other pets and animals
• Running a diner
• Cooking, doing sweets, confectionery, cupcakes, breakfast, first, and second dishes
• Dress-ups for various occasions: Christmas, Halloween, beach, park, etc.
• Collecting flowers and doing some flower arrangements
• Cleaning up/redecorating the room/house or another site
• Doing laundry and washing
• Games with other people or characters, for instance, her relative Diego
• Changing her appearance: apparel, nails, hair, and makeover
• Going fishing
• Car/bike racing
• Coloring games
• Find things in the background
• Fashion and apparel design
• Going to a farm
• Undertake some casual sports, like golf
• Exploring her in unusual images, like a mermaid
• Escape the labyrinth
• Doing some winter or other seasonal chores and games
• Going to school
• Taking underwater pictures
• Working in a delivery
• Bubble shooter
• Going to fairs, etc.
We found online over a hundred games with this character and expect to explore more of them. Such games cater to the hearts of young players, especially, girls.
Dora in media
Dora is widely presented in other than animated media.
First, there are several stage adaptations that toured North America, France, and the UK. Then, there are children’s books with or without series, accounting for 48 pieces, including a sticker book and collection books. In addition to the official releases, the market is full of China-made and other unbranded creations of children’s books and sticker books.
Dora is available on streaming services, such as 10 Play, Vudu, Stan, Foxtel Now, Nickelodeon, Paramount+, and Amazon Prime. Its direct purchases are also available on Microsoft Store, Google Play, and Apple TV+.
In a film, which we already mentioned, Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019), the girl is depicted as a ten-year-old one (although the actress who portrayed her is 19). This actress has a large Dora-connected experience, though, because she voiced her in 2014-2019. The film made a box office of 120 million against the 49-million budget (with additional sales as home media).
A live-action remake of the animated series was announced in early 2021 but the airing date has to be verified.
Dora media was released on an array of carriers, including VHS, DVDs, and GBA (a short-lived format for Game Boy).
Dora is connected to another series, called ‘Go, Diego, Go!’, 80 episodes of which were also made by Nickelodeon, first premiered in 2005. The same as Dora, the named cartoon is an educational and explorative animated series, designed for the kids of mainly the same audience as Dora had. The principle of design and everything else is closely similar to ones of Dora Even the main character, Diego Márquez, is also of the same ethnical origin – no wonder, as Dora is a cousin of Diego and she sometimes appears in the series as a helper and investigator who loves to solve mysteries. They are also united by such animated things as a talking backpack and a map (in addition to monkey Boots). These three are taken directly from the Dora cartoon series and she uses them for Diego to provide help.
The last episode of Go, Diego, Go! was aired in September 2011. There are no continuations of it planned so far.
Fascinating facts about Dora
1. Definitely, this energetic explorer teaches her viewers a lot of things during her undertakings. And the first Spanish word she taught was azul (blue). Although that concerns only the English version of the show – in it, she learns words from other languages. In non-English markets, where she is voiced in other languages, she mostly learns English words.
2. Dora’s last name, Marquez, was taken from a prominent Spanish writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Dora’s first name is the shortage from ‘Exploradora’, which is a Spanish word for a female explorer. That's why the show’s name sounds so great in Spanish, even better than in English.
3. No less than 75 preschoolers watched every series of Dora before it aired – to receive their acclaim and change things that this audience would not desire to see.
4. Dora has a long list of awards (having won ten) and nominations (44), most notable of which include Emmy, Peabody, OFTA, PGA & TCA.
5. When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were preparing their older children for the appearance of newborn twins, they did it by using the Dora’s series where her mother was having twins.
6. There were many famous people as guest stars in the series: Cheech Marin, John Leguizamo, Chita Rivera, Hilary Duff, Mel Brooks, and Alan Cumming.
7. The Monkey is named Boots because Dora met him when a cunning fox was trying to steal its boots. By the way, that monkey was originally conceived as a yellow mouse.
8. It’s not a secret that working on each episode in the media takes time. Sometimes, it is weeks or months. In the case with Dora, each episode took a year.