A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this collection of three distinct Dora stories fits right into the kind of cheerful, positive material we expect from the ubiquitious bilingual girl and her animal friends. Dora and friends fight selfishness with cooperation, and encourage young viewers to participate in the process by speaking or moving along with the characters on the screen. The show encourages kids to repeat words or phrases, sometimes loudly, in the process of teaching Spanish words and phrases. Children will be subtly exposed to the concept of an onscreen cursor and the click sound that accompanies a selection. The main story has also been converted into a Wii game for preschoolers.
What's the story?
This DVD contains one longer feature and two shorts. The title feature involves a story about a greedy king who steals the crystals that keep the kingdom colorful. Dora and her friends enter into the tale, and set off on four mini-adventures (or chapters) to retrieve the crystals and teach the king a lesson about sharing. In one chapter, Dora and friends gain butterfly wings and must flap them (along with the viewer) to reach their destination and save a crystal. The shorter features are similar to each other and involve reaching three distinct steps to solve a problem. The first one finds Dora walking Boots and Tico to their first day of school and encountering obstacles (like a river to cross) along the way. They use their English and Spanish to help them get to school. The second one involves too many bananas and a magical "wishing machine" that helps keep Boots' desires in check.
Is it any good?
The familiar and charming Dora elements are ever-present in this offering, and kids will be delighted, as usual. Dora and her friends have captivated preschool audiences by being incessantly upbeat and cultivating interaction between kids and the screen. Parents, on the other hand, may tire of the semi-shrill voices of Dora and the others, as well as the constant repetition encouraged by the show, which kids might continue long after the TV is off.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about wanting things for oneself. Why did the king want the color crystals all for himself? Are there toys or things that you want to keep all to yourself? When is it OK to keep things for yourself and when is it important to share? Can you remember times when it was hard for you to share?
Talk about learning languages. What words in Spanish or English did you learn from watching? Do you know words in any other languages?
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