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 movie is fine entertainment for preschoolers and kindergartners and follows the same formula as the Nickelodeon TV series on which it's based. Songs and dialog are performed in English and Spanish, though English is the predominant language. A mean witch is mild enough for most kids, and the "threatening" polar bear and sea snake smile and are easily dispatched by Dora and her friends.
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What's the story?
Following the approach of the television show closely, DORA THE EXPLORER: DORA SAVES THE SNOW PRINCESS has plucky bilingual heroine Dora (voiced by Caitlin Sanchez) and her animal pals reading a story about a little girl who is magically transformed into a snow princess. When a winter-hating witch locks the princess up in a castle, a snow fairy begs Dora to help him rescue her so that all of the snow doesn't melt. Dora, the Snow Fairy, and Dora's friends must outrun polar bears, repel an icy sea snake, and outwit the witch to restore the princess to her wintry kingdom. The DVD also includes two shorter Dora stories.
Is it any good?
There's a reason preschoolers and their parents admire Dora and her magic backpack. The story is simple enough for youngest kids to follow along, and in her characteristic fashion Dora stops the action to invite viewers to participate in the fun. Whether she and Boots (Regan Mizrahi) are exhorting kids to lean left and right to help them guide a sled, or asking them to shout out "Swiper No Swiping!" when they see a sly fox, the show's creators do what they can to provide an interactive viewing experience.
The effortless switch between English and Spanish will also be appreciated in bilingual households and those trying to support young foreign language learners. And in both the main story and the two shorter features, good behaviors like cooperating and being kind are reinforced.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the magic crystal. Practice the face you would make if you wanted to make snow come again. And what would you do if you wanted to shut it off? Can you draw a map of a route you take often (to school, to the store) with landmarks on it, similar to the one Dora uses?
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