Dora the Explorer: Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure Movie Poster Image

Dora the Explorer: Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure

(i)

 

Sweet Dora holiday movie sprinkled with Latin flavor.
  • Review Date: November 3, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 52 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

As always in Dora's world, there are Spanish phrases and words introduced alongside English words. Kids will pick up on these, as well as simple counting and color recognition lessons and examples of grace and courtesy. The interactive quality of the movie can be a little strange at first, since the characters pause to "listen" to the viewer's responses, but the rhymes that are factored into some of the fill-in-the blanks makes this aspect more fun.

Positive messages

Dora and her friends help Swiper get off of Santa's "Naughty List" and onto his "Good List." If he does not succeed, he will not get any Christmas presents. Santa tells Dora that she is a very good friend to Swiper, since she helps him to reform his selfish ways.

Positive role models

Santa is a man of color in this feature. Santa also sets boundaries and gives praise (and metes out punishment, when he withholds presents) for those who behave or misbehave.

Consumerism

The Dora franchise boasts a decade's worth of marketing, resulting in a recognizable brand name and a bunch of toys, books, games, videos, and clothing.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this addition to the Dora collection features a multi-ethnic cast of traditional Christmas characters. Santa speaks some Spanish and has brown skin. Dora and her friends celebrate Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, with a table of baked goodies and candies. They also exchange gifts, sing, and dance. There's no real religious leaning here, but Christmas is the only holiday mentioned.

What's the story?

As Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, descends on Dora and her friends, Santa is checking his list of naughty and nice children. But this Santa does not fool around -- he takes the naughty list very seriously, and will not be giving gifts to friends who do not share their toys or do not listen to directions. Thus unfolds the story of Swiper, who enjoys \"swiping\" his friend's toys. \"I really do like swiping,\" he says with a toothy grin, and he does not seem to learn even when Dora tries to help. Santa intervenes once more, telling Swiper that he needs to travel through time in order to learn some valuable lessons about sharing. And like Scrooge, Swiper travels through Christmas past, present, and future to see how his poor choices have affected his friends. Will he learn the lesson of sharing and really get into the Christmas spirit?

Is it any good?

QUALITY

A very nice respite from the heavy-handed takes on the Christmas Carol that proliferate at holiday season. Not only are young viewers learning about Christmas rituals celebrated in the Latin world (oh those dulces look delicious!), but there are solid lessons about sharing and being a good friend. How can anyone really resist Swiper, what with his funny smile and his willingness to attend to his character flaws? Some parents might find the "Naughty List" concept a little stringent, but Swiper is motivated to clean up his act in order to get a present.

But as with other Dora productions, there tends to be an emphasis on words that are not really used in proper vocabulary. To "swipe" something is not necessarily to steal a thing, in a true sense. Instead, it's a slang version of a word that has been turned into a verb for the sake of the movie. And as there are educational components to the programming, the educational slant should be consistent throughout, so that parents can trust that their kids are learning something real -- not something made up as a rhyme or a convenience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the images associated with Christmas. How does Santa look in your mind? Is this Santa different than the Santa you know?

  • What family traditions do you share during the holidays? Do you eat special foods? Do you sing special songs? Do you give presents? Are these family rituals that have been handed down? What is your favorite holiday ritual and why?

  • Swiper steals, or "swipes" things from his friends. Why does he feel compelled to do this? Have you ever "swiped" anything? Why is stealing wrong?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 3, 2009
Cast:Caitlin Sanchez, Harry Chase, Regan Mizrahi
Directors:Allan Jacobsen, George S. Chialtas, Henry Lenardin-Madden
Studio:Nickelodeon
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:52 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:Not Rated

This review of Dora the Explorer: Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 17, 17, and 17 year old Written byURMOM September 7, 2014

I LOVE DORA

Dora is the negative role model all my kids need. She is totally inapropro and my 3 year old loves it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 10 years old May 29, 2013

There's Better Things To Do Then Watch Nick. Jr.

Under any circumstances, do not watch this TV special! It has been bored by many kids over America and in my opinion, this special sucks. Remember I'm 10 and this show has been turned down by many people in America. So, why can't we ban this special forever? Is there some law? Whatever it is, don't persuade your kid to watch this show.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old July 24, 2013

Hbbbb

I feel bad for any parent who has to sit through this.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide