Dora the Explorer

TV review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Dora the Explorer TV Poster Image
Preschoolers will love Dora's ongoing adventures.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 79 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 194 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for positive messages.

Educational Value

Dora, who's bilingual, translates Spanish phrases into English and vice-versa. With all of the repetition, kids are bound to pick some of it up. Kids will also learn about culture.

Positive Messages

The show focuses on cooperation and working together with others to achieve goals. Major themes include communication, curiosity, and perseverance.

Positive Role Models

Dora is a spunky, determined girl who approaches problems with a can-do attitude.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dora the Explorer is a show about a bilingual communicator who can speak with all of the critters and humans in her vicinity. Some of the language lessons may rub off on kids -- but other viewers might get bored. Since phrases are constantly repeated, parents may want to consider whether they want their kids to be repeating the same episodes all day. The series offers good exposure to language, culture, and creativity.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byMomma_2_3Boys January 31, 2013

Stickin up for kids

The bad reviews are pretty hilarious. Saying it's not educational, it teaches witchcraft? Really?! Come on people! It's DORA geez. Not SPONGEBOB! Comp... Continue reading
Parent of a 2-year-old Written byfaroffstar April 2, 2010

Cute, educational, can get annoying for parents though

My son loves this show. He really seems to "get into it" particularly when Swiper shows up. Also, he says "Hola" to say hello at times and... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 22, 2015

Horrible and should be cancelled.

Goatworlds here. Mediocre animation, bad plot, no action, crappy adventures, pathetic voice-acting, and unlikable characters. Swiper the braindead fox is horrib... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bymattballew April 9, 2008

I lost six brain cells watching this!

This show is really annoying, and when reading the review about it, i see what they mean! I have a 5 year old at home, just turned 5, And she LOVES dora, She is... Continue reading

What's the story?

DORA THE EXPLORER is about a young girl and her companion, a monkey named Boots, who are always on the go. They travel over rivers and mountains to reach whatever goal has been set for a particular episode. Dora gets help from her trusty talking backpack full of necessary items and her map, which illustrates the obstacles between Dora and her goal. When Dora reaches her destination, she and Boots break out in song and dance, exclaiming "We did it, we did it!"

Is it any good?

On one hand, Dora is an admirable character with a can-do attitude, but on the other hand, the show can seem simplistic -- even for young viewers. Challenges are often similar, which may get a bit monotonous.

Still, the bilingual and cultural aspects of Dora the Explorer are right on target, featuring music, holidays, and plants and animals relevant to Central and South American culture. And Dora often decides to "stop and think" about a problem when she can't immediately solve it, proving her to be a thoughtful, patient heroine.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Dora the Explorer's repetition -- is it a good learning tool, or does it make the program seem like virtual brainwashing?

  • What do kids think about the show's lessons about language and culture?

  • Is Dora a good role model?

  • How do Dora and her friends demonstrate communication, curiosity, and perseverance in Dora the Explorer. Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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