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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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?
- Premiere date: August 14, 2000
- Cast: Caitlin Sanchez, Harrison Chad, Kathleen Herles, Marc Weiner
- Network: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Communication, Curiosity, Perseverance
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.