Dora the Explorer Wiki
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Dora the Explorer is an American media franchise centered on an eponymous animated interactive fourth wall television series created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh Valdes, and Eric Weiner, produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and originally ran on Nickelodeon from August 14, 2000 to June 5, 2014, with the final six unaired episodes later airing from July 7 to August 9, 2019. It has since spawned a spin-off television series (Go, Diego, Go!), a sequel television series (Dora and Friends: Into the City!) and a live-action feature film. Dora the Explorer became a regular series in 2000. The show is carried on the Nickelodeon cable television network, including the associated Nick Jr. channel. It aired on CBS until September 2006. A Spanish-dubbed version first aired as part of a Nick en español block on NBC Universal-owned Telemundo through September 2006; from April 2008 through June 2014, this version of the program was carried on Univision, as part of the Planeta U block. The show premiered in Canada on Treehouse TV on February 4, 2002 and continued airing on the channel until August 29, 2022 where all traces of the show were removed from Treehouse TV’s website and YouTube Channel on the same day.

The series went on hiatus on June 5, 2014. Dora's Super Soccer Showdown was the last episode to premiere in 2014. Five years later, the series aired the six episodes in 2019 to promote the movie. Though the five episodes premiered in 2019, the series had ceased production five years prior. More episodes after the movie will be added in the future.

And finally, when this show had reruns on the Nick Jr. channel once more on February 7th, 2023 as a Special Edition, this promoted the new short film on September 29th and the new generation CGI animation for Paramount Plus on September 30th, 2023 to April 12th, 2024.

Premise

The series is about a seven-year-old girl named Dora, who goes on adventures with her friend, a five-year-old monkey named Boots. In her adventures, Dora invites young viewers at home to complete a goal. Checking Map to find the way, and using Backpack to get what she needs, Dora and the viewer must solve problems and overcome obstacles along the way to their goal. The viewers would also learn some Spanish too. At the end of each adventure, everybody cheers and celebrates by dancing to Dora's signature "We Did It!" dance.

The series is made to resemble a late 90s-early 2000s CD-ROM game, such as limited animation and a Blue Cursor "clicking" on the correct answer. However, when the series transitioned to HD beginning with Season 7, the series now resembles a more modern mobile touchscreen app (like an iOS game), with more fluid and shaded animation and mostly abandoning the cursor and having the correct objects simply glow as if tapping on them.

Format

Episodes generally follow a similar format with more or less of the following features:

  • The episode begins with Dora and Boots introducing themselves.
  • Dora and Boots then do something which sets up the conflict of the episode and how it will proceed.
  • Before the adventure, Dora asks Map, a sentient map who acts as hers and Boots' guide for each adventure. This transitions into a sketch where Map shows the places to go, usually three total (four in double-length episodes), with the last place as the destination.
    • Map's segment is preceded by Boots saying they don't know how to get to the destination, followed by Dora responding, "Who do we ask for help when we don't know which way to go?"
  • Dora uses a special three-picture pop-up sequence to keep track of the locations she and Boots passed. The sequence is used immediately after the Map segment, and once for every location passed except for the destination.
  • Sometimes Dora and Boots might need a specific object to complete a task; this leads in to the viewer to asking Backpack, the sentient backpack Dora wears. This in turn cues a sketch hosted by Backpack where the viewer has to find the right item for use.
  • While heading to the location, Dora and Boots sing a special Travel Song to help them remember where they are going.
  • Each location has a specific task Dora and Boots need to complete before moving on. After successfully completing that task and passing the location, the Fiesta Trio pop out and congratulate them with a celebratory fanfare.
  • Audience participation is a major part of the series. Dora often talks to the viewer about what's going on and invites them to help her solve the problems; whenever she asks the viewer to help them, she always proceeds as if they answered "yes". Some participation involves saying something with her, learning a new Spanish word or phrase, counting, or doing a specific physical activity. If the physical activity requires strong usage of the feet and legs (such as for jumping, marching, or doing a specific dance), she will ask the viewer to stand up to do so. Likewise, a blue arrow cursor often clicks on the right answer as if they answered correctly.
  • Sometimes Dora and Boots have to watch out for Swiper the Fox, a sneaky fox who has a habit of swiping people's things and hiding them. Swiper's appearance is signaled by an offscreen whisking sound, and Dora then asks the viewer to watch out for Swiper. Once he appears, Dora and Boots have to try to stop him; to successfully stop Swiper, they would have to say the phrase "Swiper, no swiping!" three times. If they are successful, Swiper will run away; if they are too late, Swiper will swipe the item and hide it, which in turns prompts a find-it challenge to retrieve the swiped object.
  • At the end of it all, once Dora and Boots complete their adventure, they celebrate with their We Did It! song and dance, often accompanied by multiple characters who appeared in the episode.
  • The episode concludes with a final sketch of Dora, Boots, and sometimes other characters as they explain their favorite parts of the adventure.

Series overview

 
Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 26 August 14, 2000 October 15, 2001
2 26 February 13, 2002 December 3, 2007
3 25 February 24, 2003 January 16, 2006
4 24 October 6, 2003 March 21, 2010
5 20 September 15, 2008 August 15, 2010
6 18 November 5, 2010 November 5, 2012
7 19 February 2, 2012 March 10, 2014
8 19 March 18, 2013 August 9, 2019

Characters

  • Dora: A 7 (8 from the episode "Dora's Big Birthday Adventure")-year-old adventurous girl who loves to explore and is always eager for her next adventure. She loves animals and plants that live in the forest and always carries her Backpack and Map while going on new adventures. She turned 8 in Dora's Big Birthday Adventure.
  • Boots: Boots is a 5 (4 until the episode "Surprise!")-year-old monkey and is Dora's companion. He loves to go on adventures with Dora. He is happy, confident, and always likes to hold Dora's hand. He loves to laugh and he loves bananas. But most of all, he loves his red boots.
  • Backpack: Backpack is Dora's special helper. She's always loaded up with lots of stuff that Dora might need to triumph in her adventure.
  • Map: A funny, bouncy, rolled up map who lives inside Backpack's side pocket. Whenever Dora and Boots need to get somewhere, he always shows them the best way to go.
  • Swiper: A sneaky fox that always tries to swipe items from Dora that she needs to complete her adventure.
  • Tico: A 4-year-old squirrel who is a good friend to Dora and Boots. He speaks Spanish and loves to help them.
  • Benny: 6-year-old bull who is a good friend to Dora and Boots and likes to ride his hot air balloon.
  • Isa: 6-year-old iguana who is a good friend to Dora and Boots. She loves her flowers and waters them to help them grow.
  • Fiesta Trio: Three small creatures who always play an 8-noted fanfare when Dora and Boots pass a place or complete their adventure.

History

DoraTheExplorerPoster2000

A poster for the series' premiere

Dora the Explorer's history started as early as 1997. At a meeting in December of 1997, Nickelodeon executives asked the network's in-house development team to come up with ideas for new shows. The execs had been working with outside creators to conceptualize shows, but were not satisfied with the results. Valerie Walsh, a Nickelodeon employee who was in film school at the time, was at the meeting. Walsh brought her ideas to the group's next meeting and found that she and another Nickelodeon employee, Chris Gifford, had a similar concept: a story-driven interactive show starring a little girl heroine. Nickelodeon executives, intrigued with the concept, asked Walsh and Gifford to flesh out their ideas into a TV show. About four months later, "Dora the Explorer" was born. Walsh and Gifford considered other characters for their concepts before they decided on Dora. One version told the story of Dora the rabbit and her friends who lived in the woods. The creators preferred a little girl all along as the lead character, but initially were restricted by monetary considerations.
"We weren't allowed to consider doing an animated show because, at the time, Nick couldn't afford animation," Walsh said. "It would have been a live action show with people wearing animal suits. We called it 'The Knock Arounds.'" While they were uncertain about the future of "The Knock Arounds," Walsh and Gifford really liked certain elements of the concept: Characters take a journey, characters set and achieve a goal in every episode, interactive games get kids moving, stories have a lot of heart, strong female lead character doesn't easily give up.

Soon enough, animation became an option for the show. Nina, the past Dora, was supposed to be a character that lived in the computer, had a sidekick named Boots named for the computer term "reboot" who was a monkey, and together they solved math and language problems. Around this time, the working title for the show was called "Nina's Pop-up Puzzle".

There was also supposed to be other characters including Tico, the Skunk, who eventually became a Squirrel, Swiper, the Fox, the only character that was never changed from the first sketch, Benito, the Bull, and Isa, the Iguana. Together, these group of friends worked toward a goal, and at the end of the episode, or level, the marching band would sing their little "Hurray" song, and everyone would say "You did it" just like popular kids computer games from the 90s.

Early on in the series development, research determined that Nina should have an additional goal, to teach viewers Spanish, and soon Nina, the green eyed, redheaded Irish girl became the dark haired, dark eyed Dora from Costa Rica. When the crew decided that Dora would come from Costa Rica, and as soon as the show got picked up for production, six people traveled to Costa Rica for a fantastic research trip and for the first time they were able to see the flavor and colourful world of the rainforest. It inspired them to make changes to some of the characters. Changes were happening throughout the production and many episodes later, suddenly Dora got a home, and a family.

After six months, the crew was ready to make a pilot. Helena Giersz and her husband, Krzysztof Giersz, looked into character development for the characters and the creators were overwhelmed with their results. By December of 1998, the pilot was completed. Nickelodeon tested the show with preschoolers, and the rates were highly favorable. The crew waited about six months for the good news about the show being picked up and within four months, Dora the Explorer was scheduled to air.

On August 14, 2000, Dora the Explorer premiered at 11am (eastern time) after an episode of Franklin. At the time of the series premiere, it instantly became the highest rated show in Nick Jr. history until Wonder Pets premiered in 2006. The premiere scored a 11.22/43 rating/share (1.3 million viewers) among kids of the ages of 2-5. To top its own success, the second airing at 11:30am scored a 12.85/48 rating/share (1.5 million viewers) among kids 2-5 years old.

The series even surpassed the September 8, 1996 premiere of Blue's Clues. The primetime airing of Dora at 8pm (eastern time) also scored the highest rating among kids 2-11 (5.66/22), kids 2-5 (5.35/23) and 6-11 (5.86/21) for that time slot.

Foreign adaptations

Dora the Explorer has been produced in various other languages worldwide. It facilitates the learning of important foreign language words or phrases (mostly English), interspersed with a local language (e.g. Norwegian, Russian, Hindi, or German), with occasional use of Spanish (used in the Albanian, Irish, Serbian, and Turkish versions) through its simplicity and use of repetition.

  • Albanian - The dub airs on Bang Bang and Cufo.
  • Arabic – The Arabic language version is broadcast on the "Nickelodeon on MBC3" block of MBC 3, and is presented in Arabic-English.
  • Cantonese – The Cantonese language version (Chinese: 愛探險的朵拉; lit. 'Explore-loving Dora') is broadcast in Hong Kong. It is presented in Cantonese-English.
  • Danish – The Danish language version is called "Dora – udforskeren" and there are commands and expressions in English. It is broadcast on the national public children's channel, DR Ramasjang, and also on Nick Jr. through various pay TV providers.
  • Dutch – The Dutch language version broadcasts on Nickelodeon and Nick. Jr, It is presented in Dutch-English. The voice actors are Lottie Hellingman as Dora and Dieter Jansen as Boots.
  • French – The French language version, Dora l'exploratrice, broadcasts on TF1 in France and Télé-Québec in Canada. It is presented in French-English, with Dora and Boots (called Babouche) speaking French and other protagonists speaking and answering in English.
  • Filipino – The Filipino language version broadcasts on ABS-CBN and has the same English title "Dora, the Explorer". The characters speak Filipino and some English, Dora teaches English in this version.
  • German – The German language version broadcasts on the German branch of Nick. The bilingualism is German-English.
  • Greek – The Greek language version is called "Ντόρα η μικρή εξερευνήτρια" (or Dora the Little Explorer). It broadcasts on Nickelodeon and Star Channel. The bilingualism is Greek-English. Dora and Boots (called Botas) speak Greek and other protagonists speak and answer in English.
  • Hebrew – The Hebrew language version broadcasts on HOP channel. The bilingualism is Hebrew-English. The series is called מגלים עם דורה (or Megalim Im Dora—English: Discovering with Dora).
  • Hindi – In the Hindi language version, Dora and the other characters speak Hindi. It broadcasts on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Dora teaches the viewers English words and numbers.
  • Hungarian – In the Hungarian language version, Dora and the other characters speak Hungarian with some English words or phrases. It broadcasts on Nickelodeon. The series is called Dóra a felfedező.
  • Indonesian – The Indonesian language version broadcasts on Global TV. The bilingualism is Indonesian-English.
  • Irish – The Irish language version broadcasts on the Irish station TG4. The bilingualism is Irish-Spanish with Dora and Boots speaking in Irish and some other characters speaking Spanish as in the original American version.
  • Italian – The Italian language version broadcasts on Cartoonito and on Nickelodeon. The bilingualism is Italian-English. The series is called Dora l'esploratrice ("Dora the Explorer"). Most characters speak Italian, but some characters and especially Dora's parents and backpack speak English along with Italian.
  • Japanese – The Japanese language version broadcasts on Nickelodeon. The bilingualism is Japanese-English, with Dora and Boots speaking Japanese and other protagonists speaking and answering in English. The version is called ドーラといっしょに大冒険 (Dōra to issho ni dai bōken/Adventures with Dora).
  • Kannada – The Kannada language version broadcasts on Chintu TV and is a very popular program on that network. Hindi is the second language in this version.
  • Korean – The Korean language version broadcasts on Nick Jr in Korea. The title is "Hi Dora" and is introduced by a real person whose name is Dami – she introduces key English vocabulary for each episode. The episode is primarily in Korean with some English.
  • Macedonian – The Macedonian language version broadcasts on MRT 1 in Macedonia. The title is "Дора истражува" (or Dora the Explorer). The bilingualism is Macedonian-English.
  • Malay – The Malay language version broadcasts on TV9. The bilingualism is Malay-English. Dora speaks primarily in Malay, and the secondary language is English. The original English-Spanish version, however, is also available on Nickelodeon via the Nick Jr. programming slot to subscribers of the ASTRO satellite TV service.
  • Malayalam – The Malayalam language version is called Dorayude Prayanam ("Dora's Journey") and broadcasts on Kochu TV, Sun TV Network.
  • Mandarin – In the Mandarin Chinese language version Dora the characters speak mainly Mandarin with limited English. It broadcasts on Yo-yo TV in Taiwan and later broadcasts on CCTV-14 in Mainland China.
  • Maori – The Māori language version is called "Dora Mātātoa".
  • Norwegian – In the Norwegian language version, the bilingualism is Norwegian-English.
  • Polish – The Polish language version broadcasts on Nickelodeon in Poland. The bilingualism is Polish-English. The series is called Dora poznaje świat ("Dora explores the world").
  • Portuguese – In the Portuguese language versions, Dora a Exploradora broadcasts on RTP2 and Nickelodeon. On Nickelodeon Brazil and TV Cultura, the show is called Dora a Aventureira, and Dora and Boots (called Boots in the Portuguese version and Botas in the Brazilian version) speak Portuguese, while the other protagonists speak and answer in English. Some Portuguese episodes are available on DVD.
  • Russian – The Russian language version broadcasts on TNT and Nickelodeon. The bilingualism is Russian-English. The series is called Dasha-sledopyt ("Dasha the Pathfinder"). Dasha is the children's name of Daria (Darya).
  • Serbian – The Serbian language version broadcasts on B92. The bilingualism is Serbian-Spanish. The series is called Dora istražuje (Dora is exploring). A secondary dub was made with Serbian-English billingualism for Nickelodeon and Pikaboo.
  • Spanish – There are different Spanish versions for Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. Dora la Exploradora broadcasts on Nickelodeon in Latin America (and up to September 2006 on Telemundo in the USA; from April 2008 on Univisión). Dora and Boots (called Botas) speak Spanish and the other protagonists speak and answer in English. Some Spanish episodes are available to US viewers on VHS, and some DVDs have a Spanish track (including Dora's Egg Hunt). This version is entirely the reverse of the original English version; Tico and Señor Tucan (called Mr. Toucan) only speak English. Additionally, Univision has added on-screen captions of the Spanish words spoken in English. In Spain, Dora la exploradora is aired on TVE 1, Clan TVE and the Spanish and Portuguese Nickelodeon feed. It is another reverse of the original English version (the characters speak mainly Spanish but there are commands and expressions in English).
  • Swedish – In the Swedish language version Dora- utforskaren the characters speak mainly Swedish but there are commands and expressions in English. It broadcasts on Nickelodeon and TV4.
  • Tamil – In the Tamil language version Doravin Payanangal (டோராவின் பயணங்கள்), the characters all speak Tamil, with some English interspersed. It broadcasts on a local kids programming channel Chutti TV.
  • Thai – In the Thai language version ดอร่าดิเอกซ์พลอเรอร์ or ดอร่าสาวน้อยนักผจญภัย, the characters speak Thai; however, Tico speaks English. It broadcasts on Gang Cartoon Channel, Nick Jr., Thai PBS.
  • Turkish – In the Turkish language version Dora the characters speak mainly Turkish, Spanish, and English but there are commands and expressions in Turkish. It broadcasts on Nickelodeon and CNBC-e.

As shown in the list above, Spanish is the second language taught in the original English language version of the show (also broadcast for Malay speakers), in the Irish, Serbian, and the trilingual Turkish versions, but for other versions of the show, the language being taught is English.

Trivia

  • The show was influenced by CD-ROM games in 2000s, such as Pajama Sam and Freddi Fish.
  • This show is the longest running series to air on Nick Jr. (excluding Max & Ruby (2002-2020) and Wonder Pets (2006-2018)).
  • This show became a hit instantly after its premiere due to its high ratings while the first three episodes premiered (The Legend of the Big Red Chicken (11am), Lost and Found (11:30am) and Choo-Choo! (8pm)). However, When another Nick Jr show by the name of Wonder Pets premiered 6 years later, it took Dora's place instantly as the most popular Nick Jr show ever, that was until PAW Patrol premiered.
  • On Columbus Day 2001, 2002, and 2003, this show did a marathon.

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