Dora the Explorer is an American animated television series created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh, and Eric Weiner. 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; since April 2008, this version of the program has been carried on Univision as part of the Planeta U block. The show is still replaying episodes on Treehouse TV.
The series is about a seven year old girl named Dora, who goes on adventures with her friend, 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 celebrate by dancing to Dora's signature "We Did It!" dance.
Production for Dora the Explorer started as early as 1997. 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.
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.