She’s little, but she’s mighty. Dora the Explorer has blossomed into a multibillion (B!) dollar franchise for Nickelodeon, that has not only been entertainment folks for ten years, the toon has potentially been educating them! The series is watched in over 150 markets in over 30 languages all around the world, where Dora teaches Spanish and Latin culture to English-speaking audiences, and English / American culture to Spanish-speaking audiences. There are Fisher Price toys, books, DVDs, video games, iPhone apps and more, all starring the cute little youngster that, originally, was a forest animal. …Wait, what!?
Turns out the show’s original concept was of a forest animal who would bring the viewer on adventures, as well as educate them. But when co-creator Valerie Walsh Valdes got some tips from Nick about bringing about a bilingual little girl, everything seemed to click. From there, Dora’s world was born, giving viewers the Latin flavor of her language, her family, her environment, and her friends, like Isa the Iguana and Tico the Squirrel. They, apparently, got to stay as forest animals!
But the key to the show, claims producers, is Dora’s involvement with the viewers. Solving puzzles and problems with the viewer’s help is a key level of interaction that draws people into the toon, and shapes young minds moving forward. That connection has stayed strong all this time, bringing the animated figure beyond just a show, and into the real-world, like with Dora’s balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
So, as she celebrates her 10th anniversary, think about how old you are now, and how old you are when Dora first started – or when you saw your first episode. Has she been an impact in your life?