'In Character' On the Air

On Air: Dora the Explorer

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Dora the Explorer.

Explora-Dora: Indefatigably curious, invariably inventive, Dora the Explorer always finds a way. Nick Jr. hide caption

toggle caption Nick Jr.

So originally, they were thinking bunny. No, really: Dora the Explorer co-creator Chris Gifford tells NPR's Rolando Arrieta that when Nickelodeon set out to create a new kids'-show hero, they started in the animal kingdom.

"It was a bunny who would go on a trip with his mommy," Gifford says. Find out what happened to kill the wabbit over on the story page — where my intern Justin and I have hooked you up with video clips from the series.




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While my three-year-old daughter likes Dora, she absolutely adores Dora's cousin Diego. It may be because Diego has more of a mission--to save animals! He is an animal rescuer and his sister Alicia is an animal scientist. My daughter is learning so much from both shows, including Spanish and compassion, as well as great latino music (The Diego Live CD is enjoyable even for adults). And if you ask my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, she wants to be a princess animal scientist. The only problem I have with Dora is the size of her head!

Sent by Lana Pigao | 1:23 PM | 4-14-2008

A great story, from another parent whose Tivo is filled with Dora (and Diego) episodes. My 2 year old can count in Spanish as easily as she can in English because of Dora. My question is, what is the "second language" taught by these series when they are rebroadcast, and translated, in other countries.

Sent by Thayne Peterson | 4:50 PM | 4-14-2008

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's last name is Garcia; Marquez is his mother's maiden name.

Marquez is pronounced with the stress placed on the first syllable as well as Perez, which is very often mispronounced on NPR.

Sent by Helen Arzola | 8:07 PM | 4-14-2008

This was a good story about Dora, but there was one unintentionally funny part. In the exact part where they discussed choosing Spanish words carefully, because the words can have different meanings in different countries, they used the example, "deja el bizcocho en el escalon."

If I saw that on Dora, I wouldn't have blinked, because Spanish speakers are used to the multiple country/multiple meanings issue. In this context it was ironic, however, because "bizcocho" is actually a slang word for part of the female anatomy in Mexico. Perhaps it wasn't the best example.

Sent by Nanette Murray | 9:23 PM | 4-14-2008

My three kids (2, 5, & 7) really enjoy the cartoon. We have Dora Candy Land and other play items too. What's most amazing to me is that my five year old daughter knows more Spanish words than I do, and my two year old son can navigate our computer using a mouse to locate the Dora Explorer file, open it, and double click on his favorite episode to watch (which I filmed him do)!

Sent by Christopher | 1:12 PM | 4-15-2008

Dora is a great influence on my daughter; my wife and I adopted her when she was 3 months old. Today she is 3 years old and we wish to introduce the concept of adoption to her. It would be great if an episode on Dora can be made to introduce the concept of Adoption.

Can we submit a story line that can be further worked upon to check the viability of a such a episode.

An episode on adoption would help the adopted and the naturally born to understand this gift of mankind.

Sent by Brad | 5:02 AM | 5-19-2008


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