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The Basics:
Dora the Explorer is an animated educational television show that airs on Nick Jr, a childrens' series of programs that runs on the Nickelodeon cable network and periodically on CBS mornings. The program aims to teach children (ages 3 to 7) to count, to read, to speak minor Spanish, safety, and problem solving.

The Show:
The show itself is a mock educational computer game. In many cases a cursor will appear on the screen to click or highlight an object. The show is designed to be truly interactive when the cursor would respond to a child's interactions with the TV. Of course there is no level of control anyone has over the show, but it does guide younger children and give a sense of accomplishment. In many cases Dora asks viewers to interact with her through speech (sometimes even yelling or singing), pointing, and even physically interacting. If Dora needs help to get the attention of a friend, she will ask the viewers to interact and yell to the friend with her. If Dora is trying find a lost (or stolen) object, she may ask you to point it out to her. If Dora is doing a hard physical activity, she may ask you to do it with her (or at least go through the motions and pretend you are helping). To younger children, this is half the fun. Not only can you watch a fun story, but a child can feel as if he was a part of the story itself.

The Characters:
There are two main characters in Dora the Explorer:

Dora - a young, Hispanic girl from Central America who enjoys going on adventures and helping others with their problems. She is bilingual and very smart for her age. She lives with her mama and papi and often visits her abuela (grandmother) for fun. She is friends with most everyone (including her pet monkey and backpack), but does have a few enemies. Dora hosts the show.

Boots - a monkey that can talk and wears boots. Boots is not very bright and will often ask Dora questions, that allow the viewer to better understand the situation (like Watson in Sherlock Holmes), or do something wrong for Dora to correct. Boots allows the show to be more educational by having concepts that may be confusing explained in a simple manner to a cute animal. For example, Boots does not speak spanish, so if something is said in spanish, this gives Dora an excuse to translate it into english so that Boots (and you) can understand and hopefully learn. Boots does not like lesbians or soy.

Other characters are actually just inanimate with faces that can talk and further aid Dora with her show. They include (but I'm sure are not limited to):

Backpack - is Dora's backpack. He holds things that Dora may need for the show. If Dora needs something from Backpack, she will ask you, the viewer, to say "Backpack" until backpack responds and allows you a look inside. A selection of items inside allow the viewer to pick what Dora needs from many items. Backpack is used as another problem solving tool to build young minds.

The Map - is a map that can locate anyplace or thing. Each episode begins with Dora asking you to call out maps name (much like Backpack is called) so she can get directions. Map will respond by giving 3 landmarks needed to be passed for Dora to make it to the final position. If Dora needed to get to the beach The Map would tell you to tell Dora "Dunes! Boardwalk! Beach!" Map can be really annoying.

Dora has other minor friends that drop in from time to time:

Benny - a blue bull that speaks english only and often gets into trouble.

Tico - a squirrel that only speaks spanish. He has a car and can drive and often gives Dora a lift.

Isa - an Iguana that likes plants. She only speaks spanish.

Dora also has an enemy:

Swiper - a fox that wears a bandana around his head. Swiper tries to steal from Dora and her friends in each episode. He can be stopped by saying "Swiper no swiping" about 3 times. If you fail to say it fast enough he will steal something from you, and for some unknown reason throw it into the woods. Swiper speaks english.

Personal Comments:
Dora the Explorer for people older than 7 provides entertainment by interacting with Dora in a backwards manner. If she asks you to yell "Tico" it is fun to simply watch and say nothing. It is amusing to watch a little animated girl talk to herself as if she was talking to someone else. This game isn't much fun unless you are in a group or high. Dora is worth watching, and is much like Blue's Clues, but in my opinion, it is much better.
Most information is drawn from watching Dora the Explorer on TV, but some came from http://www.nickjr.com/grownups/home/shows/dora/.

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