|Dora wandering through a sub-tropical climate forest while Swiper the fox looks on in the distance.|
Created a year after France won the 1998 Fifa World Cup, Dora the Explorer is Nickelodeon's attempt at placing Latina heroines in the spotlight. The show is about the adventures of a 7-year-old child who uses English to communicate with the audience while switching to Spanish at key moments, often with the intent of teaching some new words. They commonly range from counting from 1 through 10, colours and everyday greetings. On each episode she's seen interacting with a number of human and non-human characters, each with their own characteristic traits.From what I found online, to th
is day Dora the Explorer still enjoys high sales, even outselling products from Barbie, Spider Man and more dolls than the caucasian-looking Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.
From what I ahve also read, Dora had originally been conceived as a way to get little children started in second language learning and I hardly disagree with this concept. Children who introduced early to a language other than their first quickly pick it up and hold a much better chance at becoming proficient than starting out as a teenager or grown-up. Not that it's outright impossible, but whoever tried to learn any language at all after being past a certain age knows full well that it's never easy to learn new words and memorise them. In fact, I haven't ever seen efforts so futile as trying to cobble together a half decent sentence than when I tried to have a go at learning a different language. It's almost as if something life threatening had to happen to force me to really internalise a single idea and manage to produce meaningful utterances. It's the same with babies trying to communicate with their legal guardians, they need to find ways to say whatever they want or else they don't get fed or cared for the way they see fit. But children overall have the benefit of learning a new language without all the stress involved that inevitable goes along when out in the same undertaking as an adult.
Dora the Explorers is aimed at Latino children, although it's also watched by non-latino ones. First off, what's the point of airing a cartoon thinking that only latino ankle biters will enjoy? What does it have in it that wards off children from other ethnic sets? This is a downright racist way of reasoning, despite being what serious sources preach.
Still, the show steers clear away from the infamous stereotypes domain, at the same time that it's geared to a young audience that can learn about a foreign culture without any accompanying bias.
I wish I could make this look more interesting than it really because the premise of introducing little children to a second language is supposed to be have a very positive impact in their lives later on. Problem is, I don't find the show all that endearing. Even if it's geared for very young children, there are some very outlandish stuff thrown in there, like Boots, the monkey. I just don't find him funny at all. While I could gripe even about the way he walks, I will upset myself going on over this detail. What I find darn annoying is his role. He doesn't do a darned thing throughout the whole cartoon. He's there to tag along with Dora, but he has no mind of his own. He's got to have information punched into his head so he can either agree with whatever the heck that blooming Dora is stating or just repeat things mindlessly. Is it a by product of our society's failure at getting a grip on reality or am I just unfortunate enough to feel damned over a monkey whose mog never fails to kill me every time? Which one is the truth? Will I ever know? The only way I can ever get over it is if Nickelodeon axes that woeful creature. I know it's utterly pointless to vent frustation like this, but since I couldn't find anyone bold enough to hate write about Boots, It was high time someone actually did it.