Feliz Cumpleaños, Dora the Explorer

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  08.09.10 | 2:02 PM ET

imageOur favorite cartoon vagabond, Dora Marquez, is turning 10 this month. A fine Los Angeles Times story pays tribute to Dora and notes her global reach:

The animated series is now broadcast in more than 100 countries—it’s the No. 1-rated preschool show in many of them, including France—and dubbed in 30 languages, such as Russian, Mandarin and German, with Dora mostly teaching English (in some cases Spanish).

We love Dora the Explorer—so much so that we once named her one of our top 10 greatest fictional travelers. Here’s what we wrote about Dora then, which is equally true today:

Kids need travel role models as much as adults, and the animated Latina vagabond Dora the Explorer is an exemplary role model. With her trademark purple backpack, wash-and-wear bob (perfect for the tropics) and monkey sidekick, Boots (Sancho Panza to her Don Quixote), Dora wanders a lush countryside, navigating around strawberry mountains and chocolate lakes, embarking on all manner of quests. Along the way, she consults her trusty map, breaks out handy Spanish phrases, asks viewers for help and sings out, “Come on, vámonos!” The message to kids is clear: The world is yours for the exploring, and with a little effort and help from your friends, you can surmount any obstacles that get in your way.

2 Comments for Feliz Cumpleaños, Dora the Explorer

Lynne Friedmann 08.09.10 | 3:22 PM ET

As a docent for the San Elijo Lagoon (http://www.sanelijo.org), the highest compliment I ever received was leading a school outing when a little girl suddenly exclaimed, “You’re just like Dora the Explorer!”

Jim Benning 08.09.10 | 5:26 PM ET

I love it, Lynne. That is high praise.

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