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Dora the Explorer Gets Extreme Makeover

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She's now a tweenager, goes to middle school, and has moved to the big city. Will she have acne, too?

dora the explorer

Mattel and Nickelodeon have announced that Dora the Explorer is growing up.

Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing for Mattel, says: "Girls really identify with Dora and we knew that girls would love to have their friend Dora grow up with them, and experience the new things that they were going through themselves."

As a tween, Dora has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look. She will also have a rich online world, a la Webkinz, in which girls can explore, play games, customize, and solve mysteries with Dora and her new friends.

Wanna see? Nickelodeon and Mattel plan to keep Dora's new look a secret until the brand launch in Fall 2009. And start saving those pennies: The Dora Links fashion doll, for children five years and up, will retail for approximately $59.99.

We're not sure what to think about this proposed new look. We like Dora just the way she is, and are not huge fans of cartoon makeovers in general. But a kindergartener we know recently rejected a Dora toy for being too "babyish" (this, from a five-year-old), so maybe they're onto something.

Are they seriously making Dora a TWEEN?! Sound off!

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112 comments so far | Post a comment now
Big Iggy March 7, 2009, 9:43 AM

You have to admit it’s a great marketing move. No other cartoon has ever done this, and it might be fun for our girls to see her grow as they grow. Let’s hope they keep her as the great role model she’s been for toddlers.
- Barb

I hate to tell you this but the Rugrats did it and now you can hardly find the reruns

justtrying2getmy2centsin March 7, 2009, 9:50 AM

I think that maturing Dora is not the best choice either. I think that introducing a new charecter for several episodes on Dora would be a GREAT idea. I think for those that are just about to grow out of Dora they can put the “new girl” on the Dora show and for those that are already grown out of Dora they can publisize it else where and then setup the show on nickolodeon or whereever and let it roll. I dont think that its a very good idea to mature Dora because as several people have stated I think it would make it look as if “The Industry” is wanting to push our little ones into fashion and make up and jewlery at a MUCH TOO young age. Please hollywood and pre hollywood execs be smart and don’t try to push the rest of the country into fashion just because you are, and you’re pushing your own kids to be also. Doesnt anyone remember the murder of JonBenét Patricia Ramsey????

Sue March 7, 2009, 10:15 AM

I have 2 year old who loves Dora. My house is full of Dora toys and games. Pleeease leave her and give her a tween cousin or sister. I want my daughter to gradually grow up and its really hard to find good clean cartoons these days.

Toddlermom March 7, 2009, 10:42 AM

What will toddler girls have?? I mean come on the 5 and up girls have Hannah Montana, Barbie, Bratz plus The Disney Princesses have a well formed grown-up body. My daughter loves Dora and if she grows up she will have nothing.

cheri March 7, 2009, 10:56 AM

what about the little girls now that are abslutley crazy about dora? what do they do in the mean time, my daughter is 4 and has been a huge dora nut since she was 2. I have noticed that the sotres are nolonger caring dora toys and things. I do agree with dora growing up but what about between now and then, how do I keep my daughter into dora if there is nothing for her…

mom of three March 7, 2009, 10:56 AM

What a mess. Dora should be left for the preschoolers to love. We have enough “fashionable” dolls already. The younger girls need someone more wholesome to view and imitate. Save her for the next generation to adore and outgrow with fond memories… and so on.
As for the Spanish: it is becoming an unfortunate “necessity” in our land of the free. Therefore, let the kids start to learn it early to make life easier for them in the long run. I don’t see the American “language problem” going away. Freedom of speech and all. I don’t like that everywhere I go or call has Spanish options. Not Russian, French, Italian, German, Chinese etc. Just Spanish. Many, many generations from all over the world have influenced the melting pot of America, so why is Spanish becoming our land’s next language? Just as all our ancestors had to learn “the language” so should the hispanics. My ancestors spoke different languages to start with…most did. But they struggled to learn the English language and raise their children as Americans. For better opportunities then they had themselves. Knowing more than one language has forever been an asset and a sign of culture. Do I want my kids to know Spanish? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I want it shoved in our faces and ears at every turn. That’s taking our free choice away. However, Dora is teaching in a loving, fun way and not overbearing. She’s incorporating the two languages as means of commuminication, problem solving, and culture. Leave Dora alone. Learn English as the American language to live in America. And learn Spanish as an asset in multi-cultural communication, education and classiness.
Turning Dora into a fashion icon only adds to the decline in American culture. Leave Barbie for the older girls and leave Dora for the younger. Just as Spanish shouldn’t take over our culture, neither should tweens, materialism, and immodesty.

MOMMYB09 March 7, 2009, 10:58 AM

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I agree that Dora for the toddlers should stay the way she is. But I also agree that keeping a wholesome role model for little girl that are maturing is important. If the plan is to make Dora The Tween an internet figure and leave the Original Dora on TV that should work out well. As far as pushing spanish down someone’s throat. Come on people lets be realistic. It only benefits our children to be able to relate to other cultures and our children want to. Dont let your ignorance pour over to our precious children.

Anonymous March 7, 2009, 11:06 AM

my middle child loves dora also and i agree they need to leave her be.my daughter is 5 and my youngest son is 3 and they will sit and watch her all day! But now a tween? what is Dieago next? i definatly agree leave them alone and there are other shows for the older kids like 6teen,H. montana, and more or like someone said give her a older sister.

Krisco March 7, 2009, 11:08 AM

I don’t think that it is a good idea. We all understand in theory that the character is getting older. But with each year that passes Dora has appealed to new upcoming toddlers and pre-schools. While the company maybe attempting to tap into a new market, you will be loosing another yet stable market.

Additionally, if you remember correctly there was another cartoon that grew the children up practically overnight - The Rugrats and there was a big shift (loss) in there target audience. I just think that you sould put more thought into this. Dora has become a staple to toddler, preschoolers AND the parents of this category for quite some time now.

Family March 7, 2009, 11:24 AM

Mattel please fire Gina Sirard.

Mom Mom March 7, 2009, 11:38 AM

There are still many little girls being born who should get the chance to see and learn from Dora as she is now. Just because one generation has grown up, does not mean that another will not follow! What if Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers had stopped teachin and aiming their shows to young children? I do not think that they would be on the air now!!

mom of three March 7, 2009, 11:40 AM

To Joe, regarding your comment:
“You don’t like it - change the channel. That’s the beauty of OUR country - choice & individual freedoms.”
It is ignorant to think you can just change the channel to avoid Spanish. It is everywhere. Right or wrong, like it or not…it is EVERYWHERE being shoved down our throats in a much umcomforatable manner (to me). I believe in knowing multi-languages and teaching them to our children. But when I call a company and get Spanish options in addition to English options it is distasteful (in my opinion). We don’t get options for other languages. Why is that anyway? Whether you are “pro-Spanish” or “anti-Spanish” doesn’t seem to matter. It’s not a free choice anymore. It is becoming less of a choice for the single language, English speaking, American people. I didn’t have the opportunity to learn Spanish as a kid…or any other language. I gratefully had a great education and learned English well. I have tried to learn some Spanish here and there but being older, my brain is not able to easily adjust to another language. When my kids were young, I was able to learn some Spanish as a result of watching Dora. :) My eldest child, now a ninth grader, happens to get A’s in Spanish because he started learning it as early as pre-school. He can hold a conversation in Spanish, go to a Spanish restaurant and order, as well as read instructions written in Spanish. I am proud of that. But most important to me…He knows English even better. :)
It is not ignorant to speak Spanish, but it is ignorant to not learn the language of the land you live in.



kid March 7, 2009, 11:52 AM

if dora becomes a tween,then wat happens to all the younger kids still to come along?

Shirlee March 7, 2009, 11:59 AM

My Dora lover is 20 months old. She doesn’t want Dora to be a “tween” yet. Who would replace her? Certainly someone less expensive than $60.

Grandma March 7, 2009, 3:44 PM

My granddaughter is only 2 years old and loves Dora. She won’t be able to relate to a teen or tween Dora. Can’t you create another cousin for Dora as a new teen/tween character? Please????????????????

Grandma Mare : )

Gail Cooke March 10, 2009, 2:44 PM

Wow, you all make it seem like they’ve got her smoking a crack pipe, standing on a street corner talking with her “boyfriend” and exchanging cash. It’s not like she’s wearing a band aid on her bottom, wearing a “bra” and sporting a cigarrette. And it’s not like she’s pregnant with octuplets and scumming of the people.

Do we see how it could be worse? I think people need a little perspective.

I don’t see anything wrong with the material that was given. As long as she still portrays an educational and good role model image, there’s nothing wrong.

So what’s the issue here? Do you just want things to stay the same? Nothing in this world stays the same and I think an update on this tired cartoon is needed.

wowzerss. March 10, 2009, 10:38 PM

wow; dora as a middle schooler? I cant see it, all the younger girls that watch dora are going to wonder why they dont look like her. I personally think its a ver bad choice of nick jr.!

Patty March 11, 2009, 12:18 AM

I will not be purchasing any more Dora products or allowing my daughter to watch these updated cartoons. I am not happy with this drastic change. My daughter loves Dora and she’s just a six year old. I don’t want the media to influence her to grow up too quickly. Dora was intended for little girls and boys. Just leave it at that you boneheads!

upset tweenager March 12, 2009, 5:28 PM

im mad that they are changing dora. there has been shows on nick thet they made into a new series. do you remember the rugrats? well that was the dora in my day. then nick decided to make it into “All Grown Up” and that show didn’t last long because it was bad. Can’t they see this is a bad idea?


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