I’ve never been a fan of Dora the Explorer. I’ve never really thought about it all that much, but mainly two things bothered me. The first was that Dora was always trying to teach Spanish to the kids. Why would that bother me? That’s a whole different article.
The second was that Dora seemed to talk down to the kids so much. Repeating everything three times, long pauses in the show… I would think most kids would get bored quickly and wander off.
Otherwise I haven’t given Dora much thought. I encourage the kids to watch something else if something better is on, and that’s about it.
Today, however, I was laying around this afternoon recovering from a hard morning of non-stop fishing, and happened to actually watch an episode of Dora. It was worse than I had expected.
The first thing that caught me were her eyes. Granted, she’s just a cartoon, but something about her eyes just bored into me. Her voice was bright and happy, but her eyes were dead and souless. I’m not so sure what was going on with the Boots character. I had to get one of my kids to tell me it was a monkey, since I wasn’t too sure.
Anyway, this episode seemed to be based around a plot by Dora and Boots to sneak into Berry Hill and steal a bunch of fruit from Swiper, the thief who lives there. Maybe Swiper didn’t actually own the berries, but it was made to seem that way. Lots of whispering and sneaking around were involved, so that they didn’t alert Swiper to the plan. At first I thought it might be a “steal from the rich, give to the poor” kind of thing – you know, some kind of subliminal nod to redistribution of wealth. But no, Dora and Boots weren’t stealing fruit to give to the poor or hungry – they just liked fruit and wanted to get some for themselves. Common thieves, apparently.
Of couse, they DID wake up Swiper, but managed to cast their spell on him in time. They were dancing around happy to have gotten away with stealing the berries when some big bear showed up and started chasing them. At that point my mind decided I had had enough and made me stop watching.
Pick a better show for the kids to watch, folks. Or better yet, turn off the TV and give them some fun books to read.