Paramount // 2006 // 98 Minutes // Rated G
Reviewed by Judge Jonathan Weiss (Retired) // February 3rd, 2006
"Come on, vámonos. Everybody let's go. Come on, let's get to it. I know that we can do it." -- Dora
If you didn't immediately start to sing along to the words above then you obviously don't have wee ones at home. Dora The Explorer was introduced in 2000 and has dominated the hearts of children everywhere (and letting parents get at least 20 more minutes of much needed shut-eye).
In every episode, Dora goes on adventures with her best friend Boots (a monkey who wears, ah, boots) and gets help from a wide assortment of recurring characters -- Benny the Bull, Isa the lizard, Tico the rat (okay, so it's a squirrel -- whatever), Diego, her adventure loving cousin, and of course her backpack and know-it-all Map. Along the way you even get to learn a little Spanish -- fabuloso!
There's also a fox (or a raccoon) called Swiper who shows up every so often to, ah, swipe something that Dora, Boots, and you at home have to find. To stop Swiper from swiping you have to find him, stick your hand out in front of you and say, "Swiper no swiping; Swiper no swiping; Swiper no swiping!" At which point Swiper snaps his fingers (claws?) and says "Ohhh maaaan."
That's all you need to know for now so what are we waiting for -- let's get to it!
Do-do-do-do-Dora! Do-do-do-do-Dora! Dora Dora Dora the explorer! Boots and super cool as Dora Dora! Need your help! Grab your backpack! Let's go! Jump in! Vamonos! You can lead the way!
Dora and her cousin Diego save Boots when he flies off on a kite.
Dora, Boots and Swiper help a little lost fox find its mommy. (Swiper's helping! Great!)
Dora and Boots find Boots' missing stuffed Dinosaur.
Dora and Boots help Roberto the, ah, Robot get to his Grandpa's house.
It's hard to write a review before you know where you need to go. So let's stop and think...whom do we ask for help when we don't know which way to go? (PAUSE) The Map! Will you check the Map to find out how to write this review? Great! But first you have to say Map. (PAUSE) Louder!
"I'm the Map! Judge Weiss needs help finding his way to the end of this review -- well I know how to get there. First, he needs to set it up. Then he needs to explain it. And finally he needs to wrap it up -- and if he can, try to catch some stars along the way. So that's how you get to the end of the review. Say it with me: Set it up. Explain it. Wrap it up."
Thanks Map. So where do we go first? Right, set it up.
Here's the thing about Dora -- it doesn't matter what episode you watch because they're basically all the same. Oh sure, each one has a different storyline, but you always have to follow the same steps to get to the conclusion.
Take the first episode: "Dora and Diego to the Rescue." It starts out with Dora and Diego saying "Hola" and asking us if we can spot some animals in the forest. Of course we can! There's an owl in the tree and a lizard on a rock and a monkey in the bushes -- hey! That monkey is Boots!
Boots shows Dora and Diego a giant kite he made all by himself, when suddenly a big gust of wind blows Boots up into the air and before anyone can do anything he flies away -- oh no! Don't worry Boots; Dora, Diego, and your friends at home will save you! But before we do we have to know where Boots is going. That's where our buddy the Map comes in -- Map sets down a path we all have to follow.
Map says we first have to cross the ocean, then make our way though the tall grass and then finally Polar Bear Mountain. After making sure we remember where we have to go, Map rolls itself up and plops back into Dora's backpack -- and off we go.
First up is the ocean. Can you see the ocean? (PAUSE) There it is! Oh my, there's a whale caught in a net! We need to get the whale out of the net! Diego, the brave lad, jumps right onto the whale's back and starts untying the knots holding the net in place -- we help by counting to twelve in Spanish. Once the whale is free Dora pulls out a life jacket from her trusty backpack (for safety!) and joins Diego across the ocean.
We've accomplished the first task! Now what do we have to do? (PAUSE) Right; find the tall grass. There it is! Do you hear crying? Look! A bunch of baby animals have lost their mommies. We can help find your mommies! Can you see mommy elephant, giraffe, hippo, and zebra? There they are!
Oh no! A lion is chasing us -- we need to run! There's a wall in our way! Dora, Diego, Boots and all the animals need our help. Come on everybody -- put your hands out in front of you and push. Push. PUSH! Great pushing everybody! Is that a baby lion crying? It is -- mommy lion is only looking for her baby. Here she is mommy lion. Awww, they're hugging, and now we're all friends. Not only that, we made it through the tall grass!!! Yay!!!
Our second task is over, but we still haven't saved Boots. Where do we go now? (PAUSE) Right; Polar Bear Mountain. Boots has been caught in a tree right above a sleeping polar bear!! We have to get there fast before the polar bear. oh no, the polar bear's awake. Now it's climbing the tree towards Boots! Let's go Diego! Luckily Diego has an adventure pack of his own -- and it can turn into a rocket sled (man, is that lucky). Diego and Dora get to Boots just as the polar bear reaches the kite. Whew. What? Oh, it's a friendly polar bear, and he just wanted to help Boots get his kite back. Thanks polar bear!
Now that Boots is safe, I've set up the review -- which was my first task! What do I have to do now? (PAUSE) Right; explain it! Well, what's to explain, that's the...err...the...oh crap, I can't find the word. I think I have something in my backpack that can help but I need you to say "backpack." (PAUSE) Say it again. (PAUSE) Louder!
Backpack says it has a thesaurus somewhere amongst all the junk Judge Weiss puts into it. Can you find the thesaurus? No, that's a travel mug. Try again. (PAUSE) You've found it. Good eye! The backpack is closing up shop -- yum yum yum yum yum -- delicioso!
Thanks everybody. So where was I? Oh yes, explaining the brilliance of Dora the Explorer, which is that no matter how repetitive the stories might seem to us -- the wee little ones absolutely love it! They love screaming Map and pointing to the screen and even saying Boots' name. Come on give it a try -- Boots. Feels good don't it? Sure it does! So now that I've explained it (what, like you were expecting a dissertation or something?) my second task is done! I guess that's just leaves me with, what? (PAUSE) Right; the wrap up!
Okay so to wrap up. hey is that a flying star? It is, it is! Reach out with your hands and grab the flying star! Reach, reach, reach. You caught the star -- great reaching everybody. Anyway to wrap up, the animation won't exactly knock your socks off, but it's just fine for what it needs to accomplish. The picture is clean and the sound is great. What's also nice is that each disc comes with a whole bunch of episodes, so you're definitely getting some bang for the buck -- especially when you consider your kid is going to watch them at least, oh, a gazillion times. This disc also comes with a "Move Like The Animals Do" music video -- it's short and sweet and you'll probably wish Swiper swiped the thing and tossed it into the forest for good.
What was your favourite part of the review? (PAUSE) Yeah, I liked that part too. My favourite part? I liked when I wrote the word "crap" in a Dora the Explorer review. That was fun.
Not guilty, and you know what that means? That's right, we did it! (Begin dancing.) You read the review and learned something new -- we did it, we did it, we did it, hurray! Dora is a hero and that is true -- we did it, we did it, we did it -- we did it! Nothing new under the sun here today, but the little ones at home will have so much fun -- hurray! Yeah! Whooo! Hurray! We DID it!
Review content copyright © 2006 Jonathan Weiss; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated G
* 3 Bonus Episodes
* "Move Like The Animals Do" Music Video
* Nick Jr. Dora Page