This post is also being featured over at Mamamia.
Gone is the gender-ambiguous seven year old tomboy with bowl cut and boots, replaced by a lean tweenage girl with sleek accessories and a bouncy mane of shampoo-commercial hair.
Gone is the passe old paper map and the cumbersome purple backpack, replaced by a smartphone with a talking street directory app and a magical bracelet that matches her earrings.
Gone are the posse of anthropomorphic animal friends, replaced by three perky girls and a boy called Pablo. Old faithfuls Boots, Benny, Tico and Isa have been retired to the metaphorical glue farm, replaced by a girl-gang consisting of new friends Kate, Naiya, Emma and Alana.
Our intrepid explorer has grown up, found some human friends and stars in a new animated series called “Dora and Friends: Into the City”.
Series producer Nickelodeon has openly stated that the new-look 10 year old Dora was created as an aspirational role model for preschoolers. According to voice actor Fatmia Ptacek “She is still super adventurous. She is still very loyal to her friends, loves helping out and solving problems,” whilst adding “(Dora) is a little bit more sassy now – so she can crack jokes with her friends.”
A latin-influenced theme song? A gritty urban setting? An optimistic dreamer and her troupe of sassy gal pals taking on the world with a token male BFF in tow?
We’ve seen this before.
It would appear that Nickelodeon has just reimagined “Dora the Explorer” as a pre-teen version of “Sex in the City” for preschoolers. The new Dora Marquez is the Carrie Bradshaw of children’s television. Her friends – a blonde, a redhead and a brunette – the animated versions of Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.
Follow Dora and the gang as they the strut down the streets of Playa Verde, like the self-assured little urban sophisticates they are. What adventures do our tweenage heroes have in store for us?
Watch as they shop for padded bras, flick through Teen Vogue and rummage around in rhinestone-clad clutch bags for lip gloss and sanitary products.
Watch as they totter around in baby Manolos, weave loom bands into life-size replicas of Harry Styles and send ugly SnapChat selfies of themselves across the table to each other.
Watch as they sip on virgin Cosmopolitans, talk about their teen crushes and furtively shave their legs while fishing for “likes” with fish-lipped poses on social media.
And no doubt, in true pre-teen style, they all explode in a big quivering mess of hormones and uncontrollable angst and everyone hates each other and it’s pretty much the end of the world, every single episode. Mami makes the mistake of asking Dora to clean her room and faster than you can say “Vamonos”, it’s on. Doors get slammed, dishes get hurled, no one understands me, no one cares and no-I-will-NOT-do-this-simple-task-you-requested! I HATE YOU!
The new Dora. Giving toddlers and preschoolers everywhere, explosive tween tantrums to aspire to.