I need YOUR help

About three months ago Madelyn got a pair of hand-me-down boots with Dora the Explorer on the side. “Dora!” she immediately squealed. Huh? We had no Dora objects in the house, no TV, and Madelyn hadn’t started attending preschool yet. But somehow, she knew.

Recently Erin started DVR-ing Dora episodes. I watched one the other day with Madelyn. I was alternately horrified and becalmed. I don’t like the fact that Dora, Boots, Tico and almost every other character never speak; they yell. Is this a cartoon or an NFL pregame show? OTOH, I’m hip to the Spanish and the interactivity, even if the latter is stilted.

Dora the Explorer screencap showing mouse pointer and highlight effect

The show’s use of a mouse pointer and GUI-style effects (at right; larger) is very interesting. The arrow is used in “interactive” sequences, when characters are waiting for children watching to identify objects, count things, remind Dora what step is next, etc. A click and beep sound effect make clear it’s a computer being emulated by this pointer. And in fact, the framing of the opening sequence is literal, the whole show takes place on a computer.

Meanwhile, now Madelyn has introduced Dora into her language. She asks for help like Dora does. She freaks out when she sees anything which looks like a map. And she sings the “We did it!” song, which is one strong song virus, lemme tell ya.

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5 Responses to I need YOUR help

  1. Jeff Watkins says:

    We let Molly watch one DVD of Dora and now all she does is run around asking for Boots. It’s driving me crazy! What are we to do with a baby with a Boots obsession? We already stopped playing the DVD, but that doesn’t seem to have solved the problem.

  2. Bill H-D says:

    Oh yeah, welcome to Dora.

    SNL had a pretty good take on it:

    http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/index.shtml#mea=84996

  3. Mollie says:

    Very funny video!

    Welcome to the club! Oliver is a “Backyardigan” fan. He has a 2 foot Tyrone that he got for Christmas 3 years ago. Tyrone sleeps with him every night- no matter where we are.

    (Wait until you have Dora songs on your ipod. Oh wait, that’s me)

  4. cbd says:

    I just cut down a Dora episode and saw the commercials M. is missing. Sadly, they’re even dumber than the crap foisted at me during football.

    @Bill, thanks for the link; I’m surprised to see something funny from SNL!

  5. Brendan says:

    Avery (23months) hasn’t found Dora yet, but we have seen other things filter in that we weren’t showing her. Those darn kids at the YMCA daycare:

    1. Vroom vroom noises. About a month ago, Avery started making vroom vroom noises with her toy vehicles and when looking at train imagery (though not other vehicles, which all fall into the category of “ca” or “BuSSS!”

    2. Snoring. Yesterday, as I lay on the couch while she played, she came over and put her head down on my chest and started making fake snoring noises.

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