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.
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.