Posted by: Elizabeth | April 11, 2012

Dora the Explorer

I avoided Dora for as long as possible, because I thought she was possibly the most annoying children’s personality on television. (I later discovered that Thomas the Tank Engine is far worse…) But one day we were home sick, and Caroline and I had both had enough Sesame Street, so we gave Dora a try. Caroline has been obsessed ever since. We only watch it on Netflix streaming or cable on demand, so we’ve only seen older episodes; I understand Dora’s character has evolved into a more princess-like little girl more recently, and I’ll continue to try to avoid that one. Caroline is also obsessed with one particular episode, in which Dora and Boots rescue a baby crab caught in a net and help him get back to his mommy. We can both pretty much quote that entire episode from memory, and I often have to roll my eyes as I find myself singing the dumb little songs all through the day.

While I no longer want to poke my eyes out when Dora comes on, and would much rather watch Dora than Thomas or Blues Clues, I’m still pretty annoyed by her. Here are a few reasons why:

1. On the on demand shows, we have the advantage of no commercials for toys we don’t need but Caroline would be seduced by, but we are subjected, before each episode, to a whitening toothpaste commercial and a “music video” for Nickelodeon’s Fresh Beat Band’s song, “Party like a rock star,” neither of which have any relevance for my 2-year-old (or her mom, for that matter.) If I forget to fast-forward through these two things, Caroline inevitably nervously asks me, more than once, “Is Dora coming, Mom?”

2. Perhaps this is precisely why the tiny kids love it, but EVERY EPISODE IS THE SAME. Dora needs to get somewhere, she “doesn’t know how to get there,” she pulls out her trusty map, and lo and behold, she has to go through two other places to reach her desired destination. Then she needs some kind of tool, and she magically has it in her backpack. Boring.

3. Every character on Dora’s show YELLS every one of her/his lines. I do not understand this.

Of course, it could be worse. We could be listening to that Thomas the Tank Engine song over and over again…



  1. Ben came home today and was singing a radio song. I couldn’t stop singing a Little Einstein’s song. We also only watch on demand. I’ve considered Thomas because of our train obsession, but I will now steer clear. We have not entered Dora. I also bought Cars for our recent trip to Dallas, because of the less annoying voices. G was not entrhalled, but now asks for CARS when we get in the car. Also annoying :)

    • Amanda, some people really do not mind Thomas. Maybe I’ve just watched the wrong episodes, but the few I’ve seen include UNENDING repetitions of a very long song in which every character (train car) in the show is introduced. Very annoying. I’ve never watched Little Einsteins – how’s that? We haven’t ventured into full-length movie land, either… I really just appreciate Sesame Street more and more with each new adventure.

  2. So not for the love of your sanity allow her to browse Netflix instant. We are stuck in a My Little Pony and Angelina Ballerina trap. Oh, how I miss watching Thomas only

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