If your kids are anything like mine then they love Dora, actually in our house our littlest kiddos adore her! It’s hard to believe that Dora burst onto our television screens, and into our hearts 10 years ago! Dora the Explorer debuted on August 14, 2000 and Dora instantly made history as the first animated Latina character in a leading role. Dora the Explorer debuted at number one—and stayed there! Dora has crossed social, language, and racial boundaries as a little girl standing tall as a hero and a friend to millions of children around the world!
Nickelodeon is celebrating Dora’s landmark 10th anniversary with the premiere of the hour-long primetime TV movie, “Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure” on Sunday August 15th at 8pm (ET/PT). Guest stars include Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, and Hector Elizondo! Following the TV movie, at 9pm (ET/PT), Nick will premiere the specially commissioned Dora 10th anniversary documentary, a 12-minute tribute to the preschool icon executive-produced by Academy Award®-nominated Brett Morgen. The documentary features Anderson Cooper, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Rosie Perez, Salma Hayek Pinault, Shakira, Soledad O'Brien, Sherri Shepherd, plus the series creators, media experts and real-life kids.
“For the past 10 years, Dora the Explorer has been a pioneer – a symbol of empowerment, diversity and education,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon. “She has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world and will continue to inspire and entertain preschoolers for many years to come.”
Since launching on Nickelodeon Aug. 14, 2000, Dora the Explorer has emerged as a pop culture phenomenon and is currently the number-one rated preschool show on commercial television year-to-date. (Source: NMR, Live+7 Blended with Live+SD from 12/28/09-7/20/10). Dora the Explorer, which can be seen in 151 markets and is translated into 30 languages, has been honored with awards including the Peabody, NAACP, Alma, Imagen, Latino Spirit, Gracie Allen, Parents' Choice Award, the Television Critics Association Award and has received 16 Daytime Emmy nominations.
In “Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure,” a twisting wind has blown Dora and Boots into Wizzle World, a land located in the Magic Storybook. Dora and Boots can’t jump out of the Magic Storybook without first taking Dora’s crystal to the Wishing Wizzle (Hector Elizondo) so he can wish them back home in time for Dora’s birthday party with all her family and friends. They set off an adventure to Wishing Mountain, but they better watch out for La Bruja (Rosie Perez) and her Flying Monkeys (John Leguizamo) who don’t like wishes and try to stop Dora and Boots. In order to overcome the obstacles, Dora and Boots reflect back on past adventures to guide them along the way.
The premiere of “Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure” will simulcast on Nick Mobile on Sunday, Aug. 15. Additionally in August, a selection of fan-favorite Dora the Explorer episodes will be available on Nick on Demand and celebratory-themed episodes of Dora will be released across Nickelodeon’s Download-to-Own partners. Fans can also visit www.nickjr.com for a sneak peek of “Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure” on Monday, Aug. 2. Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, the “Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure” DVD will be available on Aug. 3, 2010. New Dora the Explorer content will be updated monthly for preschoolers and their parents at www.doratheexplorer.com.
Nickelodeon is also marking the 10th anniversary of Dora the Explorer, with a multi-year, multi-platform pro-social campaign titled “Beyond the Backpack.” Named for Dora’s iconic backpack, “Beyond the Backpack,” champions overall school readiness for preschoolers as they prepare for the important adventure of starting school.
In partnership with National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and other experts and leaders in school readiness, “Beyond the Backpack” provides parents with tools and resources that can help kids prepare for a well-rounded, positive experience as they enter kindergarten. The components of “Beyond the Backpack,” include dedicated PSAs; a web site (www.dora.beyondthebackpack.com) with customized resources and learning activities including a curriculum-focused checklist for parents to determine if their child is ready for kindergarten, links to partner organizations, financial resources and grants; fundraising activities; and community events.
Also, in support of “Beyond the Backpack,” Salma Hayek Pinault along with other celebrities will be featured in PSAs alongside Dora speaking about the campaign. Hayek Pinault, Shakira, and Slash along with other celebrities are designing one-of-a-kind, Dora-inspired backpacks to be auctioned globally this summer. One hundred percent of the U.S. proceeds will benefit the Children’s Defense Fund and international proceeds will go toward childhood education.
Dora the Explorer, created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh Valdes and Eric Weiner, is a play-along, animated adventure series starring Dora (Caitlin Sanchez). Dora is a seven-year-old Latina heroine whose adventures take place in an imaginative, tropical world filled with jungles, beaches and rainforests. She explores her world just as preschoolers do everyday, and the show is designed to actively engage its audience in an interactive quest using a variety of learning techniques.
So make sure you grab your kiddos and tune in Sunday August 15th for the premiere of “Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure” and stick around for the 10th anniversary documentary afterward!
And make sure you check back soon because I will be interviewing one of the stars of Dora the Explorer and sharing it with all of you!