Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Dora and Friends: Into The City

Dora and Friends: Into The City

Spring 2015 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV Y
pre-schoolers called Dora and Friends: Into the City, a half-hour animated series that premiered on Nickelodeon in August of 2014.

Here, Dora has blossomed into an energetic 'tween . . . but she retains her trademark good cheer and determined nature, and uses it to encourage a diverse group of new friends to get involved in community service. She still peppers her dialogue and songs with both English and Spanish, and she still addresses little viewers to engage them in the show's storyline and quiz them on basic pre-school readiness skills. But pre-teen Dora now sports a magical charm bracelet and in a nod to 21st century technology, the Map character is a "Map APP" on Dora's cell phone. Fans of Dora the Explorer will meet a new gang of gal pals as well as a guy named Pablo and together they learn about teamwork and encourage others to collaborate to solve problems.

In "We Save a Pirate Ship," a community festival suffers a set-back but Dora and friends use imagination to turn a run-of-the-mill row boat into a spectacular ship full of surprises. In "Dora Saves Opera Land," Dora and friends work together to defeat a devious opera diva who has stolen all of the music from Opera Land. (That episode includes a nice treat for grown-ups because the opera diva is voiced by Broadway and television star Megan Hilty.) And in "The Search for Mono," Dora helps a young boy search for his lost toy, teaching simple deep-breathing techniques to calm the upset boy and logic to help him re-trace his tracks.

According to the program's website, each episode is embedded with "lessons intended to develop preschoolers' interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, linguistics skills, and music skills." The familiar musical interludes, simple quizzes, and whimsical fantasy sequences will delight loyal fans from Dora's "Explorer" days but the more modern details that make up 'tween Dora's world will certainly draw new viewers to the screen, too - and viewers from both groups are sure to come away equally satisfied.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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