This past weekend, the creators of the children’s classic TV series Dora the Explorer celebrated their 10th Anniversary on Nickelodeon with an hour long prime time movie entitled Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure.
The show, created by Valarie Walsh Valdes, became a perennial hit a decade ago when it first originally aired on CBS. The show, which ran for six years on CBS, would later move to Nickelodeon in 2006. The scintillating series’ – which has been highlighted by a young and spunky animated Latina – original purpose was to find a character suitable to the needs of the younger Latin generation, according to Valdes in her interview with Latina.Com. What many may find bemusing in regards to the origin of Dora is the fact that before she was birthed as a Latina, she first was molded as a Caucasian character. “Dora was Caucasian originally. She was white, and had Auburn, reddish hair and green eyes. One of the executives at Nickelodeon, Brown Johnson, came to us because she had just come from a conference about how few positive images of Latinos there were on TV, and they were asking producers and networks to address that.,” said Valdes.
“So she came to us, and said, ‘Do you think you could make this girl Latina?’ None of us were from that background, so we hired a Latino writer and many cultural consultants to help us navigate that. The consultant said, ‘You know, you really should try to make her look more representative of Latinos, because even though we have redheads with green eyes in Latin America, it’s more the exception rather than the rule.”
As for Dora possibly considering retirement, the creator snubbed all possibilities for the animated star’s departure by saying: “Dora is perpetually seven years old. [Laugh]. We’re just premiering a sixth season and we’re still as excited about it today as we were when we first started making it.”