Julia and I looked into this and we have concurred, and this Jury of Two is prepared to pass judgment.
This is the original Dora the Explorer:
And here (below the fold) is the new Dora:
The original Dora had a backpack and a monkey, she had boot-like explorer shoes, sensible clothing, what looks to me like a watch with a compass built into it, a very sensible haircut, and a thirst for knowledge. When Julia saw the new Dora, she was a bit shocked. “No backpack. What about the monkey? Pockets? How can you be an explorer with no pockets? They turned her into a Barbie.”
“But what about her shoes?” I said, on Dora’s behalf, just in case.
“The shoes suck, if you’re an explorer.”
I had to agree.
And it gets worse. It is obvious that the new Dora has been somehow de-ethnic-isized (though Julia and I were both unsure of what Dora’s ethnicity was to begin with) and as La Feminista points out, you can’t be the Number One Latina Sciencey Role Model and have the option to change eye color in the computerized version, which apparently is the case.
La Feminista confirms that Boots the Monkey is out. And, the shift from sensible to cute footwear is outrageous. For an explorer.
What IS interesting about this Dora thing, and may well in the end be a success, is this whole idea of tracking the age of the generation to which Dora was introduced. It will be interesting to see what happens over the years as Dora experiences high school, with the social pressures to be stupid and to not be good at math because she is a girl; college, with the drinking parties and obnoxious frat boys; graduate school with the feudal patriarchal system, where someone gets to put their name on your written work because they bought some expensive machine that they let you use; and the job market where Dora may have to spend 12 years as a nomad before she can have any sort of job security at all.
Right. I can see the 35 year olds of 22 years from now coming home from a long day at The Lab and checking whatever the mid 21st century has to offer in lieu of Tivo to catch up on the latest episode.
When she’s 32, I’ll bet Dora gets the monkey back. Because it’s science. And you know what they say about science.
If you want a friend, get a monkey.