14 Fun Facts About Dora the Explorer

Wondering who's who in Dora the Explorer? This handy chart will help!
Wondering who's who in Dora the Explorer? This handy chart will help!. Nickelodeon

When a little girl named Dora Marquez wandered onto our television screens in August 2000, few could have predicted how influential she would be on children's television and on popular culture. Debuting at number one, Dora the Explorer featured the first animated Latina character in a leading role as well as a whole cast of animated characters -- a monkey, a fox and others who would soon become cemented in children's minds and hearts.

In commemoration of Dora's tenth anniversary, Nickelodeon has compiled these facts about everyone's favorite preschool heroine:

  1. On Aug. 14, 2000, Dora the Explorer premiered on Nickelodeon and instantly ranked as the number-one rated preschool show on commercial television.
  2. Dora was the first Nickelodeon Preschool character to appear online prior to making her on-air debut, on Aug. 14, 2000.
  3. The first Spanish word taught on Dora the Explorer was azul (blue).
  4. Dora the Explorer is broadcast all over the world, syndicated to TV broadcasters in 151 markets and translated into 30 languages.
  5. Dora teaches Spanish in the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland, but teaches English in every other market around the world.
  6. The inspiration for the name Dora Marquez was exploradora, the Spanish feminine word for explorer, and the acclaimed writer Gabriel García Márquez.
  7. Every episode of Dora the Explorer is screened by at least 75 preschoolers before it airs on TV.
  8. More than 20 educational and cultural consultants have worked on Dora the Explorer since the series premiered.
  9. Approximately 300 people work on Dora the Explorer, and it takes over a year to produce a single episode of the show.
  10. Dora the Explorer has been honored with awards including the Peabody, NAACP, Alma, Imagen, Latino Spirit, Gracie Allen, Parents’ Choice Award, the Television Critics Association Award and 16 Daytime Emmy nominations.
  11. In 2005, the Dora the Explorer balloon made its debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Dora was the first-ever Latina character to appear in the parade.
  12. Swiper and Map are voiced by the same actor, Marc Weiner.
  13. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt helped prepare their older children for the birth of their twins by showing them an episode of Dora the Explorer where Dora’s mom has twins. (Source: People magazine, Aug. 18, 2008).
  14. Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Cheech Marin, Hector Elizondo, Chita Rivera, Esai Morales, Paul Rodriguez, Richard Kind, Susie Essman, Ricardo Montalban and Howie Dorough have all guest-starred on episodes of Dora the Explorer.

Want more on Dora? Check out our Character Guide, a Decade of Dora round-up and read an interview with Dora creator and executive producer Valerie Walsh Valdes.

Source: Nickelodeon

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  1. Nickelodeon Animation. Dora the Explorer.

  2. Navarro, M. (2001, July 2). Nickelodeon's Bilingual Cartoon 'Dora' Is a HitThe New York Times, Section C, p.1.