Monday, May 16, 2016

Return of an Old Friend

It has been a few years since Raphaela has watched Dora the Explorer, she outgrew the fascination with a magical back pack and talking animals who live in the Amazon Rain Forest.  Dora never seemed to go to school, as she was too busy on her fantastical adventures, and her parents didn't seem to mind.

Recently, we discovered a new show called Dora in The Big City, in which Dora is a teenager, her family has moved out of their colorful isolated cabin in the Amazon and into a posh beachfront town.  Dora has one friend who is a boy (Pablo) and a group of girls who of course represent all the politically correct skin tones and ethnicities.  Dora has also traded in her magical back pack for a magical bracelet; at the end of each show, she and her friends hang out at a juice bar on the pier, and talk about how great it feels to help others.

Dora still does not seem to attend high school.

Well, yesterday we were channel hopping, and delighted in the teenage Dora show, because it was a reunion/cross-over with her old Explorer self.  Her best friend, the monkey Boots, needed help, because the Swiper the Thieving Fox stole Back Pack and Talking Map.  Which of course led to Dora and her troupe to travel by train plane and automobile, and boat, to the Amazon Rain Forest, her former home.

And of course we got to see all of her old friends: Benny the Strong Dumb Ox , Isa the Lizard Gardener, Tiko the Gay English speaking squirrel, Big Red Chicken, Roberto the Robot, etc.  They hadn't changed a bit, and I found myself getting choked up as well.

What impressed me most was that the fox not only acknowledged his stealing ways, but he also showed genuine remorse and helped locate the items.  A redemption of sort for the character, except for that brief moment when he contemplated grabbing Dora's magical bracelet.

At the end of the show, after they did the stupid kid Dora dance and sang of a mash up of the new and old series song, all the new and old characters had a sleepover in Dora's TARDIS-like tree house (bigger on the inside) in her backyard, in the Big City.  As Dora said, and as I concurred, "We were all having such a wonderful time together and getting along so well, I didn't want it to end."

As the screen faded to black, Boots the Monkey started to tell the story of how he and Dora accidentally turned Benny into a potato.

That was one of my favorite episodes...

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