As they did with Rugrats, in an attempt to keep young cartoon icons popular with children nearing the teen years, Nickelodeon will present their new version of a preteen Dora the Explorer doll next fall. The silhouette previews of the aged Dora, put out by Nickelodeon and to be manufactured by Mattel, have ignited controversy and outraged many parents.
Currently, Dora the Explorer is an adorable and chubby toddler-like cartoon figure with a short bouncy hairdo who speaks both English and Spanish, uses maps, and goes on outdoor adventures with her best friend Boots the monkey and her trusty backpack while trying to outfox Swiper the fox.
According to a New York Daily article, a petition by critics claims, “If the Dora we knew grew up, she wouldn’t be a fashion icon or a shopaholic. She’d develop her map reading skills and imagine the places she could go.”
A few other protests to the new tween Dora the Explorer that I’ve witnessed online this morning include fear of robbing children of their innocence, fear that tween Dora will be too sexy and increase child molestation, and that girls will think fashion and gadgets are more valuable than outdoor skills and imagination.