Dora the Explorer Grows Up and Makes Human Friends

Did you know Dora the Explorer has been on the air for 14 years? Well, it has, and now the show's creators are looking to extend Dora's lifespan a little longer by introducing Dora and Friends: Into the City, a new show that will feature an older Dora. The catch? New episodes of the original show are still airing.

Dora and Friends was first announced in 2013, but premieres Monday night. The Los Angeles Times reports that even though Dora is now 10 instead of seven, her show is still meant for preschoolers:

Older Dora is meant as a companion piece — an aspirational figure to little ones — according to creators Chris Gifford and Valerie Walsh Valdes, who also were behind the original show.

Gone are the rain forest and Dora's trusty sidekick, Boots the monkey. The aged-up Dora takes on city life and is in a school where she has human friends who take part in real-life and magical adventures. She's armed with a magical charm bracelet, and in a true sign of the times, her dependable Map has been upgraded to a Map app on her phone. Music is also a heavy player in the new series.

Apparently the new show will focus more on bullying and other hot-button friendship issues.

In a review of the new show, Patrick Kevin Day (also at the LA Times) wrote that Dora and Friends is full of music, but that it's also a little more chill than the original: "In the big city there's little room for the commonplace weirdness of Dora the Explorer's landscape"

Nickelodeon has come out ahead of any backlash that there might be about their new programming direction by posting a list of FAQ's on their website about it. Unfortunately, at no point do they explain the crazy coincidence that they named two of Dora's friends after me and my sister or why children enjoy watching programming where the voices of the characters are so so high.

Images via Dora and Friends/Nick Jr.