Dora, don't grow up!

By now, most parents know that Dora the Explorer is getting a makeover . I just got a sneak peek of Dora's new look from MomLogic. Apparently Dora is moving to a different jungle -- the urban jungle -- and attends middle school with some fancy new friends and fancy new outfits. Check out her transformation....

From this.....

..... to this!

Yep, she definitely wouldn't be able to swing from vines in that outfit. And no way she's going to play with Boots the monkey now, he might splatter mud or bananas all over that pretty pink tunic.

So, what do you think about all the uproar? After all, Dora isn't the first character to undergo a makeover. Look at Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck: they look radically different now from when they were first created by Walt Disney in the 1950's. Even boys' cartoons like The Transformers have undergone, uh, transformations. But for some reason, marketers seem to think that girls need to grow up sooner and sooner. Check out these girls' cartoon characters:

Here's the 1980's cartoon icon, Strawberry Shortcake, looking all cute and vintage-y, just like I remember her from when I was growing up...

She was given a makeover several years ago to give her a more modern look, but she still looks like a spunky little girl.

And here's her latest look, circa 2008. Now she spends more time with her cellphone than her pet cat, Custard.

How about this one from the 70's.... Holly Hobbie? This must have come out in the Philippines at the height of the "Little House on the Prairie" TV series, and I remember how everyone just had to have Holly Hobbie pencil cases and stationery!

Here's the Holly Hobbie of the 21st century... no longer a little prairie girl.

Last one...check out the new Care Bears!

What's up with that? Interesting how all these characters now have sultry, long hair, sexy clothes and a hint of lipstick. Oh, and it looks like they've lost all their baby fat, too.

Personally, I think tweenie Dora looks a lot better than preschool Dora -- I always thought Dora's head and hair looked weird -- but I'm not a 3-year old. Why not let little kids look like litte kids? Hey, not every character has to look like Barbie! I understand that they're trying to grow Dora along with their audience, but there will always be preschoolers to take the place of the ones who turn 5 and 6 and 7. Can you imagine the 7, 8 or 9-year olds abandoning High School Musical and Hannah Montana to go back to Dora, just because she has earrings and a hip outfit? Nuh-uh. Are they going to keep preschool Dora and tweenie Dora? Confuuusing!


WkSocMom said...

I had no idea, just saw a brief reference on the SV moms Wii fit post. My kids are not so into Dora or Diego so haven't been paying attention. And although my husband called her head and eyes freaky :) I agree with you, I loved the fact that she had a total preschool body with very simple clothes.

Robyn - Who's the Boss? said...

the perfectly curled, long hair is what bugs me. how did dora's hair grow so fast?

I don't understand why she needs to grow up at all. i doubt an 8 yo is gonna admit she watches dora regardless of the make-over.

teachmama said...

Oh, no!! I am so sad about this. I'm personally not ready or wiling to accept this Dora transformation. My daughter can discover teen Dora next year when she hits Kindergarten. I'll control what I can, while I can, I suppose. Great post--very interesting comparisons!!

Asianmommy said...

Wow--I didn't realize this was happening. These characters have really lost their innocent look & appeal.

2KoP said...

While it's fun to see the transformation of these cartoon characters, I do worry about the hyper-sexualization of little girls. Those images make lasting impressions.

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