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Still shot from the movie: Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure.

Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure

Dora the Explorer celebrates her tenth anniversary as a TV series in this special program. Following the show's usual formula, the spunky, Spanish-speaking lass (voice of Caitlin Sanchez) and her monkey pal Boots map out a course to bring them home to family and friends in time for a big birthday party. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A 5.0
Violence: A-
Sexual Content: A
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Run Time: 30
Theater Release:
Video Release: 03 Aug 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
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In August of 2010, Dora the Explorer turns ten—although the cartoon character herself doesn’t look nearly that old. To celebrate the anniversary of this children’s television show, Nickelodeon has produced a 30-minute special titled, Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure. It is scheduled to début on the network on Sunday August 15, 2010, and is available for purchase on DVD as of August 3, 2010.

Those familiar with the perky Latino adventurer will find this production to be much like an extended version of the popular preschool program. The story begins with Dora (voice of Caitlin Sanchez) intending to return to her friends and family who are preparing a birthday party. However, an unexpected whirlwind blows the girl and her pal Boots back into The Magic Storybook, trapping them in the world of the Wizzles. There, the puffy yellow creatures explain she can only get home if the Wishing Wizzle (voice of Hector Elizondo) is able to find a missing crystal that gives him the power to grant such requests. Coincidentally, Dora has the lost piece. So she and Boots set out on a path to return the magic stone.

As in all other episodes, Dora must use her map to chart this course. And there are obstacles she must overcome, including a sea snake, a dancing forest and a rainbow. Interfering with her progress is a witch called La Bruja (voice of Rosie Perez) and her flying monkeys (voices by John Leguizamo). Yet, along with the tools in her backpack, Dora has been given some advice to help her overcome whatever adversity she may face during this journey. She has been told to, "Recuerda tus amigos" (remember your friends).

This also serves as a handy way for the writers to insert flashbacks from previous shows into the plotline. Fans of the series may enjoy having their memories jogged too by these sequences that highlight Dora’s best problem solving skills from the last decade.

Anyone familiar with The Wizard of Oz is sure to notice some similarities between the classic movie and this script (although the 1939 MGM production is certainly the more frightening of the two). With her usual finesse Dora conquers all challenges, while teaching Spanish, modeling love and loyalty, and offering an entertaining educational experience.

Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure is rated Not Rated: Not Rated

Director: Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh Valdes
Cast: Caitlin Sanchez, Hector Elizondo, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo
Studio: 2010 Nickelodeon
Website: Official site for Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure.

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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