Dora the Explorer is the Hispanic title character in an animated cartoon for children. Dora made her premiere in 1999 on Nickelodeon, and by the year 2000 her show had become a network staple. In 2005, she became the first Hispanic character balloon to grace the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Dora is a cheerful, energetic and enthusiastic child with a wide circle of friends and a close and loving family. Each episode finds her character embarking on a mission to do a good deed or to help a friend. The mission usually consists of Dora going to three specific locations where she must find things or complete certain tasks. Sometimes Dora requests help from the audience to locate missing objects or to handle a situation. Needless to say, all of her adventures end in success.
At the end of each show, Dora and her supporters celebrate their victory and encourage the people watching the show to think about their favorite part of the day's adventure.
Dora is usually accompanied by her best friend Boots, a monkey. She is also aided in her quest by her magic purple backpack and her wise geography-savvy singing map. Other minor characters often put in helpful appearances as well.
All heroines, of course, must have an enemy to oppose them. Dora's rather benign enemy is Swiper, who does his best to swipe the objects Dora needs to find to complete her quest. (hence his name). Swiper is portrayed as more annoying than evil and can sometimes be talked into returning stolen items or even performing a helpful act like rescuing a puppy.
The animation is bright, and the simple plotlines and catchy tunes are designed to delight children (and their parents) while passing along important messages about appreciating different cultures, valuing friends and family, and being willing to work to reach a goal.
Dora is quite popular in with children in the United States. She has also become world famous. Dora the Explorer is broadcast in countries from China to Greece to Spain. There is even a Hebrew version.
Dora the Explorer is frequently seen on merchandise as well. Her face graces backpacks, shirts, jackets, shoes, hats, and jewelry. She is also the star of multiple video games including Backpack Adventure, Super Spies, and Dora the Explorer's World Adventure. Unfortunately, many Dora-themed toys are manufactured in China and were affected by the lead-based paint recall.
In today's challenging economy, many families are searching for activities they can enjoy together as a family, without the need to spend a lot of money. While going out to see a movie can be a beloved pastime for many people, it can often end up being very expensive, particularly if you have got a large family or if you want to enjoy extra treats such as popcorn and soft drinks. Despite the fact that viewing a matinee can help somewhat with the expense, an afternoon spent at the movie theater may still break the family entertainment budget.
Have Fun with a Movie Night with Your Family
Instead of spending money to take your whole family to the theater, try instituting a family movie night. This can actually be more fun than going to the theater, because there is virtually no end to the various movies you can choose from, whether they are on television, DVDs or even on VHS tapes. If you want to watch an assortment of movies, then try letting all of your family members take turns picking which movie to watch. Home videos are always a pleasurable thing to watch as well- maybe a birthday party you taped or some fun vacation reminiscences. You can make your night as simple or as detailed as you want to. As an example, one family might enjoy simply sitting on the couch with a big tub of popcorn, while the children in your family might have fun with setting up a popcorn stand inside your home and selling snacks to the family members. Your children might also enjoy making the tickets for the show as a fun craft. You may even get so wound up in the fun you are having that you forget that you're not spending very much money.
Protecting Family Movie Night Remembrances
When an opportunity like this comes up to capture precious memories, do not pass it up. Take pictures of everyone watching the movie together, or of the children popping popcorn and pouring drinks for movie snacks. If the children make movie posters, movie tickets, programs or other "movie paraphernalia," you owe it to yourself to save a couple so that you will be able to look back one day and enjoy the memories. Shadow box picture frames hung up on your walls are a great way to display all of your fun mementos. You could start a tradition of making one framed photo collage with things from each movie night, displaying them on the wall just like movie theaters display movie posters. For instance, a movie ad cut from a magazine, combined with a handmade movie ticket stub, perhaps a used candy box, and several family pictures of everyone enjoying the film together can be organized in a creative fashion in a single picture frame. Someday when your kids are all grown up you'll look fondly back at this day and the memories it holds. Plus, your kids will also enjoy looking back at these mementos when they are older.
You'll see what a good time you can have with your family when you use these ideas for your own family night.
TVLand and Nick-at-Night are not the only places we find classic television shows. They are cropping up more and more places. Classic TV collectibles are popular items on auction sites such as Ebay. Enter "Classic television show collectibles" into your Google-powered search engine and you will find around 170,000 possibilities.
Run through a few of those results and you will find everything from classic television DVDs, lunch boxes, costumes, watches, salt and pepper shakers, vintage posters, and dolls. A quick search on Amazon.com found "The Best of Donny and Marie (DVD) Volume 1 (1976)." There are websites and online stores whose sole purpose is to sell classic television paraphernalia. These sites are capitalizing on the baby boomer's affinity for nostalgia. Collectors are scooping up the vintage collectibles.
There are companies who are bringing back the collectibles by manufacturing "New Vintage" collectibles. New metal lunch boxes with Donny and Marie, Superman, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and even the Dukes of Hazzard are popping up all over the place. With true vintage lunch boxes going for hundreds of dollars, these "replacements", although lacking authenticity, are an affordable option for those who just want to revisit the good old days of classic television.
The release of classic TV DVDs has made it possible for people to sit back and enjoy hours of their favorite shows from yesterday. The appeal of these shows for many is the "down-home" nature of the comedy. They don't rely on profanity, off-color remarks, or blatant sexual angles for their humor. They remind us of a simpler time. Donny and Marie, Sonny and Cher, The Partridge Family, The Walton's, The Brady Bunch, and many more shows take us back to a time when it was okay to say things like "Gosh" and "Golly." It was more than okay to love your family and country. It was expected. It was safe to turn on the television with the family and enjoy a nice show together.
The collectibles associated with these shows are gaining in popularity. As many from those generations begin to find more time for hobbies and have a little extra disposable income, the collectibles are becoming more desirable. Donny and Marie dolls, which were released in August 1976 with an accompanying "TV Studio", are popular finds. Sonny and Cher costumes are popular at costume parties. The Partridge Family memorabilia is making a strong comeback, as well.
Some of these classic television shows are enjoying a rebirth due to remakes of the originals. The Brady Bunch surged forward after a new generation was exposed to a less-than authentic version of the show in the 1995 version. Even with the tongue-in-cheek style of this movie, many people began seeking authentic Brady Bunch memorabilia and collectibles. The market for these items soared. The same held true for the Scooby Doo collectibles after the 2002 release of the movie. This one was so popular a sequel was made. This remake has brought about a whole new market for Scooby Doo collectibles, new and old alike. After the movie was released classic Scooby Doo DVDs were flying off the shelves. With the popularity of these classic television remakes it is not unrealistic to expect many more to follow.
As with any commodity, as the demand increases, the price will rise. Many collectors search for pieces to round out their collection for a more intrinsic value, rather than simply price. A collection of classic television show collectibles may be worth a substantial amount of money, but it is the nostalgia that holds the true value. You can't put a price on the memories those collectibles will elicit, or the feelings locked deep inside that are released when you hold that Donny and Marie lunchbox just like the one you had as a kid.
To find that special classic TV DVD or other collectible it may be as simple as hitting search on your search engine. Whether it is a find at a garage sale or a purchase off the web, it is the joy of releasing that inner child and finding that peace that simple joys bring that makes classic television collectibles true treasures.
~Ben Anton, 2007