For the first time in two seasons of writing this blog, I have found myself utterly floored by my viewing experience - simply because more so than any other adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" this one is resolutely not aimed at me, at all. Not one bit.
Dora the Explorer is an American educational show aimed at the under fives which attempts to teach basic principals of language, reading and interaction.
Being a thirty-two year old man with no children of my own, this poses something of a quandary for me. How am I to judge the quality of something that has no interest in whether or not I enjoy or understand it? Well the same could be said for many of the previous adaptations and that didn't stop me then, so I shall try my best.
Dora is preparing for Christmas with a Nochebeuna party - a Latin American Christmas Eve celebration. I'm not entirely sure who she is, or what she is doing without parents or guardians at Christmas, nor why her only friends seem to be animals and a talking backpack.
This version's Scrooge is a mischievous creature of indiscernible origin named Swiper, who decides to steal the star from the top of the Christmas tree and in doing so, earns himself a spot on Santa's "Naughty List."
It's up to Dora to travel back in time, and to the future to save her friend from the ire of Father Christmas, with a handful of songs, lessons and cloyingly repetitive interactions.
Young children will probably love this, but as far as Christmas specials go, I can't help but think it is clearly lacking in quality as far as animation or writing are concerned. Shows primarily aimed at a similar audience such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, have consistently proven that just because your primary audience is young girls, it doesn't mean that your product has to be rubbish, cheap looking - or even worse, a cynical cash in for parents to buy in the build up to Christmas.
That said, it's innocent and innocuous enough to while a precious hour of childhood away on and it's just possible that the sickly sweet morals and rudimentary life skills it attempts to instil might somehow be doing some good in the long run.
As repetitive as an advent calender.
"Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure." (2009) 2/5