Tag Archives: Dora

TV Tuesday: What’s Up with Diego’s Voice?

The first time I watched a Diego crossover episode “Dora the Explorer”, I thought I was losing my mind. Diego showed up on the screen, which was fun and all to see him out of context. Everything was great until he spoke.

I don’t know who that was supposed to be, but it wasn’t Diego! Diego on “Dora” sounds so different from Diego on “Go Diego! Go!” that it’s almost like someone cloned Diego or stole his soul and sent him to “Dora”. He might look like Diego, but the proof of his being a clone, possessed or a zombie is the voice.

It might look like Diego, but it’s not him! It’s not! It’s creepy to hear him speak in that other voice.

For the last year and a half, I’ve been upset over this Diego mystery. I just didn’t understand why Nickelodeon wouldn’t have Diego’s actor go do the guest spots on “Dora”. It’s not like his show was on another network that would cause it to be a breech of contract. I just didn’t get it! They should have at least found an actor who sounded remotely like Diego to fill in for him over on “Dora”. Or not done the episodes at all. Something.

Well, never fear, for the sanity of my Kids Play the Darndest Things readers (or at least myself. I doubt anyone else cares much or even noticed) I have done some research. The reason Diego sounded possessed in that episode is that the first several times he appeared on “Dora”, his show wasn’t even released yet. He started appearing on Dora in 2003. Jake T. Austin, the actor that played Diego on “Go Diego! Go!” from 2005-2008, wasn’t playing him yet.

That explains an awful lot.

I’d also noticed that Diego sounded a little bit different lately. Not as disembodied as he does on “Dora” episodes, but just not quite like himself.

Sure enough, a new actor took over Diego’s voice in 2008. He’s currently voiced by Brandon Zambrano. I must say, they did a much better job matching voices this time around. I’m not nearly as disturbed by the new voice as I am by the old voice.

I still don’t understand why the original Diego voice had to be so completely different than what his voice is on “Go Diego! Go!” when they know they rerun the episodes in such abundance, but I guess I’ll survive.

Please tell me I am not the only one who obsesses over cartoon voices.

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Toy Industry Rant: Where is Boots Monkey?!

My daughter Lily has an obsession with “Dora the Explorer”, or, as she liked to call it when she was newly two, “Boots Dora”. Note that Boots’s name came before Dora’s. There was a reason and purpose to that. Lily thinks Boots Monkey is THE star of “Dora the Explorer”.

If you watch the show from her perspective, she is not incorrect. Boots is as integral to nearly every plot as Dora is. He does practically everything with her. He is almost never off the screen. I think he is supposed to be considered a sidekick, but I think to a lot of kids he seems more like a co-star. Backpack and Map, now those are some sidekicks. They help get the job done, but they don’t have as many lines or as much screen time as Dora. Boots is on the screen so much, his name should probably be in the title with Dora’s– “Dora and Boots the Explorers”. It doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it, but it’s more true to the show.

Despite Boots’s prominence in the show, there’s a ridiculous lack of Boots merchandise in most toy stores. When you get to the Dora section, there are usually plenty of Dora dolls in a wide-variety of sizes, but you are lucky to find even a 1-inch Boots action figure for the Magical Welcome Dollhouse. In fact, Dora’s Magical Welcome Dollhouse doesn’t even come with Boots. It only comes with Dora! What kind of madness is that?!

It’s really hard to find any Boots merchandise, which really gets to be a problem when your daughter thinks the show is actually titled “Boots Dora”. Boots appears on very few pieces of clothing. In fact, last year my daughter was so particular about her “Boots Dora” apparel that if someone got her a Dora shirt without Boots on it, she’d refuse to wear it.

When my daughter was wearing pull-ups, the industry’s apparent lack of concern over the appearance of Boots caused some major issues at our house. Boots was on the back of about half of the Pampers Easy-Ups. If Boots wasn’t on the back of her diaper, my daughter REFUSED to put it on. She refused to wear other brands as well. She is very picky about what she puts on her butt, apparently. So I ended up drawing Boots Monkey on the back of hundreds of Easy-Ups. Whenever we’d buy a new case of Easy-Ups, I knew I had a major art project ahead of me. I literally spent hours making sure there was always a Boots on her butt.

I got so irrate over this that I actually wrote an angry email to Pampers begging them to get more consistent about whether Boots is on the back of the Easy-Up or not. There was no good reason for him not to be on every single diaper! I got back an email that I would have to get my “idea” copyrighted for them to consider a “design change”. I was livid. It wasn’t a design change! I wasn’t looking for money! It was a simple request to just put the damn monkey on the back of every diaper so I could stop drawing! Surely my kid isn’t the only one who wants to see him there?

Apparently she wasn’t because Boots now seems to be on the back of each diaper. Go figure. No copyright or anything. (Maybe I should have gotten that copyright? Money? But I wanted the same design, just on every diaper instead of just half of them?)

I don’t think I’m insane to want to see more Boots products in the stores. I think most kids would love to have a 12-inch Boots Monkey to play with their 12-inch Dora. What fun is a Dora doll without a Boots Monkey?

It makes me wonder if the toy and clothing industry representatives who design and distribute Dora merchandise have ever actually watched the show. I think watching the show is an important part of doing your job as a person who designs and sells Dora products. If they actually watched the show, we’d have access to far more Boots products as well as plenty of things for Boots and Dora’s multitude of sidekicks. We would love to see more Benny the Bull products in this house!

So, toy/clothing/diaper industry people, if you are listening, just remember, Boots is not a sidekick. He’s a very important main character for most of the “Boots Dora” viewing audience. Give us more Boots stuff!

And you had better leave Boots on the back of every diaper or I have a Sharpie pen with your name on it. I’m out of the diaper drawing business! (Please start putting him on underwear too.)

Tell me I’m not alone in this outrage that is the lack of Boots Monkey merchandise! Maybe we should start a petition? Just kidding. Sort of.

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Filed under diapers, Dora, Pampers, Toy Industry Rant

Kids Play: The Secret Bear

This may look like an ordinary (Dora) dollhouse bed, but it contains a secret.

It has a secret trunk compartment. You press a button on the pillow, and this trunk pops out.

If you were 3 years old and faced with a tiny hidden compartment to a dollhouse bed, what would you do with it? That’s right, you’d put some “treasure” in it. In this case, the “treasure” is the bear that came with the Diego action figure.

That bear is never NOT in that compartment. It is where he lives, with the trunk pushed back into the bed. It always amuses me to pop the trunk out, open it and find this tiny little bear surprise inside it!

If you take the bear out and put him somewhere else, my daughter will find him and put him back immediately.

What quirky and funny things do your children do with their toys? Please submit your pictures, videos and stories to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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Kids Play: Proper Watercolor Technique


Proper watercolor technique includes completely demolishing the picture you are painting by using lots of water and pressing down HARD.

Send your amusing pictures and videos of your kids playing to creativekidsplay@gmail.com for publication on this blog.

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Kids Play: US map challenge

My 2-year-old A is obsessed with maps (thank you, Dora) to the extent that she can already identify most of the states and can quickly assemble a puzzle map of the US. The other day my mother exclaimed “Wow! I didn’t know she could put it together upside down!”

I thought she meant that A was sitting to the north of the US and looking at the map “upside down” (Is there really an “upside down” to a map? If you were in a spaceship, at some point couldn’t looking south be right side up? These are the ridiculous things I obsess over.). So I answered “Oh, she seems to prefer working on the map from a Canadian perspective. I think it’s easier to reach the pieces that way.”

“No, she’s putting the pieces together upside down. You have to see this!” said my mom.

Sure enough, A was swiftly and accurately assembling the puzzle picture-side down.

What on earth inspired her to do this? I don’t know. I doubt my ability to do the same thing and I’m 28 years older and (theoretically) wiser.

What crazy things have you found your kids doing with their toys? Submit your stories and pictures to creativekidsplay@gmail.comfor publication on Kids Play the Darndest Things. We’d love to hear your stories!

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Kids Play: Happy Birthday, Dora!

If you have a toddler girl, you probably live in the same Dora-obsessed world that we do. Today is Dora’s birthday. There is a special birthday show on Nickelodeon and all month long Nicklodeon has been hinting that we should do more than just watch the show to celebrate. Well, what choice did we mommies have but to follow through? I just took a chocolate cake out of the oven and today I sent my husband on yet another mission to find another Dora balloon.

This time he was successful! (Please ignore the toy insanity in the background.)

This Dora balloon is even more triumphant than the last one! I hope we don’t have another dismemberment tragedy this time.

Between the balloon, cake, tv show and some Dora pjs, I think it should be a pretty decent party considering Dora isn’t actually a real person (Shh! Don’t tell!).

What are you doing for Dora’s birthday tonight? Submit your pictures and stories to creativekidsplay@gmail.com and I will make you a toy blog star!

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Balloon Tragedy

At least 3 months ago, a tragedy happened at our house. 2-year-old A was obsessed with this Mylar Dora balloon her dad got for her during a (failed) potty training session. She spent several days dragging her Dora balloon with her everywhere. Dora used the potty more often than she did.

I was getting worried about what would happen when Dora deflated and was about to call the store to see if we could get the balloon refilled to make her last longer. Suddenly I heard a major toddler meltdown. A had been pulling Dora around by her string when suddenly Dora decided to lose a limb.


I guess all that loving was just too much for her.

Dora stayed afloat after this for a surprising amount of time. It was really creepy. Actually, the balloon was pretty creepy BEFORE she lost the leg, so afterward I felt like I was on a “Twilight Zone” episode or something.

I had to sneak the balloon carcass out at night while A was sleeping to prevent further upsetting her. She noticed Dora was gone first thing in the morning. It’s been more than 3 months and she still talks about this balloon and asks where it is all the time. We wanted to buy her a new one, but we were never able to find another Dora balloon like this one.

It’s a tragedy.

Have a funny toy tragedy to share? Send your stories and pictures to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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Help, help, my tail!

My 2-year-old A has Dora’s Magical Welcome Dollhouse and several of the dolls that go with it.

Technically Pablo from “The Backyardigans” is not a member of the Dora team, but since he’s also a Nickelodeon character, he gets to play too. He came with a Play-Doh pirate ship kit. Isn’t he cute?

Whenever A plays with her dollhouse, the dolls take turns getting stuck in the crack in the roof that is formed when you push two segments of the dollhouse together.

What cracks me up about this is that every character gets a different part of itself stuck in the roof. And she makes them all call for help and declare what part of themselves got stuck in the roof.

Boots: Help, help! My boot! I’m stuck!

Dora: Help, help! My arm! I’m stuck!

Isa: Help, help! My tail! I’m stuck!

Pablo: Help, help! My shovel! I’m stuck!

Diego: Help, help! My rescue pack! I’m stuck!

The characters take turns “rescuing” each other. “Rescuing” involves knocking the stuck character out of the hole and onto the floor.

Then they ask one another if they are ok. Everyone is. Then everyone gets stuck all over again.

Please submit your funny toy stories to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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