If I had to make a list of beloved animated children’s shows which I feel are ill-suited to become live-action movies, I couldn’t promise you that Dora the Explorer would be number 1, but it would definitely make the top 5.
I mean… I guess Spongebob might be even stranger, as a live-action affair. Though I suppose they could deal with the water through CGI.
The main problem, for me, is that Dora—while hugely popular, yes—is specifically designed to look like a computer game. A computer game for 2-to-5-year-olds. Does the same demographic that shrieks “MAP! MAP! MAAAAAAP!” at the television care if Dora is a real person as opposed to a cartoon? I think not. Additionally, live-action implies something exciting to me, something which feels even more cutting-edge and dangerous when it involves a real person.
I’m not sure how scary it’s going to be to watch Dora help little birds find their nests and stuff. Will we have an entire theater of preschoolers screaming “LOOK OUT FOR THE BIG CHICKEN, DORA!”?
The show’s been a marketing bonanza for Nickelodeon, which has spun “Dora” off into a lucrative merchandising business and a live stage show.
[Nickelodeon's president of animation] Johnson says Nick will likely hold a national casting call for the live-action Dora – who will be a little older in the movie to corrall a family-oriented audience.
“Our first priority is to cast someone who’s Latina and bilingual,” she says. “We’ll cast someone between the ages of 10-13.
I thought Dora was around five or six years old, myself. Someone between 10 and 13? I dunno. Maybe she’ll suggest we all look in her PURSE for her LIPSTICK just to keep the whole feel of traditional Dora.
Clearly, I’m skeptical. We’ll see, I guess.