A pre-teen Dora is coming soon to a TV near you, and she’s doing some exploring—in the big city. A Nickelodeon press release recently announced the upcoming debut of “Dora and Friends: Into the City,” a spinoff of the popular preschool series, “Dora the Explorer.”
But don’t expect to see Boots, Isa the iguana and Swiper the Fox hanging out in Dora’s new urban setting. The tweenage Dora has human friends (not named Diego!) after her move to a pan-Latino metropolis by the sea, Playa Verde. She’s also in school, but she’s still exploring, albeit to a pop/rock-infused soundtrack.
Her new city boasts portals to magical worlds filled with obstacles, but our pint-sized heroine is armed with a magical charm bracelet and a trusted Map App. Her four new friends, known as the Explorer Girls, are sporty Alana, musical Emma, theatrical Kate and star-gazing Naiya.
Voice actress Fátima Ptacek, who’s voiced the younger Dora for more than three years, will voice the tween version of the character. The 12-year-old actress the New York Post, “I definitely changed my voice, which has a higher pitch for the younger Dora. For ‘Dora and Friends,’ Dora is a little bit more my natural speaking voice.”
The actress added, “Sometimes, with some of the lines, they’re not exactly sure how I should be reading it and I’ll tell them, ‘You know what, this is how kids speak these days.’ ”
The more mature Dora, who has ditched her backpack and now carries a smart phone, first debuted amid controversy in 2009 as an interactive Mattel doll aimed at the 5- to 8-year-old market, but this will be her first TV series.
"Dora and Friends: Into the City” will premiere late summer on Nickelodeon.