'Dora the Explorer' returns older in spinoff series 'Dora and Friends: Into the City'

By Kyle Johnson,

The titular star of Dora the Explorer is returning to Nickelodeon in a new spinoff series called Dora and Friends: Into the City, where she is now a little older.

The series, which debuted Monday, features a slightly aged-up Dora, now closer to 10, while she was 7 during the entire run of Dora the Explorer's 200 episodes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Dora remains bilingual, but now has longer hair and is taller than before. The move to make Dora a little older is an interesting one and also carries with it an element of risk.

"Aging-up a cartoon, especially one kids are so protective of, is not something you can necessarily do with every series," Teri Weiss, Nickelodeon's executive vp of preschool programming, explained. "I think that she has continuous appeal to new generations of Dora fans, it seemed like the type of property that if we were going to do this sort of extension, this sort of growing-up move, it would be the one to go with."

Though Dora is older and now hangs out with human friends in a city and not Boots the monkey, the target demographic remains preschool children. She will continue to speak to the TV like the old series, and the Map returns, albeit in the form of a phone app.

"She's still our girl," co-creator Chris Gifford said. And it's still a heroes' journey, but there are many more reversals and twists and turns and surprises."

The premiere episode, according to The New York Times, features a real-life theme: pet adoption. Dora and her friends find a puppy and while trying to keep it safe from a gang of cats look for the rest of its family.

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