Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday's Unsung Hero of the Week: The Map!

Every episode of Dora the Explorer goes the same way. Dora has something to do, some place to go, someone to see, whatever. She has no idea how to reach said destination. She then begs the audience to say "Map", so that the map can show her the way to achieve her goal of bringing boots his doll or whatever the hell. The Map, excited as ever to help, breaks out into his brilliantly penned theme song, which consists of him saying that he is the map no less than five thousand times. He then presents us with the three legs of Dora's journey. The first two are generally challenges (river, bridge, , trees, crips, jihadists, Spain, dinosaurs, etc) and the last bit is the destination itself. He has provided Dora and Boots with incredible amounts of information, and yet he then quietly slinks back into her backpack... A backpack who, when receiving other items says "Yum yum yum yum yum... delicioso!" Therefor the map is ostensibly eaten each episode after providing Dora with the most important information she could possibly need.

I'm going to interject a little something here. In the more recent episodes I've seen, Dora's parents have shown up a pretty great deal. I guess my question is this... Before Dora sets off to bring some magic frog back to a volcano or whatever, shouldn't one of her parents give her the sort of guidance the map provides? I mean, picture her coming home,

Dora: Ay Mami!
Mrs. Marquez: Hello Dora! Thank goodness you're alright, where have you been?
Dora: Oh mom, we just rescued a turtle from the mouth of a snake that was wrapped around a missile!
Mrs. Marquez: Oh my! However did you find the snake? I thought he was beyond the burning bushes, across the ocean and under the tree of doom?

Dora: Oh, the live children shouted map and the talking map jumped out of my backpack and provided me detailed instructions on how to reach him.
Mrs. Marquez: ...

I guess my point is this: Shouldn't she be getting that kind of important information from her parents, rather than a magic talking map who is then eating by her backpack for his kind deed? This map is a better parent to Dora than any of her actual family has ever been. And to boot, she probably needs some better schooling on top of the lackadaisical parenting already in place. Without fail, each episode, after the map tells her exactly where to go. She will then say "First we need to go to the jungle (or whatever). I don't see the jungle, do you see the jungle?" Guess what jackass, it's like, directly behind your head. Jaysus! Seriously, the map tells you EXACTLY where to go, and you're off to a rocky start every single time because you cant move your head slightly to the right or the left?! Come on!

So here's to the Map. If there's a place you need to go, he's the one you need to know. If there's a place you need to get, he can get you there, I bet. He's the map.

As an added bonus, here is a Dora product that I am certain has to be one of the top 10 greatest children products ever designed.

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