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Featured TV on DVD Review: Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure

September 30th, 2010

Dora the Explorer: Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure - Buy from Amazon

Dora the Explorer: Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure was released just last year and I reviewed it at the time. This year the DVD is being re-released, along with the CD. So are they worth picking up?

The Show

Through the Christmas magic of cut and paste...

This not-quite-feature-length Christmas adventure starts with Santa telling the elves about his naughty and nice lists. He's happy to report there are a lot more boys and girls on the nice list than on the naughty list, but there is a someone on the naughty list that Santa has a story about, Swiper the Fox. He has warned Swiper that if he doesn't stop swiping gifts on Christmas, he will get on the naughty list. (Does that mean he's allowed to swipe things the other 364 days of the year?) But when he swipes the Christmas Star from Dora's tree, it is up to Dora and the rest of the gang to travel with Swiper to the past, present, and future to discover the true meaning of Christmas. But it could be a problem trying to convince Swiper to not swipe anything.

Obviously this is an adaptation of the Dickens' tale, A Christmas Carol, which has been adapted about a billion times. There's a reason for this; it is a classic story and even a mediocre adaptation will still have a lot going for it. Fortunately, this story is better than the average Dora the Explorer episode in a number of ways. For one thing, it is far less repetitive than the average episode. I understand the repetitive nature of the show is what helps draw in its pre-school demographic, but it's what drives me nuts the most. I don't like hearing the same few songs multiple times in nearly every episode. The music here is much better than the music we hear on the average episode, which is key.

On the other hand, it is shorter than the average Dora the Explorer DVD.

The Extras

There are two music videos included on the DVD, plus a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the Christmas version of the Dora the Explorer theme song.

The only thing new to the DVD is the packaging, which includes a Dora the Explorer Christmas Calendar. I'm sure fans of the show will like to countdown to Christmas with Dora, but I don't think it is worth the upgrade.

The CD

Dora's Christmas includes 16 songs from the past two Christmas Specials, Dora's Christmas and Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure. Most of the songs use the melody of classic Christmas Carols ("Deck the Halls", "Feliz Navidad", "Jingle Bells", etc.) but with the lyrics changed to fit more within the Dora the Explorer show. For instance, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" warns of the danger of swiping on Christmas. Other songs are completely original, or sort of original. There's the "Dora the Explorer Christmas Theme", which is not an original song, but a Christmas version of the theme song.

The CD is also enhanced, so when you put it into your computer, you can use it as a portal to the Dora website where you can watch some music videos and download wallpaper or print out activities, etc.

The Verdict

If your kids are fans of Dora the Explorer, then both the DVD and the CD are worth picking up, but there are not enough extras to be worth upgrading to. You might want to grab this from the store, because I can't tell if Amazon is selling the new version with the calander.

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