Dora the Explorer, Demonologist

#Television

Fri, Nov 30th, 2012 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Pop Matters' Dennis P. Quinn opines that Dora the Explorer is a show featuring the supernatural where fending off demons is standard procedure.

Having two young children, I am all too aware of the cartoon and marketing phenomenon Dora the Explorer. Dora's smiling face is a ubiquitous presence throughout children's culture.

For those who are unfamiliar with the series, the plotline of each story, both on television and in books, follows a similar formula. Dora and her monkey friend named Boots (who incidentally wears nothing but boots) encounter some animal that needs help getting somewhere, and with aid of a talking map and backpack, they find directions, ready supplies, and begin their adventure. Along the way, they encounter numerous talking animals and trees, small animals who appear from nowhere to play a transitional-scene theme song, and other marvelous creatures on their enchanted romp through the (super)natural world. One common plot element involves the entrance of the villain Swiper the Fox, who inventively appears and attempts to steal something from the adventurers. However, they are usually able to foil his plans by calling out, "Swiper, no swiping!" three times in succession. After this, Swiper cries out, "Oh mannn!" and sulks back into the unmapped forest.

While watching an episode with my kids one day, it dawned on me: Swiper was being expelled with an incantation to ward off demons. Is Swiper to be understood as a demonic figure?

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