Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dear Dora, Please Help Me Understand

Dear Dora, Boots, Dora the Explorer Writers, Diego, Mermaids, Anyone Who is a Fan of Animation, Anyone Who is an Expert on Environmental Issues, and Anyone Who Has Seen Splash -

I need help. Please help me. I just watched a direct-to-DVD feature starring Dora the Explorer. This movie (at 45 minutes it was more of an extended episode, but we'll roll with it) was from 2007 and called Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids. I was hoping that I would be entertained. I wasn't. Worst case scenario, I was hoping that I would still be coherent at the end of my viewing. That is still to be determined.

The movie did cause my brain to hurt something awful though. I have so many questions to ask and I am hoping that someone, anyone, can help me. Please, my sanity may just depend on it.

Here are my 65 questions from your 45 minute movie. That is quite a insanity-preventing question per minute ratio... But I digress. On with the questions...

  1. To start, Dora and Boots (who must be her helper monkey) are at the beach. However, there is no one else there, but there is ONE lone recycling can? Why? Which city worker placed it there thinking, "Hey, I bet the kid and her monkey will want to recycle something at the beach!"
  2. Then, Boots talks about how much he loves the beach. While WALKING ON THE WATER! So, I guess we should believe that Dora's helper monkey is Jesus? Does that mean Dora is bigger than Jesus?
  3. Ah, today is "Clean up the beach Day" so I guess there must be a whole group of volunteers ... um ... hiding somewhere?
  4. Dear Animators, Why does Dora wear belly shirts all the time? That's a little twisted.
  5. Wow, the recycling can is now missing and in its place is a piece of garbage! How convenient! How did it get there?
  6. Oooh, the trash was a juice box that a crab was carrying. That might explain how it got there, but maybe it was a hermit crab and Boots just stole his home. Ever think about that, writers?
  7. So Dora and Boots walk along the beach and pick up some garbage. Actually, it looks like a love note and two beers. I am sure there is a story behind that. When does that DVD come out?
  8. Then, Dora and Boots throw all the garbage into the magical recycling can, which has reappeared. Now, I am not sure about Dora's local recycling program, but I don't believe that juice box was recyclable. Why do you hate the earth, Dora?
  9. Boots can't tell the difference between garbage and a clam shell apparently. Not that I blame him. After all, he is a monkey. And they normally live in jungles. Speaking of which, why the hell is there a monkey on the beach? I would think that would not be too sanitary. Maybe that is why the beach is closed and no one is there?
  10. Oh, the clam shell can talk. How cute.
  11. Hey, the Spanish word for open is the magic word to open the clam. Hey, Clam, password protection. Look into it.
  12. Now we get to the meat of the story. There is a mermaid kingdom under the sea. The mermaid leader is named Mariana. But there is trouble, you see. A mean octopus dumped garbage on them and the kingdom could disappear under the trash. This raises several questions. First, why is the octopus dumping garbage? Is he freelancing or is he a municipal employee? Did he steal the garbage just to dump it? (Dora villains tend to steal stuff and then throw it away - Swiper, I am looking at you.) Second, it shows the garbage being dumped directly onto the mermaids in the mermaid kingdom. They are mermaids. Can't they, you know, swim away from slowly sinking garbage?
  13. Of course there is a magic crown that Marina could use to wish the garbage away, but Marina lost is when she was sunbathing on a rock. Why didn't Marina have the crown locked away safely somewhere? Was she going to wish to avoid melanoma?
  14. Also, why does the octopus hate the mermaids?
  15. Um, couldn't the mermaids just clean up the garbage? Are mermaids just that lazy that they need to have their queen wish their chores away?
  16. Now writers... could you have put a little effort into having Dora find the magic crown? Just a little? Maybe it was hiding behind a rock? Or maybe the clam was sitting on it the whole time, thus imbuing it with the magical ability to speak? I guess that was too hard for your brains to think up, because, hey, what do you know?! Here comes the crown washing up on shore RIGHT IN FRONT OF DORA! (Of course, if you have ever seen a Dora episode you know that something being right in front of her means it is in her blind spot. That girl can't see anything and is always asking for help to find stuff.)
  17. So Dora decides to return the crown to Marina the mermaid. Makes sense. But here comes that fucking map! Damnit, I hate that thing! "I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map, ..." Screw you, Map!
  18. Here is the travel route to the mermaid kingdom - 1) Seashell Bridge, 2) Pirate Island, 3) Past the Silly Sea, then 4)Mermaid kingdom. However, I must ask, why do they have to go across Pirate Island? Can't they just go around it?
  19. I'm surprised Seashell Bridge doesn't have a troll guarding it. It seems that all bridges in Dora's world are infested with trolls.
  20. Ah... this bridge is guarded by a giant, floating Jamaican seashell! It all makes sense now. So, my question for the writers at this point is this - Exactly what kind of mushrooms did you take before writing this show?
  21. To cross the bridge they have to follow the numbers 1-6. Fair enough. But wait, the mean octopus put dirty garbage all over the bridge! How dare he? Also, there appears to be plenty of room for Dora and Boots to walk AROUND the seashells, but oh well.
  22. Hey, Dora's backpack has a vacuum cleaner in it! How lucky is she?
  23. Dora now makes her monkey slave vacuum the dirt off the bridge. But ... um ... how did Boots do that? They are at the beach and there is no where to plug in the vacuum cleaner. Is it a magic vacuum cleaner? Are we at Hogwarts?
  24. Okay, now this question is not specific to this movie, but instead specific to all Dora episodes. What is the deal with the stupid Flamenco bugs? Do they just follow Dora around to herald her accomplishing even the most mundane of tasks? I don't get it.
  25. Oh, I see... Pirate Island has a bridge to it. Actually, there are three bridges. Leading to three islands. Pirate Island has a flag and looks quite green and lush. The second island has some mountains that look to be pretty barren. Maybe the soil is not good for agricultural growth. But the third island... well, that seems to have some vegetation and rocky mountains, but there are snow caps on the mountains. From everything I can tell, Dora is in a very warm weather environment. Also, all three islands appear to be equidistant from Seashell Bridge. So why does one island have snow and the others don't? Is that island magical?
  26. So off they go to Pirate Island. But wait! Swiper stole the crown! That dastardly Swiper! Swiper waits to hear Dora tell her tale of the mermaids, and Swiper confesses that he has a crush on Mariana. So he gives Dora back the crown and tells her to give it back to Mariana. First, this is not really evil, is it, Swiper? You aren't much of a bad guy to begin with, but just giving back the crown to Dora? Seriously? But love makes us do crazy things. But here's an idea... you have the crown. You love the mermaid. Why don't you return the crown YOURSELF and take the glory? Girls, even girls who are half-fish, really dig that shit.
  27. And here comes a whale. It is about to run into the bridge and kill Dora, Boots, and Swiper because the octopus put garbage on it and it can't see. My question is this - WTF? What do you do when you get dirty? You wash yourself. The whale is in the water. Can't it just submerge and clean the garbage off its eyes? Are all animals stupid in Dora's world?
  28. Sorry about that last question. I see what happened. It is the mushroom-eating writers who are stupid. This is just a dumb scene to allow Swiper to steal something. Here he will steal garbage off the whale. Lazy ass writers... But it does beg the question, if Swiper can steal garbage, and he loves Mariana, why doesn't he go and steal all the garbage off of them? I'm telling you, Swiper, girls eat that shit up. Not garbage. Girls don't eat garbage. You know what I meant!
  29. The whale sounds like a 2 year old child. Wouldn't a whale have much bigger vocal cords and produce a much deeper voice? I never hear whale songs sounding like the Chipmunks.
  30. Now onto Pirate Island... where Dora and Boots are held up by a gang of coconut trees. Yes, you read that correctly. For a show that seems to be professing environmental awareness, recycling, not dumping trash into waterways, etc. why does it seem that the writers hate nature? Even if we ignore Dora screwing up the recycling, the enemy in this tale is an octopus, and the trees on the island don't want Dora to succeed. Is the earth trying to commit suicide?
  31. There are Pirate Pigs on Pirate Island. Okay, I am all for pigs in cartoons, but the lead pirate has a peg leg. I guess if there was no food on the island, it would make sense for the pirates to eat their own. Especially since they are tasty, tasty bacon. I'm guessing this is what happened. Am I right?
  32. Writers - The trees let them pass because they formed a congo line. Then they followed them. Do you understand that trees have roots and are stationary in the ground?
  33. Oh no, the pirate pigs can't take them over the Silly Sea because their boot doesn't have a sail! Maybe that is why they are stranded and eating their own. If I were Dora, I would ask this question - wouldn't pigskin make a good sail?
  34. By the way, where did the sail go anyway? They had to have it to sail to the island.
  35. The lead pirate pig suggest that Dora and Boots ride dolphins across the Silly Sea. What? You wouldn't jump to that as a possible solution?
  36. Dora knows how she can find the dolphins! She can call her cousin Diego! Because apparently Diego is Aquaman's illegitimate son and can speak to sea creatures. Why doesn't Dora just give the crown to Diego to return to the mermaids? He could just ask a jellyfish to lower it down or something. Maybe Dora wants the glory to herself... Maybe Dora loves Mariana... Okay, I will stop that thought right there. Disturbing. This isn't Sailor Moon for crying out loud.
  37. So Dora yells for Diego. Apparently cousins have supersonic hearing? I mean, she has no idea where Diego is.
  38. But he hears her and here comes Diego! He was just cruising around the ocean on his jet ski. Dora asks him to find the dolphins and force them into slavery like Boots. Why is this cartoon not being picketed by the ACLU?
  39. Before I go any further, let me just say this - Diego sucks and is a huge dickhead! He had a fucking jet ski! Why didn't he let his cousin borrow it for a few minutes? What a jerkface!
  40. So Dora and Boots go across the Silly Sea on their indentured servant dolphins. Dora, do you realize there is a bigger problem than an octopus dumping some garbage? Apparently there has been a huge toxic spill or nuclear reactor meltdown nearby. All of the fish in the Silly Sea are mutants - half cat/half fish, half dog/half fish, half COW/half fish (although it does make for a good surf and turf dinner), and a half chicken/half fish! This is pretty serious, Dora!! Will you please pay attention to the world around you?
  41. Hey, there are Dora's friends - the squirrel and the bull. The squirrel is driving a speedboat and the bull is water-skiing. Why didn't Dora call for her squirrel friend with the boat when she was on Pirate Island? I would think a speedboat would be a little more stable that slave dolphins.
  42. Writers - Stop being so damn lazy! The squirrel's boat has a robotic arm that can be used to pick up garbage? Really?
  43. Mariana is not too bright, is she? She is looking for her crown on a little rock. I think that she could see it wasn't there pretty quickly and try somewhere else.
  44. Now the octopus, in a sign of pure evil, captures Mariana and her crown in a fishing net... Whatever will Mariana do? I am guessing that since it is a magic crown that obeys her wishes, she would put on the crown and wish herself free and the mermaid kingdom to be clean. Makes sense, right? However, we have discovered previously that Mariana is not too bright, so she throws the crown back to Dora. What an idiot.
  45. Dora and Boots are now stranded on the little rock. Way to paint yourself into a corner, writers.
  46. Mariana tells Dora to put on the crown. So she does. And turns into a mermaid! Wow, didn't see that coming (cue sarcasm trumpet).
  47. Mariana explains that the crown will only grant one wish. A) How does Mariana know this? Was there a manual with the crown? B) If that is true, getting the crown back to Mariana would be pointless. Earlier, the clam told us that Mariana used the crown before to wish her kingdom clean. That would be her one wish, right?
  48. So Dora wishes to have the mermaid kingdom cleaned up from the garbage. Unfortunately, the magic crown seems to have developed the same apathetic nature of the writers and only cleans part of the kingdom. What is the purpose of having a magic crown if it only does part of its job?
  49. But Mermaid Dora is plucky and won't give up. So she says "clean up time" and all sorts of sea creatures come to help. Does Dora have some of Aquaman's powers too?
  50. If the sea creatures were willing to help clean up the garbage, why was the whole crown storyline necessary?
  51. I swear I see a mermaid or two with a broom. Did they not understand the complicated use of a broom before the other sea creatures showed them?
  52. How does a broom work under water?
  53. Man, the mermaids sure are a lazy bunch. Sitting around on their fish tails just waiting for someone to either wish the trash off of them or clean it up for them. Pretentious assholes!
  54. Now Dora decides to rescue Mariana. Glad she didn't forget about her when she was singing and cleaning up.
  55. Hey, there's Boots being a good little monkey slave and just sitting on the rock. But why didn't he try to save Mariana while Dora was doing the domestic chores? Ever hear of divide and conquer?
  56. So Dora and the mermaids save Mariana and the octopus (who was a very superficial character. Why was he so mean? Did his octopus parents abuse him? Some back story goes a long way, you shiftless writers) falls into the trash on his boat. Lesson learned, right? Nope, not yet... All of a sudden, immediately after Dora says that no one likes garbage dumped on them, someone dumps garbage on the octopus! Who did it? Who climbed onto the octopus' boat, found the controls for the crane, scooped up some garbage, and dumped it on the octopus? We never see this vigilante. Are you planning a sequel, writers?
  57. Well, at least the octopus learned his lesson, apologized, and promised to never do it again. But if he is a mean octopus, why would he give up so easily?
  58. And why do the mermaids and Dora believe him? He's been dumping trash for a while now.
  59. So Mariana offers Dora a chance to stay with the mermaids and be a mermaid forever. But Dora explains that she has a multi-million dollar franchise based on her name, including dolls, games, clothes, etc. and she would have to change the branding if she were a full-time mermaid. It's all about the Benjamins, ain't it?
  60. Dora gives Mariana back her crown and says that she will need it to protect the mermaid kingdom. First, how will it help Mariana protect the mermaid kingdom, it only has the power of one (half-completed) wish per person. Mariana's is used up. The crown is simply fashion now. Second, maybe Dora doesn't really trust the octopus after all... If she did, there would be no concern for protection, right? Or are the writers just setting up for a sequel?
  61. Then Dora and Mariana hug. Slowly they look into each others eyes with a longing only mermaids know, and they express their desire to be "friends" forever. Um, hello? This is a children's cartoon!
  62. Finally, Dora and Boots dance on the small little rock in the middle of the ocean.
  63. To wrap things up, Dora and Boots are back on the beach. How did they get off the rock? Loose ends, writers... Sloppy...
  64. Dora then asks me what my favorite part of the trip was and waits for me to answer. Or else she was suffering a stroke, I am not sure. But I answer that my favorite part was when the garbage was being dumped on the mermaids and almost killing them. To which, Dora says, "I liked that too." You little bitch! You either weren't listening to me at all!!! or you did this whole thing just for the glory and you actually hate mermaids! Not cool, Dora... Not cool...

And we're done. Which only leaves me with one final question - Can I get that 45 minutes of my life back? Please?


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