Beginning January 30, preschoolers will get a chance to join Dora, Diego, Boots, Swiper, Pinto, Backpack and Map on more adventures when Dora the Explorer premieres new episodes on Nickelodeon.
Since the interactive animated series featuring the bilingual Latina adventurer debuted in 2000, Dora has become an international hit with preschoolers around the world (the show is broadcasted in 151 markets and translated in 30 languages), won a host of awards, including an Emmy, Peabody, Parents’ Choice, NAACP, Latino Spirit and ALMA, appeared with Shakira in a video and launched a spin-off show for Dora’s cousin, Diego, in Go, Diego, Go! (both shows were recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Children’s Program.” )
Tara Williams sat down with Chris Gifford, Dora’s co-creator and executive producer, as well as the creator and executive producer of Go, Diego, Go! to chat about his characters and Nickelodeon (he was a producer on Nick’s Clarissa Explains It All.) If you were a child of the 80s you may remember Gifford as “Danny” on The Great Space Coaster and 3-2-1 Contact, the PBS kid’s show Gifford worked on as a unit manager.
Q: When did you move to Montclair?
I think it was December of 1993.
Q: And you were living in New York City before that?
Actually, I was living in Orlando. I was working for Nickelodeon in Orlando for three years. Prior to that, I grew up in the city.
Q: How was Dora the Explorer created?
I had been developing a number of shows—I was executive in charge of production and development for Nick Jr.—and I was developing a number of shows over a couple of years and none of them were capturing what I think Nick Jr. was trying to be. What I really, personally, wanted to do, which was more about producing—I felt more comfortable producing—than I did as an executive.
I like to be more hands-on. As an executive, I think I would be too intrusive to their production process and I think better executives sort of let the producers and creators work on their own. So, I would be my own worst nightmare as an executive. Personally, I was feeling as if I really did not want to get back into production.