Speaking up for Dora the popular explorer
WHEN this 12-year-old talks, millions of preschoolers around the world listen. All Caitlin Sanchez needs to say is ‘‘Swiper, no swiping!’’ Or to summon the powers of her magical backpack.
Sanchez is the new voice of Dora the Explorer, one of the world’s most popular cartoons for preschoolers.
She has always enjoyed music and acting, but never expected to be talking to Boots the Monkey, Swiper the Fox, The Map and other characters who appear regularly on Dora’s cartoon adventures.
‘‘When my mother called me on the phone and told me I got (the part), I really didn’t believe it at first,’’ Sanchez says.
It’s the first cast change in Dora’s voice since the Nick Jr channel show made its debut in 2000. The original voice of Dora, Kathleen Herles, is now 17 and in college.
The show is broadcast worldwide and translated in 24 languages.
The seven-year-old Latina heroine and her animal friends take their audience along on their quests in an imaginative, tropical world filled with jungles, beaches and rainforests. During their travels, they ask their audience to help them solve the various problems they encounter.
Sanchez, who has been acting professionally for nearly five years, does the English and Spanish-speaking parts for Dora.
She has long been a fan of Dora, and feels honoured to be a part of the show.
‘‘Dora really is an international icon to preschoolers and a really good role model, so it’s neat to see how she has spread across the globe and become so popular,’’ Sanchez says.
Getting the role wasn’t an easy task for Sanchez.
‘‘I was kind of nervous about trying out and everything, but I believe you should be confident in everything you do and if you follow your dreams and be positive, you can do anything you want,’’ she says.
Sanchez, a self-taught musician who loves to play jazz piano, sees her work on Dora as another step toward reaching her dreams.
For now, that includes attending a prestigious school such as The Juilliard School, though she realises she might change her mind.
‘‘I know I can be anything I want, and my parents have always encouraged me to be the best I can be and to enjoy myself, so that’s what I try to do,’’ she says.
kids’ star Dora has a new voice.