Tag Archives: The Lord of the Rings

Dora the Explorer of the Rings

Someone has to say it: Dora the Explorer is a complete ripoff of The Lord of the Rings.

Dora of the Rings
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Let’s review:

  • Dora is a short person from a fantastical land who is called upon to deliver an item to a faraway place. On her journey (or quest), she must overcome a number of obstacles and often encounters strange creatures.
  • Frodo Baggins is a short person from a fantastical land who is called upon to deliver an item (The One Ring) to a faraway place (The Cracks of Doom in Mordor). On his quest, he encounters strange creatures and must overcome a number of obstacles.
  • Dora is accompanied by a loyal companion (also short) named Boots.
  • Frodo Baggins is accompanied by a loyal companion (also short) named Samwise Gamgee.
  • Dora is often joined by companions of different species: Isa the Iguana and Benny the Bull, to name two.
  • Frodo Baggins is joined by companions of different races: Gimli the Dwarf and Legolas the Elf, to name two.
  • Dora is pursued by Swiper the Fox, a conniving-yet-cowardly thief who wants to steal something she is carrying.
  • Frodo Baggins is pursued by Gollum, a conniving-yet-cowardly thief who wants to steal The One Ring.
  • Dora is eventually joined by Diego, an animal rescuer who is skilled at tracking and outdoor survival.
  • Frodo Baggins is eventually joined by Aragorn, a ranger who is skilled at tracking and outdoor survival.
  • Dora must often solve puzzles using words and phrases in another language (Spanish).
  • Frodo Baggins was unable to enter the Mines of Moria until the word “friend” was spoken in another language (Elvish).

Of course, there are a few elements of Dora the Explorer that aren’t ripped straight out of The Lord of the Rings…or are there? Let’s consider:

  • Dora has a magical backpack that contains whatever object she might need to solve a puzzle or overcome an obstacle. There’s no magical backpack in The Lord of the Rings, but Dora’s backpack sounds an awful lot like a Bag of Holding from the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game (which was around decades before Dora the Explorer), and everyone knows that Dungeons & Dragons is the King of All Lord of the Rings Ripoffs.
  • Frodo Baggins is led by Gandalf, a wise old wizard who tells him which way to go and, ultimately, leads him into dire peril. Dora is rarely seen in the company of old men, wise or otherwise. True enough, but she does consult with a magical, talking map that tells her how to get to her destination, typically through waypoints that are fraught with peril (windy bridges, treacherous mountains, and the like). The Map may not be carrying a staff or wearing a pointy hat, but he definitely fills the “magical guide” role. (“Tell Frodo he has to go through the Mines of Moria, over the Fields of Pellenor and up Aman Amarth!”)

I’m sure there will be naysayers; those who call this evidence “circumstantial” or “coincidental” and point out that “Nickelodeon” isn’t really an anagram of “J.R.R. Tolkien”. You know: nutjobs. But to the rest of you—those who can see Middle Earth in the unnamed South American country in which Dora resides—I extend an invitation to show me more. Peel the veil further back to expose more proof. What have I missed? What more is there?