Even though Dora the Explorer is getting older and making a move to a big city, the Queens native and voice behind the popular cartoon is not going anywhere.
Fátima Ptacek has been the voice of Nickelodeon’s 7-year-old “Dora the Explorer” since 2010 and will now also be the one behind 10-year-old Dora in “Dora and Friends: Into the City!”
L-R: Alana, Emma, Dora, Kate, Naiya, Pablo in Dora and Friends: Into the City! (Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon)
“She’s stunning, I’m so excited,” said Ptacek about the older Dora who will premiere on Monday, Aug. 18 on Nickelodeon. “Now that she’s in the city, she can identify with city kids.”
The 13-year-old actress says growing up and still living in Queens helps her understand her new role more because she can identify with being a city kid.
“I’m very proud to be living in Queens, it’s one of the coolest places I know,” Ptacek said. “I know it like the back of my hands. I make sure to brag about it to anyone.”
She said she loves living in the borough because of its diversity and food options.
“I’m a total foodie,” Ptacek said. “What’s great is right where I live. We basically have every nationality’s cuisine.”
In “Dora and Friends: Into the City!”, Dora moves to a city named “Playa Verde” and finds a new group of friends who embark on explorations with her including riding the subway, and going to school and parties. There is also a lot more music in this series, with a “pop-feel to it,” according to Ptacek.
Along with the new show, the Emmy-award winning series “Dora the Explorer” will also still air.
“I’ve really loved growing up with Dora and I am so lucky to be the first voice of this [new] show,” said Ptacek, who hopes both shows continue on for a long time. “I want my kids to be able to watch the show just how I did.”
Along with being the voice behind Dora, Ptacek has also performed on stage and starred in films, such as “The Rebound” with Catherine Zeta-Jones, and television shows such as “Saturday Night Light” and “Sesame Street,” where she was able to work alongside Michelle Obama.
She also serves as an ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, youth ambassador for the Latino Commission on AIDS and volunteers for foundations such as the SAG Foundation BookPALS program.
“Dora and Friends: Into the City!” premieres on Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon.