Why Dora the Explorer's Swiper the Fox Is an Absolutely Terrifying Maniac

Categories: Film and TV

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Once upon a time, the Daughter With One F was a firm devotee of Yo Gabba Gabba and the kind, pure lessons taught by DJ Lance Rock. We never minded when her trusting hand would seek ours and insist that we cuddle her as together we watched the gang's hijinks while Daddy got to enjoy cameos by our favorite actors and some of the best musicians around. Now, all that has changed. Now, we watch Dora the Explorer.

It's the first thing we hear when we lift her from her crib in the morning. It's the final argument before we place her back into the crib at night. The show itself is fine, we guess, though we do feel like we're being ordered around by some kind of bilingual assistant manager with a slight case of autism and a penchant for singing. Still, we can deal with that. What we can't deal with is the show's antagonist, Swiper the Fox, who we are coming to see in our deepest nightmares.

In case you don't watch the show, Swiper's primary role is to ambush Dora and Boots as they make their way through whatever adventure they may be adventuring through and attempt to steal their stuff. Now that seems straightforward, but in execution it comes across as seriously disturbed. Here's why.

Swiper seems to be the only villain on any show on Nick Jr. Most of the rest of the shows prefer to have their principals play shape games or teach kids how to handle social situations. There's nothing wrong with that, but it does tend to leave some of the plots of the shows a little light on gripping drama. Not that the kids care, but for the adults being forced to watch alongside it can get monotonous.

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However, Swiper is not a typical cartoon villain at all. He's some kind of hybrid between the "no bad guys" approach that other shows take and the more traditional Cobra Commander mold that you usually see in cartoons. Even though he is a constant nuisance that dogs the paths of our heroes, they continuously feel the need to invite him to every wedding, concert or ceremony that occurs. Even when he is caught red-handed trying to sabotage the situation, Dora and Boots will cheerfully encourage him to come to a party later in the episode. The same party he just tried to ruin.

Remember the last person that exact same situation happened all the time to? Odin via Loki. No matter how many times the trickster god Loki thoroughly ruins the Norse pantheon's day, even going so far as killing Odin's son for literally no reason other than it seemed like it would be funny, the Asgardian gods still invite him to every important event.

All this occurs in the name of the sworn blood-brotherhood between Odin and Loki, a bond we have never been given any reason for existing and that seems to be mirrored perfectly in Dora's inexplicable willingness to have someone who is a known criminal constantly around.


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6 comments
Muppetmama02
Muppetmama02

Um how about if you don't like it, don't let your kids watch it?  Why are parents buullied by their kids and let them do anything they want?  My kids watch a LOT of Tv.  But they never watched Barney.  Never even knew who he was, cause I couldn't stand him.  And when I got sick of Dora, that went bye bye too.  Not because of all the ridiculous reasons listed above, just cause I was sick to death of her.  And when my 9 year old started to lie, off went Wizeards of Waverly place and its bad influence too.  Kids will get over it.  But if you thinkit's sending a bad message and you continue to let it infiltrate their brain, they might never get over that.  So be a good strong parent and do what's right, not what's easy.

Salemdavesh
Salemdavesh

You are mental midgets, we're you afraid of Sylvester when he tried to eat Tweety in every episode? Or, the coyote trying to blow up the Roadrunner? Thanks for being wimps, how about mention that Swiper is has a Jew voice and steals things, now that's the only odd thing.

Geezy
Geezy

Lol, Swiper is the master of disguise and for a Fox who manages to get exposed by that damn "whisking" sound everytime he's getting ready to jack something he has a hellafied amount of technical knowledge. Hell, he went through the trouble of building a robot butterfly in one episode. Personally, I they should have left his ass in the magic bottle when he freed the elf.

Ironically, my daughter loved him. I asked her why and she said "because he likes puppies and cowboy cookies".

Kathy
Kathy

My daughter (now 12) was completely terrified by Swiper, and made more so when I (unaware of her level of discomfort with the character) purchased a set of plush Dora toys for her one Christmas.  The stuffed Swiper was her worst nightmare (literally, the only nightmares she has ever had involve Swiper).  We finally had to banish him to a storage closet. 

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