Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cartoon Characters Your Kids Love

By Brandi M. Seals

Kids love cartoons. At least all the ones I know do. They will rattle on and on about what happened today on Dora the Explorer or one of their favorite shows. While cartoons may not be on par with your interest, show your kids you are interested in their lives by knowing about those cartoon characters they hold dear.

There are several cartoon characters out there that children love. Many of the most popular are found on the cable channel, Nickelodeon. Among them are the following:

Dora the Explorer
Dora the Explorer
is an animated series for preschooler. It airs on Nickelodeon, Noggin and CBS. Its first episode came in 1999. And in 2000, Dora the Explorer became a regular series.

The show was created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh and Eric Weiner.

Dora is an adventurous 7 year old Latina named Dora Marquez. She lives in an unidentified country and speaks both Spanish and English. She is constantly going on quests but often runs into obstacles. When Dora completes a quest, she celebrates and asks what the viewer liked best.

Popular characters on Dora the Explorer include:
Boots - Dora's best friend. Boots is a monkey that wears red boots. He always goes on adventures with Dora and helps solve clues.

Diego - Diego is Dora's cousin. He is an animal rescue worker that sometimes goes on adventures with her. Diego's character was so popular that he got his own show, Go Diego Go! in 2005.

Swiper - Swiper is a fox who is constantly trying to steal from Dora. He is the villain in the series. To prevent Swiper from stealing items, Dora needs to say "Swiper, no swiping!" three times. Usually she wins, but sometimes she is unable to say it three times before Swiper steals the object.

When Swiper is in trouble, Dora will help him. In a few episodes the fox is captured or in some kind of trouble. However, Dora is always there to help.

Blue's Clues
Blue's Clues
is a kids' show that airs on Nickelodeon and on video on demand. It is not a traditional cartoon. It features live action superimposed on animation. The show follows a blue dog named Blue through her life.

Blue's Clues always begins with a game when the host asks Blue a question. The host and audience then search the house for three clues that answers the question asked of Blue.

Blue's Clues was created by Todd Kessler and Angela Santomero.

The show features several characters. There is the host, Blue (a blue dog) and several inanimate objects. An example would be Slippery Soap. Slippery Soap is a male bar of soap.

SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants is arguably the most popular cartoon on T.V. It was created by biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg and is produced through his production company, United Plankton Pictures Inc. The pilot aired in the US on Nickelodeon for the first time on May 1, 1999.

The show is set in the city of Bikini Bottom, it lies on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The main character is of course, SpongBob. He lives in a pineapple under the sea. His neighbor and friend is Squidward. He lives in an Easter Island Head. His other friend, Patrick, lives under a rock. SpongeBob is a fast-food worker. He works at the Krusty Krab.

SpongeBob has a pet, a snail named Gary. Gary meows like a cat but the other characters seem to understand him. Other animals do not act like themselves in this underwater show. Worms bark like dogs and jellyfish buzz and sting like bees.

SpongeBob SquarePants is the only cartoon to consistently make the Top 10 list in the Nielsen ratings. Part of what helps the ratings is that the show appeals to kids and adults. The show makes fun of its own absurdity. For example, in one episode Patrick asks how they could have a fire on the ocean floor. Suddenly the fire sizzles out.

SpongeBob reached its popularity peak in 2002. In November of 2004 a full length feature movie of SpongeBob SquarePants was released. The show was on hiatus for three years surrounding the movie. From 2003 to 2005 few episodes aired, probably due to production working being done on the movie. Many speculated that the show would be cancelled, but it made a comeback.

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