Tag Archives: Dora

Voice of Dora the Explorer, Queens native talks new show


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bonnie Osborne/Nickelodeon

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.

 

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Queens cutie cast as ‘Dora’


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesey of Nickelodeon

Queens kid Fatima Ptacek has been cast as the new voice of “Dora the Explorer” — a spunky little girl with a penchant for adventures.

For her first “Dora” audition at the Nickelodeon offices, Ptacek read a few lines and sang two songs — “Rocketeer” by Far East Movement and “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. Ptacek was unsure of the part she was auditioning for at first, but several lines into her mock dialogue, she knew it was for “Dora.” About a month after her original audition, she went back to the studio for a test run in the audio booth, reciting more lines and singing behind a microphone.

On November 8, 2010 she got the call. She was “Dora.”

“I was screaming like a madwoman and crying tears of joy,” exclaimed Ptacek. “I never imagined that this would be possible for me to get this opportunity at such a young age. I was so excited.”

Once a week for the past year, Ptacek has headed to a Manhattan sound studio where she records Dora’s dialogue and songs. Her first episode aired on Monday, January 30. Just like “Dora,” Ptacek is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. Her mother is Ecuadorian and her father is of European descent.

“I’m a proud Latina, and I’m not afraid to show it!” laughed Ptacek.

Aside from multilingual abilities, Ptacek feels that she and “Dora” exemplify several other similar characteristics.

“Dora is super determined and all for having adventures,” said Ptacek. “She makes sure she starts and finishes her adventures right. We’re also really positive.”

Ptacek said that her friends have been really supportive and encouraging, while many kids at her school are in disbelief.

“Some kids don’t believe it,” she said. “They’re in awe.”

Ptacek said her parents — a business owner and homemaker — have always been supportive of her budding career in the limelight, helping her run lines and prepare songs, driving her to auditions and doing anything necessary to ensure the starlet’s success.

Ptacek is no novice to the spotlight. The 11 year old is signed to Wilhelmina Models and has appeared in ads for Gap, The Children’s Place and Ralph Lauren and has won spots on “Royal Pains,” “Body of Proof” and “Sesame Street.”

Regardless of her fame, Ptacek says she’s happy staying in school and being a normal kid. She loves spending time in Queens, enjoying the borough’s diverse cuisine and spending time with her parents. Ptacek is also a level-seven gymnast and is currently learning Mandarin Chinese.

“I’m definitely still a kid and I’m definitely always going to be a kid until I have to be an adult,” said Ptacek.

The sixth-grader has been watching “Dora” for as long as she can remember, and recalls growing up with the character. She said that playing the part has yet to sink in.

“I wake up every morning and say I still can’t believe I’m ‘Dora the Explorer!’” she said.

“Dora the Explorer” airs weekdays at 10 a.m. on Nickelodeon.