Rick Velleu designed the Dora character (inspired by his niece, Lilli) to be a fun, free spirit, ready for adventure and ready to learn.
The goal of the Dora the Explorer development team was to empower pre-schoolers with problem-solving skills. By infusing entertaining journeys and adventures with a curriculum-based series of cognitive "puzzles," the lessons learned by young viewers would "stick" more readily.
Dora is currently the top-rated show on American commercial Television for its demographic, and is universally hailed by critics for its educational content. Dora the Explorer toys and merchandise are also in the top ten in sales in their categories.