Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dora and Barbie charm children on holiday

Matheos Viktor Messakh, , The Jakarta Post, , Jakarta | Sat, 12/27/2008 10:55 AM | Lifestyle

Many kids might pass their holidays watching TV, but if they want, they can meet some of their favorite characters in person: Dora the Explorer and her friends as well as Barbies Liana and Alexa are bringing their musical stage shows to Jakarta.

The TV series of Dora the Explorer, whose popularity owes much to its groundbreaking interactivity with viewers, has arrived in Jakarta to perform shows at Senayan City in South Jakarta.

Kicking off Friday in the main atrium of Senayan City, the bilingual Dora and friends will perform twice a day, around 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday until Jan. 4.

The interactive musical performance is based on the Dora TV episode "Best Friend Day", which tells the story of Dora and her monkey friend Boots going on a picnic to Rainbow Rock to celebrate Happy Best Friends Day.

As in the TV version, Dora and Boots go exploring to find the rock on their own, but they keep stopping to ask the viewer to help find new ways to get to the place with the help of The Map.

Dora and Boots, played by actors from Australia, the Philippines and Singapore, also invite the viewers to dance, sing and help find solutions to problems that arise during the trip -- and learn a bit of Spanish on the way.

The children can also meet Dora, Boots and Dora's nephew Go Diego Go after the show.

Children and parents visiting Senayan City can take in the show from a distance but a minimum purchase of Rp 250,000 worth of Nickelodeon products gives VIP seating during the show, as well as the chance to be photographed with Dora, Boots and Diego afterward and to play in the big snow globe and the art and crafts area at the venue.

To meet Diego, visitors must buy at least Rp 150,000 worth of Nickelodeon products or pay Rp 35,000 to have their photograph taken with Dora, Boots and Diego.

The show is part of "Nickelodeon Merry Nick Holiday", sponsored by 27 companies that all provide products in the Nickelodeon family, said Farida Mualim, managing director of Tuesday Licensing Indonesia, the licensing agency of the Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Product in Indonesia.

"All Nickelodeon characters are focused on education and Dora is one of the characters who has a special mission in education," Farida told The Jakarta Post.

"Everywhere she goes, she carries the mission of teaching kids a second language. In Indonesia, she teaches children English."

Senayan City's public relations manager Sri Ayu Ningsih said "Nickelodeon Merry Nick Holiday" also features Dora storybook reading, a Christmas choir, a Christmas operetta and a ballet performance.

Meanwhile, another live musical, "Musical Christmas with Barbie and the Diamond Castle", is on at the East Mall of Grand Indonesia, in Central Jakarta, from Dec. 13 to Dec. 28.

The 30-minute show is adapted from the 13th Barbie film, titled Barbie & The Diamond Castle, which was released in September.

It tells the story of two Barbies, Liana and Alexa, who live together in a small house. After finding a magic mirror, in which a girl is trapped, Liana and Alexa go on an adventure to find the Diamond Castle to save their new friend.

"We chose Barbie because it is a strong brand and still amuses many children and their families," Grand Indonesia's assistant advertising and promotion manager Kantoro Permadi told the Post.

The show, the first Barbie stage musical in Indonesia, is being held under the cooperation of Grand Indonesia, Mattel, BCA Bank and Seibu.

The show is on twice every Tuesday to Thursday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. From Friday to Sunday, there is an additional show at 2 p.m.

At the end of every show, kids can meet all of the actors from the show, including the two Barbies.

For a minimum total purchase of Rp 350,000 at any shop in the mall or of merchandise from the Barbie exhibition, children and parents can enter the audience area to watch the show and be photographed with Barbie.

Those who want to be photographed in a Barbie costume can get one for Rp 60,000 at the photo booth near the exhibition area.

As most of the cast approved by Barbie brand-holder Mattel are from Australia, the show is held in English.

"We don't worry about the language because we know that most of the children who visit Grand Indonesia are bilingual," Permadi said.

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