There’s a brand new voice behind the beloved animated character Dora the Explorer… And, her name is Fatima Ptacek.
The 11-year-old half-Ecuadorian actress will be voicing the title character at the center of a $1-billion franchise and hit animated series, which celebrates its 12th season this year.
“[I’ve] been watching Dora for as long as I remember,” the sixth-grader recently told the Today show. “I’ve grown up with Dora.”
Ptacek, a highly successful child model, can speak both English and Spanish—just like the character she portrays.
“Most [of Dora’s dialogue] is spoken in English, but she speaks in Spanish when she sings. We get both on the shows,” says Ptacek, whose mother is from Ecuador, while her father, whose background is Norwegian, hails from Queens, N.Y., where the family still lives.
Ptacek, who has said in interviews she has no intention of finding a boyfriend until she’s at least 20, appears to be keeping a level head about her professional career.
“I can just imagine little kids sitting in front of their televisions and smiling the way I used to smile when I was little kid and watched Dora,” she told Today. “It’s really, really cool.”
Dora the Explorer airs on Nickelodeon, while a Spanish-dubbed version airs on Univision.