Disney is gearing up to welcome a new Princess but this time she’s a Latina! Princess Elena of Avalor is set to appear on your TV screen as of next year.
The announcement was made earlier today via a news release sent out by Disney Television Animation.
“Our creative team has delivered a universal story with themes that authentically reflect the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience,” said Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Disney Junior Worldwide in the statement.
“What excites us most is the chance to use distinctive animation and visual design to tell wonderful stories influenced by culture and traditions that are familiar to the worldwide population of Hispanic and Latino families,” she said. “And reflect the interests and aspirations of all children as told through a classic fairy tale.”
Princess Elena of Avalor who was described as being a “confident and compassionate teenager” will debut in 2016 in a special episode of Disney Junior’s popular series, Sofia the First. She will later have her own spin-off series on the Disney Junior Network under the name, Elena of Avalor.
According to the news release, Avalor, “the enchanted fairy tale kingdom” that the new Hispanic princess hails from was “inspired by diverse Latino cultures and folklore.”
Disney Junior first made a splash three years ago when they announced the production of Sofia the First. When producer, Jaime Mitchell, claimed Sofia’s mother, Queen Miranda, was a Latina, the internet buzzed over whether or not Sofia was Disney’s first Latina princess.
Later on, Disney clarified that Sofia is a fictional character set in a fictional land “that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.”
Now, Disney has officially proclaimed Princess Elena as a Latina princess.
It will be exciting to see how the story is written to reflect elements of real-life Latino culture. And while this is a step for Latinos and viewing audiences, Princess Elena will only remain a Disney princess on television and will not have a big screen debut like other Disney princesses have.
Even so, the series will be presented in 25 languages on Disney Junior channels and in 154 countries around the world. The producer’s of the series estimate it’s daily reach on television will include about 207-million households.
Silvia Cardenas Olivas, who is an alumna of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Television Writer’s Program, has signed on as the story editor. The Elena of Avalor series will also work with two cultural advisers, Doris Sommer, who is Director of Graduate Studies at Harvard University and Marcela Davison Aviles, Managing Editor and Executive Producer of El Camino Project, an international Latino arts initiative.
Here’s to hoping Disney get it right, Bienvenida Princess Elena!