The Disney Channel is set to debut its new animated series Sofia the First this January, according to Deadline.
News of the program’s premiere arrives shortly after the first animated special delivered record ratings for Disney. When it aired on November 18, Sofia The First: Once Upon A Princess managed to enrapture 5.2 million total viewers. The show is reportedly the top cable telecast of 2012 among boys and girls between the ages of two and five.
Sofia the First tells the story of a little girl who becomes a princess after her mother marries the king.
Disney Wikia describes the show as follows:
“With the help of the three familiar fairies in charge of the Royal Training Academy — Flora, Fauna and Merryweather of Disney’s classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and, on occasion, classic Disney Princess characters including Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White and Ariel — Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn’t all that hard but behaving like one must come from the heart.”
According to The Associated Press, Ariel Winter of Modern Family fame will tackle the role of Sofia. Sara Ramirez, star of Grey’s Anatomy, will portray the little girl’s mother.
Also counted among the cast of Sofia the First are Viola Davis, Bonnie Hunt, Ellie Kemper, Megan Mullally, Kiernan Shipka, and Jeffrey Tambor.
Sofia’s journey to the small screen wasn’t without its own unique set of obstacles. When the character was first introduced, many bloggers were quick to point out that Disney’s first Latina princess didn’t have any Latin traits. Disney addressed the issue once the controversy started to spread like wildfire.
“What’s important to know is that Sofia is a fairy-tale girl who lives in a fairy-tale world … All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures,” Disney Junior Worldwide’s Nancy Kanter explained at the time.
Despite the initial controversy, Sofa the First appears to be a big hit. The series premiere is currently slated for January 11 on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.