Disney has revealed its newest addition to the royal line-up, Princess Elena of Avalor, the protagonist in a new television series which will air on Disney Junior next year.
The show will not begin with an ordinary first episode; instead Princess Elena will first be introduced in a 2016 episode of Sopia the First. The new show, Princess Elena of Avalor will be a spin-off that has people very excited. Elena will be Disney’s first Latina princess.
Latina leaders such as, Michelle Herrera Mulligan, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Latinas, recently made statements of how significant this series is for young Latina girls.
“Having a princess/role model who looks like them is a huge step forward for girls’ self-perception everywhere. Most Latinas have darker skin tones, so Elena is very welcome!”
In normal Disney fashion, the creation of this series involved a lot of thought and research. Princess Elena of Avalor will take place in a kingdom influenced by Hispanic culture and folklore, according to BBC News. Disney has considered all of their moves, by creating Elena with a personality that is translated across all cultures, according to Disney’s blog. The princess is described as “bold, caring, funny and clever ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor.”
Executive vice president of Disney Worldwide, Nancy Kanter, refers to the storyline in Princess Elena of Avalor as a “universal story,” and she is just as excited as the rest of the world.
“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 and reflect the interests and aspirations of all children as told through a classic fairy tale.”
Princess Elena is said to be a 16-year-old who is both “confident and compassionate,” traits that many believe will uplift young girls of all ethic backgrounds. But some leaders of the Latino community find this effort to be a mere stepping stone. According to the Deputy Editor of Latinas.com, Samantha Leal, Disney has a ways to go before it can consider itself diverse.
“While Latinas come in all skin tones, eye colors and hair types, it’s fantastic to see a darker skinned, beautiful princess join the mix! That being said, I would love for Disney to continue to push forward for more demographics—a black princess that won’t spend most of the movie as a frog, a Latina princess that gets her own movie and not just a Disney Junior show, an Indian princess, and so on”
Princess Elena of Avalor will be broadcast in 25 languages around the world. The company hopes to communicate positive messages and life lessons.
[Image via Fanlala]