Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first Latina princess, makes her debut in an upcoming animated series premiering July 22 on Disney channels. The story is inspired by “diverse Latin cultures and folklore,” and the role of Princess Elena, the “confident and compassionate” teenager, will be voiced by Aimee Carrero (ABC Family’s Young & Hungry). The trailer for the series shows Elena vowing to defend her kingdom and willing to fight when necessary. Check out the clip above.
According to a synopsis from Disney-ABC press, the series is a spin-off of Sofia the First and will be “presented in 25 languages on Disney Junior channels and daily programming blocks for kids age 2-7 on Disney Channels, among other platforms, in 154 countries around the world. On television alone, its estimated daily reach will be over 207-million households.”
Disney introducing first Latina princess with new animated TV series “Elena of Avalor.” https://t.co/yY7SUOdtTX pic.twitter.com/zhGuAKoJ1s
— ABC News (@ABC) July 12, 2016
The synopsis also notes that, “Elena of Avalor stories will be guided by an established curriculum that nurtures multiple areas of child development: physical, emotional, social and cognitive; thinking and creative skills, as well as moral and ethical development. Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories are designed to communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to young children about leadership, resilience, diversity, compassion and the importance of family and family traditions.”
EW reports that the series follows Disney’s first Latina princess after she has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress, only to now be faced with the trials and triumphs of ruling over Avalor.
“With some magical friends by her side – Mateo, a wizard-in-training, and Skylar, a magical flying creature – Princess Elena’s further adventures will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.”
The series also features the voice talents of Jenna Ortega (Stuck in the Middle), Chris Parnell (Archer), and Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple). As TV Series Finale reports, Elena joins a Disney princess roster that already includes Tiana (The Princess and the Frog), Pocahontas (Pocahontas), Jasmine (Aladdin), Mulan (Mulan), Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves), Cinderella (Cinderella), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Rapunzel (Tangled) and Belle (Beauty and the Beast), and many more.
In related news, Walt Disney Animation Studios announced last October that 14-year-old native Hawaiian newcomer Auli’i Cravalho was selected to voice the new Polynesian princess in the forthcoming animated feature Moana.
“I didn’t think I would have a chance,” she said in a release. “When I was little, I used to dance around the house singing at the top of my lungs. In my mind, that was performing and I loved the feeling of it. But I never imagined being in a Disney movie, being Moana — representing my culture in that way.”
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 12, 2016
Disney’s first Latina princess is executive-produced by Emmy Award-nominated Craig Gerber (Sofia the First), who told USA Today that it was “very important to us, since we were doing a show with a kingdom inspired by Latin American culture, that we get that right.”
“Even though it’s a fairytale world, there are things that feel very authentic,” he added. Also contributing to the series’ diverse treatment of Latin culture is the show’s staff.
“We have a very diverse crew,” supervising producer Elliot Bour said. “Everybody brings their version of their culture into it, and it gets infused into what we do.”
— Variety (@Variety) July 12, 2016
Elena’s cultural consultant, Diane Rodriguez, agrees that young Latina girls, “need their face reflected back to them.”
“But beyond that, little girls of every nationality, every color, will be able to see themselves in her,” she added.
Disney’s first Latina princess premieres Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel, with its first episode available to stream on the Disney Channel app.
Are you excited to tune-in to Elena of Avalor? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock]