Meet Disney’s First Latina Princess, Elena of Avalor. Princess Elena’s new series will launch on Disney Junior in 2016 as a spinoff of the very popular Sofia the First. Aimee Carrero, who is currently part of ABC Family’s Young & Hungry series, will voice Elena. Incidentally, when Sofia the First was introduced it raised the issue of Disney’s lack of a princess representing their large Hispanic audience as Sofia, and her mother Miranda, were alluded to as being from somewhere in Spain. Disney wasn’t prepared for the question of Sofia’s heritage and it was a PR disaster. Princess Elena of Avalor may be the phoenix rising from those ashes. Sofia wears a magical Amulet of Avalor whose power allows her to talk to animals. In the crossover episode, also on track for 2016, Sofia will discover the secret of her amulet’s origin and help restore Elena to her own kingdom. See below for more details on storyline and characters.
Executive Vice President and General Manager Nancy Kanter said, “Our creative team has delivered a universal story with themes that authentically reflect the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience.” She continued, “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.” Disney is not taking this directive lightly, Silvia Cardenas Olivas, an alumna of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Television Writers Program, is the story editor and cultural advisers Doris Sommer, Harvard University professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish; and Marcela Davison Aviles, Managing Director and Executive Producer, El Camino Project international Latino arts initiative have also been brought on board for the project.
Per Disney PR’s description: Princess Elena’s journey began long ago when her parents and kingdom were taken from her by the evil sorceress, Shuriki. Elena bravely faced the sorceress to protect her little sister, Princess Isabel, and grandparents but in the process, her magical amulet pulled her inside its enchanted jewel, saving her life but imprisoning her at the same time. Decades later, Princess Sofia of Enchancia discovers the truth about the amulet she has worn since joining her royal family and sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor.
While Elena is the rightful heir to the throne, she is only age 16 so she will rule Avalor with the help of a Grand Council comprised of her Grandfather Tito, Grandmother Cici and Royal Advisor, Duke Esteban.
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.