You have to hand it to Disney when they embrace multi-cultural aspects of their properties. Granted, it usually takes them 50 years or so to get around to it, but the outcome is applause-worthy nonetheless. The mega-company’s latest trek towards cultural relevance comes in the form of Elena of Avalor, the very first Latin lady to enter the iconic Disney Princesses line-up. Sounds like a reason for a fiesta!
Princess Elena, who will be voiced by Young & Hungry star Aimee Carrero, is a bold and caring 16-year-old who has a good sense of humor. She’ll be coming to Disney Junior in her own animated series called Elena of Avalor in 2016. The character will make her first appearance, however, on an episode of Sofia the First, where she’ll presumably tell Sofia that boys are complicated and parents just don’t understand.
Her standalone series, which will premiere in 2016, will be aimed at children 2-7 and their families, and will focus on the different areas of childhood development, both physically and mentally. At 16, she is next in line to rule Avalor with the assistance of her Grandfather Tito, her Grandmother Cici and the Royal Advisor Duke Esteban. She’ll also have an amateur wizard friend named Mateo and a magical flying beast named Skylar. Here’s what her backstory consists of, according to the press release.
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.
So clearly part of the message Elena will be giving to children is, “Never give up hope if you’re trapped inside an amulet, for there will always be someone to help you out of it.” Not a lesson that everyone can get down with, but still a good one.
Elena joins Mulan, Tiana, Pocahontas and Jasmine in the realm of multi-cultured princesses. It’s probably taken too long, but all progress is good progress, and it’s not like Disney is popping princesses out left and right. It's also interesting how confident they are introducing new princess on the small screen.
Production has already started on the Princess Elena episode of Sofia the First, with the episode expected to air next year at some time. Are you guys excited about a Latina princess?