Disney

Meet Elena of Avalor, Disney’s New Hispanic Princess

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Disney’s hugely popular Princess brand is about to get even more lucrative with the introduction of its first Hispanic princess. Next year Disney will introduce Elena of Avalor on an episode of its Disney Junior preschool series Sofia the First. (The Disney studio has denied that Sofia herself is a Hispanic character, even though the show’s producer has said so publicly.)

Following her guest appearance on Sofia, Elena will spin off into her own series on Disney Junior, also launching in 2016. The series will be targeted at toddlers and children ages 2-7. “What excites us most,” says Disney Junior exec Nancy Kanter, “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 Television Animation will produce the series with Craig Gerber (Sofia the First) executive producing. The series’ story editor is Silvia Cardenas Olivas (Moesha, The Brothers Garcia) and supervising director is Elliot M. Bour (Kronk’s New Groove, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie).

Elena, voiced by Dominican Republic-born Aimee Carrero (ABC Family’s Young and Hungry), is described as “a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairy tale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore.” For the record, Disney does not officially label her as either “Hispanic” or “Latina” because of the potential controversies surrounding those terms; she is presented only as a “Disney princess inspired by Latin cultures.”

Other characters in the show will include her grandfather Tito, grandmother Cici, adviser Duke Esteban, wizard-in-training Mateo, and Skylar the magical flying creature. She will have the same mission in each episode: inspiring young Hispanic girls to nag their parents into buying them Disney toys and consumer products.

Disney’s official princess line-up also includes Arab (Jasmine from Aladdin), Native American (Pocahontas), African-American (Tiana from The Princess and the Frog), Scottish (Merida from Brave), and Chinese (Mulan) princesses.

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