Disney is set to introduce a new princess in 2016, and for the first time in the long and storied history of their princesses, she will be Latina. Elena of Avalor will hit Disney Junior next year as a spin off of the popular Sophia the First series. Here’s our first look:
“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,” Nancy Castor, EVP and General Manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, said in the announcement.
Elena’s story began decades before the storyline where she will make her debut. Her kingdom and family were taken from her by Shuriki, an evil sorceress. She’s captured in a magical amulet by the sorceress when she stands up to the enemy to protect her little sister. Her introduction back into the world will come when Sophia the first learns that the amulet she currently wears is where Elena is trapped. Sophia will free Elena and help her regain her kingdom. Disney has described Elena as bold, caring, funny and clever, and states that she will have to learn the good skills of leadership as she regains Avalor and becomes a successful ruler.
The new princess is the first Latina princess in the Disney Princess lineup. She will join Mulan, Pocahontas, Tiana and Jasmine as the only princesses not of white European descent. Disney has come under fire in recent years for issues of diversity that they seem to be addressing. Hopefully these moves towards princesses from every culture will be followed by attention paid to the parents and girls expressing concern over unrealistic body standards and heavy redesigns the characters have undergone in recent years. We’re excited to see Elena make her first appearance!