A Latina princess is entering the Disney world. Disney Junior announced today that it is readying to debut Elena of Avalor, a princess who is “inspired by Latin cultures.” The 16-year-old Elena will be introduced in an episode of Disney Junior’s Sofia the First, and her own animated series, Elena of Avalor, will begin in 2016.
“Our creative team has delivered a universal story with themes that authentically reflect the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience,” Disney Junior Worldwide Executive Vice President and General Manager Nancy Kanter said in a statement. “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.”
Elena, who was imprisoned in the amulet that Sofia wears, is described as “bold, caring, funny, and clever.” Elena hails from Avalor, which, of course, is a fictional fairytale land, but she is being billed as Disney’s first Latina princess, and Disney confirmed to EW that she is such.
When Sofia debuted in 2012 an executive producer called her Disney’s first Latina princess, however, Disney backtracked on that statement, explaining to the National Hispanic Media Coalition that the producer misspoke, but that they were, however, working on a project that had a Latina heroine.