Disney princesses have been idolized for decades all over the world. There’s a Chinese, Native American, an African American, and even Arab princess. Now Disney’s introducing its first-ever Latina princess, Elena.
Here’s the catch: unlike the rest of the Disney princesses we all know and love, the “first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures” will not be hitting the big screen. Elena of Avalor will be premiering on the Disney Channel as a spinoff series of Sofia the First. In the trailer for the upcoming show, the beaut is shown as a fierce teenager in a fairytale kingdom, fighting for her crown and defending her kingdom of Avalor. Focusing on Elena’s journey as a princess ruling her domain instead of fetching for a prince, the show totally has #GirlPower potential.
In 2012 a controversy spurred after a producer of Sofia the First – auburn hair, blue eyes, and fair skin – was Disney’s first “Latina” princess. Eventually Disney took back their comment before releasing a statement that said Sofia is actually of mixed heritage, with a Spanish mother and Scandinavian father.
“All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities,” stated Disney. “But none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.” A puzzling statement from Disney considering every single princess before Sofia did have a specific “real world” culture, no?
Nonetheless Elena of Avalor is being celebrated all over the world.
Disney created it’s first Latina princess, and I couldn’t be happier!!! Princess Elena of Avalor pic.twitter.com/XhWOCnCCcl
— Pryscila (@pryscilasalinas) May 19, 2016
Elena of Avalor 💕 that’s awesome @Disney is coming out with their first Latina princess 💃🏽👸🏽!
— Yanira Alaniz (@YANiROxUrWORLd) May 18, 2016
Yet not everyone is here for her. Some feel a little snubbed of a big motion picture.
Im sorry but I’ll be way more excited about this whole Elena of Avalor princess when she actually has a movie
— mar!na (@minajimenezx) June 6, 2016
still upset the first Latina Disney princess is on tv and not a big film like all the other princesses. No just put her on sofia the first..
— Barbara Mosquera (@evilbarbie92) June 14, 2016
Maybe in the future? For now Princess Elena will have her own merchandise, including a doll at the American International Toy Fair in New York City and her first book, Elena and the Secret of Avalor. The princess will also appear this summer in the Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Princess Elena is also the first Disney princess to wear a dress with a print on it. Designed by Layana Aguilar, a Project Runway alumni who was born and raised in Brazil, Elena stuns in a ruby red ballgown. Aguilar claims the gown is inspired by her South American heritage. “The feeling to it is very Peruvian, Inca-like,” she said.
Elena of Avalor will make its debut on the Disney Channel on July 22. Excited?