Disney will introduce its first Hispanic princess with the Nov. 18 debut of "Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess" on the Disney Channel.
A "Sofia the First" television series will premiere in early 2013. The movie and series will roll out internationally through mid-2013 on both Disney Channels and Disney Junior channels.
During a recent press tour of the film and TV show's production offices, one blogger pointed out that in concept art, Sofia’s mother, Miranda, the newly crowned queen of Enchancia, had a darker complexion than the other characters, according to an Entertainment Weekly report.
“She is Latina,” executive producer Jamie Mitchell said of the character, acknowledging that this makes Sofia the first Latina princess to appear in a Disney animation project.
The Disney team is intentionally not placing emphasis on her ethnicity, according to the EW article.
“We never actually call it out,” said Joe D’Ambrosia, vice president of Disney Junior original programming. “When we go into schools [to talk to young students about the show], what I find fascinating is that every girl thinks that they’re Sofia.”
Set in the storybook world of Enchancia, the movie introduces Sofia, an average girl whose life suddenly transforms when her mother marries the king and she becomes a princess, Sofia the First. Sofia must learn to navigate the extraordinary life of royalty while holding on to her own hopes and dreams.\
Her journey to being the best she can be also paves the way for those around her to realize how special they each are. Disney's Cinderella makes an appearance in the movie to offer Sofia some words of wisdom - princess to princess.
Sofia's royal adventure begins as she prepares to move into the castle with her mom, starting a new family with her step-father, King Roland II, and step-siblings, Amber and James. Helping Sofia in her journey are the three headmistresses of Royal Prep Academy - Fauna, Flora and Merryweather (the beloved fairies seen in Disney's classic "Sleeping Beauty") and royal steward, Baileywick, as well as a group of cute woodland creatures led by a wise-talking rabbit, Clover. Sofia soon discovers that looking like a princess isn't all that difficult, but displaying honesty, loyalty, courage, independence, compassion and grace is what makes one truly royal.
Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories of "Sofia the First" are meant to communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to young children. While she lives in a captivating world of castles, wizards and flying horses, Sofia remains a relatable peer-to-peer princess who is experiencing many of the same social situations as young viewers at home including learning how to fit in, making new friends and mastering new skills.