Disney announces first-ever Latina princess
In recent years, Disney has made an effort to include a more diverse representation of ethnicity and culture in their characters and stories, but until yesterday they had yet to add a Latina to their princess collection.
Disney announced yesterday that Elena of Avalor, a 16-year-old princess representing "diverse Latin cultures and folklore" will make her debut on Sophia the First and then star in her own spinoff series that will premiere on Disney Junior in 2016. Elena will be voiced by Aimee Carrero of ABC Family's Young & Hungry.
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The executive vice president of Disney Junior commented, "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." Disney's announcement also stated that "the stories are designed to communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to young children about leadership, resilience, diversity, compassion and the importance of family and family traditions." They even went so far as to make Doris Sommer, the Harvard University professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish, and Marcela Davison Aviles, the Managing Director and Executive Producer of El Camino Project, their cultural advisers.
It is great to see that Disney continues to make a concerted effort to provide girls the opportunity to see characters they can relate to who positively represent their own ethnicity and culture. What culture would you like to see them represent next?