Disney has announced that there's a new princess in town, and after a black princess, a Chinese princess, and more white princesses than I can count, this one will finally be Latina. Princess Elena of Avalor is a heroine, traveling and having adventures with her animal spirit guide Zuzo, starting on the Disney Channel this year.
Yes, Princess Elena's adventures are confined to the small screen for now, but that means she'll be reaching kids in their homes episode after episode, so maybe that's a good thing. Not to mention, it looks like she has a lot of adventures to cover:
Disney's statement on the new character reads: "Set in the enchanted fairytale land of Avalor, the series tells the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen... Elena’s journey will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.”
They're also drawing on many different cultures to make the Princess Elena amalgam, which made me a little skeptical. It's clear that Disney is trying to be inclusive and universal, but Hispanic cultures vary greatly from region to region. Dora the Explorer is proudly Mexican and she's doing great for TV!
Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, said:
“Our creative team has delivered a universal story with themes that authentically reflect the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience...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 fairytale.”
Well, it's great to see more representation for Latino kids on television. Elena will also be voiced by Aimee Carrero, who is Dominican-American. No word on if Zuzo has a voice.