"Elena of Avalor" News and Discussion Thread

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Tommy Lawson

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#1
So, after Frozen makes a billion dollars on its movie and merchandise, and Moana is coming to theaters in 2016, Disney is not taking the route of introducing its next princess in a Disney Animation feature movie. From our news feed, she is Elena of Avalor and will debut on Sofia the First instead in 2016. We also have a picture of the character's artwork.

So I guess Disney might make more original characters for Sofia the First in the future. I was hoping Giselle from the animated Andalasia of Enchanted would appear as Disney continued to deplete the number of Disney Princess characters remaining to introduce in the show. I'm more curious to hear about the Spanish casting of the show, because I want to know who will be chosen for the roles in the Latin America version, and if any of the voices will be from actors from a show like Violetta there.
 
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ILDC

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#4
Remember when Disney claimed Sofia was Latina? Pretty hilarious.
About that...

Disney producer 'misspoke': 'First Latina princess' isn't Latina - CNN.com

I was hoping Giselle from the animated Andalasia of Enchanted would appear as Disney continued to deplete the number of Disney Princess characters remaining to introduce in the show.
They would have to pay Amy Adams likeness rights in order to do that. It's the same reason Giselle didn't join the Disney Princess line. It's probably for the best though, as she's too much of an affectionate parody to be taken full face value.
 

Silverstar

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#5
So I guess Disney might make more original characters for Sofia the First in the future. I was hoping Giselle from the animated Andalasia of Enchanted would appear as Disney continued to deplete the number of Disney Princess characters remaining to introduce in the show.
Funny thing about that: Giselle was originally going to be part of the official Disney Princess line, but Disney would have had to pay actress Amy Adams a royalty for the rest of her life for the use of her image, so she was dropped from the roster.

Like Peter noted, I remember when Sofia herself was being touted as the first Latina Disney Princess, before they made her Caucasian; perhaps they were trying to avoid comparisons to Dora the Explorer, who knows? Thing is, her mom Queen Miranda still looks very Latina.
 

zoombie

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#7
Well if they want to do this, go for it Disney, Sofia The First is one of the better shows on the network by far, certainly superior to all their tween coms.

Though I thought if Disney wanted to spinoff, I thought a good choice would be Princess Alani, she is not Latina, but she is Hawaiian esque. I think she could carry a series and she already has her own villain.
 

Silverstar

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#8
Eh, having read the full article, I'm not sure if I'm feeling this one. Based on what I've read, Elena's not really bringing anything new to the table other than being Latina. One of the things I like about Sofia the First is how the title character is the opposite of a typical Disney princess: she's a little girl while the others are all nubile young women, she has a full set of parents (albeit one biological parent and one step-parent) whereas the others are either all of half an orphan. Going by that article, Elena of Avalor just seems to be the usual Disney Princess fare, only with a Latin flavor. I may check out the pilot out of curiosity, but I don't know if I'll be tuning into this week after week.

zoombie said:
Though I thought if Disney wanted to spinoff, I thought a good choice would be Princess Alani, she is not Latina, but she is Hawaiian esque. I think she could carry a series and she already has her own villain.
I don't know who that is (a Google search turned up squat), but Pacific Islander isn't the same as Latino. And not every show needs villains.
 
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Ed Liu

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#9
Eh, having read the full article, I'm not sure if I'm feeling this one. Based on what I've read, Elena's not really bringing anything new to the table other than being Latina.
I think the intentions are good, but I have problems with the general conflation of all of Latin America in one person. There are lots of cues that indicate that Beauty and the Beast happens in France, and Frozen is some Scandinavian-inspired land, but I grow increasingly tired of the total conflation of cultures of an entire continent, especially the combination of Latin and South America. It's too reductionist for my tastes.

Jorge Gutierrez also made passing note of this characters close resemblance to Maria in The Book of Life, which I'm sure is coincidental. But in comparison, Maria is definitively and unquestionably Mexican, not just "Latina."

All that said, I can't find myself terribly moved in good or bad ways by this announcement. It's long overdue and it's a nice start, but I'm generally unimpressed.

I don't know who that is (a Google search turned up squat), but Pacific Islander isn't the same as Latino. And not every show needs villains.
I think it's just a misspelling of Princess Lei-Lani, and I don't think the implication was that she was Latino -- just that she'd have been a way to inject some color into the world of the Disney Princesses without needing to create a new character. But maybe they figure that sector is already covered by Moana.
 

SweetShop209

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#10
Let me continue my thoughts. I knew Sofia the First was popular, but I didn't think it would be popular enough to get a spinoff. Then again, when you have a show with great characters, great voice work, great songs, great animation, and great stories, as well as a connection to Disney princesses, anything can happen. I'm a bit intrigued by the fact the princess will be 16 years old. Then again, the Octonauts are adults (as far as I know), so it's possible. In any case, I am hooked onto the idea.
 

Ed Liu

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#13
Ok no offense but what is up with all the Latino characters appearing on kids shows these days? Is Dora responsible?
I wouldn't say she is directly, no, since Dora has been on the air for years with little competition in the "Latino girl" space. I don't think there's anything more to this than the rising buying power of the Latino audience. To cite The Book of Life again, Jorge Gutierrez had been trying to make the movie for years, but all his earlier pitches fell on deaf ears. What changed? Nothing more than this:

In contrast to the early skepticism that greeted Gutierrez's pitch in Hollywood, movie studios are now increasingly aware of the box-office power of Latino audiences in the U.S.. and internationally. The box office in Latin America was up 78% last year over 2009, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
I'd say to get used to non-white characters showing up. Increasingly, the international market is more important to movie box office. I'm convinced this is why the recent movie Blackhat utilized a Chinese actor as the female lead and centered the plot on a China/US government team-up against terrorist hackers -- it made the movie an easier sell in China. And I'm totally, 100% OK with that.
 

Tommy Lawson

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#15
I think the intentions are good, but I have problems with the general conflation of all of Latin America in one person. There are lots of cues that indicate that Beauty and the Beast happens in France, and Frozen is some Scandinavian-inspired land, but I grow increasingly tired of the total conflation of cultures of an entire continent, especially the combination of Latin and South America. It's too reductionist for my tastes.

Jorge Gutierrez also made passing note of this characters close resemblance to Maria in The Book of Life, which I'm sure is coincidental. But in comparison, Maria is definitively and unquestionably Mexican, not just "Latina."

All that said, I can't find myself terribly moved in good or bad ways by this announcement. It's long overdue and it's a nice start, but I'm generally unimpressed.
Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, the U.S. Disney Channel has refused to air Violetta, whether that's because a dub or subtitles would be considered unacceptable, or unmarketable to U.S. audiences. That show certainly would help counter the fallacy that "Latin America = one place" logic.

Ok no offense but what is up with all the Latino characters appearing on kids shows these days? Is Dora responsible?

Just asking.
Certainly growing Latino buying power in the U.S. is a factor, but just as big are international markets. Violetta, the telenovela filmed in Argentina, is easily the biggest international live-action hit series Disney Channel has had in recent years for a show that is not filmed in English. The success of that show makes Elena of Avalor an easier sell internationally on those channels.
 

Wonderwall

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#20
Not much to add, its cool to have latin representation, even if it's not a specific Latin nation( Come on my El Salvador roots needs some love lol ). I have some friends who work on this show, maybe something to keep an eye out when I'm looking for my next gig ;)