Tue 08 Nov 2016, 11:09
Have you heard of Elena of Avalor? It is the new animated series from Disney starring a brave princess who saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn how to rule the kingdom as the crowned princess. Already a favourite throughout the world, you can watch her adventures unfold in Elena of Avalar every Saturday and Sunday at 08:25 on Disney Channel (303)
Director of Original Programming at Disney Junior Diane Ikemiyashiro shares some exciting details about the Disney princess.
1. Elena is Disney's first Latina princess
Ikemiyashiro remembers watching Cinderella in Spanish as a child in her home in Lima, Peru. It is a full-circle moment for Ikemiyashiro because Elena of Avalor not only stars the first Latina Disney princess but also draws influence from the Latina culture and traditions from countries like Peru. “We’re so excited to bring this character and her family, friends and people in the kingdom of Avalor to Disney because it’s new to us,” says Ikemiyashiro, noting that Elena represents a more inclusive audience across racial divides.
2. Production began three years ago
Disney works far in advance when it comes to both its movie and series projects and Elena of Avalor is no exception. It has taken three years of animation production to ensure that the series stays true to the culture and inspiration.
3. Authenticity is key
Due to the importance of staying true to culture and tradition, Ikemiyashiro explains that the production team worked with cultural consultants. “From what our characters say, the food they eat and the clothing they wear to music and the language they use, we make sure that all of the elements in our show are correct,” she says.
4. Elena is a role-model
Viewers have noticed how realistic Elena is in comparison to other Disney princesses. “How she acts, and how she holds herself and is a leader in her world and the universe of Elena, all of that is important. She is a role model not just for the people of her kingdom, but our audience too,” Ikemiyashiro says. “Elena is a character that kids want to be and we’re not trying to educate, but rather let her actions inspire them to be model citizens,” she says, adding that Elena is learning how to become a better queen, and also a better sister, granddaughter, friend and leader for those around her.
Catch the fun and adventure in Elena of Avalor every Saturday and Sunday at 08:25 on Disney Channel (303).