10:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Disney Launching Latin-Inspired 'Sofia the First' Spinoff
Disney Junior is launching a new animated series about a teen princess that takes inspiration from by Latin cultures.
Princess Elena of Avalor, described as "a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairytale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore," will be introduced in a special episode of Disney Junior's Sofia the First. The episode is going into production for a 2016 premiere, with Princess Elena voiced by Aimee Carrero (ABC Family's Young & Hungry). The debut of the new series Elena of Avalor, produced by Disney Television Animation, will follow later that year.
"Our creative team has delivered a universal story with themes that authentically reflect the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience," Nancy Kanter, executive vp and general manager at Disney Junior Worldwide. "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."
The series is targeted at kids ages 2-7 and aims to teach lessons about leadership, resilience, diversity, compassion and the importance of family and family traditions.
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Princess Elena's story line reveals that her parents and kingdom were taken from her long ago by an evil sorceress. Elena bravely faced the sorceress to protect her little sister, Princess Isabel, and grandparents, but in the process, her magical amulet pulled her inside its enchanted jewel, saving her life but imprisoning her at the same time. Decades later, Princess Sofia discovers the truth about the amulet she has worn since joining her royal family and sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor.
The series, executive produced by Craig Gerber (Sofia the First), will air in 25 languages on Disney Channels and Disney Junior Channels around the world.
Carrero is represented by Innovative Artists. Gerber is repped by APA and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal.