Meet Disney’s First Latina Princess, Sofia
Disney has produced princesses of various ethnicities over the years and it’s finally time for Latinas to have their own. The question is, will they be happy with her?
Princess Sofia makes her debut on the Disney Channel next month in the TV movie Sofia The First: Once Upon A Princess. The film is a prelude to a full TV series on both Disney Channel and Disney Junior next year, with both geared toward viewers age 2-7.
While Latinas undoubtedly come in all complexions, Sofia’s pale skin and light eyes have caused somewhat of an uproar amongst Hispanics online. Not to mention the fact Sofia’s heritage apparently won’t be explicitly mentioned in the series (we’re to just assume she’s Latina from her name and most likely some Spanish-speaking scenes).
“She is Latina,” executive producer Jamie Mitchell said of the character, noting Sofia’s mother, Miranda, the newly crowned queen of Enchancia (where the story is set) has a darker complexion than the other characters.
Sophia is described as a regular girl whose life suddenly transforms when her mother marries the king and she becomes a princess. Disney’s Cinderella makes an appearance in the movie to offer Sofia some words of wisdom as she learns to navigate the life of royalty.
“We never actually call it out,” says Joe D’Ambrosia, vice president of Disney Junior original programming, about Sofia’s ethnicity. “When we go into schools [to talk to young students about the show], what I find fascinating is that every girl thinks that they’re Sofia.”
Disney’s no stranger to controversy with its culturally diverse characters and it sounds like Sofia might be joining her fellow princesses here also.