Disney has expanded its already huge character line with yet another personality. Meet Princess Elena who made her debut in the new show Elena of Avalor.
Elena of Avalor is the name of the new series which will air on Disney Channel. Princess Elena is a teenager who has reclaimed her tropical kingdom from an evil sorceress.
What’s more, Princess Elena is Disney’s first Latina princess, the New York Times notes. The new series will begin airing on July 22 and it is already in the line for new toys and even theme park rides.
“It’s not a secret that the Hispanic and Latino communities have been waiting and hoping and looking forward to our introduction of a princess that reflected their culture. We wanted to do it right.”” said Nancy Kanter, the Disney executive overseeing the show.
Princess Elena has all the tools for success
Disney has filled each 22-minute episode with Latin folklore and cultural traditions. Avalor has Aztec-inspired architecture. Episodes will include original songs that reflect musical styles like mariachi, salsa and Chilean hip-hop. All of the details are carefully chosen. Elena’s black hair, gathered in a luxuriant pony tail, is accented with apricot mallow, a flower native to Southern California and Northern Mexico.
“We brought in a whole lot of consultants to advise on everything,” Ms. Kanter said. “We wanted to make sure that she didn’t have a doll-like appearance, and we really wanted to steer clear of romance. She has male friends, as teenage girls obviously do, but we did not want it tinged with, ‘Ooh, they’re falling in love.’”
The first episode was made available through a Disney Channel app on July 1 and has received positive feedback. “We were all very pleasantly surprised at how well the character was conceived,” said Axel Caballero, executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. “This is going to have a great impact.”
The series, which already has a five-season “content plan,” will run in 163 countries and be translated into 34 languages. Disney has also tried to make the series look and sound more like a movie than a television cartoon.
Disney is also betting big on Elena as a toy sales it. Analysts say there is an opportunity to steal market share from Dora the Explorer. The first Princess Elena toys are already out. They feature stuffed animals, shoes, children’s bedding, backpacks, clothes. Seems like this is a big bet from Disney as it expects Princess Elena to become a huge hit very fast.