Elena of Avalor Premieres Friday

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Why Elena of Avalor is Not Just Another Princess Cartoon

For the first time in forever, young Latina’s have a princess they can relate to. Not only is she beautiful – in a stunning coronation dress way better than Elsa’s – but she’s an adventurer too. Elena of Avalor will bring viewers a long for a series of adventures as Elena fights to prove she’s ready and able to rule her kingdom.

Deeper Meaning

Elena means a lot to little girls, and generations of Latina women who wished for a princess of their very own. With Elena, little girls of all ethnic backgrounds have a princess they can look up to, one who isn’t waiting for prince charming to gain access to a crown. She’s willing to challenge herself, and work hard to earn the right to sit on the throne.


Disney cast Freeform’s Young & Hungry star Aimee Carrero to be the voice of Elena. As a Dominican-American, Carrero was excited to voice the first Latina princess:

“It means the world to me because people have been waiting a very long time for this, myself included,” said Carrero. “My grandmother has been waiting a long time for this. Many generations have been waiting a long time. And so to be a small part of this movement, to be a small part of that history is almost too much to wrap my head around. Because I really hope that my future daughters or granddaughters will look back and say, ‘Hey, she was sort of trailblazing that at that time. Or, remember when that was a big deal?’ That’s a really cool thing.”

The cast also includes Jenna Ortega, a Latina actress who’s most famous for her roles in Jane the Virgin on the CW, and Stuck in the Middle also on Disney Channel.

Aimee Carrero as Elena of Avalor


Everything from Elena’s clothing to the architecture of her castle have been inspired by a variety of Latin cultures including Mexican, Spanish and South American. Show creators were careful to keep Elena’s heritage diverse, so that all Latinas could identify with the character.

Disney took a similar route with the animated feature Aladdin. Agrabah was a made up kingdom,  that could have been located in any Middle Eastern country. Likewise, the movie’s main characters, Aladdin and Jasmine, share many physical attributes with a variety of Middle Eastern peoples.

Princess Jasmine

The Movie Treatment

Elena of Avalor will be a unique cartoon for many reasons beyond her ethnic background. Besides introducing the first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor is no made for TV movie. With the animation quality of a feature film, and music quality similar to Disney Classics like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast,” Elena is a real Disney princess despite making her premiere on Disney Channel.

While Elena won’t screen in theaters, little girls will get a chance to meet her at California Adventure Park, where Anna and Elsa can also be found. Elena merchandise and costumes are already available at Disney stores across the country.

Will you watch tomorrow? Can’t wait? Watch the trailer now.


Michelle McKinley is a journalist and digital marketer from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Journalism degree from Pepperdine University, and has been writing for the web since 2003. She’s a life-long Disney fan who travels and writes about her experiences for fun.

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