Disney Finally Creates A Latina Princess

The Disney Channel has introduced the brand's first Latina princess ​to reflect real-life diversity

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In a bid to champion diversity, the Disney Channel has finally created a Latina Princess to join the Princessdom. 

On 22 July, Disney will launch Elena of Avalor – an eponymous series about Princess Elena who is described as being 'a brave and adventurous teenager who has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen'. 

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Princess #ElenaofAvalor will make a grand entrance at @WaltDisneyWorld this August. 🎉

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Actress Aimee Carrero, who is the voice of Elena and is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, told ABC News that Elena has 'the challenge of taking care of her family and this huge kingdom and have this awesome responsibility.'

And it sounds like Elena won't be a damsel in distress, unlike many of her older counterparts. 

Carrero says: 'What I love most about Elena is she's her own hero.

'There's no 'Prince Charming,' so I hope people at home watching will just be inspired her sense of self, her confidence and her leadership,' she added.

According to The New York Times, the series will include Latin American folklore, Aztec-inspired architecture, magic, mythology and music such as mariachi and Chilean hip hop.

Nancy Kanter, a Disney executive who oversees the program, says:'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.'

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However, despite Disney's landmark move, some question why Elena is getting a TV show and not a film and has been given an American accent, unlike the older characters in the series who have Latin American accents.

The Elena of Avalor soundtrack will be released on July 22nd! #elenaofavalor #elena #isabel #disney #disneychannel #disneymusic

A photo posted by Elena Of Avalor (@kingdom.of.avalor) on

Rebecca C. Hains, author of The Princess Problem says: 'Being modern and cool seems to mean talking like an American.'

The gender, sexual and ethnic identity of the brand's lead Princesses have been a disputed topics over the years. However, it would seem Disney is making a conscious effort to integrate a wider range of identities in plots across its television and film franchises. 

In 2009, it created its first black prices Tiana who starred in The Princess and the Frog, the brand's first Polynesian character Moana will star in her eponymous film in November and there have been demands on social media for a princess with Down Syndrome and Frozen's Elsa to be a lesbian in the sequel.

Elena of Avalor  premieres 22 July on the Disney Channel in the US. 

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