Disney finally added another ethnicity to its roster of royalty today, and little Latinx boys and girls across the world rejoiced.
Princess Elena, who will star in the new Disney Channel television show Elena of Avalor, will be the first ever Latina Disney princess, Deadline reports. The brand-new ruler of Avalor is supposed to be “a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairy tale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore,” and the show will follow how this brave young girl takes on the responsibility of running a kingdom with help from friends along the way.
Disney released the new royal’s first trailer today, and already, it’s become clear how exactly the childhood-maker company is planning to integrate Latin heritage into Elena and her kingdom.
Elena of Avalor also dropped a colorful infographic specifying animals, places, and talismans that help represent traditional sentiments for viewers. Elena’s flying companion, for instance, is a “jacquin”–a cross between a jaguar and a macaw, two creatures native to Latin and South America. There is also a Spirit World Tree that will likely guide the princess through her trials and triumphs; the glowing mystical oak is directly based off the Arbol de Vida in Central Mexico.
The creators of the show make it very clear that they want to stay as true to actual culture as possible, bringing on consultants to guide them through the world. Rene Camacho, who serves as a Latin musical consultant for Elena, meshed mariachi and salsa into the score for its “festive” quality.
Says cultural consultant Diane Rodriguez, “[Elena of Avalor] has this visual element that’s so evocative. It takes the look of the Latino culture, of the Americas, almost to another level.”
And, of course, the cast are Latinx as well. Starring in the show, Aimee Correra, who is voicing Elena, could not be more thrilled to be representing the first Hispanic leap into Disney. Said the actress, “Disney’s been in my family for a very long time and just to see my own images represented, my own culture represented, is really special and I hope it will be for everybody watching.”
Joining Correra are Jenna Ortega, Chris Parnell, Yvette Nicole Brown, Carlos Alazraqui, Emiliano Díez, Julia Vera, Christian Lanz, Jillian Rose Reed, Joseph Haro, Jorge Diaz, Keith Ferguson and Joe Nunez. Recurring guest voices include Constance Marie, Lou Diamond Phillips and Rich Sommer. There will also be a few guest stars for the first season, and they are Tituss Burgess, Ana Ortiz, Ivonne Coll, Hector Elizondo and George Takei.
“It was very important to us that, since we were doing a show with a kingdom inspired by Latin American culture, that we get that right,” says Craig Gerber, the show’s creator and executive producer. “Even though it’s a fairytale world, there are things that feel very authentic.”
Elena of Avalor will premiere for a one-hour special event on July 22nd on the Disney Channel.