Sofia the First is a 3D computer-animated television series that officially premiered with its first half-hour episode on January 11, 2013. The series pilot made its debut on Disney Channel on November 18, 2012 with a one-hour special. The series stars Modern Family actress Ariel Winter as the voice of the titular character, who is a young girl on the verge of becoming a proper, royal princess.
- Main article: Sofia the First episode list
The series follows the adventures of Sofia, an 8-year old young girl who becomes a princess overnight after her mother marries the king. Sofia tries her best to adapt to her new life being a princess and has her stepbrother and sister James and Amber to help her along with the headmistresses of the Royal Preparatory Academy Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, the Three Good Fairies from Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty and, when Sofia is at her darkest hours, classic Disney Princess are there for her whenever Sofia needs help.
Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn't all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart. The stories focus on the idea that what makes a real princess is what's on the inside. The show highlights character qualities such as kindness, courage, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace. Subjects such as sincerity and forgiveness are heavily focused on. She has the magical and incredibly powerful Amulet of Avalor that allows her to talk with animals, shrink, and even turn into a mermaid. However her amulet is coveted by the sorcerer Cedric, who desires its tremendous magical power to take over the kingdom of Enchancia.
Cast and Characters
- Main article: List of Sofia the First characters
- Princess Sofia (Ariel Winter) - A little girl who once lived in the village until her mother married the King and suddenly became royalty. She learns that looking like a princess isn't all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart.
- Princess Amber (Darcy Rose Byrnes) - Sofia's stepsister and the twin sister of Prince James. Although she cares for family and friends, she can be a little vain and prissy in certain regards to what she thinks being a princess is all about.
- Prince James (Zach Callison/Tyler Merna) - The twin brother of Princess Amber and Sofia's stepbrother. Unlike his sister, James is not at all vain and is very helpful towards Sofia. He is rather easygoing for a prince, sometimes displaying behavior not normally seen in royalty.
- Queen Miranda (Sara Ramirez) - Sofia's mother who was once a shoemaker until she married the king and became the queen of Enchancia. Unlike the wicked type stepmothers, Miranda is kind and loving to both her daughter and stepchildren.
- King Roland II (Travis Willingham) - The King of Enchancia who fell in love and married Miranda, becoming Sofia's stepfather.
- Clover (Wayne Brady) - Sofia's pet rabbit and best animal friend who enjoys snacks but not cuddles.
- Cedric the Sorcerer (Jess Harnell) - The bumbling Royal Sorcerer of Enchancia who desires to steal Sofia's magic amulet and take over the kingdom, but winds up becoming a magical mentor to Sofia.
- Cinderella (Jennifer Hale) - From Cinderella, she helps Sofia learn about true sisterhood.
- Jasmine (Linda Larkin) - From Aladdin, she teaches Sofia and Amber how to tame a wild carpet and not to be afraid of trying something new. Her singing voice was performed by Lea Salonga.
- Belle (Julie Nathanson) - From Beauty and the Beast, she shows Sofia that actions speak louder than words when setting things right.
- Ariel (Jodi Benson) - From The Little Mermaid, she encourages Sofia to enlist Cora to help rescue Oona from the sea monster, saying that the love of family is held by all walks of life and how it can help unite them. She is the first Disney Princess not to be shown in her re-design.
- Aurora (Kate Higgins) - From Sleeping Beauty, she teaches Sofia that in a crisis she can always count on her friends. She is the first Disney Princess who doesn't sing in the series.
- Snow White (Katherine Von Till) - From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, she helps Sofia to learn the importance of trusting one’s instincts after Sofia suspects that a visiting sorceress is not who she says she is. She is the second Disney Princess who doesn't sing in the series.
- Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) - From Mulan, she teaches Sofia and her friends that they are stronger than they know. Her singing voice was performed by Lea Salonga and is the second Disney Princess not to be shown in her re-design, with Ariel being the first.
- Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) - From Tangled, she shows how much Sofia and Amber's relationship has grown and deepened because of mistakes that Amber has made. she also tells her to end the curse she has to dare to risk it all.
- Tiana - (Anika Noni Rose) - From The Princess and the Frog, When Sofia's friend Winter is in trouble, Tiana shows up to help her find a gift for an enchantress who can lift a curse placed on Winter by teaching her true gifts come from the heart.
- Merida - (Ruth Connell) - From Brave, she teaches Sofia that when you believe in yourself and what you can do, you can accomplish anything.
In October 2012, Disney confirmed that Sofia is their first Hispanic princess. According to a Disney spokeswoman, "...Sofia's mother, Queen Miranda, was born in a fictitious land, Galdiz, a place with Hispanic influences. Miranda met Sofia's father, Birk Balthazar, who hailed from the Kingdom of Friezenberg, and together they moved to Enchancia where Sofia was born." As a result, some people have criticized a lack of cultural signifiers or ethnic identity in Sofia's character.
A range of Sofia the First merchandise has been launched by the Disney Store in the US, including costumes, books, toy figures, and homeware. Products have also been launched in the UK and France.
- The animations in Seasons Two and Three are lighter than in Season One.
- Purple is the most common and favored color throughout the series due to it being Sofia's signature color.
- At the beginning of the series, the Royal Preparatory Academy's students learn there are one hundred and thirty-eight kingdoms. That does not count two kingdoms revealed throughout the series: Merroway Cove and Hakalo. Only the Royal Family of Enchancia (Princess Sofia and her parents and siblings) knows about these two kingdoms.
- Sofia was the only Princess at Royal Prep to ride a horse, but now Amber does. In "Substitute Cedric," Maya can be seen wearing a Derby uniform.