The New York Times reports that Disney will introduce a young girl princess in 'Sofia the First' with a television movie followed by a series to run on Disney Channel and Disney Junior for their target 2 - 7 year audience next year. The series aimed squarely at pre-schoolers will focus on learning within age-appropriate themes such as getting along with siblings, sharing, kindness and generousity. The additional focus will be expanding upon the already massively successful Disney Princess line that reportedly generates about $4 Billion annually.
from press release:
Sofia the First stories are set in the storybook world of young Sofia who starts out life as a regular girl. But when her mom marries the king, she is whisked off to a glamorous, but sometimes confusing, castle world of royalty, pomp and new step-siblings, Amber and James. Sofia the First will include appearances by Fauna, Flora and Merryweather (fairies seen in Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty) as the headmistresses of Royal Prep, the academy that Sofia, along with other princes and princesses, attends. Special event appearances will be made by classic characters including Cinderella and other Disney Princesses.
In announcing the series, Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, said, “In Sofia, we have a ‘peer to peer princess,’ a relatable girl experiencing the same social issues as our young viewers – learning how to fit in, making new friends, conquering new skills and building sibling relationships.” She continued, “Although Sofia will have plenty of pretty dresses and sparkly shoes, our stories will show Sofia, and our viewers, that what makes a real princess is what’s inside, not what’s outside. That the inner character of kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace make you special, not the dress you wear.”
Providing the voice of Sofia is Ariel Winter (ABC’s Modern Family). Also highlighting the voice cast is Sara Ramirez (ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy) as Queen Miranda; Wayne Brady (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) as Clover, a wise-talking Rabbit; and Tim Gunn (ABC’s The Revolution, Project Runway) as Baileywick, the family’s Royal Steward. The actors providing the voices of King Roland, Amber and James will be announced soon.
The series was developed by Craig Gerber (Pixie Hollow Games) who also wrote the movie. Jamie Mitchell (Special Agent Oso) serves as both Executive Producer and Director on the series. Gerber is Co-Executive Producer and serves as the Story Editor