December 13th, 2011
09:31 AM ET
Disney’s many princesses are wildly popular with kids, but characters like Belle and Cinderella behave as adults. The New York Times reports that Walt Disney Co. is remedying this by adding yet another princess to its line… and this one is a little girl herself.
The new princess, Sofia, is aimed at children ages 2 to 7. A television movie and series called “Sofia the First” featuring the new character will air on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
According to Just Jared Jr., "Modern Family's" Ariel Winter landed the role of the young, animated royal, who actually starts out the film as a regular girl. After her mom marries a king, that's when Sofia is introduced to "a glamorous, but sometimes confusing, castle world" - one that includes step-siblings. (Now where have we heard that one before?)
Disney says parents wary of “lessons” that focus on looking pretty and relying on a prince shouldn’t worry about “Sofia the First,” as this series is intended to focus on themes like kindness, getting along with siblings and generosity.
Nancy Kanter, general manager for Disney Junior Worldwide, admits that Sofia will have “plenty of pretty dresses and sparkly shoes,” but says that episodes will emphasize that “what makes a real princess is what’s inside, not what’s outside.”
There's also the possibility that this new show will lead to a line of Sofia toys and other consumer products. The Disney Princess toy line reportedly rakes in about $4 billion in annual retail sales.
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