Princess Sofia, Disney’s most recent addition, is raising questions about her heritage. She debuted as Disney’s first Latina Princess earlier this week on Disney Junior’s Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess.
Some praised Disney for staying away from stereotypical traits for their next princess, while many were confused and critical of why Disney would label the blue eyed, brown haired, an otherwise universal complexion, Princess Sofia as Latina. Fox News Latino featured a tweet that said, “Wait.Just saw images of #PrincessSofia, she really does look ONLY white. Don’t need a stereotypical Latina, but that’s def an Anglo princess.” Though, the news site also featured pictures comparing Princess Sofia with the Queen Sofia of Spain. The two share a remarkable resemblance and can bring light to a Latina heritage for the new Disney princess.
Craig Gerber, a co-executive producer and writer for Sofia the First, said Princess Sofia has a “mixed-heritage.”
“Her mother is originally from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Spain (Galdiz) and her birth father hailed from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Scandinavia,” Gerber said.
After bloggers began commenting on how Princess Sofia lacks Latina traits, Disney officials came out saying that she does not actually represent any ethnicity.
“What’s important to know is that Sofia is a fairy-tale girl who lives in a fairy-tale world,” Nancy Kanter, senior vice president of original programming and general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide said in a statement. “All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.”
Vice President of Disney Junior Joe D’Ambrosia said he hopes all little girls can identify with Princess Sofia. After visiting schools to talk about the new show, he noted, “what I find fascinating is that every little girl thinks they’re Sofia.”