Elena of Avalor was released in July 2016 to Disney Channel to much fanfare and excitement. Everyone was looking forward to seeing Disney’s first Latin princess, and the show has lived up to expectations with excellent reviews and a huge following. Taking place in the beautifully designed world of Avalor, the entire show has been inspired by Latin culture. You can see and hear the touches everywhere. From the architecture, to the wonderful ball gowns, to the colorful designs and musical styles that range from pop to mariachi, Elena of Avalor has influences everywhere. If you are a Disney fan, you likely know they are recognized for paying attention to the smallest details and it’s definitely true with Elena. As an example, she wears a flower in her hair that is called the Apricot Mallow, a desert flower that is native to Mexico and the southwestern United States.
If you’ve not seen Elena of Avalor, it’s similar in many ways to Sofia the First (and takes place in the same universe), which predates it by a few years. Elena, like Sophia, is a school age princess, but she’s a little older than Sophia. She’s 16 years old, and I’m sure that’s not an accident. This gives Elena of Avalor some topics and show themes that provide a nice stepping stone for Sophia’s fans as they grow up. Elena is voiced by a Disney veteran Dominican-American actress Aimee Carrero (Disney’s Level Up and Freeform’s Young & Hungry). The shared universe of Elena and Sofia is detailed in Elena and the Secret of Avalor. It gives all of the background information and details about this new show including Elena’s entrapment in the Amulet of Avalor for 41 years. In fact, it’s Sofia that frees Elena from the confinement of the amulet which allows her to return to Avalor to rule as the Crown Princess.
Elena’s family includes her sister Princess Isabel (voiced by Jenna Ortega) and grandparents Francisco (Emiliano Díez) and Luisa (Julia Vera). The three of them were protected in a magical painting. Elena has help from three friends; Migs, Luna and Skylar, but they are certainly not ordinary friends. Her best friend is the adventurous Naomi (voiced by Jillian Rose Reed). Notably absent are her parents, Lucia and Raul, who were the rulers of Avalor before Elena. They were killed by an evil sorceress named Shuriki.
If you have younger children to buy for this Christmas, this DVD would make a great gift. It has 4 episodes from the series that will provide a great base for the upcoming seasons of the show. The episodes detail Elena’s first few days of trying to be a leader and will introduce them to some of the aforementioned family and friends. Again, as I already mentioned, to get the entire background of Elena, I’d encourage you to view the Elena and the Secret of Avalor movie or DVD. There really aren’t any bonus features on the disc, but there is a physical bonus: an Elena Projection Scepter. It’s a small gift, but younger kids will probably enjoy it.
Elena of Avalor: Ready to Rule is a fantastic viewing experience with great visuals and music. It has a nice mix of episodes that will get your kids started into the series, and I’m sure it won’t be long before you hear your kids singing the very catchy Elena of Avalor theme song by Latin-Grammy Award winner Gaby Moreno.
Take a peek: