I'm a Guy!
I swear I'm a guy!
Just because I enjoy W.I.T.C.H. and watch Disney Princess Movies doesn't mean I'm not!
I'm a sucker for a Disney Princess.
I am...I'm not gonna lie.
These women helped shape who I was growing up. (Okay, less Meirida and Rapunzel since they technically came out AFTER I reached adulthood.) They shaped a lot of who I am and my thinking and even the types of personalities that I like in women. I've always been interested in girls, even when I was young. When I was a kid, I wanted to be the Prince who married these strong independent women. (Which, considering how Beast and Aladdin were the first Princes to actually be anything other than a flat love interest for the more dynamic and engaging Princesses, is kinda sad, actually.) But in my Heart, I'm a hopeless romantic, and I have these Princesses to blame.
I also love Doctor Who, but that's beside the point.
Sofia the First is a new show on Disney Junior. I'll admit without hesitation that I have held very little interest in Disney Junior prior to this point, but when Disney.com made the recommendation that I watch it, I was...Largely dismissive.
But, I tend to do research on things that Disney.com tosses my way, so I googled...And found that the Voice Cast was VERY impressive.
I think my exact words were "Ah...So that's where Disney is throwing their money these days.)
Wish I had enough money to surf.
Sofia is the daughter of a cobbler in the most ethnically diverse medieval kingdom I have EVER seen.
Enchancia, in case you were wondering.
One day however, her mother is called in to make a pair of slippers for King Roland the Second, who, coincidentally, ALSO happens to be a single parent. They fall in love, and are soon married. In a very short whirlwind, Sofia goes from an average commoner, to a Princess.
And that's the premise. This isn't Roland and Miranda's (Sofia's mother) story, it's Sofia's story, and her adjustment to life as a Princess, and her adjustment to her new brother and sister.
I watched the Hour-Long movie, as well as the first episode 'Just One of the Princes'. And I was...Surprised.
With the voice cast (Ariel Winter as the titular Sofia the First)
|Hmmm...QUEEN Perdita on DC Green Arrow Showcase &...|
|And now PRINCESS Sofia the First...That's a step Down Ariel...That's a step down.|
Jim Cummings, and Jennifer Hale are also in it, among others. Like I said, it's an impressive voice cast.
The movie was basically setting up the premise of the show, as well as introducing us--And Sofia--To her new world. Her Step-Brother Prince James and Step-Sister Princess Amber, as well as the villain (a flat, one-dimensional evil bumbling sorcerer named Cedric--Or CEE-drick as Sofia calls him.) Cedric is also the court magician, so his general evilness is ignored by the castle inhabitants. STATUS QUO IS GOD!!!
Plucky animal sidekicks (who in a mildly amusing musical number explain that the reason Princesses have animal sidekicks is because the Princesses have all the food, and they'd like some.)
Upon her arrival, Sofia receives a magical amulet that allows her to talk to animals. The Amulet of Avalor is an Ultimate MacGuffin that apparently Cedric could use to conquer the kingdom. Unfortunately for him, it cannot be taken by force, but rather must be given up willingly (I'm having W.I.T.C.H. flashbacks here...) And King Roland asked Sofia to never take it off. She's one of those girls who keeps her promises, and so you can see where I'm going with this.
The amulet also provides Sofia convenient access to a Disney Princess to help her out with her problem of the day. Such as in the movie, when Cinderella helps Sofia reconcile with her Step-Sister Amber, something that--And this also impressed me--Cinderella states that she regretfully never did.
Sofia also attends Royal Prep Academy, a school for Princesses run by Flora, Fauna, and Merriwhether of Sleeping Beauty fame.
In spite of the lackluster villain, and what I feel was a poor musical showing for a show that intends to carry on the Disney Princess tradition of being a Musical World. (Fun fact, because of Disney and my mother's habit of randomly bursting into song, I thought that people just randomly burst into choreographed music and dance numbers until I was 9) This has turned out to be fairly good showing, and overall, I was pleased.
The first episode of the show proper, 'Just One of the Princes' was better than the movie, though the movie adds flavor to it. It focuses on Sofia wishing to join the Flying Derby Team (yes, with flying horses) at her school.
A sport that is apparently only performed by Princes. The episode does a good job of playing with expectations, examining gender roles, and teaching the youngsters a lesson. (The music is still terrible though. Seriously, get new song writers.)
This is a very family friendly show, and I loved the relationship moments between each member of this mixed Royal Family. Especially Princess Amber's realization of what a horrid little spoiled brat she'd been in the movie.
Also Sofia and her mother's relationship is full of Dawwws.
All in all, Sofia the First was a surprising little gem that I would be proud to let my future hypothetical daughters watch, and I look forward to it having a long life.
I also look forward to meeting Princess Anna in 'Frozen' next year.
An adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen". A favorite book from my childhood.
I swear to God I'm a guy!