Elena and the Secret of Avalor

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Elena and the Secret of Avalor Movie Poster Image
Princess crossover features two strong female role models.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 54 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 3 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The story's setting exposes kids to some elements of Latino culture, including dress, music, dance, and architecture.


Positive Messages

In a struggle of ideals, freedom and peace win out over intimidation and fear. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it is rewarding. Sofia must find the courage and perseverance to fulfill her destiny, much the same way Elena has to in taking her place in Avalor's kingdom.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sofia is clever, strong-minded, outspoken, and brave, and she inspires others to follow suit. Similarly Elena recognizes what needs to be done and jumps right in, and she'd do anything for her family and her people. Shuriki's selfish motivations eventually prove her undoing.

Violence & Scariness

Some worrisome moments when a sorceress uses magic to entrap Elena and her family in inanimate objects. Later scenes show Sofia's family imprisoned and some tense standoffs between Avalor's people and Shuriki. The sorceress also falls from far above a lake, and her survival is in question for a brief time.

Sexy Stuff

This movie bridges two popular Disney series, Sofia the First and Elena of Avalor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Elena and the Secret of Avalor tells the story of how Sofia freed Elena from her magical prison inside an amulet, which is hinted at in the characters' respective Disney series, Sofia the First and Elena of Avalor. The tale brings together many of the players in each show and fills in the gaps in the princesses' histories for fans. There are some moments that might frighten kids, particularly when an evil sorceress eliminates Elena's parents (they're consumed in green smoke and presumed dead) and entraps her in the amulet; she also threatens Elena and her friends after she returns. However, these scenes are short-lived and easily overshadowed by the two strong female roles, who are resourceful, courageous, and dedicated to doing the right thing. If your kids haven't seen one or both of these series, they (and possibly you) will want to after watching this sweet movie.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byAbba9634 September 14, 2019


I was looking forward to a girl of color as the main character but this was a fast paced weird mess.
Adult Written byHolly R. January 3, 2018

Why such a low consumerism mark CSM?

It's a good little introduction film but I have noticed that CSM is often biased when it comes to Disney versus other kids shows on the consumerism ranking... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byslee27 November 18, 2020
Summary: When Princess Sofia heard that she had a responsibility to free Princess Elena from her amulet and stop Shuriki from invading Princess Ele... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byMillie2119 April 26, 2019

Good Disney movie

Good Disney movie perfect for younger kids with great role models and messages

What's the story?

ELENA AND THE SECRET OF AVALOR spins the tale of the long imprisonment of Princess Elena (voiced by Aimee Carrero) in a magical amulet and her eventual liberty by the young Princess Sofia (Ariel Winter) of Enchancia. Four decades ago, Elena's kingdom was conquered by an evil sorceress named Shuriki (Jane Fonda), who disposed of the king and queen and took over rule herself. Elena was saved by ancient magic that pulled her into her own amulet, which many years later wound up with Sofia. Upon learning the truth behind the necklace, Sofia sets out to free Elena with the help of some of Avalor's residents still loyal to their true royal family. As Elena challenges Shuriki for the throne, she learns the fate of her beloved grandparents and younger sister, Isabel, and gives new hope to the downtrodden people of her kingdom.

Is it any good?

Bridging Sofia's and Elena's stories, this movie is a must-see for fans of either (or both) of the popular Disney princess shows. Assembling all the major players from both characters' lives, this heartwarming tale shows how the two princesses' destinies crossed by way of the amulet King Roland gave to Sofia when he welcomed her to his family. Of course, the story will resonate most with those who have watched both shows, but it's so adept at crafting an efficient backstory that it also can serve as an introduction to the princesses and their respective shows.

With magic, talking animals, songs, and sweet themes about the enduring connections among families, Elena and the Secret of Avalor is a charming movie to watch with your youngsters. Another happy takeaway is the story's emphasis on following your heart and doing the right thing even when it's not the easy thing. Tasked with an adult-size challenge like traveling to a distant land and tracking down the secret to freeing a captive princess, Sofia does what she does best: She assesses her resources, calls on her friends, and, above all, never gives up. Facing a destiny she doesn't think she's ready for, Elena also finds inspiration in her family and in her new friend, Sofia.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what motivates the characters in Elena and the Secret of Avalor. Why does Sofia risk everything to help Elena? Are there limits to what you would do to help someone? Why is Shuriki so greedy? What does she lose because of it?

  • Kids: How do you find courage when you need it? Does it help to have others around? To whom do you turn for help or advice when you need it?

  • If your kids have seen Sofia the First and/or Elena of Avalor, talk about how this movie fills in the holes in their respective stories. Do you have a better understanding of who they are now that you've seen this? Does your impression of either change as a result?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love great girl role models

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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