A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sofia the First is a TV series that follows Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess and tells the story of young Sofia, newly minted princess who's trying to adapt to her new life as a royal. Kids will love the show's spunky heroine and her amusing adventures, and parents will appreciate that the characters illustrate positive traits like loyalty, honesty, and friendship in stories well suited for their young audience. Sofia's experiences inspire viewers to celebrate their own unique qualities as she does, even when it means that she stands out in a crowd. Guest appearances by recognizable princesses like Belle and Jasmine might inspire kids' interest in Disney's other royal stories, making this series a possible gateway into other Disney offerings.
What's the story?
In SOFIA THE FIRST, young Sofia (voiced by Ariel Winter) is learning the ropes now that she's an official part of the royal family. When her mother, Miranda (Sara Ramirez), married King Roland II (Travis Willingham), Sofia became a princess overnight, but the transition isn't without its ups and downs. Fortunately she has loving parents, two new stepsiblings, and a collection of woodland friends to help her find her way, not to mention surprise visits from more experienced princesses like Jasmine and Ariel. With their help, Sofia learns that being royal isn't about fancy dresses and parties; it's about being a good friend, caring for others, and always doing what's right.
Is it any good?
This engaging series does everything right with a talented voice cast (including guests like Eric Stonestreet, Bonnie Hunt, and Jeffrey Tambor), lively original music, sharp writing, and crisp animation that brings to life darling Sofia and a well-rounded supporting cast. The stories are inspired by coming-of-age woes young kids will understand like trying to fit in with new friends, and the messages about self image, perseverance, and compassion won't miss their mark with your younger kids.
Sofia the First improves on its popular feature-length predecessor, presenting viewers with a more complete heroine in its precocious young star who gracefully balances royal expectations with her efforts to bring her own individuality to the princess role. In so doing, she teaches her friends and kids at home about the joys of overcoming new challenges and inspires the belief that if you're true to yourself and embrace your individuality, then there's no limit to what you can do.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Sofia meets her challenges. Who gives her good advice when she needs it? How does talking about her troubles with others help guide her decisions? Does she always make the right decision the first time? How does she learn from her mistakes in Sofia the First?
How does Sofia compare to some of the grown-up Disney princesses? What are her best qualities? In what ways does she challenge stereotypes about princesses? What comes of her breaking from traditions?
Kids: What are your favorite qualities about yourself? Do they ever make you feel different from your friends? Does this ever seem like a bad thing? How would the world differ if there was more similarity in how we look and act?
- Premiere date: November 18, 2012
- Cast: Ariel Winter, Sara Ramirez, Travis Willingham
- Networks: Disney Channel, Disney Junior
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Brothers and sisters, Fairy tales, Great girl role models
- Character strengths: Compassion, Perseverance
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
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