Sofia the First

 
(i)

 

Spunky, well-rounded princess celebrates individuality.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Positive examples of self-esteem, friendship, and compassion. Kids see the characters cope with insecurities, new challenges, and ill-meaning peers, all with self-affirming results and good messages about growing up.

Positive messages

Strong messages about self-confidence, embracing change, and staying true to your values. Kids see Sofia learning to fit in among the royals, but she's not afraid to stand out from the crowd when her feelings contradict tradition. Sofia learns a new lesson in each day, always relating to a positive personality trait like compassion, honesty, or determination. The story centers on a happy blended family.

Positive role models

Sofia doesn't balk at taking a stand on what's important to her, even if that means that she seems different from all the other princes and princesses, and her willingness to do so often has a positive influence on those around her. Some of her peers are standoffish and snooty, but she follows her heart rather than them, and her actions sway their opinions about "proper" princess behavior. Sofia always turns to a parent or trusted friend for advice when she's struggling with a decision.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some girls swoon in the company of popular princes.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Guest appearances from classic Disney princesses (Ariel, Jasmine, Belle) and other characters bring other movies to mind.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

  • 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?

This review of Sofia the First was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 5, 6, 7, and 9 year old Written bymom2fourgr8kids May 17, 2013
 

Perfect messages for your princess!

I am shocked to see some of the reviews. I think parents are reading way too much into it. The show is about a village girl that becomes a princess because her mom marries a king. Part of the show is about her learning to be a princess and all of the things a princess might worry about. Disney manages to mix the princess learning with strong messages about how to care about others and how to treat others. It is really genius the way they do it! Not only is Sofia learning how to be a princess, she is also pushing the limits and showing everyone to ignore stereotypes. She joins the Flying Derby Team, that was boys only. She still cares about her friends from the village, even though they don't fit in with the other princesses. She is continuously teaching her snotty stepsister that life is about more than image, dresses, and being the best. Yes, it shows the "mean girl" attitudes that every little girl will come up against in school, but it shows that Sofia doesn't give in to that attitude and keeps her sweetness in the face of such rudeness. Many of these shows have started a conversation between my daughter and I. We talk about how you can't look at someone and decide if they are a good person, that there is more to life than pretty dresses and hair, and that we have to be kind to everyone. She knows that Amber isn't as nice as Sofia, and she knows that she doesn't want to be like Amber. I personally love the message Sofia the First sends to my daughter. We have them recorded on our DVR and she watches multiple episodes every day. Now we have to wait for the next new episode...
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byazul222 February 24, 2013
 

Inappropriate for the targeted age-- or any age, really

I began seeing previews for Sofia The First during recorded episodes of Doc McStuffins and realized that it was going to be sandwiched between Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Doc McStuffins on Saturday mornings-- the time when my daughter has pretty unfettered access to Dinsey Junior because her grandparents are babysitting. We decided to sit down and preview it one evening (yes, with glasses of wine) and decided that it was definitely not appropriate for our 2 1/2 year old. The messages, for one, are typically Disney- girls are interested in the way they look, in whether or not others like them, in being princesses, having parties and getting dressed up. From what I have seen the girls are subtly rude/mean to or subtly disapproving of one another (insidious "mean girl" culture at its finest) and, while there is an overarching message of friendship and acceptance preached by parents, young children see the actions and words of the characters as paramount- they often do not have the sophisticated interpretation skills necessary to understand that these are examples of what NOT to do, or the attention span to follow the storyline to its conclusion. In the Royal Sleepover, for example, young children are much more likely to hear, emulate and find funny the horror of the older sister and her friends when they say, "You invited VILLAGE GIRLS????" (this was also the scene play and replayed on countless commercials for the new series) than they are to understand that the overarching message of the show is that you should be who you are and that being a village girl is ok-- especially after your best friend's older sisters give you a royal makeover.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Parent Written byyo_yo_ma November 23, 2014
 

Sofia The First: witchcraft and sorcery indoctrination oh my

Every minute of the episodes we watched, along with our daughter, were full of witchcraft and sorcery, magic wands, and undesirable elements which will teach your kids to behave badly, rely on magic and witchcraft in the future. Under protests from our daughter to not turn it off, we used this as a teaching moment to explain that none of this witchcraft is meant for good and to teach her how to spot this wickedness in the future. There's quite a lot of "wish" and amulet "idol" items in the show which the characters go to to get what they want as well. Often times witchcraft is employed and characters are then shown "smiling" saying it is the best ever. In my opinion, this show must be inspired by demons or evil people in general out to take over our child's minds. I would recommend you stay very clear of this show.

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