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 Sofia The First
Miss Mandz
 Posted: May 10 2012, 07:41 AM
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It's the story that begins where most classic Walt Disney Animation Studios productions end. With the good hearted commoner suddenly becoming a princess.

Mind you, in Sofia's case, she isn't some plucky teen who ascends to the throne because her fairy godmother, some dwarfs, a singing candelabra, a pompous crustacean and/or her pet chameleon helps out. No, she's just a regular little girl who suddenly becomes royalty when her mother Miranda marries King Roland. And now Sofia finds herself living in the castle with her step step-siblings, Amber and James.

This is a pretty big change for this cute little commoner. So - to help Sofia the First find her way in this new world - Queen Miranda and King Roland decide to enroll her in Royal Prep. Where Sofia will learn how to become a royal by being taken under the wing (literally) of the three Good Fairies from Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

That's the basic premise of "Sofia the First." Which will premiere on Disney Junior as an animated television movie in the Fall of 2012 and then roll out as a full-blown TV series during the Spring of 2013. But as for Disney Television Animation's goals for this project, they hope that "Sofia" will be a way to communicate positive messages & life lessons to Disney Junior's target audience, which is preschool-aged children.

"(With 'Sofia the First'), we have a 'peer to peer princess,' a relatable girl experiencing the same social issues as our young viewers - learning how to fit in, making new friends, conquering new skills and building sibling relationships."  Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, said. "Although Sofia will have (the) pretty dresses and sparkly shoes (that every Disney Princess has), our stories will show Sofia, and our viewers, that what makes a real princess is what's inside, not what's outside. That the inner character of kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace (is what) make you special, not the dress you wear."

And given that "Sofia the First" is the very first time that Mickey has ever built an animated television movie and a TV series around a Disney Princess ... Well, Mouse House executives knew that they had to recruit some extra-special voice talent for  this project. Which is Disney Television Animation reached out to Ariel Winter (who plays Alex Dunphy on that hit ABC series, "Modern Family") to voice Sofia. Tony Award-winner Sara Ramirez (best known for her work as Dr. Callie Torres on "Grey's Anatomy") was tapped to voice Queen Miranda. Wayne Brady of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" fame will be providing comic relief as Clover, a wise-talking rabbit, while Tim Gunn (Yes, THAT Tim Gunn. Designer mentor from "Project Runway." Not to mention being a key player in ABC's "One Life to Live" replacement, "The Revolution") will be voicing the royal family's loyal steward, Baileywick.

And if that's not enough to make you give "Sofia the First" a try, did I mention that - on extra-special occasions over the course of this animated television movie and TV series - classic Disney Princesses like Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty will also be making appearances on this show.

In short, "Sofia the First" will continue the work that the Company has done with such Disney Junior series as "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and "Minnie's Bow-Toons."  Which is to introduce children 2 - 7 to many of Disney's classic characters. Not to mention using Disney-style storytelling to help educate kids about the benefits of healthy eating & staying active as well as helping young viewers develop their language & social skills.

And speaking of social skills ... That's going to be one of the key messages of "Sofia the First." The main thrust of Sofia's lessons at Royal Prep won't be pomp & circumstances. But - rather - how this new Disney Princess can learn to get along better with her new step-siblings, James and Amber. Which - in this age of blended families - should be a lesson that resonates with a lot of people.

Disney's "Sofia the First" was developed by Craig Gerber. This animated television movie & new TV series are expected to be a key component of Disney Junior's schedule when this Disney Channel programming block becomes a standalone basic cable & satellite channel in the U.S. in mid-2012.


SOURCE: Jim Hill Media

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Not going to lie... I'll probably watch this. xD I LOVE that they are using the classic characters!

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Princess Kate
 Posted: May 10 2012, 09:34 PM
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I am really interested to see where this goes! Thanks for sharing this article, I had heard about it before but this had all the details!

It definitely plays well into Disney's brand reinforcement goals, but if it can actually intertwine/promote the other "lessons" its trying to teach I think it could be a really cute show for preschoolers.

And Tim Gunn will be in it...so that's an automatic reason to watch! :)
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Dust Keeper Girl
 Posted: Jun 9 2012, 03:54 PM
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The basic plot + WAYNE BRADY + possible Snow White cameo = Jenna is going to shameless watch this.

This is a seriously adorable idea! I'm glad they're going to focus on the lesson of getting along with people, especially between stepsiblings. We need good television shows for kids that focus more on real-life morals and less mindless comedy that isn't really funny. Sophie's design is cute, too. <3

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Mare
 Posted: Jun 21 2012, 08:47 AM
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While I will definitely be watching this show and I squee over the idea of it, I'm a little worried that it might fall into the category of "forced edutainment" that a lot of kid's shows have fallen into over the years. Sometimes I feel like the moral/message overrides the story in a lot of otherwise quality children's programming.

But Disney's obviously shelled out for voice talent, so hopefully the story team will be just as good. Because it CAN be done--see My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic--but a show framed like that can quickly become...morality force-feeding. Not to say that having morals is a bad thing, just that if the story isn't good it ends up being more like school than like entertainment and storytelling.

So we'll see when it finally airs. Until then, squeeing over Tim Gunn!

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Miss Mandz
 Posted: Sep 19 2012, 08:11 PM
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They have much more in common than tiaras. The beloved Disney princess Cinderella will come face-to-face with the company's newest and youngest princess - both of them former commoners - in Sofia The First: Once Upon a Princess, a Disney Channel animated movie premiering Sunday, November 18 (7pm/6c). And TV Guide Magazine has this first-look video preview!

Set in the storybook world of Enhancia, Sofia features a starry voice cast including Ariel Winter (Modern Family), Sara Ramirez (Grey's Anatomy), Wayne Brady (Let's Make a Deal) and Tim Gunn (Project Runway) and centers on a little village girl named Sofia (Winter) who suddenly becomes royalty when her hard-working mom (Ramirez) marries the king.

Sofia must learn to navigate this strange new world and will get some much-needed princess-to-princess advice from Cinderella herself. But the famously shoeless heroine won't be the only well-known Disney character showing Sofia the ropes - the youngster will also be mentored by Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, the good fairies from Sleeping Beauty.

"By setting our story in the classic Disney world we're able to involve some longtime fan favorites," notes Sofia creator Craig Gerber. "The fairy godmothers are the headmistresses at Royal Prep Academy, where they will teach Sofia and the children of other royals from all around the world." Expect more iconic Disney princesses to show up when Sofia returns in 2013 as a Disney Channel series.

Both the movie and the series, aimed at kids 2-7 and their families, will offer positive messages and life lessons "about honesty, courage and compassion," says Gerber. "Sofia is excited about her new home, new school and new blended family, but she is also in shock. She has a lot of adjusting to do and young viewers will really relate. It's our hope they will take away Sofia's life lessons and apply them to their own lives."


SOURCE: http://www.seattlepi.com/entertainment/tv/...Her-3877116.php

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(Darn new Cindy side-swept bangs! *sob*)

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LadyJ
 Posted: Sep 19 2012, 10:17 PM
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This looks adorable. I am curious as to whether Sofia's multi-ethnic classmates are actual next-gen progeny of 'real' Disney royalty or just from the same part of the world. If the former I've spotted Al & Jas, Mulan & Shang, and Tiana and Naveen, and maybe Belle & Beast's kiddos.

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Miss Mandz
 Posted: Nov 7 2012, 07:46 AM
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A sneak peek from the upcoming tv movie:


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88keys
 Posted: Nov 8 2012, 08:36 PM
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She's just so cute!!
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Miss Mandz
 Posted: Nov 18 2012, 08:41 PM
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Did anyone watch? I was pleasantly surprised by it, VERY cute. And entertaining, for a Disney Junior production. Loved Flora, Fauna, Merryweather and Cinderella's appearances. Can't wait to see other Disney characters show up in the series!

And did anyone else totally try to match up the Royal Prep kids with Disney couples? I think that prince in the turban who was nice to Sofia was totally Al and Jas' kid... xD

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LadyJ
 Posted: Nov 20 2012, 10:47 PM
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It was totally adorable. I enjoyed it a lot. Ariel Winter has an awesome singing voice. I also liked Cinderella's song.

What impressed me most was that everyone except maybe Cedric was layered. Amber and James weren't total little snots, Amber had reasons for her behavior, and James realized what he had done was wrong and regretted it almost instantly. (Also I might be shipping SofiaXJames. Help.)

Definitely gonna watch the series-but now only half because of hope for cameos.

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Namine
 Posted: Dec 3 2012, 02:04 AM
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I thought it was cute. I liked that they put most of the focus on Sofia's struggle to adjust to her new life and get along with her new step-siblings. I can't stand villains in shows like this because they're always generic and non-threatening. I might watch a few episodes of the tv series when it comes out just to see what they do with it. I wonder how different Amber's attitude will be.

The part where Cinderella tells Sofia that she regrets not making amends with her sisters kind of irked me. They emotionally abused her for years, I don't think they deserved a second chance. Amber and Sofia's situation was different, Amber's bullying was not at that level and they still had time to resolve things.
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LadyJ
 Posted: Dec 6 2012, 09:33 AM
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I think Cinderella in hindsight was more wishing she'd been able to see her sisters' cruelty and jealousy was coming from a place of insecurity and hurt and been able to bridge the gap between them at any point, and that the dress was sort of the point of no return almost? Does that make sense?

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LadyJ
 Posted: Jan 21 2013, 07:51 PM
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The first two episodes are very cute and the writing quality has so far remained consistent. No new princess cameos as of yet, but the creators have said in interviews that's not going to be an every week thing. I think Amber might be my favorite, with her best moment being her flawless snub of the jerky prince after he cheated and almost got Sofia hurt.

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Miss Mandz
 Posted: Jul 5 2013, 08:39 PM
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Jasmine's song from her episode.

Also, a tentative schedule of when other princesses will appear:
    Cinderella - November 2012
    Jasmine - June 2013
    Belle - September 2013
    Ariel - November 2013
    Aurora - December 2013
    Snow White - Spring 2014

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LadyJ
 Posted: Jul 7 2013, 10:41 AM
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Jessica
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I was actually kind of disappointed in Jasmine's episode. She was all sugar-sweet and no fire and on the song Lea Salonga was waaaaaay over-processed, and the song itself was meh.

I thought "The Little Witch" was much much stronger. Lucinda's character-design and voice acting were perfect and the song was bouncy and clever and fun.

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