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Disney Channel to Crown New Preschool Princess

Disney will introduce a little girl princess to its celebrated legacy of princess fairytales in an animated television movie and series, "Sofia the First," premiering in fall 2012 and spring 2013 respectively, on Disney Channel and Disney Junior channels around the world.

Press Release from Disney

Disney will introduce a little girl princess to its celebrated legacy of princess fairytales in an animated television movie and series, "Sofia the First," premiering in fall 2012 and spring 2013 respectively, on Disney Channel and Disney Junior channels around the world. While Disney princess fairytales have been enchanting audiences for more than 70 years, this is the first time a series has centered on a princess as a little girl. The stories are designed to communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to preschool-aged children. The series and movie are productions of Disney Television Animation.

"Sofia the First" stories are set in the storybook world of young Sofia who starts out life as a regular girl. But when her mom marries the king, she is whisked off to a glamorous, but sometimes confusing, castle world of royalty, pomp and new step-siblings, Amber and James. "Sofia the First" will include appearances by Fauna, Flora and Merryweather (fairies seen in Disney's classic "Sleeping Beauty") as the headmistresses of Royal Prep, the academy that Sofia, along with other princes and princesses, attends. Special event appearances will be made by classic characters including Cinderella and other Disney Princesses.

In announcing the series, Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, said, "In Sofia, 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." She continued, "Although Sofia will have plenty of pretty dresses and sparkly shoes, 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 make you special, not the dress you wear."

Providing the voice of Sofia is Ariel Winter (ABC's "Modern Family"). Also highlighting the voice cast is Sara Ramirez (ABC's "Grey's Anatomy") as Queen Miranda; Wayne Brady ("Whose Line Is It Anyway?) as Clover, a wise-talking Rabbit; and Tim Gunn (ABC's "The Revolution," "Project Runway") as Baileywick, the family's Royal Steward. The actors providing the voices of King Roland, Amber and James will be announced soon.

The series was developed by Craig Gerber ("Pixie Hollow Games") who also wrote the movie. Jamie Mitchell ("Special Agent Oso") serves as both Executive Producer and Director on the series. Gerber is Co-Executive Producer and serves as the Story Editor.

The Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior's animated and live action series blend Disney's unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.  Disney Junior is available on basic cable in more than 99 million U.S. homes (via a daily block on Disney Channel) and to millions of other viewers on 28 Disney Junior channels and free-to-air broadcast partners around the world. It is also seen via subscription video-on-demand and a broadband website, DisneyJunior.com.  In 2012 Disney Junior will add a basic cable and satellite channel in the U.S.

Disney Television Animation is an industry leader in the production of quality animated properties for television.  Disney Television Animation is part of the Disney/ABC Television Group at The Walt Disney Company.

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