Sofia The First screening at The Mayfair Hotel, London
Yes, hot on the heels of her successful UK debut in musical TV film, Sofia The First: Once Upon A Princess, Disney’s first little girl princess now has her own TV show, it launches on Disney Junior on 8th March 2013 at 5:25pm.
As I blogged about enthusiastically straight after the event, Ma Puce and I were lucky enough to attend Sofia The First’s launch screening party at the Mayfair Hotel in London. It was the stuff of dreams for eager princesses-in-waiting, Disney really know how to do ‘princess’ well!
Of course, you will have picked up by now that Sofia isn’t like other Disney princesses. She is still a little girl. She is also a girl growing up in a modern family – even if it is a royal one – yes, Sofia is a mere civilian until her mother marries Kind Roland II of Enchancia. From that moment on, not only does she have to get used to being part of a blended family, she also has to content with becoming a princess overnight.
Talking of modern families, this is a good moment to mention that Sofia is voiced by Ariel Winter, Alex from Modern Families, one of my favourite U.S sitcoms of recent times. And Eric Stonestreet (Big Gay Cam in Modern Families) also makes an appearance as Minimus, Sofia’s rather short and portly flying horse.
Yes, that’s right, there are flying horses in Enhancia – not to be confused with Pegasus’ obvs. – and there is also a wise-talking talking rabbit called Clover who leads a group of cute woodland animals.
So, to cut to the chase, what is Sofia The First all about? And does it work?
The TV series is aimed at 2 – 7 year olds and designed to get across the kind of positive messaging and life lessons that are relevant to children of this age. And I must confess, I did get this from watching the screening of the first episode, so that’s a good sign. It put me in mind of the kind of U.S sitcoms that always have a life lesson built into them. I call them chicken soup TV, because they are warm and cosy, easy to digest, and make you feel better. (Ok, I’ve nicked my concept from Jewish Penicillin)
Like most young children, Sofia The First is busy developing her sense of self, starting to make her own decisions and exploring the world around her. Sometimes she puts into practice her problem-solving skills to help model good behaviour and sometimes she is learning lessons from others in her life.
Possibly the most important message that Disney Junior aims to get across is that it isn’t all that difficult to look like a princess, but possessing the characteristics of a true princess is what really makes you shine – honesty, loyalty, courage and compassion to name but a few.
In an age where I, like many other parents, worry about how fast little girls can be pressured into growing up, this is a breath of fresh air TV show from Disney Junior. I am pretty strict with Ma Puce’s viewing and I would be very happy for her to watch this series.
But what of my recently-turned-three-year-old Ma Puce? What did she make of it? Well, in spite of being on a total princess-high, she sat glued to her seat, until a few minutes before the programme ended, at which point she climbed onto my lap and cuddled into my arms to watch the closing minutes – see, chicken soup TV.
My view of the screen ‘through’ Ma Puce’s head