Disney Returns to the Realm of Enchancia!

Now that Sofia the First has come home to Disney+, Disney has shared a big announcement today to celebrate the show's 10th anniversary. Sofia the First is getting a new spinoff! Series creator Craig Gerber announced earlier today "I am excited to be continuing my creative partnership with both Alyssa and Disney Branded Television. Together, we have produced three meaningful, diverse shows, and I am looking forward to broadening the scope of our collaboration while also championing new voices. It’s particularly thrilling to return to the enchanted world of ‘Sofia the First,’ where it all began 10 years ago, and create a follow-up series that is just as magical." The announcement comes as a surprise at a time when Disney Junior seemed to have been straying away from its princess properties.

It is not entirely clear whether the spinoff will feature the same characters as the original series as teenagers/young adults or a new cast of younger students attending Royal Prep. What we do know for certain is that this is not the first new series set in this universe. Elena of Avalor was the first spinoff to take place in the Ever Realm and featured a slightly older Sofia, James, and Amber making a cameo in the series finale, which aired only two years ago. As such, it is surprising that Disney plans to make a return to this enchanted world so soon after our last visit. I'm hoping it doesn't go in the direction of other inferior reboots that didn't give their original properties a chance to rest such as DC Super Hero Girls or Monster High. Sofia the First is one of my favorite shows of all time next to Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, so I remain cautiously optimistic about this new offering.

The kingdom of Enchancia remains one of my absolute favorite fantasy universes of all time. It is a relatively safe world filled with enchanted jewelry, flying creatures of all sorts, magic portals, and beautiful fashions. The show also introduced a number of concepts throughout its four-year run, any of which could easily be developed into a spinoff. There were the Mystic Isles, a heavenly realm in the sky inhabited by faeries, unicorns, and god-like beings, the Enchanted Library, which allowed Sofia to enter stories from other magical worlds, and the fabled Amulet of Avalor, which transported characters from other Disney movies to visit Enchancia during times of crisis. Since the spinoff is also being produced by Disney Junior, it will likely be targeted at the same age group of preschoolers. Therefore, it could be a new magical academia show that takes place primarily at Royal Prep and introduces us to a new class. Among these options, learning more about the Mystic Isles holds the most appeal for me.

Sofia the First is not the only property being revived by Disney. The Hollywood Reporter announced this week that a new sequel is in the works for The Princess Diaries. Opinions will vary on this, but I greatly preferred the first movie to The Princess Diaries 2, and not just because it stuck closer to the Meg Cabot books. I felt like the second movie lost a lot of the charm that made the first one so memorable and even changed the main characters' personalities to some extent. It's hard to accept that a new film made so many years later would be able to correct that injustice, especially if Anne Hathaway isn't in it, a possibility that has yet to be confirmed. Combine that with the new Enchanted sequel coming out tomorrow, and it really does seem like there are no new ideas left in Hollywood.

Whether or not this new Sofia the First series captures the magic of the original remains to be seen, but Elena of Avalor has proven to me that it is impossible to capture lightning in a bottle twice. If the rumored Ariel series is also in the works at Disney Junior, we may be entering a second golden age of princess cartoons like the early 2010s, which will be a refreshing change since there are no princess shows airing in America at the present time. While the future of creative fairy tale shows is uncertain, we can continue being grateful for the past masterpieces for Thanksgiving this month. Not only is today the 10th anniversary of Sofia the First, but it is also the 33rd anniversary of Disney's original animated classic The Little Mermaid. Are you eager for more spinoffs, sequels, and reboots of Disney's fairy tale princess properties, or would you prefer to see something new? Let me know in the comments!


Lilly said…
I would love to see a show set in the world of Sofia like "Regal Academy" style, it was a kid friendly show but with teen leads and romance perfect for princess fans a bit older than preschool age who are no longer satisfied with just plots based on friendship!
I guess I wish someone would take the idea of ​​Disney's Star vs. (magical princess from another world comes to earth as an exchange student for new experiences) but this time it was a real princess show without the parody, silly plots or the ridiculous teenage mess, I guess I just want the basic idea but with a sweeter, more educational development and a less adolescent drama queen and kinder protagonist.
Harry potter style plots are always great people can't get enough of academies...regal academy, Winx club, all those shows about wizarding schools...they are always a hit.
Lisa Dawn said…
I suppose Ever After High and School for Good and Evil did something similar to that, but neither were full-length series.
lemon melon said…
I am really excited! I have a lot of faith in this show because Craig Gerber, the creator of Sofia the First, is going to be the showrunner for this instead of it being handed off to someone else. I think that Craig Gerber is an amazing creator, and I have a lot of faith in his works. He has a lot of diversity in the shows that he has created, Sofia the First, Elena of Avalor, and Firebuds all have felt like very different shows to me and all of them have consistently been high quality. In general with his new projects, he continues working with some people that he's already worked with and then brings on some new people, so I also think the creative team is going to be great. I am a little worried he'll be overworked- he's being the showrunner for this, and the showrunner for Firebuds currently, and he's being executive producer for another show with Kris Wummberly, so I hope he can keep the quality up between everything he's working on. Still, I have a lot of confidence in Craig Gerber from all of his previous works, and I am excited for this!
Lisa Dawn said…
Yes, he is very talented!
1. Since Royal Prep is specifically mentioned in the description as "the school where Sofia and her friends graduated", I assume there will be a new protagonist here that's about Sofia's age when the original show started. I would assume Sofia characters will appear, but not as the primary focus. This can also make you wonder how far in the future this show could be, maybe a few years or a big time skip.

2. Whenever someone has 2 or more shows airing at once from the same creator, there's usually a mix between shared crew and new members. Case in point, Shea Fontana (who developed the original 2015 DC Superhero Girls, though she didn't work on season 5) has 3 shows currently running (Polly Pocket 2018, Action Pack, and the new Monster High TV show). Some of them share crew members (such as Callie C. Miller and Lila Scott), but still have different crew members to help keep them together. It's the same thing with Craig's other shows, where some people from Sofia worked on Elena (like storyboard artist Francis Glebas and writer Rachel Ruderman) and people who worked on both Sofia and Elena are on Firebuds (Sofia writer Matt Hoverman is story editor and Elena storyboard artists Robb Pratt, Julius Aguimatang, and Kris Wimberly are all directors). I would assume that Craig will have some shared crew between Firebuds, the new Sofia show, and the new show from Kris Wimberly while still having new people.
Lisa Dawn said…
Huh, I didn't see Royal Prep mentioned at all in the article. All the quote says is "I am looking forward to broadening the scope of our collaboration while also championing new voices. It’s particularly thrilling to return to the enchanted world of ‘Sofia the First,’ where it all began 10 years ago, and create a follow-up series that is just as magical." That could mean just about anything.

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