Disney introduces Elena, its first Latina Princess

Elena-of-Avalor

Disney announced Thursday that its newest princess will be Elena of Avalor, a 16-year-old character inspired by “diverse Latin cultures and folklore.”

She’ll make her debut on Disney Junior’s animated show “Sofia the First” next year, which is targeted at children ages 2 to 7. Elena’s own eponymous spinoff series is set to premiere in 2016 on Disney Junior, as well as Disney Junior’s programming block on the Disney Channel. Aimee Carrero of ABC Family’s “Young & Hungry” will voice the role.

“What excites us most is the chance to use distinctive animation and visual design to tell wonderful stories influenced by culture and traditions that are familiar to the worldwide population of Hispanic and Latino families and reflect the interests and aspirations of all children as told through a classic fairy tale,” Nancy Kanter, the executive vice president and general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, said in the announcement.

In fall 2012, Disney faced harsh criticism after a producer of the “Sofia the First” series announced that the title character was Latina. Disney Junior executives later clarified that the princess’ ethnicity had been misrepresented, adding that “all our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.”

Your Favorite Disney Channel Characters Make a Comeback

Disney Channel Replay

Looking for something fun to do this weekend?

Well, dig up your old puka shell necklace and bust out your laptop, tablet, or mobile device and download WATCH Disney Channel. The service is launching Disney Replay, which will bring back 10 episodes from the first seasons of some of your favorite, long-lost Disney Channel shows: Even StevensLilo & Stitch: The SeriesKim PossibleThat’s So Raven, and Cory in the House.

Here are the five characters we can’t wait to see again:

Louis Stevens (Even Stevens
With his messy hair and hilarious hijinks, Louis Stevens was the character we secretly wanted to be best friends with in Even Stevens.

Dr. Jumba (Lilo & Stitch: The Series)
This former evil scientist eventually made his way into our hearts—especially because he was the mastermind behind Experiment 626, aka Stitch. Doesn’t he look really, really huggable?

Rufus (Kim Possible)
This pink, adorable, naked mole rat was the best (and cutest!) Disney Channel sidekick ever!

Raven (That’s So Raven)
The multi-talented Raven could sing, design… and see the future. Doesn’t she sound like the perfect teenager?

Cory (Cory in the House)
Cory’s address was pretty spectacular—1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. Who wouldn’t want to pay him a visit and taste his dad’s scrumptious food?

To join this throwback extravaganza, visit WATCHDisneyChannel.com. All 50 episodes are available now through September 30.

Disney Prepping ‘Haunted Mansion’ TV Special

Disneyland-Haunted-Mansion

From The Hollywood Reporter

Disney Television Animation is celebrating the 45th anniversary of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction in a big way.

The studio is developing a Disney Channel and Disney XD animated special inspired by the ghoulishly fun popular theme park attraction, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Additionally, the animation unit has extended its overall deal with Emmy-winning Phineas and Ferb co-creator and executive producer Dan Povenmire to develop new projects and ordered three animated pilots.

The Haunted Mansion special will be animated by legendary horror genre artist and children’s book illustrator Gris Grimly (Gris Grimly’s Wicked Nursery Rhymes), who also will exec produce and art direct. Scott Peterson (Phineas and Ferb) will serve as writer, EP and story editor. Joshua Pruett(Phineas and Ferb) is on board as a consulting producer and writer.

“Over the past few years we have focused our strategy on making Disney Television Animation the home for the strongest talent in the business,” Disney TV Animation vp original series Eric Coleman said. “We have steadily built our roster with both animation veterans and fresh voices, and have fostered an environment where artists support and inspire one another. This group will help us continue to deliver the great storytelling and beloved characters that the Disney animation legacy is known for.”

Disney Launches ‘Lion King’ spinoff ‘The Lion Guard’

Lion Guard

After a 3-D re-release and 2½ sequels, Disney will be expanding the Lion King universe again with The Lion Guard. The new television franchise will launch with a TV movie premiering in fall 2015; a series will follow in early 2016 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

The show will follow Kion, the second-born son of Simba and Nala, who leads a group called the Lion Guard that protects the Pride Lands. Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister Kiara will all make appearances, but the show will focus on the creatures of the Lion Guard, a series of new characters including a honey badger, a cheetah, a hippo, and an egret.

The producers of The Lion Guard are also pulling in “wildlife education experts” from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park to consult on the show. In addition to the usual themes of family and friendship in Disney’s media, the company said The Lion Guard will incorporate conservation as a theme, and presumably its role in the great circle of life.

Disney Channel to Unveil New Logo

Disney Channel - New Logo

Disney Channel will be getting a new look. The channel is set to unveil a new channel logo and on-air look tomorrow in the U.S. and on the other 42 Disney Channels worldwide.

The new less-boxy look combines two classic Disney icons – the distinct signature stroke of company founder Walt Disney and the three-circle shape evocative of Mickey Mouse.

Richard Loomis, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of  Disney Channels Worldwide stated, “The new branding was an international collaboration between Disney Channel global and European teams and is crafted so our teams everywhere can customize it to create local stories, in familiar settings, featuring culturally identifiable storytelling.”

Disney Channel Announces Teen Beach Movie 2

teen-beach-movie

Disney Channel will begin production this summer on Teen Beach Movie 2, the sequel to last summer’s Disney Channel Original Movie Teen Beach Movie. Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally and Hollywood Records’ R5), Maia Mitchell (The Fosters), Grace Phipps (Baby DaddyThe Vampire Diaries), Garrett Clayton (The Fosters), and John DeLuca (Twisted) will reprise their starring roles as Brady, McKenzie, Lela, Tanner, and Butchy, respectively. Additional casting will be announced shortly. Teen Beach Movie 2 will premiere in 2015 on Disney Channel.

The cast was reunited, Saturday, April 26 at the Radio Disney Music Awards where the announcement was made during ARDY’s Pre-Show Party, which is now available on WATCH Disney Channel.

The sequel is set months after surfer sweethearts McKenzie “Mack” and Brady return from a summer adventure that transported them into Brady’s favorite 1960s beach party movie, Wet Side Story, only to receive a surprise real world visit from Lela, Tanner, Butchy and their other newfound surfer and biker buddies.

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “The audience response to the first Teen Beach Movie was overwhelming. We are thrilled to have the cast back for a new music-driven saga that continues this fantastical story.”

Disney Reveals First Family Pic of Girl Meets World Cast

Girl-Meets-World

If you’re like many people that grew up in the late 1980′s or early 1990′s, you’ll remember ABC’s TGIF and the multiple popular shows that debuted during that time (Family MattersStep by Step, etc).One of the favorite programs was Boy Meets World, a series featuring Ben Savage and Danille Fishel, which documented the trials and tribulations of growing up young in a Philadelphia neighborhood.

The series turned out to be the most watched during ABC’s TGIF slate and attracted a cult following because Disney decided to bring back a spin-off of the series late in 2013.

The show given the title Girl Meets World, will again feature Savage and Fishel, this time though as parents as they raise son Auggie and Riley.

Outside of both Savage and Fishel, little was known – even about the cast. That lead to Disney finally releasing the first cast photo which includes actors August Maturo (who plays their son) and their daughter, played by Rowan Blanchard.

In addition, Sabrina Carpenter, Corey Fogelmanis and Peyton Meyer round out the main cast members.

The show has been in production for the last few months and is set to debut on Disney at some point this Summer.

 

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