Sofia the First
Premiered in: Sofia the First (2012—)
Voiced By: Ariel Winter
Let me start off this character review by stating that the one and only reason that Princess Sofia will never officially be inducted into the Disney Princesses despite having learned many a lesson or three from them is solely for the fact that she is too young. Given that her target audience is girls of equal or younger age than she is, I find that to be incredibly hypocritical reason, especially given how distinct she is amongst any of the princesses, official or otherwise. Sofia, contrary to most, was granted her royal status by the marriage of her mother to King Roland II of Enchancia. That is something rare in most stories for young kids or even adults insomuch that its about an actual healthy relationship between step siblings as they learn and grow up together rather than have them be outright cruel, if not entirely villainous, to one another.
On the note of Enchancia itself, as its name might imply it’s a country rich with enchantment to a point wherein it not only has a Royal Sorcerer to the king it also has a literal Royal Prep Academy taught by three good fairies. You might recognize them as Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather of Sleeping Beauty renown. One prominent feature to Enchancia is that, despite it being located somewhere in proximity to the British Isles, it is home to a wide variety of pegasi, a beast that is also on the coat of arms for the royal family and is heavily involved in a sport that Sofia herself excels in.
Speaking of Sofia’s skills, I would almost call her something of a Mary Sue given the vast array of skills she possesses right from the start, never mind those that she learns later on throughout the series. While I’m not going to argue whether a girl can learn swordsmanship, it is rather odd for someone like Sofia the daughter of a shoemaker to be as good as she is at it. She’s also a member of the quote, “Buttercup Girl Scouts” and is well versed in outdoor survival, which is ironically enough far more sensible for her to know. There are also the skills she acquires later on such as, but certainly not limited to, magic and flying horse riding! That sport that I mentioned earlier, the one that Sofia excels in? Yeah, it’s called Flying Derby.
Allow to me to take a moment and state that Sofia is currently all of seven years old. While I wouldn’t say no to a child wanting to ride a pony, I’d draw the line at them riding creatures that can fly several hundred feet in the air. I can understand the king not having a tizzy over this as he likely was Sofia’s age when he did but why in the world was her mother not freaking out at the prospect of her daughter falling to her death?
There is also Sofia’s “deus ex machina” device known simply as the Amulet of Avalor, an enchanted pendant whose powers and effects vary based upon the deeds done by its wearer. For example, when Sofia first put on the amulet, she gained the ability to speak and understand the languages of animals due mostly to her kind nature in regards to little critters such as he faithful companion, Clover the floppy-eared rabbit. Contrary wise, when Sofia had begun bragging of her singing skills, the amulet cursed her with a terrible singing voice until she made things right by way of being apologetic and humble. These are only the most common traits of the amulet as, thus far, it has shown to be capable of: Summoning various Disney Princesses to instill the moral lesson of the day, turning its wearer into a mermaid, bestowing its wearer with incredible bouts of luck, enough self-awareness/sentience to not only choose whom wears it but how much to protect/hinder them depending on their actions.
All in all, Sofia the First, whose title makes no sense until such a time as she has a descendent whom is named in her honor, is a good model for kids I’m sure but I can agree with the Disney consensus that she’s, frankly, far too young to be included amongst the Disney Princesses. Like Alice, most of Sofia’s troubles and escapades occur due to her young age and inexperience, particularly when it comes to trusting those who frankly should not be in the same room with her let alone be her teachers. Still, if nothing else, she and her friends make for a fine group of “princesses-in-training.”