Disney said today that it is introducing a new princess fairytale line beginning next year with the launch of Sofia The First, which will premiere as an animated TV movie in fall 2012 and continue as a series set to bow in spring 2013 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior channels worldwide. It will be the first time among Disney’s storybook princesses franchises that the main character is a little girl, who is whisked off to a glamorous but often confusing castle world of royalty, pomp and new step-siblings after her mom marries the king. The idea is to target the preschool demo. “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,” said Nancy Kanter, SVP Original Programming and General Manager of Disney Junior Worldwide. Ariel Winter (ABC’s Modern Family) will provide the voice of Sofia; the voice cast also includes Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy) as Queen Miranda; Wayne Brady (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) as Clover, a wise-talking rabbit; and Tim Gunn (Project Runway) as Baileywick, the family’s Royal Steward. Existing Disney characters also will be involved: Sleeping Beauty fairies Fauna, Flora and Merryweather will play headmistresses at Sofia’s school, and Cinderella and other princesses will make special appearances. Craig Gerber (Disney’s Pixie Hollow Games) developed the series and wrote the movie; he is co-executive producer and story editor. Jamie Mitchell (Special Agent Oso) is executive producer and director of the series.
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