We’ve been watching it everyday, multiple times a day, and so it’s got to go on the blog.
If you haven’t caught this new series on our Disney Junior channels, then you’re truly missing out (not your child, you momma!). Sofia the First is a charming and smart take on the modern-day princess. She’s quite the personality; and a lot of little girls can relate to her. I’ve seen many a pretend play of little girls who pretend to become a “princess overnight” one way or the other, just like in our favorite Disney fairy tales of long ago. I feel it incorporates a lot of “current” situations and concerns that affect children in this day and age, but true to the Disney spirit, the Sofia series still has its own unique quirks that make it more than adorable.
Sofia wasn’t born into princess-hood, but her mom decides to marry the King of Enchancia (what back stories the writers had on this, I can only imagine!), and so the series revolves around her trying to be a “proper princess”. Essentially, she straddles all worlds — royal, common and enchanted. As a present, Sofia is also given a magical amulet — which helps her in times of need, which curses her when she isn’t being very good, and allows her to speak to animals. Clover the bunny is of course a hit with Jamie. The tales have witches and flying horses and a sorcerer who is trying to take over the kingdom and is hell-bent on stealing Sofia’s magical amulet in the process.
Sofia has step-siblings, twins Amber and James. Having a brother makes it slightly appealing even to the boys, as it allows Sofia to explore non-princess things, such as picnic games, or trying out for the flying Derby. She even gets into trouble boys normally would get themselves into, because of James.
Even Sofia’s relationship with Amber is not your typical wicked stepsister story (except probably in the pilot episode when Sofia was first brought into the castle). And that makes sense, because children that age really don’t have malicious intentions. It shows how the girls fight, disagree but still get along and act like true sisters in the end. I actually love Amber (and so does Jamie), she’s royally cute. And she has an amazing singing voice!
I let the girls enjoy Sofia the First repeatedly, first of all because of the life lessons. In twenty-two minutes, Sofia and the people around her are able to convey a great lesson to parents and children alike. There is a story about being a good sport. Another one is about telling the truth, and not covering up for lies. There’s another one meant for parents, to allow children to experience the world for themselves (within reason and limits of course, and with proper supervision). The fun part of it is, sometimes the creators have the princesses of the past make special magical appearances.
According to Sam, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel and Princess Aurora have all made appearances as well in the several episodes she’s seen. And the nice part is, the writers are able to link a prevailing theme from their own Disney Princess stories and link it to the lesson Sofia needs to learn in that episode. It makes these princesses of the past relevant to little girls who may have never watched their movies before (and whose parents may not want them to watch it because Princesses these days are evolving as we’ve seen!). It’s kind of cool that way in my book.
The next is because of the songs. I’m quite impressed by the lyrics, the melody and how it always fits perfectly into the story. How do they make so many songs so catchy? It’s amazing. I sometimes catch myself singing to it too at odd times of the day.
The third is more for me really — because I love Tim Gunn (of course I am a Project Runway fan)! He is the voice of Baileywick, the castle caretaker (and essentially the children’s babysitter). There are references in some episodes to suggest that he used to care for the King too when he was a boy. The first time I saw Sofia, I knew immediately it was him and I was hooked.
I love even how they styled Baileywick’s character to resemble Tim Gunn. And how his songs or some of his famous lines make it even into the stories. Like “Make it Work!” 😉
Sofia the First is a good thing to have in my book, and on my TV. The girls are captivated by everyone on the screen. It helps make certain key lessons concrete. And when they play pretend princesses or something of the sort, I really don’t mind that they reference Sofia, Amber and the rest of their crew. 🙂
Sofia the First is on daily at 1030AM, with Replays at 630PM.