The first time diversity in animation was introduced to me (to the best of my recollection) was Super Friends. There was Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, Samurai and El Dorado. It was a start in the right direction, even if their ethnic identities were tied to their names. It was until 1992, when I saw my own ethnic identity represented positively in Aladdin. It was kind of fun not seeing a Hispanic guy playing a Middle Eastern terrorist for a change.
Now, some 25 years later, Disney keeps the diversity train rolling along with Elena Of Avalor: Realm Of The Jaquins. A series starring their first Latina princess. Yes, it is obvious because she throws in some Spanish words here and there to remind you that hey, she’s Latina, but that’s been the case in Super Friends and into Kidd Video in the mid-1980s.
However, the great part about this series is that they don’t make an issue of her being Latina, she’s just Elena, a princess that goes on adventures with her ethnic identity being a secondary part of the series. Something I am grateful for, because if Aladdin had come out trying to hit me over the head with, “Hey, see! We’re making one of you the hero for a change!” I would have walked out of the theater.
In this collection of 10 shorts, Princess Elena (Aimee Carrero) makes her way through into Vallestrella by a hidden gateway entering the dominion of the Jaquins. Unfortunately, on this magical journey she accidentally releases a mythical forest sprite that tries to endanger Avalor! Now now our heroine along with the Jaquins’ must find the magical and legendary Sunbird Oracle to save the kingdom to save her kingdom and Vallestrella.
DVD Features Include:
Episodes: Realm of the Jaquins (44-minute episode)
Three Jaquins and a Princess
Bonus Features Include:
10 Bonus Shorts –
Adventures in Vallestrella – Flight of the Butterfrog
Adventures in Vallestrella – Sleeping Sunbird
Adventures in Vallestrella – Fast Food
Adventures in Vallestrella – Peabunny Boogie
Adventures in Vallestrella – Human Nature
Scepter Training with Zuzo – The Heist
Scepter Training with Zuzo – Royal Treasury Escape
Scepter Training with Zuzo – Nothing But Blaze
Scepter Training with Zuzo – Stoway
Scepter Training with Zuzo – Don’t Be Our Guest
Elena Of Avalor: Realm Of The Jaquins is out today on DVD.