An article at Deadline informs us that Sofia's TV movie will air Fall 2012 and will be followed by a TV series in Spring 2013. Sofia will be the first Disney Princess who is the same age as her intended audience: around 4-6 years old, if her picture is anything to go by. Many parents, however, can attest that Disney Princess mania often begins much, much earlier.
Sofia is allegedly a commoner whose mother married a king, thus making her a princess. A Disney exec says this is to make Sofia more "relatable" to viewers, apparently conveniently forgetting that neither Tiana, Belle, nor Mulan were born princesses either. And poor Mulan even made the mistake of marrying a soldier, so no tiara for her.
Of course, Disney can't marry off a six-year-old, so Sofia's mother has to take the fall for her. Disney wants to make a character young viewers can relate to, but I'm not sure how many American children are lucky enough to have parents who marry into royalty.
The truth is that Disney is constantly looking for more ways to milk its Disney Princess brand (and for good reason, too ... it earns approximately 4 billion dollars a year). Disney keep saying they're turning away from princesses, but the allure of marketability keeps drawing them back.
Meanwhile, we're all forced to suffer through yet another Hollywood adaptation of a princess narrative. I never thought I'd say this, but ... Disney, please come back!
Just not like this.