Washington, October 21 (ANI): When the news broke this week about the movie 'Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess', some celebrated the long awaited addition of a Latina character while others questioned Disney's physical portrayal of a 'Latina' princess and the decision to not emphasize her heritage.
Sofia's fair complexion, light eyes, and reddish-brown hair have many questioning if her character is one the Latino community can relate to, the Huffington Post reported.
The movie will be premiering on Disney Channel on November 18, followed by a 2013 television series on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
During the press tour of the TV movie, geared toward kids ages 2 to 7, a blogger pointed out that Miranda, Sofia's mother voiced by "Grey's Anatomy's" Sara Ramirez, had a darker complexion than the other characters.
To which executive producer Jamie Mitchell responded, "She is Latina."
In the movie, Sofia (voiced by Ariel Winter of "Modern Family") is a regular girl who must learn to adjust to her new royal lifestyle after her mother marries King Roland II of Enchancia. But while the new princess learns the ropes at her new school Royal Prep, Disney isn't planning on placing her ethnicity center-stage.
"We never actually call it out," the Huffington Post quoted Joe D'Ambrosia, vice president of Disney Junior original programming as telling Entertainment Weekly.
"When we go into schools [to talk to young students about the show], what I find fascinating is that every girl thinks that they're Sofia," D'Ambrosia stated.
On Friday, Today news anchor Natalie Morales said that, as a fair skinned Puerto Rican woman, she could relate to this depiction of a Latina.
"In my opinion, as a Latina, this is something I've had many people say," Morales said on NBC's morning show.
"'You're Puerto Rican? You don't look Puerto Rican.' What does a Puerto Rican look like? There are so many different kinds of Hispanic-blonde, green, blue eyes-we come with all colours and types," she added.
Fans that agree with Morales point out that a light complexion isn't the problem with the way Disney is presenting their Latina princess.
"@latina There are fair-skinned Latinas ... What's problematic is Disney saying they made her blanquita so kids could identify with her," tweeted
Sabrina Vourvoulias (@followthelede).
When Disney presented Tiana, Disney's first African-American Princess, in "The Princess and The Frog" (2009) a producer emphasized the pivotal role her heritage had on the movie making process.
"We wanted her to bear the traits of African-American women and be truly beautiful," producer Peter Del Vecho told The New York Times.
The fact that Disney doesn't seem to want to do the same with Sofia has Latino activists like Lisa Navarrete upset.
"But with Sofia, it's like, 'Oh, by the way, she's Latina. That just doesn't make any sense. It really bothers me," the spokeswoman for La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy organization, told The Daily.com. (ANI)