She-Ra herself, Aimee Carrero, goes from being the Princess of Power to the Princess of Genovia from The Princess Diaries in this clip from Talkin’ Toons with Rob Paulsen!
Category: Interviews & Articles
She-Ra is coming back to our screens thanks in part to the show’s producer, Noelle Stevenson! Chances are, you already know this. If you don’t, let’s get you up to speed.
When first images of DreamWorks Animation’s She-Ra reboot were released back in July, a few (vocal) fans were upset. Complaining about the new style and look, their online upset generated a bit of attention. But the modern day creators have had it with the sexist commentary from the Internet. And they’re not backing down.
“Boyish lesbian re-images SHE-RA as a boyish lesbian,” mocked one user in a now-deleted tweet. Another opined, “Netflix is clearly afraid of She-Ra looking like a beautiful woman.”
At the Netflix panel for “She-Ra and the Princess of Power” Thursday at New York Comic-Con, Aimee Carrero (“Elena of Avalor”), who voices the titular character, called the comments sexist but “easy to ignore.”
“It’s 2018 and we’re commenting on women’s bodies still?”Carrero said. “We’re still doing that? Haven’t we learned enough? So it’s kind of boring, to be honest, and easy to ignore.”
Noelle Stevenson, the show’s creator, also said it was unfair to focus on negative reactions as she has found the reception to be overwhelmingly positive.
“We have this wall of fan art in the office that we’ve been adding to, whenever new fan art comes in and it’s exploded. That’s so much of what I’ve seen in response and by comparison, the naysayers haven’t been the loudest voice,” Stevenson said. “So I think, when I get that question, I’m kinda just like, ‘Why are those the voices that we center? Why are those the opinions that we raise up, above other opinions?’ I’m interested in that.”
What more, nitpicking appearances misses the core of the show, which is about female empowerment.
“Sure, it’s easy to shoot the rhetorical fish in this barrel by pointing out that grown men shouldn’t sexualize kids’ cartoons. But I think it goes further than that,” a Twitter user pointed out. “It’s about what She-Ra teaches children about how girls should look. A show that is for girls should be teaching girls that they are worthy of respect no matter how they look.”
The majority of voices online seem to not only defend the reboot, but applaud the new narrative given to the character, which was evident in the new trailer released at the convention (above).
“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” premieres on Netflix on Nov. 16.
Aimee was on Good Morning America today for their Disney’s Day of Giving. Just another reason to adore her.
You can watch a segment from her interview here or on Hulu. The whole episode of Good Morning America was great and inspiring today. If you just want to watch Aimee’s part on Hulu you can jump to 46:45. I have added screencaps and stills to the gallery. Enjoy.
Aimee made an appearance on Hollywood Live Today a couple days ago. Check out her segment below and photos! Enjoy.
Once upon a time in the land of West Kendall, there was a girl named Aimee Carrero who enjoyed watching Disney princesses, especially Sleeping Beauty and Mulan.
Even then, the Dominican-Puerto Rican girl knew that something was amiss. There weren’t any princesses with brown hair and eyes that looked and spoke like her and her friends.
Cue the magic wand and flash forward to 2016. Carrero not only gets to see a Latina princess, she gets to be one.
She’s the voice of Elena Castillo Flores in “Elena of Avalor,” the Disney Channel series that debuted July 22 and airs 7:30 p.m. Fridays. The character is being hailed as Disney’s first Latina princess.
“For me personally, growing up, I always wanted to see my images represented, especially in mainstream media,” says Carrero, who sounds as polite and giddy as the princess she breathes life into.
Carrero said she understands the significance of the role and its potential influence on today’s young audiences.
“I think it’s important because not only will it give thousands and hopefully millions of Latinos out there some representation, but I think also it will invite this princess into people’s homes who may not have any experience with Latin people. And that can only be good for promoting tolerance and unity among our cultures,” said Carrero, 28. “I think it just has a high social significance so I am honored to be the one chosen for it.”
“I would describe Elena as adventurous, self-possessed. She’s bold but she’s compassionate and she has a very strong sense of justice and family,” said Carrero, speaking from Los Angeles where she’s based.
Too young to be queen, Elena learns to rule her port-city kingdom with the help of her grandparents, royal general counsel and friends. As she learns more about her people and their needs, she also discovers what it really takes to be a future queen.
The show incorporates various Latin and Hispanic influences, from the castle’s Spanish and Aztec-like architecture to the music that Elena plays on her guitar. Viewers will hear bits of salsa, banda, reggaeton and merengue in the musical numbers that Carrero sings. Her character, who is pan-Latina, also has flowing dark hair that she styles with an apricot mallow flower, which is found in Southern California and Mexico. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the show.
Disney is marketing the program with dolls, earrings, dresses, shoes and books inspired by the princess character. And on Aug. 11, Walt Disney World in Orlando will have a royal welcome for a real-life version of the character at the Magic Kingdom where she’ll play a guitar and sing “My Time” from the show. Prince Charming and Snow White will also be in attendance.
The Elena character was introduced on an episode of another princess series “Sofia the First” which has been airing on the Disney Junior channel since 2012. Back then, the Sofia character drew criticism among some Hispanic viewers and advocates on whether she was Latina or not. The little girl character became a princess after her mother, who was said to come from a land inspired by Spain, marries a king.
At least one Hispanic media advocate applauds Disney’s move for adding a new Latina princess to the company’s canon of diverse princesses.
“They are saying that you (Hispanics) are there and we want to welcome and celebrate the fact you are there and very deserving of our efforts to inform and entertain,” said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit group that advocates for the increased presence of Latinos in TV and films.
He watched the show’s pilot and liked what he saw especially because his 4-year-old granddaughter has brown hair, eyes and coloring like the Disney princess. “All of the sudden she has someone who looks like her. She was just so happy about the whole thing.”
Dr. Maribel Del Rio-Roberts, a child psychologist and Nova Southeastern University instructor, agreed, noting that children can be empowered by seeing TV characters who look and sound like them.
“I think it gives young girls the opportunity to see that there are strong, Latin female figures,” said Del Rio-Roberts, assistant professor and program director in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at NSU in Davie. “It also draws little girls into this fantasy world where they can imagine themselves and look up to this princess who serves somewhat of a role model…(Elena) is not only beautiful. She is also strong, confident and independent.”
In Avalor, the princess’s grandparents and other characters speak with a Spanish accent while Elena and her little sister Isabel do not. Carrero can see why.
“I think it speaks to the modern Latino American living in the United States,” said Carrero. “I am second generation. My mom has a little bit of an accent. My grandmother doesn’t speak any English and my brother and I don’t have an accent. I think [Disney] wanted to represent what’s happening now with Latino people living here.”
For Carrero, the Elena role is the latest in a career that started at 14 in musical theater during summer camp programs at the former Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami and the Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables.
“They really sparked such a huge for passion for live theater which is really what started it all. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be performing in some capacity,” said Carrero who graduated from Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in 2006. “I am what you would call a ham.”
She later majored in international relations at Florida International University and was a member of the school’s model UN program. Since graduating in 2009, Carrero has been based in Los Angeles. She’s appeared in various TV shows from “Hannah Montana” and “Level Up” to “The Americans.”
But social media fans may best remember Carrero from her viral 2012 videos called “S— Miami Girls and Guys Say,” which poked fun at the exaggerated things that South Florida Latinas might say.
“At the time, I was so surprised but looking back, of course it caught on,” she said. “Especially in Miami and South Florida, we’re a very specific subculture of people. It’s heavily influenced by Latin culture but yet we are also American. Like Elena, it’s been a long time coming and I think people were ready, sort of desperate to see their stories told. I wear that like a badge of honor. I couldn’t be prouder of that.”
She’s also proud of her starring role in Freeform (former ABC Family) channel’s young adult TV series “Young & Hungry.” Since 2014, Carrero has played Sofia, the best friend of the show’s main character. Possibly in the works, a potential spin-off series that will focus on Carrero’s character as an aspiring journalist.
And like the princess she plays on TV who juggles various duties, Carrero will continue balancing her TV role while voicing Elena.
“I always say that I waited a long time and worked very very hard to get this busy. I hope that it just continues,” she said. “If I can just keep things fresh and keep working and stretching my acting muscles, that to me that’s the ultimate ultimate career.”