If you read my last post on planning a trip to Disney World, you know that I love Disney. But when my daughter first expressed an interest in watching Sofia the First, I had inherent bias towards Princess Sofia. I thought, “Probably a Disney Princess having royal adventures with her rich friends.” I wanted a show with more substance for my daughter. One evening, however, I decided to watch an episode of Sofia the First. I assumed that my thoughts about the show’s superficial nature would be validated. I was so wrong.
Princess Sofia is awesome! The show tackles some important issues faced by children and adults alike, and teaches some great lessons. Shame on me for passing judgment before informing myself, right? So in light of this revelation, I want to celebrate Princess Sofia and all that she offers her fans. And I’ve included many links to video clips and songs from the show!
7 Reasons why Princess Sofia is the Best Disney Princess
1. The show’s vocal talent is top-notch!
The cast is full of fantastic actors, including Ariel Winter, Wayne Brady, Eric Stonestreet, Sara Ramirez, Darcy Rose Byrnes, and Tim Gunn. But the actors that make guest appearances are just as phenomenal. Vivica A. Fox voices the Good Samaritan Carol of the Arrow, Ming-Na Wen returns as Mulan (and plays a new character, Vega), Megan Mullally voices the evil fairy Miss Nettle, and Lea Solanga reprises her singing roles as Jasmine and Mulan. They don’t mess around!
2. She absolutely destroys conventional gender roles and stereotypes.
In the very first episode, Sofia wants to join her school’s Flying Derby team (guiding flying horses through airborne obstacles). Everyone tells her she can’t do it, since it’s not a “princess thing.” But Sofia believes that anything can be a princess thing, so she goes for it and shows the boys that she is just as capable as they are.
In another episode, Prince Hugo is really good at ice dancing but isn’t on the school ice dancing team. So Princess Sofia urges him to join their team. He struggles with upsetting his father, but in the end he perfectly performs an ice dancing routine with Sofia.
3. 99% of the time, Princess Sofia wants to do the right thing.
Like any child (and adult), Sofia wants to shirk her responsibilities from time to time. But overall, she wants to help others and do the right thing in any given situation. She befriends a shy classmate, Vivian, who the other students think is weird. She assists their butler Baileywick when he’s having a day of clumsy accidents. And she helps Amber realize how important her twin brother is to her.
4. She owns up to her mistakes.
When Princess Sofia is chosen to sing her kingdom’s anthem at a festival, she abandons her friends and believes she’s more talented than they are. So naturally, she’s cursed to croak like a frog when she tries to sing. Belle shows up and explains to her that actions speak louder than words when apologizing for a mistake. Princess Sofia then apologizes and decides that her friends should sing the kingdom’s anthem at the festival to make up for her rude behavior.
5. The songs are terrific fun (and many have impactful messages).
You guys – I listen to these songs while I’m driving in the car by myself. They’re that amazing! Some of my favorite fun songs on the show are “Bigger Is Better” (Princess Amber sings about planning an over-the-top party), “Blue Ribbon Bunny” (a fun dance song where Clover the rabbit educates Sofia on how awesome he is), and “Make Way for Miss Nettle” (I mean, it’s Megan Mullally singing as an evil fairy).
Of the impactful songs, one of my absolute favorites is “Stronger Than You Know,” sang primarily by Mulan. She encourages Princesses Sofia, Amber, and Jun to overcome their doubt and be confident in their ability to surpass difficult obstacles.
6. Princess Sofia inspires others to be honest.
During a class project, Sofia is paired up with Hildegard, who’s a know-it-all. They get into a bit of trouble during class because Hildegard professes to know a spell when she actually doesn’t. Princess Hildegard then confesses to Sofia that she only acts like she knows it all because she thinks people won’t like her if she doesn’t know everything. Princess Sofia assures her that friends prefer honesty over a know-it-all (#truth).
7. She remains true to her roots.
Sofia may be a princess living in a castle now, but like J.Lo, she knows her roots. She’s still best friends with Ruby and Jade, who live in the village, and she spends time with them in the village. She meets a new friend, Lucinda the witch, while helping decorate Jade’s house for her birthday party. And she even chose to be on the village’s Dazzleball team over her family’s team. Don’t be fooled by the tiaras that she’s got, cuz’ she’s still Sofia from the block!