Star named after Disney princess now gets to be one

  • By Rick Bentley The Fresno Bee
  • Friday, November 16, 2012 2:33pm
  • Life

“Modern Family” star Ariel Winter wanted to grow up to be “a doctor, Wonder Woman or a lot of other different things.” She would be lying like Pinocchio if she didn’t finally admit that she was born to be a Disney princess.

“I was named after the Little Mermaid and she’s always been my favorite. That’s why I also wanted to be a princess when I was younger,” said the 14-year-old actress.

It’s as if the Blue Fairy granted Ariel’s wish because she’s now providing the voice for the new Disney Junior’s animated princess Sofia the First. A movie, “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess,” airs at 7 p.m. Sunday night to introduce the character. Then her royal TV series will be unveiled early next year.

This is a change in the world of Disney Princesses. All of the other members of the royal court — Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, etc. — have come from feature films. Sofia is the first introduced in an original TV movie and series.

Sofia is also a game changer because she is the first preteen to wear the crown. The film explains how Sofia is suddenly thrown into the royal world when her mother marries King Roland II. That means instead of being worried whether her Prince will come, Sofia’s got schoolwork and peer pressure to keep her busy.

Before you can say bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, Sophia finds herself living in a castle alongside her step-siblings, Amber and James. If there’s one thing a Disney Princess needs to know is how to handle step-family. She gets help from the usual cast of Disney characters: the stuffy steward Baileywick (voiced by Tim Gunn); a gaggle of cute woodland creatures; and three familiar looking headmistresses at the Royal Prep Academy: Fauna, Flora and Merryweather, the trio who were a royal help for Princess Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty.”

“There will also be a lot of the classic Disney Princess because Sofia has an amulet, given to her by her step-father, that gives her special powers like being able to talk to the animals or get help from other Princesses when she’s in trouble,” Ariel said.

It’s a royal secret as to which Princesses will show up, but Ariel’s rooting for an appearance by her namesake.

It wouldn’t be the proper vehicle for a Disney Princess without a few musical numbers. No matter which Princess shows up, you can count on a tune or two with Sofia.

Ariel’s been acting since she was 6, appearing in commercials, movies such as “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” and the TV shows “ER” and “Crossing Jordan.” Currently, the San Diego native gets to show off her comedy skills playing Alex Dunphy on the ABC comedy “Modern Family.” But there haven’t been a lot of opportunities to sing until now.

More in Life

Mukilteo’s Hani Hani scores with the police chief

The Japanese restaurant serves dishes (poke, ramen, grill) inspired by the Hawaiian islands.

‘Coco’ is another eye-popping home run for Pixar/Disney

The animated movie’s a lively, touching tale of honoring family, following dreams.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Barrel-aged Belgian Winter

Made in 2013, the dark strong ale was stowed away in barrels. The brewery tests one each year.

‘Love, Chaos and Dinner’ an Teatro ZinZanni’s original show

The “Parsian cabaret” is a superb circus dinner theater operation in Marymoor Park through April 29.

Heavy Hollywood headlines: Robert Horton’s movies preview

In the midst of all the sexual-misconduct allegations, the holiday film season offers some relief.

Denzel Washington’s remarkable performance isn’t helped by plot

The actor is convincing as an awkward, eccentric lawyer, but unconvincing contrivances pile up.

‘The Breadwinner’ animation is strong, but its story is stilted

The Cartoon Saloon film never lets you forget that you’re here to learn an important lesson.

Pianist Kaitlyn Gia Lee, 10, of Mill Creek, will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major on Nov. 26 with the Everett Philharmonic Orchestra.
Young pianist to perform Mozart with Everett Philharmonic

Kaitlyn Gia Lee, 10, of Mill Creek, will play the piano at the Music for the Imagination concert.

Liz Oyama as Belle, Jimmi Cook as Gaston and John Han as Lefou star in the Edmonds Driftwood Players production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” opening Nov. 24. Magic Photo
In Driftwood’s ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ Belle has girl-power bend

Edmonds Driftwood Players presents Disney’s adaptation of the fair tale Nov. 24 through Dec. 17.

Most Read