Making her royal debut
> Aimee Carrerro gets her first voice acting role as Disney’s latest princess, Elena of Avalor
DISNEY’S first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore will make her royal debut on Elena of Avalor this Sunday at 11am on the Disney Channel (Astro channel 615).
The series is set in the fairytale land of Avalor, and tells the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress, and who must now learn to rule as the crown princess, until she is old enough to become queen.
Elena’s journey will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.
The highly-anticipated series features original music in each episode, including Elena’s anthem My Time, which has been localised in Bahasa Malaysia, and sung by popular singer Elizabeth Tan in a music video that has been entertaining Disney Channel audiences.
Elena is voiced by Aimee Carrero. Her recent television credits include roles on Young & Hungry, Blindspot and The Americans, while her film roles include The Last Witch Hunter and The Devil’s Due.
In a question-and-answer transcript provided by Disney Channel, Carrero, 28, spoke about giving voice to Elena.
How has this whole experience been like? “I decided to audition because I wanted a job, and I didn’t even know it was going to be for the first Latina Disney pincess.
“Disney wanted to keep it a surprise, so when I auditioned, I had no idea what it was for. It is an unexpected dream job!
“I never thought I would do animation (this is my first animation job). It’s been a learning experience and it’s incredibly creative.
“The whole team is open to suggestions and it’s definitely a team effort.”
Were there any memorable or funny behind-thescene moments? “Because I’m not a voice actor, I always give every line a few takes. The first couple of takes would be traditional ‘princessy’ takes.
“Then, to keep things fun and interesting, I would have some crazy takes that the producers would probably never use, but
To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before with Willie Nelson, My Love with Stevie sometimes it comes out really funny or unexpected, and they actually do use it.”
Do you think Elena makes a good role model? “Absolutely! I think Elena is a wonderful role model and leader, because she is not afraid to make mistakes. “She is still learning to navigate the world as a teenager, while being true to who she is. “My favourite thing about Elena is that she is unafraid to try again, and she is bold in the face of failure.”
Do you share any similar attributes with Elena? “Yes, I definitely identify with her being a person who is trying to figure out who she is, and also having this incredible responsibility. “Elena is someone who is ambitious and open to adventure; and that’s what I admire about her.”
Out of all Elena’s traits, which one do you think is “I think it’s compassion because if you have compassion, you can learn from other people.
“A true leader is someone who doesn’t use her power recklessly.
“In her compassion, Elena is thoughtful, and can put herself in someone else’s shoes and because of that, she is able to rule in a way that is kind and beneficial to people.”
What are some of your favourite Disney characters? “Disney has been in my family for a long time. My uncle is an Imagineer at Disney and ... I felt very much a part of the Disney family even before I had this opportunity to play Elena.
“Growing up, my favourite princesses were Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan, because they are princesses who are not afraid to get into the action, and they do not need a Prince Charming or anybody else to help them. They’re okay with taking control of their own story and being the hero.”
Any message for Malaysian viewers? “The story of Elena is a beautiful story about a girl who is trying to find her place in the world and become a leader; at the very core is a message about leadership, compassion and bravery.
“Also, I really feel the music is going to resonate with people – it’s one of my favourite things about the show!
“I think there’s something for everyone in Elena of Avalor and I hope Malaysian viewers will enjoy that.”