Princess Elena of Avalor, a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairytale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore, will be introduced in a special episode of Disney Junior’s hit series “Sofia the First” beginning production now for a 2016 premiere. That exciting story arc will usher in the 2016 launch of the animated series “Elena of Avalor,” a production of Disney Television Animation. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. The role of 16-year-old Princess Elena, the bold, caring, funny and clever ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor, will be voiced by Aimee Carrero (ABC Family’s “Young & Hungry”). As with all Disney Junior programming, “Elena of Avalor” stories will be guided by an established curriculum that nurtures multiple areas of child development: physical, emotional, social and cognitive; thinking and creative skills, as well as moral and ethical development. Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories are designed to communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to young children about leadership, resilience, diversity, compassion and the importance of family and family traditions. The series will be presented in 25 languages on Disney Junior channels and daily programming blocks for kids age 2-7 on Disney Channels, among other platforms, in 154 countries around the world. On television alone, its estimated daily reach will be over 207-million households. Princess Elena’s journey began long ago when her parents and kingdom were taken from her by the evil sorceress, Shuriki. Elena bravely faced the sorceress to protect her little sister, Princess Isabel, and grandparents but in the process, her magical amulet pulled her inside its enchanted jewel, saving her life but imprisoning her at the same time. Decades later, Princess Sofia of Enchancia discovers the truth about the amulet she has worn since joining her royal family and sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor. While Elena is the rightful heir to the throne, she is only age 16 so she will rule Avalor with the help of a Grand Council comprised of her Grandfather Tito, Grandmother Cici and Royal Advisor, Duke Esteban. With some magical friends by her side – Mateo, a wizard-in-training, and Skylar, a magical flying creature – Princess Elena’s further adventures will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders. “Elena of Avalor” is executive-produced by Craig Gerber (of the Emmy Award-nominated “Sofia the First”). Silvia Cardenas Olivas (“Moesha,” “The Brothers Garcia”), an alumna of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Television Writers Program, is the story editor, and Elliot M. Bour (“The Little Engine That Could”) is the supervising director. The series’ cultural advisors are Doris Sommer, Harvard University professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish; and Marcela Davison Aviles, Managing Director and Executive Producer, El Camino Project, an international Latino arts initiative. The series is a spin-off of “Sofia the First,” which has delivered the two highest-rated telecasts in cable TV history among Kids 2-5 and Girls 2-5, and the #2 preschooler cable TV telecast ever in Total Viewers, Adults 18-40 and Women 18-49. Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. In the U.S., Disney Junior is a daily programming block on Disney Channel and a 24-hour channel. There are 34 Disney Junior channels in 25 languages around the world.