My 10 Biggest Questions About “Sofia the First”

Sofia_the_first_1

Update: The creator of Sofia the First answered my questions

I have a daughter that will turn 4 in a couple of months. Considering we spend a great deal of time together and I live in a place far from many of my friends, she is probably my best friend. She’s an amazing person, full of life, vitality, jokes, and questions. Oh, the questions.

From the beginning, we didn’t force her to play with any toys or watch any shows based on gender identity (not because we’re good liberals, though we are, but because we didn’t think about it). Thus, she loves all sorts of films and shows with all sorts of protagonists from Little Einsteins to Super Why to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to Sheriff Callie’s Wild West to most of the Pixar and Disney films. I’ve even started to get her into Batman: The Animated Series.

Like so many young girls, she’s drawn to princesses. She loves Anna and Elsa, Aurora and Belle, Cinderella and Snow White. Her favorite by far is Rapunzel. If asked to choose a second favorite, it’d be a battle between Minnie Mouse, Ariel, and Sofia.

If you don’t have kids and are therefore able to watch non-animated shows at any time of the day or night, you may not be familiar with Sofia. Voiced by Modern Family‘s Ariel Winter, the titular character of the Disney Junior show Sofia the First, Sofia is a girl of modest origins from the village of Dunwiddie in the kingdom of Enchancia who became a princess after her mother married King Roland II. As the show’s theme song explains in the first lines:

“I was a girl in the village doing all right/Then I became a princess overnight”

The king already had twins, a son and a daughter, James and Amber.

Think of The Brady Brunch meets Cindarella.

The show premiered as a movie titled Once Upon a Princess that generated 5 million viewers and led to a series, the episodes of which hover around 2 million viewers. Other voices on the show include Wayne Brady as a rabbit obsessed with food and naps (like Garfield) and Tim Gunn as Baileywick, the often hapless but kind castle steward. Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Bonnie Hunt, Jeffrey Tambor, and more also voice characters on occasion. 

When Sofia’s mother, Miranda, marries King Roland, he tells Sofia to call him Dad and gives her the Amulet of Avalor, a necklace and charm that has magical powers, allowing her to talk to animals and call other princesses when she’s in trouble (and even transform into a mermaid). This allows Disney to cross-promote their established princesses as surprise guest stars like when Sammy Davis, Jr. would pop out of a window to talk to Batman and Robin in the 1966 Batman TV show.

In every episode, Sofia finds herself in some sort of jam, a princess often shows up to help, and everything ends happily, all in twenty minutes. Again, just like The Brady Bunch.

That’s the gist.

This is a show I’ve been watching for a few years, having seen each episode at least three times, so in honor of my daughter’s nonstop queries, here are my ten biggest questions regarding this show:

  1. There is a sorcerer who lives in the basement of the castle. His name is Cedric the Sensational. However, in the early episodes, Sofia kept pronouncing it as “Seedrick,” even as he repeatedly corrected her. Why? And why did it just stop one day? For someone supposedly so clever, this made her look quite dumb.
  2. Amber is often jealous of Sofia’s amulet, even stealing it from Sofia’s neck one night in her sleep. This begs the question: why did King Roland give a magical amulet (that we later learn was owned by his sister when she was a child) to his stepdaughter but not his own biological child?
  3. Speaking of which, King Roland II is often referred to as the greatest king Enchancia has ever had. Why? He fucks up constantly and does very little to help those that aren’t also kings. One day, he lets his prepubescent son be king for a day so he can go relax. He’s the George W. Bush of royalty. How is he the best? Was Enchancia previously helmed by Stalin and Hitler?
  4. What happened to Roland’s wife? Originally, I thought it was maybe a Henry VIII sort of thing, but he has a son, so that can’t be it. King_roland
  5. On the flip side, what happened to Miranda’s husband?
  6. While we’re on the subject, Roland met Miranda, a shoemaker, when she was summoned to the castle to give the king a new pair of slippers and it was love at first sight. How does a village shoemaker get such easy access to the king? What if she were dangerous? Is this why Roland is so beloved, because people can just approach him? I can’t even get an audience with my congressman.
  7. It’s obvious that Roland and Miranda get married very quickly after meeting. Why the shotgun wedding? Was she pregnant? What happened to the baby? Did she have dirt on the king that she used to blackmail him? Or is Roland a serial monogamist who needs to be in a relationship at all times?
  8. Why doesn’t Sofia meet her (step)father or (step)siblings until the day of the wedding? They never had a get-to-know-you dinner beforehand? What about the rehearsal? Rapunzel_in_Sofia_the_First_4
  9. When Rapunzel shows up to help Sofia and Amber, she has her famous long blonde hair, which she uses to help them get out of a hole in which they’ve fallen. However, the last time we saw her, it had been cut off and turned dark. In fact, this was the reason there was no sequel (apart from the short Tangled Ever After). How?
  10. Similarly, when Ariel shows up to help, she’s a mermaid, but at the end of The Little Mermaid, she has taken on a human form and married Eric. Again, how? (Update: according to my sister-in-law, an amateur Ariel scholar: “It’s basically the synopsis of The Little Mermaid II – at the end, her daughter Melody chooses to partake in the human and mermaid world so it’s reasonable to assume that she and Ariel can pretty much go back and forth as they please.”)

Finally, this isn’t really a question, but in some episodes Sofia is incredibly clever, insightful, and prescient, yet other times she’s completely naive or, worse, disbelieving. This is a girl that talks to animals and has princesses appear when she needs them, yet she’s still adamant that certain things can’t possibly be true. And she never learns from her mistakes. She is constantly betrayed by bad spirits and animals pretending to be good. I know this is meant to show how she has a good heart and believes in the human race, but I see it as a major character flaw.

This show infuriates the hell out of me. Can’t wait to watch the next 100 episodes.

After reading this, the show’s creator answered my questions. Read them by clicking here.


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Medium, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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10 thoughts on “My 10 Biggest Questions About “Sofia the First”

  1. Jessica

    I sometimes think that Roland’s first queen died in childbirth with the twins. There’s no modern electricity-based technology in Enchancia, and therefore no modern medical technology. Childbrith is dangerous (especially with twins) so… But on the other hand, if they had a ball after the twins were born (to welcome them, as mentioned in Once Upon a Princess) but they were mourning the first queen…awkward!

    And I want to know why Aunt Tilly didn’t become Queen when King Roland I died. Is she an illegitimate daughter? Are women excluded from succession? Is it related to King Roland II’s first wishing well wish?

    But, yeah, this show is infuriating and yet addictive.

    Like

  2. Ashley Riedell

    I may not be the creator, but I think I may have answers to some of your questions:

    “1.There is a sorcerer who lives in the basement of the castle. His name is Cedric the Sensational. However, in the early episodes, Sofia kept pronouncing it as “Seedrick,” even as he repeatedly corrected her. Why? And why did it just stop one day? For someone supposedly so clever, this made her look quite dumb.”

    It was a running joke that also surprisingly served a purpose later on. As we see that after Cedric and Sofia got to know each other a lot better in season two Sofia actually got his name right. It’s also important to note that he usually only corrects her once she was out of the room, so it’s possible that she just didn’t hear him.

    “3.Speaking of which, King Roland II is often referred to as the greatest king Enchancia has ever had. Why? He fucks up constantly and does very little to help those that aren’t also kings. One day, he lets his prepubescent son be king for a day so he can go relax. He’s the George W. Bush of royalty. How is he the best? Was Enchancia previously helmed by Stalin and Hitler?”

    Well in the episode in which they called him that we see him making great improvements with his community by fixing the food shortage, opening a school and generally making the community better in the one day we see him in action.That’s pretty impressive, As for your example it’s been stated in “Baker’s King” that he was overly stressed and overly worked so he wanted to live a simpler life, so maybe having his son take over one day didn’t seem like such a bad idea to him. After all, it was just one day…right?

    “7.While we’re on the subject, Roland met Miranda, a shoemaker, when she was summoned to the castle to give the king a new pair of slippers and it was love at first sight. How does a village shoemaker get such easy access to the king? What if she were dangerous? Is this why Roland is so beloved, because people can just approach him? I can’t even get an audience with my congressman.”

    lol, that was an homage to Cinderella, because instead of the princess/queen having the glass SLIPPER put on her it was the prince/king having a slipper put on him, and the slipper is what determined who the prince will marry. Because she needed to deliver that shoes to him. Besides, there were two guards right next to him so he would be safe.

    “Finally, this isn’t really a question, but in some episodes Sofia is incredibly clever, insightful, and prescient, yet other times she’s completely naive or, worse, disbelieving. This is a girl that talks to animals and has princesses appear when she needs them, yet she’s still adamant that certain things can’t possibly be true. And she never learns from her mistakes. She is constantly betrayed by bad spirits and animals pretending to be good. I know this is meant to show how she has a good heart and believes in the human race, but I see it as a major character flaw.”

    Well, to be fair it’s kind of hard to tell what animal and spirits are good when you constantly see the mix of both,Like the trolls, a dragon, Amber(the rich girl stereotype usually treated as one note), a witch, and tons of other stuff supposed to be evil but isn’t. It’s kind of hard to judge a character when everything seems so mix match.I suppose that still doesn’t change the fact that she is too trusting, but like the creator said that is a flaw and a hard obstacle for her to beat so it’s going to take her awhile to get rid of it. I honestly don’t see where you’re coming from with her being disbelieving as I’ve never seen her not trust or believe somebody.Aside from one episode in which was horribly written with the moral “trust your gut”, but that only happened once for the sake of the moral at the end.

    9 and 10:

    “When Rapunzel shows up to help Sofia and Amber, she has her famous long blonde hair, which she uses to help them get out of a hole in which they’ve fallen. However, the last time we saw her, it had been cut off and turned dark. In fact, this was the reason there was no sequel (apart from the short Tangled Ever After). How?
    Similarly, when Ariel shows up to help, she’s a mermaid, but at the end of The Little Mermaid, she has taken on a human form and married Eric. Again, how? (Update: according to my sister-in-law, an amateur Ariel scholar: “It’s basically the synopsis of The Little Mermaid II – at the end, her daughter Melody chooses to partake in the human and mermaid world so it’s reasonable to assume that she and Ariel can pretty much go back and forth as they please.”)”

    This is just a theory, but I think the amulet bases the princesses appearance based off of what problem they had during the said similar problem Sofia is having.This is supported by Ariel being a mermaid at the time when both the humans and mermaids didn’t get along. Also, Rapunzel had long blonde hair during the time when Flynn didn’t get Rapunzel’s trust. Not to mention Cinderella’s similar problem was when she was a princess, so we see her in a blue princess gown. Otherwise, we can assume that they died at an old age since they lived “Happily Ever After”. To me, this theory explains a lot, but then again since it is a theory I could be wrong.

    Sorry for that wall of text I’m just a big fan of the show, so I wanted to share my thoughts! Have a nice day!

    Like

      1. Why would you even bother to complain about a tv series, that is meant for what? Meant for what?,Come on I know you can say it, meant for what? Meant for ENTERTAINMENT, YOU FREAKING FUCKING IDIOT, YES YOU ARE AN IDIOT IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW DISNEY WORKS, FOR EXAMPLE, TAKE LIZZIE MCGUIRE TV SERIES OR MORE IMPORTANTLY TAKE THE MOVIE THAT SPAWNED FROM THERE CALLED “THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE” AND IN THAT MOVIE LIZZIE MCGUIRE PLAYS AS AN ITALIAN SINGER CALLED ISABELLA AND ALL THAT AND THOSE ARE LIKE A MILEY CYRUS AND HANNAH MONTANA LOOK ALIKES, REMEMBER, THIS TIME, THE NORMAL GIRL IS MILEY CYRUS, WHILE THE BLONDE GIRL IS THE STAR, UNLIKE THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE SERIES, THE BLONDE IS THE NORMAL WHILE THE RED-HAIRED IS THE STAR. AND ANOTHER THING, IS THAT WELL BOTH MILEY CYRUS AND HILARY DUFF(WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG, NOT COUNTING MILEY CYRUS CURRENT LOOKS ONLY HER HM LOOKS), BOTH LOOK LIKE MY GIRL COUSIN. WHICH MEANS THEY BOTH LOOK LIKE EACH OTHER, WHICH MEANS DISNEY TRIES TO FIND DOUBLES OF THE OLD SUCCESSFUL DISNEY TV SERIES. LOOK AT THE NICKELODEON SHOWS ARE STARTING TO COPY OFF OF DISNEY LOOKALIKES, THE TEEN STAR OF THE HAUNTED HATHAWAYS, THE TEEN STAR OF THE THUNDERMANS ARE LOOKALIKES OF SELENA GOMEZ. EXACT LOOKALIKES. ALRIGHT. THAT’S HOW DISNEY WORKS USING THIER LIVE ACTION TV SERIES. DAMN. NOW FOR THEIR ANIMATED STUFF, IT’S CALLED ANIMATED FOR A REASON, THE REASON FOR THE NOT TELLING OF THE WHOLE STORY ALLOWS FANS TO SPECULATE AND CREATE FANFICTIONS OF THE STORY LINE TO FILL IN THE BLANKS OR IF THEY ACTUALLY FILLED IN THE BLANKS, THEY WOULD HAVE TO ADD A DISCLAIMERS “THIS SHOWS MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGES 18 YRS OLD, EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A CARTOON TO MARKETED TO THOSE CHILDREN THOUGH IT IS DARK AND DREARY?” WOULD YOU WANT THAT KIND OF DISCLAIMER ON THE THE STUFF YES OR NOT.

        Like

  3. I may not be the creator, but I think I may have answers to some of your questions:

    “1.There is a sorcerer who lives in the basement of the castle. His name is Cedric the Sensational. However, in the early episodes, Sofia kept pronouncing it as “Seedrick,” even as he repeatedly corrected her. Why? And why did it just stop one day? For someone supposedly so clever, this made her look quite dumb.”

    It was a running joke that also surprisingly served a purpose later on. As we see that after Cedric and Sofia got to know each other a lot better in season two Sofia actually got his name right. It’s also important to note that he usually only corrects her once she was out of the room, so it’s possible that she just didn’t hear him.

    “3.Speaking of which, King Roland II is often referred to as the greatest king Enchancia has ever had. Why? He fucks up constantly and does very little to help those that aren’t also kings. One day, he lets his prepubescent son be king for a day so he can go relax. He’s the George W. Bush of royalty. How is he the best? Was Enchancia previously helmed by Stalin and Hitler?”

    Well in the episode in which they called him that we see him making great improvements with his community by fixing the food shortage, opening a school and generally making the community better in the one day we see him in action.That’s pretty impressive. As for your example, it’s been stated in “Baker’s King” that he was overly stressed and overly worked so he wanted to live a simpler life, so maybe having his son take over one day didn’t seem like such a bad idea to him. After all, it was just one day…right?

    “7.While we’re on the subject, Roland met Miranda, a shoemaker, when she was summoned to the castle to give the king a new pair of slippers and it was love at first sight. How does a village shoemaker get such easy access to the king? What if she were dangerous? Is this why Roland is so beloved, because people can just approach him? I can’t even get an audience with my congressman.”

    lol, that was an homage to Cinderella, because instead of the princess/queen having the glass SLIPPER put on her it was the prince/king having a slipper put on him, and the slipper is what determined who the prince will marry. Because she needed to deliver that shoes to him. Besides, there were two guards right next to him so he would be safe.

    “Finally, this isn’t really a question, but in some episodes Sofia is incredibly clever, insightful, and prescient, yet other times she’s completely naive or, worse, disbelieving. This is a girl that talks to animals and has princesses appear when she needs them, yet she’s still adamant that certain things can’t possibly be true. And she never learns from her mistakes. She is constantly betrayed by bad spirits and animals pretending to be good. I know this is meant to show how she has a good heart and believes in the human race, but I see it as a major character flaw.”

    Well, to be fair it’s kind of hard to tell what animal and spirits are good when you constantly see the mix of both,Like the trolls, a dragon, Amber(the rich girl stereotype usually treated as one note), a witch, and tons of other stuff supposed to be evil but isn’t. It’s kind of hard to judge a character when everything seems so mix match.I suppose that still doesn’t change the fact that she is too trusting, but like the creator said that is a flaw and a hard obstacle for her to beat so it’s going to take her awhile to get rid of it. I honestly don’t see where you’re coming from with her being disbelieving as I’ve never seen her not trust or believe somebody.Aside from one episode in which was horribly written with the moral “trust your gut”, but that only happened once for the sake of the moral at the end.

    9 and 10:

    “When Rapunzel shows up to help Sofia and Amber, she has her famous long blonde hair, which she uses to help them get out of a hole in which they’ve fallen. However, the last time we saw her, it had been cut off and turned dark. In fact, this was the reason there was no sequel (apart from the short Tangled Ever After). How?
    Similarly, when Ariel shows up to help, she’s a mermaid, but at the end of The Little Mermaid, she has taken on a human form and married Eric. Again, how? (Update: according to my sister-in-law, an amateur Ariel scholar: “It’s basically the synopsis of The Little Mermaid II – at the end, her daughter Melody chooses to partake in the human and mermaid world so it’s reasonable to assume that she and Ariel can pretty much go back and forth as they please.”)”

    This is just a theory, but I think the amulet bases the princesses appearance based off of what problem they had during the said similar problem Sofia is having.This is supported by Ariel being a mermaid at the time when both the humans and mermaids didn’t get along. Also, Rapunzel had long blonde hair during the time when Flynn didn’t get Rapunzel’s trust. Not to mention Cinderella’s similar problem was when she was a princess, so we see her in a blue princess gown. Otherwise, we can assume that they died at an old age since they lived “Happily Ever After”. To me, this theory explains a lot, but then again since it is a theory I could be wrong.

    Sorry for that wall of text I’m just a big fan of the show, so I wanted to share my thoughts! Have a nice day!

    Like

  4. Okay maybe he wasn’t completely vague(that was one of the reasons I didn’t attempt to answer all the questions), but he did seem to be too vague at most of his answers.So I felt like throwing my two cent in.

    Like

  5. Klaus Møller

    What happened to Roland’s wife?: I think that Jessica is right. I think she died in childbirth. And Mirandas husband?. I think she wasn’t married but Sofia’s biological father ran away when Miranda told him she was pregnant, because he wouldn’t take the responsibillity. She never told Roland it because she knew he would try to find and punish him.

    Like

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