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79 years in the making, Disney introduces its first Latina princess.

She's adventurous. She's independent. She's a new type of princess.

Meet Elena of Avalor. She's the newest Disney princess, but that's not what makes her special. She's also making history as their first-ever Latina princess, and audiences couldn't be happier.

It's been almost 80 years since Walt Disney released his first full-length animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," in 1937, but not a single princess of Latin descent has taken center stage until now.

Latinos are the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. with 55 million people, and that number is growing. Elena is already making a difference by highlighting just some of the things Latino culture has to offer.


Princess Elena of Avalor. ©Disney Channel.

Elena is no damsel in distress or the type to sit around waiting for Prince Charming, either. In fact, her storyline does not include a love interest.

The story follows 16-year-old Elena, who's been trapped in an amulet but has returned to rule her kingdom of Avalor and restore it to greatness. Because she's still so young, she needs advice from the Grand Council: grandfather Francisco, grandmother Luisa, and adviser Chancellor Esteban.

©Disney Channel.

We're so used to seeing princesses like Aurora lying lifeless on a bed waiting for her prince to bring her back to life with a kiss. Or Cinderella being whisked away to the ball with a beautiful gown on loan to impress the man who will ultimately save her from a life of servitude.

Don't get me wrong. We all love a good Disney movie, and their past films are truly classics — there's no denying that. But it's a new era.

Aimee Carrero, who voices the character of Elena, told ABC News, "I think that as women, whatever ethnicity, we want a balance of everything. But I think this message when it goes out to a young audience, it’s like, find yourself first, before trying to find a partner. Find your passion. Find out where your place in the world is.”

Here are some tweets celebrating the arrival of Elena of Avalor in her new Disney TV series.




Actress Roselyn Sánchez is also a fan.


Another voice actor in the series, Christian Lanz, also weighed in on the new and exciting angle of "Elena de Avalor":


And he has a little fun with the character he voices:


Even the show's creator and executive producer, Craig Gerber, is getting in on all the social media hype by tweeting out teasers for what's to come.


And have I mentioned the music? It plays a huge role in the series, as well. Each episode introduces a new original song, and audiences are loving them.


This tweet really sums it all up.


"Elena de Avalor" premiered on the Disney Channel on July 22, and 2.2 million viewers tuned it to watch.

It's not just kids excited about this new animated series, either. Adults are digging it, too. They're excited to see Latino culture celebrated, and Latino parents are overjoyed to see their children finally represented on such a massive platform like Disney.

©Disney Channel.

"It is important for children to see empowered, positive role models on television, and that's why we wanted to introduce Elena," show creator Gerber told Upworthy.

He said it's been amazing to see how Elena and her adventures are inspiring young girls and boys of all backgrounds.

Gerber also created "Sofia the First," who was initially thought to be the first Latina princess, but she wasn't. The backlash from that confusion gave Gerber the idea to create Elena's story because he saw the demand for a Latina princess.

It's a cause for celebration that Disney finally took note that Latino children also want and need to see themselves represented in movies and television — and did something about it.

Kudos to Disney for green-lighting this series and giving kids who didn't see themselves represented in their movies and shows in the past — like yours truly — a reason to keep tuning in.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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