Disney Channel’s new animated series, Elena of Avalor, arrives on DVD for the first time in the 4-episode collection Ready to Rule. Designed as a stepping stone for kids moving from Disney Junior to Disney Channel, Elena lives in the same universe as Sophia the First, but focuses on a teenage princess learning how to be a leader. An instant success, the series has wide appeal while also adding a dose of culture that’s been missing from Disney’s networks for too long.
Avalor is inspired by Latin cultures around the world. From architecture and costumes to musical styles and colors, the show celebrates its diversity in every way. With a thirst for knowledge, a kind spirit and a love of music, it’s easy for kids to adore Elena and want to emulate her.
The first four episodes of season one are presented here, although the packaging is a bit misleading. The series premiered on July 22nd with two episodes (“First Day of Rule” and “Model Sister”), which the box claims as a “Special Full-Length Adventure.” To be clear, this is not the recent TV movie Elena and the Secret of Avalor, but is literally two separate episodes with no credits between them. “All Heated Up” and “Island of Youth” round out the contents of this 90-minute disc.
In these four episodes, fans will watch Elena’s first few days of learning to be a leader while exploring the wonders of Avalor. They will get to meet Elena’s friends and family, including her younger sister Isabel and her Abuela. But what they will miss is Elena’s origin story, which was recently told in a TV movie event and is scheduled for DVD release on February 7th. But fans of the show won’t want to wait and this release is sure to please as it tides them over.
While there aren’t any video bonus features, there is a physical bonus advertised by a sticker on the cover as an “Elena Projection Scepter.” The mini 4-inch scepter has a button that causes the jewel to light up. Point it at a wall within close range and kids will see Elena’s beautiful face smiling back at them.
Packaging & Design
Elena of Avalor: Ready to Rule comes in a standard black DVD case housed inside a holofoil embossed slipcover. Inserts include the projection scepter, a flier for Disney Movie Club, and a code for 75 points from Disney Movie Rewards. The DVD uses Disney Fast Play, which allows the disc’s contents to auto-play. It opens with an ad for Beauty and the Beast (2017) before playing the episodes. Afterwards, there is one ad for Disney Movie Rewards before returning you to the main menu, a static image as the instrumental theme song plays.
Elena of Avalor: Ready to Rule offers a culturally rich viewing experience for kids and a heroine idol that parents will approve of. With fun music and characters, each episode is a winner. With a low price point and a physical bonus, this is a perfect gift for kids making the switch from Disney Junior to Disney Channel.