I shared here about growing up without a Latina animated character and why Elena of Avalor is important. Well, last month, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Silvia Olivas, the co-producer and head writer of the very first Disney Latina princess, Elena of Avalor.
Meeting Silvia Olivas was one of the highlights of my experience at We All Grow Summit in California. I enjoyed listening to Silvia and learning more about the inspiration behind this strong Disney princess who is on a journey to become a ruler and a better person.
Silvia shared with the audience: “Ever since I was a little girl I wanted a Disney Latina princess, and every time I am writing a script, a new episode, I am thinking about the little girls watching. And I am thinking: I see you. You matter. I want to tell your stories”
I LOVE what she said. As a Latina mom, Elena of Avalor represents kids like my children who now can view themselves in a television series. Not only that, but this very first Disney Latina princess is also a great tool to ignite understanding between the non-Latinos on the culture that I care deeply about.
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Getting To Know Silvia Olivas
Latinos make up only 2.8% of writers staffed on television shows, and Silvia Olivas is one of them. The day she realized that she wanted to be a writer was when she was a little girl and her mom wrote a letter to the local newspaper about a gambling problem in the community. The newspaper printed the letter and that brought positive changes.
I think it’s amazing how Silvia brings her own experiences to the scripts she writes. For example, did you know that Elena’s abuelos were inspired by her own grandparents? In the series, they are portrayed as an integral part of Elena’s life, a traditional role in the Latino families.
Plus, A Writing Tip From Silvia Olivas
Unfortunately, we were only able to hear Silvia Olivas for 11 minutes. Despite that short amount of time, she still managed to share with us a writing tip!!!
She used an Elena of Avalor’s episode to teach us how to build a theme. This is what she said: “When you think of your story: think to hit the theme. Think: therefore this happens and therefore that happens. Storytelling is problem-solving”
Very cool, right?