Sofia the First is a Disney Junior original series that introduces a new Disney princess. A pilot film aired during November 2012. The television series premiered on January 11, 2013.It introduces Sofia, a little girl with a commoner’s background until her mother marries the king, and suddenly she is royalty. With the help of the three familiar fairies in charge of the Royal Training Academy — Flora, Fauna and Merryweather of Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty and, on occasion, classic Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White and Ariel — Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn't all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart.
Adaptation Distillation: The storybook release of the pilot film distills quite a bit of the story and actually eliminates Cedric as the villain, focusing instead more on Amber's bullying of Sofia. Justified in that it's from Sofia's perspective and she never knew Cedric was to blame.
All Animals Are Domesticated: The trope is played with a little, as the cute woodland creatures here straight-out admit that their tradition of helping the fairytale princesses is because "we gotta eat — and you got the food."
All Trolls Are Different: The trolls living under the bridge are smart, friendly, love music and were banned from the castle due to a simple, knee-jerk misunderstanding. The show being what it is, it's up to Sofia to fix this mistake and introduce the trolls to polite society.
Busman's Holiday: In "Baileywick's Day Off," King Roland insists that Baileywick take a holiday for his birthday because he never does and he deserves one. But instead of actually taking that holiday, Baileywick ends up taking care of the increasingly trivial requests of the children. When Sofia comes to realize how selfish this was, however, they end up throwing him a...
Surprise Party: ... a "Day Off Do-Over Party," complete with all of the fun activities he had missed out on that day because he was helping all the kids.
Canis Latinicus: Most of Cedric's spells. Averted with the spells Sofia has to learn in "Cedric's Apprentice".
Cerebus Retcon: A Played for Laughs variant: according to the show, the cute woodland animals that helped Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and other such princesses actually all did so expecting to get paid with food. But because those princesses couldn't talk to animals, they seldom did give them food and often abused their services. Clover explains in detail how frustrating this has become.
Cool Pet: Several are seen in "Blue Ribbon Bunny"; In addition to Vivian's pet dragon Crackle and Hildegard's mink Lulu, Amber has a peacock named "Praline", James has a baboon, and Xandar has an elephant.
Inadequate Inheritor: King Roland sees Cedric as this, considering his father was Goodwin the Great, touted as "the greatest royal sorceror ever to wave a wand" (And had saved Roland's father's life nine and a half times).
It's Pronounced Tro-PAY : Sofia constantly mispronounces Cedric as "See-drick" which annoys him to no end, though by the end of "Cedric's Apprentice", it seems like he might have come to accept it.
Meddling Parents: Cedric's parents, who keep an eye on him via a magic portrait and occasionally pop in to give him advice.
The Merch: A number of plush toys have been made available, as well as a book version of the pilot film, with two different books that are adaptations of television stories available for pre-order. A special edition of the Once Upon a Princess book is available exclusively at Target stores. The toys include Sofia herself, her animal friends, an amulet necklace and a figurine set. Somewhat, surprisingly, the one thing that apparently isn't being banked on as a cash cow is the pilot film. It was given numerous airings on Disney Channel and the Disney Junior sub-network, and has been widely made freely available to view online, along with music videos of the songs from it.
Minimus: We won! We actually won! Wait, does that mean they'll expect us to win the next race? And the one after that?! I think I need to lie down!
Cedric also suffers from it whenever he has to perform in front of King Roland.
Placebo Eureka Moment: There's a partial example in "The Tri-Kingdom Picnic". Amber advises Sofia to help James be a better sport by showing him an example, but as the other kids stopped playing, Sofia has no way to do so. She comes up with an answer to that on her own, but thanks Amber.
Schizo Tech: The kingdom is definitely more medieval than modern, but there is modern-looking an elevator in the castle (Justified in that it's hand-cranked by a servant).
Secret Test of Character: In "The Princess Test", Fauna disguises herself as Royal prep's librarian, and asks each princess in turn for help, just before the Princess Test begins. Sofia is the only one willing to put off the test and help, which earns her full marks for displaying a Princess' most important trait: Kindness. Not only this, but the test is rigged with a number of pitfalls specifically designed to test Sofia's resolution to continue helping Fauna; in each instance, she passes.
Seldom Seen Species: James pet baboon is a gelada, not the kind of baboon most commonly seen in cartoons.
The end of "A Little Bit of Food" has a few notes that sounds like the beginning of a Wheel of Fortune puzzle. Make of that what you will...
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Several of the younger princes and princesses resemble Disney Princesses or princes, such as an Asian princess and Arab princess who may be related to Mulan and Jasmine.
The Unfavorite: Cedric considers himself this to his father. By contrast, his mother spoils him. The sad thing is that his father does love him and is only hard on him to get him to do the right thing, whereas his mother is evil and wants him to be the same.