I went back and forth over whether or not if I wanted to review this or not but in the end, I decided to go ahead and not only watch it and then review it. Now I'll admit I did enjoy this episode, even if the story had been done so many times in children's cartoons before. With that out of the way, let's begin.
Now I had to link to the theme as it is not on YouTube yet. Now as you can hear, this isn't all of the theme and well, I have to say it's not bad but I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't use Rise and Shine as I thought that would've been a great theme but what do I know?
Just One of The Princes
Th episode title is cute as it refers to the saying Just one of the guys and it actually fits into the episode quite well and you'll see what I mean when I get to the actual meat of the episode.
The plot as I said is something that has been done plenty of times before but that doesn't make this bad. The main plot here is that Sofia wants to try out for Royal Prep's Flying Derby team but she is told, she can't because it's a prince thing and not something princesses do. So, yeah you can see where the plot is going. Though, Sofia doesn't let that deter her and with help from her older brother James, she practices for the race, and it's interesting because it never felt like Sofia ever doubted herself but rather everyone around her was doubting her and just had a feel of girls shouldn't compete. It never felt like Sofia had to prove herself, she just wanted to join the team because she thought it looked like fun. Now there is other prince, Hugo who was just a huge jerk towards James and Sofia. Now Sofia as with these things got the smallest horse. Now I'm sure, this twist had been done before but as I said, it wasn't Sofia who doubted herself but rather her horse, Minimus was unsure because he was the smallest horse and wasn't the fastest horse but Sofia didn't care. Now for those that don't remember, Sofia was given The Amulet of Avalor, in the movie that allows her to talk to animals, which looks like it'll be put to good use in the series. Now with the race, only two people, the first two that crossed the line would join the team and of course, it was Sofia and James. Now all in all, this was a simple plot but again this is a show aimed at young girls. Younger then the MLP crowd but even still, it works very well and I thought the plot was cute.
Now for this, I'll just be breaking down the characters into, Main, & Supporting. Let's get going.
Sofia voiced by Ariel Winter
Okay, I really liked Sofia in this episode because even though, everyone was telling her that riding flying horses was something that only boys or as the show said princes do, she didn't really pay attention to the naysayers and kept practicing because she wanted to be on the team and didn't care that she was a girl. She just wanted to join the team because she thought riding a flying horse looked like fun. Also, I liked how they had her be the one encouraging her horse who was unsure of himself. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that when this episode started, I asked. "Which Princess is appearing today?" The answer, none. To me that proves this show is smart enough to know that while they are allowed to use the Disney Princesses, they don't always have to and more importantly it shows to me that Sofia can't always rely on her magic amulet that links her to those ladies. And instead, she has to try and figure things out on her own, I'm hoping they save the princesses for when the situations get really tough. Of course, this may just be me over thinking a cartoon aimed at preschool aged girls.
Minimus voiced by Eric Stonestreet
Okay, quite honestly this horse could've used some help from Rainbow Dash in being more courageous and flying. Now it never got to the point of being annoying, like it could have. I think it part that comes from the way, he was played. And it makes sense that Minimus was unsure of himself because as he told Sofia, he isn't the fastest horse nor he is the tallest but that didn't matter in the end because they won.
James voiced by Zach Callison
James, Sofia's older step-brother was the other person in the family trying out for the team and he trained her and in a way, you could see how much James wanted to get on the team because as stated by their father, King Roland or was it Amber (I can't recall), while he competed each year, he hadn't made the team. We could see through practicing with Sofia, not only that he was getting better but also his relationship with Sofia was growing.
Amber voiced by Darcy Rose Byrnes
Now Amber really didn't have much to do in this episode other then fan herself over a fellow competitor, Prince Hugo who it seemed like she had a crush on. That is until, she sees that he cheated in the race. Now I have to be honest, I had a problem with Amber's line delivery as it felt really stiff. This isn't a hit on the actress but compared to everyone else in the show, I just didn't feel anything with her unlike I did in the film.
Prince Hugo - Voice Not Found
Now sadly, I couldn't find the voice for Prince Hugo. This character came across as the typical jock/bully. And really that is all there was to this character. He thought he was better then everyone else because he had won the race each year.
I Can Do Anything
Not the best song but I like it. It's cute and like most good children's shows with songs, it perfectly captures the theme. I enjoy it but it's a song, you hear and then forget about for the most part.
My Final Thoughts
While not as good as the premiere movie, this first episode was still enjoyable and by far the best thing Disney Junior has ever done. The show never felt like it was talking down the audience or stopped and asked do you see this. (God, I hate those types of shows) but rather it just told a story that was enjoyable.