Jericho native Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who starred as daughter Meadow in "The Sopranos," will play what she says is the first Disney princess of the Jewish faith, although a Disney film director disputes this.
"I am so excited to voice Disney's first Jewish princess," tweeted Sigler, 38, after the studio announced that in the upcoming third season of the animated Disney Channel series "Elena of Avalor," Sigler voices "a visiting princess from a Latino Jewish kingdom" in a Hanukkah-themed episode set for December.
Sigler herself is Jewish-Latino. Her father, Steve Sigler, comes from a Greek Sephardic and Romanian Ashkenazi Jewish background, while her mother, Connie, is a Catholic-born Cuban-American who converted to Judaism for her marriage.
However, "Wreck-It Ralph" director and co-writer Rich Moore, commenting on Sigler's Twitter feed, argued that Disney's first Jewish princess is actually the spunky child auto-racer Vanellope von Schweetz from his 2012 movie. "According to me, Vanellope is Jewish," Moore wrote, adding in a separate tweet, "Not first, but welcome to the family Jamie!" Vanellope had been revealed as a princess at the end of "Wreck-It Ralph."
Moore and Phil Johnston, who co-directed the 2018 sequel "Ralph Breaks the Internet," had made the claim previously, though neither movie states this onscreen. After the character's voice actress, comedian Sarah Silverman, who is Jewish, tweeted in March 2018 that Vanellope was "a lil Jewish girl in a green hoodie & candy stuck2 her hair," the two filmmakers agreed with her in a joint interview for Yahoo Movies that November.
"I say she is," Silverman said. "Nobody has said no. So, yeah."
"I think that very much so," said Moore. Agreed Johnston, "A Jewish animated princess, absolutely."
"Elena of Avalor," which Disney describes as "inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore," stars Aimee Carrero as the voice of Princess Elena. The third season premieres Oct. 7.