Oct 31, 2018

By Kelby Clark
Christine Ricci, creator of ‘Nella the Princess Knight,’ avoids gender stereotypes in the series.

The idea for "Nella the Princess Knight" hit Christine Ricci while she was watching her own young children play sports.

Ricci often witnessed young girls swapping their princess dresses and sparkly shoes for shorts, t-shirts, and muddy cleats as they arrived at the soccer field. Ricci says, “although the girls had to cover their earrings and tie up their hair in order to compete, they would often add a sparkly bow to their ponytail before they went out to play like a warrior!”

"It’s very important for young children to see characters who reflect the diversity of the world that they live in."

So Ricci, who worked as a writer and research director on other children’s series like “Dora the Explorer,” “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” and “Team Umizoomi,” created the show that centers on a young biracial princess, who transforms into a courageous knight while on fantastical adventures with friends.

“I couldn’t help but think it was the right time to create a contemporary, unconventional princess,” says Ricci. “I thought it was time for a role model that was both dazzling and daring. It’s very important for young children to see characters who reflect the diversity of the world that they live in.”

In developing the character of Nella, Ricci says she also made it a point to avoid gender stereotypes and get rid of the idea of the damsel in distress.

"Active and athletic female characters are also under-represented in children's television,  so I definitely tried to stress that she’s fearless and she’s strong; she plays every sport, she scales tall mountains, she rafts the rapids.”