Disney Junior's new multicultural rendition of Alice in Wonderland brings a twist to the classic tale featuring Latinx representation, a celebration of family, and lessons in the power of food. 
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ALICE'S WONDERLAND BAKERY - "A Royal Remembrance" (Disney)
ALICE'S WONDERLAND BAKERY - "A Royal Remembrance" (Disney) KING OF HEARTS

A fantasy world centered around food? That's exactly what Disney Junior's Alice's Wonderland Bakery is serving up in the 2022 rendition of Alice in Wonderland. In this reboot we're introduced to the descendants of the original characters, and get to join them on global cooking adventures that involve problem solving and connecting people through whimsical bites. But it's not just the story that got an update. Our children get a dose of Cuban culture in each episode through new Latinx Royalty.  So many of us grew up with Alice in Wonderland, but we certainly did not grow up with it like this!

Disney brought in Afro-Cuban singer and voice actor Jon Secada as The King of Hearts, Mexican actress Eden Espinosa of Wicked is the voice of The Queen of Hearts, and Abigail Estrella of How the Grinch Stole Christmas plays Princess Rosa, the Queen's daughter. Rich with Cuban references, Jon as the new King is filled with joy as he salsa dances through the castle, and we watch Alice being introduced to dishes like apple crumb pastelitos and huevos habaneros. The intergenerational relationship between the King of Hearts and his granddaughter Princess Rosa feels so warm and familiar—how many of us were fortunate enough to grow up with our abuelos y abuelas in the home with us? Que bueno, no?

We recently had the privilege of sitting down with Jon to discuss his take on The King of Hearts, and what it's been like bringing this beloved childhood character to life with a Latinx spin.

PL: Tell us about your role as The King of Hearts?

Jon: This character is a tremendous representation of a Cuban American, and he parallels with who I am, and what I grew up with. He is wise, patient, has a joyous spirit and loves to dance salsa! Cooking and baking are also a big part of my passion that I bring to the role.

PL: Can you describe your own parenting style for us?

Jon: My daughter is twenty-two and my son is nineteen. My wife and I centered everything around who we are as a family—especially our values and traditions. Sharing our Latin roots were particularly important to us as a family, as well as lots of communication.

PL: The King of Hearts has always been a negotiator. Have you had to play that card with your own children? 

Jon: I have always been told that I am very even keeled and soft-spoken so I bring that referee element to what happens here at the house. I also bring that to The King of Hearts—he tries to maintain things around him with patience and tranquility. At home I'm Papi, and I bring things back to the center.

PL: What message are you hoping your role (and the show) brings to children?

Jon: All the elements— inclusion, diversity, love for family, believing in yourself and your dreams, never giving  up, and staying curious about life.

*Alice's Wonderland Bakery debuted on February 9, on Disney, Disney Junior, and Disney +. Check your local listings for times.