Why Alyson Hannigan’s Daughters Might Miss Her Sofia the First Role

11/24/2014 at 04:00 PM ET

Alyson Hannigan has always been drawn to animation, but it was her Buffy the Vampire Slayer director, Joss Whedon, who put the connection best.

“I think Joss put it perfectly when he said, ‘I feel like if we opened you up, a cartoon would just pop out,’ ” Hannigan tells PEOPLE. “I think that’s the most fitting description of me.”

Now the former How I Met Your Mother star is meeting her ‘toon destiny with a guest-voice role on Disney Channel’s Sofia the First in a new episode premiering Dec. 12 at 9 a.m.

Hannigan plays Winter, a gentle faun who yearns for a special ability — only to realize she was special all along. (Awwwwww.)

Alyson Hannigan Sofia the First
Rick Rowell/Disney Junior

So what do Hannigan’s two daughters with husband Alexis Denisof think of their mom’s latest role?

Although her girls are Sofia fans from books, “my kids don’t watch television yet,” Hannigan says of Satyana Marie, 5½, and Keeva Jane, 2½.

“It’s probably getting to the point where we’ll introduce it to Sati now,” says Hannigan, 40. “We were waiting for her to start begging us. She’ll ask occasionally, but until recently she didn’t know we had a television so it was a non-issue.”

She adds, “I think she was convinced for a long time that the only thing on television was either news or sports because when you go to restaurants that’s what they’re playing.”

Alyson Hannigan Sofia the First
Courtesy Disney Junior

When Hannigan saw the fuzzy, horned Winter onscreen for the first time, “I’m like, ‘Ah, I really want her to see this!’ ”

The episode also includes a nod to that other famous Disney franchise with a wintery theme.

With a no-TV or movies policy, “The Frozen thing was hard” to avoid, especially when it comes to her older daughter, admits Hannigan. “But we gave her all the books, so she’s obsessed. And she knows the soundtrack back and forth.”

On a recent plane ride, Satyana finally got to see the film — on mute.

“We let her watch it without the sound,” says Hannigan. “We figured if she’s just going to lean over and watch it on someone else’s screen, we can just put it on the screen in front of her. So she says she’s seen Frozen. Pretty much!”

Alyson Hannigan Sofia the First
Courtesy Disney Junior

— Michelle Tauber

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

sign me up

Thank you for signing up!

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 21 comments

Alma on

I’m sorry, that is just cruel. And ridiculous. She’s nearly six, let her watch a tv show or Frozen with the sound on for crying out loud. Her poor little girls. She thinks she’s sheltering them ftom things but really she’s preventing them from being fun little girls.

Janie on

Why yes, I will take your money to voice a character in a show despite the fact that I clearly judge the parents of every child in the audience (it’s a preschool-targeted show). Lovely.

Monica on

I don’t get the point of letting her watch a movie but with the sound muted. What’s the point of that? I don’t like for my kids to watch too much TV either so I monitor what they watch and try to make it at least educational and age appropriate. I think it’s unrealistic to think kids won’t be influenced by TV or movies even if they haven’t seen them. Let the kids watch a Disney movie- they’ll be fine!!

guesty on

I was a big fan of hers but she sounds like Mayim Bialik with these crazy comments. TV is really not that horrible for kids. My kids watch it while I do dishes or make dinner. Not every time but sometimes. They also do a lot of imaginary play too. My daughter has a super high vocabulary and can talk about so many more things than her peers…and I really think it’s because she has picked up a lot from TV. She doesn’t watch TV all of the time and we’re out a lot doing activities daily but to be crazy and ban all TV is very extreme and I’m just not sure of the payoff.

Cricket2.0 on

The movie with no volume thing makes zero sense. She entirely lost me there. Take a Xanax honey.

Donna on

So, let me get this straight…she made money voicing a character that us heathens let our kids watch on the evil TV but she won’t let her kids? Watching “Frozen” on mute? I’m not really understanding. What is she protecting them from – having an imagination and a little fun? Seems slightly hypocritical if you ask me.

Edie on

I love when stars say “oh my kids don’t watch tv” well lucky for them millions of people do or they would be out of a career and working just a regular job like most of us.

Becky on

I think I agree with everything that’s been said already.. Talk about sounding like a bimbo, she just put her self at rhe top of the stack..

Michelle on

Oh good grief, another ‘better mom than me’. Frozen, on mute?!?! They have read the books, heard the soundtrack and yet you can not let them LISTEN to the movie? Yet, you are a voice in an upcoming movie and expect us ‘bad moms’ to let our little ones listen to YOU? You make no sense at all.

SarahJane77 on

I couldn’t agree more with each & every sentiment expressed by the previous posters. My 2.5 yr old watches a little tv throughout the day. We live in a cold climate & tv is just part of our lives, especially I the winter. It’s not harming her & she loves to talk about the characters and what she has seen.

Guest on

Everyone is entitled to raise their children the way they want. Maybe the animation is geared towards an older audience.

zab on

Awww. So sad to hear that you’re one of those “cuckoo’s”….

Kim on

It’s asinine that a 5 1/2 year old is not allowed to watch some tv. If she’s so against tv, she shouldn’t be voicing a toddler cartoon. . .or on tv at all since it’s apparently so awful.

Joy on

Maybe she doesn’t allow her kid to use headphones, the film was shown in a plane so either you use the available headphones or watch it in mute.

Alanna on

Seriously you don’t let your kids watch TV at age 5?! That’s just ridiculous! It’s one thing to limit it but really come on! Some celeb parents these days are just annoying with their comments!!

Jean on

Sofia the First is a show geared towards preschoolers, FYI. My daughter is four and loves it. It is right in her daughters’ age group. Very innocent little show.

So I guess Alyson just kisses her two daughters on the forehead and shouts to the nanny, “Remember now, NO TV!” as she drives off to the studio to record her voice for a childrens program. What a hypocrite.

kath on

@Jean, that’s pretty much it!! If she’s serious, she sounds like a tool, but I suspect she’s telling fibs in order to seem like Mother Superior.

UrthMama on

She might as well have said: I have made MILLIONS working as a cattle rancher, but I would never let my kids have a hamburger. We only eat organic, vegan food – sometimes I let them smell other people’s meals when we are on an airplane.

What a pretentious, airheaded hypocrite!

Anne on

I can only assume she must have a lot of help around her home if her kids have never seen tv. I can’t say I love my kids watching tv either, but I don’t have any live-in family or nanny, so it’s a great babysitter while I take a shower or clean the dishes. I honestly don’t know how I would accomplish some of my daily tasks without a little help from the tv. But I’m guessing we live much differently than celebrities.

Mark on

She works in the industry and she won’t let her kids watch it….What does that tell you?

Had to comment on

What a freak. Show the kid the movie!! No wonder Hollywood is so jacked and their kids come out so strange.