Aunt Matilda "Tilly" is a character who appears in the Disney Junior animated series Sofia the First, voiced by Bonnie Hunt. She is Sofia's whimsical and adventurous step-aunt and King Roland's older sister who is a Duchess and a brave adventurer.
Being an adventurer, Tilly has seen and done many incredible things, such as riding a giant and teaching a dragon to knit. Aside from her bravery, she is known to be whimsical, always looking on the positive side of things, and whenever there is a problem, she always has a trick or two up her sleeve. During her adventures, she carries an umbrella and a Carpet Bag that is possibly magical because of its ability to hold more items than it should. Nobody but Sofia knows that the true purpose of her many adventures is that she was doing her duty as the Storykeeper, to give stories happy endings.
Tilly has a cape with flower-like crests, a red dress with red-orange buttons, puffed sleeves, a large skirt for the dress, and dark brown boots. She has green eyes and blonde hair that's tied in a small ponytail and wears a giant hat tied up with a large red bow. She carries a yellow umbrella and a yellow carpet bag. As a Duchess, she wears a cobalt dress with teal flowers, a tiara, and her hair in a bun.
In many ways, Tilly is the complete opposite of her younger brother. Unlike Roland, who judges people and things by appearances and preconceptions to the point of being gullible when it comes to disguises, Tilly knows that appearances can be deceiving as shown when she tells Sofia "Things aren't always what they seem.". She is also shown to be quite open-minded. Like Sofia, Tilly loves magic to the point where her knowledge of it far outstrips her brother's and because of this Tilly, unlike Roland, knows how to use magical objects. Unlike Roland, Amber, and James, Tilly also knows how to be self-sufficient.
Role in the Series
In the beginning, Amber and James considered their aunt boring and embarrassing, because she pinches their cheeks and pats them on the head, commenting how cute and little they were and asking them to be her "Little Helpers" in baking pies. In her debut appearance, the things about Tilly were proven wrong when Sofia accompanied her to pick apples for her apple pie and found her to be a "Whiz Bang!" person and had a great adventure at the same time.
Tilly returned in "The Silent Knight" to receive the Shield of Valor award for taming a dragon by teaching it to knit. Her looks and deeds garner the attention of a brave and yet silent knight named Sir Bartleby, who really likes her, but was afraid to tell her because he has a squeaky voice. With some encouragement from Sofia, Bartleby was able to admit his feelings to Tilly and despite how strange his voice sound, she still liked him as she loves one-of-a-kind things.
In her third season debut, Tilly invited Sofia over to her magical home to help prepare for a garden party. She left Sofia in charge of the manor after telling her she could use her magical music box. When she returned to the manor she explained to Sofia the purpose of the magical music box was to test to see how responsible Sofia was as well as preparing her for "destiny". As a reward for passing the test, Tilly gave Sofia a book about the history of the castle. She casually mentioned she grew up in Sofia's room and discovered a magical secret that's not in the book, piquing Sofia's interest in what was to come next.
Days later after giving her niece the book, Tilly paid a visit to the castle to see how Sofia was doing with the book and reminded read her favorite chapter, number seventeen. When Sofia found her way to the Secret Library, Tilly was already there waiting for her and revealed that she had been chosen to become the next Storykeeper. It is revealed that thirty Years before when Tilly was still a little princess, she too found her way to the library because she used to wear the Amulet of Avalor and became the previous Storykeeper, tasked to find happy endings for the unfinished stories. Now she hopes to pass that legacy onto Sofia. Tilly accompanied Sofia on her first task as the Storykeeper: Give Mazzimo's story a happy ending by rescuing him from the greedy Prince Roderick and set him free to find and live in Wildwing Valley as a wild horse. At first, Sofia felt she needed Tilly's help to accomplish her task, but after a while, she realized she had what it takes to become the Storykeeper and completed her first story.
In the episode, "Through the Looking Back Glass" she is seen as a young girl, just as free-spirited and fun-loving as her adult self. Her father scolded her and said her behavior was unbecoming of a future queen. This indicated that at one point she was supposed to be the next ruler.
In, "A Royal Wedding" it is revealed that Tilly was offered the throne, but abdicated it to her younger brother. She knew she was meant to be an adventurer and that he would be a great king. This fact shocked Roland despite evidence to the contrary, that he knew she was the heir when they were kids.
- Aunt Tilly shares a few traits to Mary Poppins, as both appear to know magic, they own carpet bags that can hold more items than it should and as well carry umbrellas.
- One of the few differences that make them stand out between one another is their personalities: Mary Poppins was loving and kind, and yet strict and firm on some occasions. Aunt Tilly was completely loving and joyful with no serious side.
- Her voice is performed by actress Bonnie Hunt, who did many voice roles for Pixar films, such as Rosie from A Bug's Life, Sally Carrera from Cars, and Dolly from Toy Story 3.
- Despite being older than Roland, she is a whole head shorter than he is.
- Unlike Roland, Tilly knows how to use magical items and be self-sufficient.
- Also unlike Roland, she knows the truth of Sofia's Amulet because she was the last person before Sofia who wore it as revealed in "The Secret Library".
- As revealed in "Minding the Manor", Sofia's room was Tilly's bedroom back when she lived at the castle.
- Like James, Tilly loved jumping on a pogo stick when she was a child.
- Being the older sister of King Roland II, she should have been queen, as oldest child gets the crown. But, this is not the case because she abdicated the role to Roland II.