Disney’s ‘Reflect’ stars a young plus-size ballet dancer, thrilling fans



CNN

Disney finally has its first plus size young heroine and fans on the internet are happy.

“Reflect” is a short film now on Disney+ about a young ballet dancer named Bianca who struggles with her body image. Although the film was first released on the platform in September as part of the the studio’s Short Circuit Experimental Films seriesmany social media users are now celebrating “Reflect” as a victory for representation among young girls.

“I was 16 and I needed this Disney short before I left ballet because I didn’t want to be the fat girl in class anymore.” said one user on Twitter. “Glad the little ones have this. 10/10 for reflection!”

“I don’t think you all understand, this is my Ariel,” one TikTok user said in a video, captioned “(Disney+) you really had me in my feelings.”

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

Body positivity is something director Hillary Bradfield strongly believes in, she said in an interview featured at the start of the short. Making the film from a dancer’s perspective, she explained, felt natural.

“It’s part of the job to look at your posture and check things in the mirror, so it seemed like a really good way to put her in that environment where she has to look at herself and she doesn’t want to,” Bradfield said. .

Finally, Bianca is able to dance freely.

In short, Bianca is able to overcome her negative feelings and dance freely. But body positivity and self-acceptance can be easier said than done, Bradfield said.

“When people watch the short, I hope they can feel more positive about themselves and how they look, and feel good about the difficult parts of their journey,” Bradfield said. “Sometimes you go to the dark place to get to the good place. And that just makes the good place that much more beautiful.”

Disney has taken multiple steps in recent years to improve the diversity of its characters in its animated films. Earlier this year, the show “Baymax,” a spin-off of “Big Hero 6” introduced a transgender character. In 2020, Disney’s Pixar released its first animated feature starring a black character, with “Soul.”

These recent renderings are a departure from the views in many of the company’s previous films. The Disney/Pixar film “Wall-E,” released in 2008, portrayed obesity in humans negatively as synonymous with environmental destruction, a lazy portrayal that lacked nuance, some critics said.

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