Disney+ continues to set the standard for inclusion with a new short film titled “Reflect” featuring a little girl who is the first plus-size protagonist to take center stage.
The film is part of Disney’s Short Circuit series of experimental, innovative films.
“Reflect” is a powerful story about a young dancer named Bianca who feels out of place in her ballet class. As she reflects in the mirror, she gradually finds self-acceptance as she immerses herself in dance. This short film is an extraordinary and much-needed statement to all of the children (and adults!) who struggle with a negative self-image. Many fans are emotional over the message and wish something like this existed when they were younger.
Of course, with every great story, there is always some kind of opposition. Twitter is divided on the message – with some going as far as saying that the short film is “glorifying obesity.”
It's not okay to normalize obesity to children. Disney and their new short "reflect" can go to hell
— Nate, or, Mr H Reviews (@MrHreviews) October 27, 2022
The short film, nonetheless, has received more praise than anything.
I think Reflect from Disney looks awesome. Can't wait to watch it with my little ones.
New trends from Disney are going well honestly.
Reflect | Turning Red
Out | Encanto pic.twitter.com/tb3RMxFbpI
— SiTh Maestro (@sith_maestro) October 27, 2022
However, with the pressure social media has put on children and young adults, stories like these should be at the forefront of programming, especially for Disney. Can you think of a Disney princess or character over the last several decades that was not petite and was more plus-size?
The film was directed by Hillary Bradfield, an up-and-coming name in Hollywood. She is the Disney Animation story artist for Frozen 2, Encanto, and the upcoming film “Avatar: The Way of Water”.
“I feel like I’m a very body-positive person in principle, but when it’s on a personal level it’s a lot harder to be body positive,” says Bradfield.
“Setting the story from a dancer’s perspective seemed just natural. It’s part of the craft to be looking at your posture and checking things in the mirror, so it just seemed like a really good way to put her in that environment where she has to look at herself but she doesn’t want to. When people watch the short, I hope they can feel more positively about themselves and how they look and feel okay about the tough parts of the journey,” Bradfield continued.
“Sometimes you go to the dark place to get to [a] good place and that just makes the good place that much more beautiful.”
The short film is beautifully done. We’re excited to see what Disney’s “Short Circuit” does next!