With Disney making slow but steady strides towards diversity in their charcaters, it’s about time we got a full-figured lead in a movie. Turns out, our first-ever plus-sized Disney lead is here and it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Their latest short film Reflect introduces their first-ever plus-sized lead character. The film follows Bianca, a plus-sized ballerina who suffers from body dysmorphia.
It starts off with Bianca, enjoying her time practising alone at the ballet studio. We see her immediately start to feel self-conscious when others walk in. Her body dysmorphia manifests in different ways throughout the movie, for instance when she starts feeling uncomfortable listening to her instructor’s constant feedback on her “tight tummy and long neck”, making the entire room disappear only for Bianca to stand in front of a room of broken windows.
Director Hillary Bradfield, who has also created Frozen 2 and Encanto as an Animation story artist, shares why she wanted to share the story with the world. “I feel like I’m a very body positivity person in principle. But when it’s on a personal level, it’s a lot harder to be body positive.”
The title of the film is a representation of Bianca, looking at her reflection and focusing on how she looks and feels in her body. Bradfield further shared, “When people watch the short, I hope they can feel more positively about themselves and how they look and feel OK about the tough parts of the journey.”
Reflect is on the seventh episode of season two of the series, Short Circuit which shows different kinds of experimental short films. The short film can be streamed on Disney+.