Walt Disney Animation Studios / screenshot by NPR
Always a trailblazer and always late, Disney revealed its first full-size heroine last month, leaving fans disappointed and inspired.
Bianca, a young ballerina with no spoken lines, stars in a two-minute short titled reflect.
The movie premiered last month as part of Short Circuit, a series of experimental animated shorts only available on Disney+, but it gained new attention on social media this week as more and more viewers discovered the content.
Bianca’s struggle works with the self-portrait as the film’s plot driver
reflect He opens up to Bianca, who quickly wets her dance lesson out of self-doubt after the coach instructed her “tight stomach, long neck” and her stomach retracted in the mirror.
Glass slashes and Bianca are quickly absorbed into a dark and ominous space, where (spoiler alert) she must dance without discouragement to successfully fight her reflection.
Director Hilary Bradfield, best known for her work on Disney films Charm And the Frozen IIShe says she based the film on her own experience with body image.
“I feel like a very positive person in principle. But when it’s on a personal level, it’s very difficult to be positive,” she says in an interview that aired as part of the episode.
“Sometimes you go into a dark place to get to the good place, and that just makes the good place more beautiful.”
Fans have interpreted the film’s mirror icons as a sign that Bianca might struggle with body disfigurement.
The Mayo Clinic, which defines a mental health disorder as the inability to “stop thinking about one or more perceived flaws or defects in your appearance,” says those with body dysfunction often develop compulsive actions, including excessive grooming. The frequent use of mirrors.
The term went viral on social media platforms this week after Taylor Swift removed the word “fat” from a scale in a new music video, sparking widespread conversation on social media about eating disorders, body imbalance, and fat phobias.
Disney’s 99-year history has been marked by racism, sexism and exclusivity
Disney has historically portrayed plus-size female characters as extras or villains in sharp visual contrast to the princess’s slender heroes.
Some modern heroines, including Moana and Charm Siblings Luisa and Mirabel are celebrated for modeling more realistic body types. But the company has caught the attention of others, too, including a 2016 short film character whose waist is almost thinner than her neck.
Disney has always tried to maintain its mainstream popularity, vowing in 2020 to “consciously, purposefully, and relentlessly defend the spectrum of voices and viewpoints in our world.”
Some said the timing of the pledge, which was part of her launch of the “Stories Matter” initiative, was too little, too late to approach racial justice after years of racism in everything from her movies to her theme park rides.
The content that has been aired since then is best described as the give-and-take style of acting.
Take Disney’s positions on LGBTQ+ issues, for example.
Feature Film Light year Released earlier this year included an on-screen kiss between two gay characters. Another scene from the show Baymax Appeared on a man by purchasing menstrual products.
But Disney didn’t rally against the “Don’t Say Like Me” bill in Florida until employees began pulling out and accusing executives of cutting off lewd content. Even then, Disney continued to donate to some of the bill’s sponsors.
Fan reactions to reflect It’s all mixed up
Social media users questioned Disney’s intentions behind it reflectsaying that the two-minute length did not leave enough room for nuance, and that the message of body positivity was muddled by making Bianca’s self-portrait the primary driver of the story.
“Hey Disney, now you’re performing fat characters who aren’t tragic and whose stories aren’t about their weight?” One Twitter user posted this week.
else Disney dared to “Put the fat girl on screens for two hours, you cowards.”
But for others, Bianca acts as a step toward the right kind of representation — or at least the start of a conversation.
mollykaynelson #duet with @sarahineorzea As a plus-size Disney fan who saw this short it made me cry because I finally see my body type represented on screen in a Disney movie. I took up ballet when I was young and remember feeling out of place when no one was my size. We need more inclusivity like this and someday I hope we can have a plus size Disney Princess so all our fat little girls can see that we don’t need to be skinny to be beautiful and cuddly and cheerful #plussizedisney #disneyplussizeprincesses #disneyplussize ♬ yet LIKE – short version. – I have
A side-by-side Tik Tok user posted a video of her crying: “I just ran to see this short movie.”
Another found that the film gave her a chance to think hard.
“Growing up, I was always the biggest girl in ballet lessons,” she wrote. “I would give anything to show this to my younger self and say it would be fine.”
#Disney #revealed #fullsize #heroine #happy