Disney+ Releases Short Film With Plus-Sized Lead Protagonist, Mixed Reactions From The Community

Debate Over Disney's First Plus-Size Protagonist In 'Reflect'
Source: TODAY

It’s 2022 and every film, book, fashion show, and other forms of media have started to be more inclusive (or at least try to be). Whether it’s about race, skin colour, body size, or sexuality, this is the day and age where all are represented in mass media.

Disney, the corporation that gave us slim princesses and unrealistic relationship expectations, has just released a short film where the protagonist is a plus-sized ballerina.


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Reflect is a short film now on Disney+ about a young ballet dancer named Bianca who struggles with her body image.

Though the film was first released on the platform in September as a part of the studio’s Short Circuit Experimental Films series, many social media users are now celebrating Reflect as a win for representation among young girls.

According to CNN, body positivity is something director Hillary Bradfield strongly believes in. Making the film from the perspective of a dancer, she explained, felt natural.

“It’s a 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 and she doesn’t want to,” Bradfield said.

Disney's new animated short 'Reflect' features first plus-sized heroine, decision draws mixed fan reactions | Fox Business
Source: Fox

Though many viewers were delighted to see this body size being represented in ways other that a villain, the best friend for comic relief, or an extra, there were some mixed reactions too.

The short film essentially speaks on body dysmorphia – a mental health condition that many people struggle with, and how that affects our daily lives.

Yet some said that the film depicted a fat ballerina focusing too much on, well, being fat. Some say that being fat includes a multitude of other experiences, and that Disney could have just made a film that starred a fat protagonist without her weight becoming the main plot device.

Overall, I think the short film represents progress and a step in the right direction. And as Lizzo says, “It’s about damn time!”

Watch Reflect on Disney+, or wait until you can illegally stream it.