Disney have released a short movie that features a “plus-size” female lead. The animated short Reflect is the first project by Disney to star a plus-size female character. Disney’s female leads have usually all had a similar thin body type.
Big kudos to Disney (but about time too really…)
Reflect is one of Disney’s Short Circuit series of experimental films, concentrating on themes such as body image and self-esteem.
Reflect follows a young ballet dancer called Bianca who is struggling with her confidence and body dysmorphia.
The uplifting and positive tale opens with Bianca practicing her position in a studio. She obviously loves dancing, but when the teacher approaches her and instructs her to get in line with the rest of her class saying “Tight tummy, long neck”, Bianca’s face falls and she looks in the ballet mirror.
As she gets into position at the barre, surrounded by her fellow classmates, suddenly the mirror shatters and cracks around the little girl as she struggles with her body image.
Bianca is transported to a dream world where she has to overcome her fears and doubts by using her love of ballet. She is able to draw on her own inner strength and power to defeat her own insecurity about herself.
Disney’s Short Circuit Series
Short Circuit is an experimental, innovative program where anyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios can pitch an idea and get selected to create their own short film.
This lovely animated short film obviously touches on some very important issues that many children and adults struggle to overcome. The broken mirror is a symbol of Bianca’s broken perceptions of herself and her body.
The short movie, part of a series of short films called Short Circuit, is available to watch on Disney+.
What the Director Says
The short movie is directed by Hillary Bradfield, a Disney Animation story artist who worked on Encanto and Frozen 2.
“When people watch the short I hope that they can feel more positively about themselves and how they look and feel okay about the tough parts of the journey,” said director Hilary Bradfield, explaining that the short film is about body positivity in an interview shown before the short film.
We think this is a message that many of us can relate to. Many of us internalised and ended up with toxic views of what our bodies should be like.
So it’s great to see Disney highlighting these types of issues now and we applaud them for having more diverse leads as well.