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Disney debuts first plus-size heroine in short film 'Reflect'

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Oct 31, 2022 10:27 am

After decades of introducing female lead characters that have extremely small waist-to-hip ratios, Disney has introduced its first plus-size heroine in its recent short film, and fans have taken to social media to express their joy.

The animation giant premiered a short film titled Reflect as part of its brand-new lineup of experimental short films called "Short Circuit". Although it was released in September on the studio's streaming platform Disney+, it was only recently that fans have gushed about the film's message on body positivity.

This is because Reflect, which runs for six minutes, stars a young full-figured ballet dancer named Bianca who "battles her own reflection, overcoming doubt and fear by channelling her inner strength, grace and power".

In the trailer for the Short Circuit films released by Disney, Bianca could be seen practicing her ballet dance moves in a dark environment before she finds confidence in herself to shatter away the darkness.

In an interview featured at the start of the film, director Hillary Bradfield said that she wanted Reflect to make viewers feel more confident about themselves.

According to her, the lead character was created as a ballet dancer because it made for good symbolism of looking at your reflection and feeling insecure about yourself.

"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.

She continued, "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 their journey. Sometimes you go to the dark place to get to the good place. And that just makes the good place that much more beautiful."

Fans have since showered the film's premise with praise for featuring a plus-size heroine and for its lessons on accepting one's body.

One user on Twitter wrote, "Do recommend for anyone that struggles with the image they see in the mirror. So, everyone. But this is especially for those of us that society shuns for having a body that doesn’t match the alleged 'perfect' image."

Another one shared that she needed the film when she was younger because she had a similar struggle as that of Bianca.

"Sixteen-year-old me needed this Disney short before I quit ballet because I didn’t want to be the fat girl in class anymore. I’m glad little ones will have this. 10/10 for Reflect!" she posted.

Another user wrote, "I saw this Disney short called Reflect and it emotionally tore me up. It’s about a little plus size girl doing ballet and the mirrors start to swallow her up because of her body insecurity but she destroys them by dancing anyway."