Disney’s plus-size ballerina ballerina Bianca was met with mixed reactions from fans: NPR


Disney introduces its first full-size female lead in its new short film reflect.

Walt Disney Animation Studios / screenshot by NPR


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Walt Disney Animation Studios / screenshot by NPR


Disney introduces its first full-size female lead in its new short film reflect.

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 incanto 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.

Mayo Clinic, which Defines a mental health disorder Like the inability to “stop thinking about one or more perceived flaws or flaws in your appearance,” he says those with body defects often develop compulsive actions, including excessive grooming and frequent use of mirrors.

The term was popular on social media platforms this week after Taylor Swift modified the word “fat” from a scale in a new music video, sparking the Extensive conversation on social media About eating disorders, body dysfunction and fat phobia.

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 the incanto Siblings Luisa and MirabelCelebrated for modeling the most realistic body types. But the company has also made a mess for others, including 2016 A character in a short film whose waist was almost thinner than her neck.


Other recent Disney films have been praised for including characters with a range of body types, such as Luisa in incanto.

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Disney/Getty Images


Other recent Disney films have been praised for including characters with a range of body types, such as Luisa in incanto.

Disney/Getty Images

Always trying to maintain its mainstream popularity, Disney pledged in 2020 For the “conscious, purposeful, and relentless advocacy of the range of voices and perspectives 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 every way. from her movies to me amusement 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 It involved 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 even rally against the “Don’t Say Like Me” bill in Florida The staff started leaving And the Accusing executives of cutting off anomalous content. And even then, Disney kept donating For some sponsors of the bill.

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.

Tweet embed #duet With @sarahineorzea as a plus-size Disney fan who saw this short film it made me cry as 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 comprehensiveness like this, and one day I hope that we can get a Disney princess with an excess size so that all young girls can see that we do not need to be skinny to be beautiful, loved ones and defendants 🫶🫶 # like # retweet # DisneyPluses ♬ AFTER LIKE – short version. – I have

“I ran to watch this short movie,” Tik Tok user Spread Along with a video of her crying.

Another found that the film gave her a chance to think hard.

“Growing up, I was always the biggest girl in ballet lessons,” she said Spread. “I would give anything to show this to my younger self and say it would be fine.”

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