Enrichment Arts & Culture

Disney features first plus-sized heroine in short film

In the short film “Reflect” the protagonist learns to love her reflection just as it is.
The young dancer in “Reflect” looking after herself defiantly in the mirror. ( Screenshot from “Reflect”)

Story at a glance

  • Disney just revealed its first plus-sized heroine in a new short film.

  • The film called “Reflect“ tells the story of a young dancer who has to come to terms with her own reflection.  

  • The film premiered on Sept. 14 on Disney+.

Disney premiered its first plus-sized protagonist in a new short film called “Reflect.” 

The minutes-long film promotes body positivity and self-acceptance as the heroine, Bianca, comes to terms with her own reflection during a ballet class.  

The short began streaming on Disney+ on Sept. 14 and is episode six of season two of “Short Circuit,” a series of short films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.  

“Reflect” begins with the young dancer pirouetting, joyfully gasping after she successfully completes the rotation.  

While doing warm up exercises next to a mirror-lined wall, Bianca keeps her head down, looking away from her own reflection.  

Her instructor eventually forces her to look at herself in the mirror after telling her “tight tummy, long neck.” And as Bianca looks at herself in the mirror, gently pressing on her stomach to make it seem smaller, the room goes black, and the glass starts to break.  

“The idea for the short began thinking about my own body philosophy,” said Hillary Bradfield, director of “Reflect.” “I feel that I am a very body positive person in principle, but when it’s on a personal level it’s a lot harder to be body positive.” 

In an interview on Disney+, Bradfield said telling a body positivity story from a dancer’s perspective seemed “natural” since it is typical for dancers to work in rooms surrounded by their own reflection to see their posture and movement.  

“When people watch the short I hope that they can feel more positively about themselves and how they look,” Bradfield said.