Reflect: Disney introduces first plus-size heroine

Disney fans have long urged the company to produce plus-size princesses (PA Archive)
Disney fans have long urged the company to produce plus-size princesses (PA Archive)

Disney has created its first plus-size protagonist for a powerful short film about body dysmorphia - and fans have expressed their delight.

Reflect, part of the second series of Short Circuit, a series of experimental short films, follows the story of a young plus-size ballet dancer called Bianca.

Disney fans have long urged the company to produce plus-size princesses. A social media post featuring plus-sized Disney characters that went viral in 2015 is evidence of this.

But what is Reflect about and how can you watch it?

What is Reflect about?

Bianca is a young ballet dancer “who battles her own reflection, overcoming doubt and fear by channelling her inner strength, grace and power”.

In a clip, we see Bianca struggling with her confidence in class when her teacher reminds her: “Tight tummy! Long neck!”

Her reflection in the mirror then shatters, symbolising the broken way in which she sees herself while living with body dysmorphia. This is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about perceived flaws in their appearance.

The Reflect animation brought admirers to tears.

One viewer wrote: “THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Disney+ FINALLY made a short with a Plus Size lead! It’s called Reflect and it’s part of the Short Circuit short series. Let’s just say I was SOBBING.”

Another viewer said that she wished the movie had been made when she was younger.

She tweeted: '16-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!’.

How to watch Reflect

Reflect is available to watch on Disney Plus.

It is part of Short Circuit, which is billed as an experimental, innovative programme where anyone at the studio can pitch an idea and be selected to create their own short film.

The episode has been directed by Hillary Bradfield. She is known for directing Frozen 2 and Encanto.