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Disney’s Bianca, plus-sized ballerina heroine, is met with combined fan reactions : NPR


Disney introduces its first plus-sized heroine in its new brief movie Replicate.

Walt Disney Animation Studios/Screenshot by NPR


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Walt Disney Animation Studios/Screenshot by NPR


Disney introduces its first plus-sized heroine in its new brief movie Replicate.

Walt Disney Animation Studios/Screenshot by NPR

Disney, an organization that is each perpetually groundbreaking and perennially behind the instances, revealed its first plus-sized heroine final month, leaving followers each annoyed and impressed.

Bianca, a younger ballerina with no spoken traces, stars in a two-minute brief titled Replicate.

The movie premiered final month as a part of Brief Circuit, a sequence of experimental animated shorts out there solely on Disney+, however is gaining contemporary consideration on social media this week as an increasing number of viewers uncover the content material.

Bianca’s struggles with self-image function the movie’s plot driver

Replicate opens on Bianca, whose dance lesson is rapidly dampened by self-doubt after the trainer chides “tight tummy, lengthy neck” and he or she evaluations her personal abdomen within the mirror.

The glass cracks and Bianca is swiftly sucked right into a darkish and ominous area, the place (spoiler alert) she should dance with out inhibition to efficiently battle her reflection.

Director Hillary Bradfield, finest identified for her work on Disney movies Appeal and Frozen IIsays she based mostly the movie on her personal experiences with physique picture.

“I really feel like I am a really physique optimistic particular person in precept. However when it is on a private stage, it is lots tougher to be physique optimistic,” she says in an interview that airs as a part of the episode.

“Generally you go to the darkish place to get to the great place, and that simply makes the great place a lot extra stunning.”

Followers have interpreted the movie’s mirror iconography as an indication Bianca could also be scuffling with physique dysmorphia.

The Mayo Clinic, which defines the psychological well being dysfunction as the shortcoming “to cease excited about a number of perceived defects or flaws in your look,” says that these with physique dysmorphia usually develop compulsive routines, together with extreme grooming and the frequent use of mirrors .

The time period has been trending on social media platforms this week after Taylor Swift edited the phrase “fats” off of a scale in a brand new music video, igniting a wide-ranging social media dialog round consuming problems, physique dysmorphia and fatphobia.

Disney’s 99-year historical past has been marked with racism, sexism and exclusivity

Disney has traditionally depicted plus-sized feminine characters as extras or villains in sharp visible distinction to whisper-thin princess protagonists.

Some current heroines, together with Moana and the Appeal siblings Luisa and Mirabel, have been celebrated for modeling extra reasonable physique varieties. However the firm has additionally caught flack for others, together with a 2016 brief movie character whose waist was practically thinner than her neck.


Different current Disney Movies have been praised for together with characters with a variety of physique varieties, like Luisa in Appeal.

Disney/Getty Photos


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Disney/Getty Photos


Different current Disney Movies have been praised for together with characters with a variety of physique varieties, like Luisa in Appeal.

Disney/Getty Photos

At all times attempting to take care of its mainstream reputation, Disney pledged in 2020 to “consciously, purposefully and relentlessly champion the spectrum of voices and views in our world.”

Some mentioned the timing of the pledge, which was a part of its launch of the “Tales Matter” initiative, was a too-little-too-late method to racial justice following years of racism in every part from its movies to its theme park rides.

And the content material that is aired since then would possibly finest be described as a give-and-take method to illustration.

Take Disney’s stances on LGBTQ+ points for instance.

The characteristic movie Lightyear launched earlier this 12 months included an on-screen kiss between two homosexual characters. One other scene from the present Baymax featured a trans man buying menstrual products.

However Disney did not rally in opposition to Florida’s “Do not Say Homosexual” invoice till staff started strolling out and accusing executives of slicing queer content material. And even then, Disney saved donating to a number of the invoice’s sponsors.

fan reactions to Replicate have been totally combined

Social media customers have questioned Disney’s intentions behind Replicatesaying the two-minute size did not go away sufficient room for nuance, and the message of physique positivity was muddled by making Bianca’s self-image the first plot driver.

“Hey Disney, now do fats characters that are not tragic and whose tales do not revolve round their weight?” one Twitter user posted this week.

One other dared Disney to “Put the fats woman on screens for 2 hours, cowards.”

However for others, Bianca serves as a step towards the proper of illustration — or not less than the dialog starter.

@mollykaynelson #duet with @sarahineorzea As a Plus Dimension Disney lover seeing this brief made me cry as a result of I am lastly seeing my physique kind represented on display in Disney movie. I took ballet once I was little and bear in mind feeling so misplaced when nobody was my dimension. We’d like extra inclusivity like this and someday I hope we are able to have a plus dimension disney princess so all of the little fats ladies can see that we dont must be skinny to be stunning, liked and celebrated 🫶🫶 #plussizedisney #disneyplussizeprincesses #disneyplussize ♬ After LIKE – Brief Ver. – IVE

“I RAN to observe this brief,” a Tik Tok consumer posted alongside a video of herself in tears.

One other discovered the movie gave her an opportunity to, effectively, mirror.

“Rising up I used to be at all times the most important woman in my ballet lessons,” she posted. “I might give something to indicate this to my youthful self and say it’s going to be okay.”

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