Meet Bianca, Disney’s First Plus-Size Animated Character

Say hello to Bianca, Disney’s first-ever plus-size heroine. The young dancer is the protagonist of the new animated short film Reflect, a story about moving beyond the way you see yourself to discover the true beauty and power within.

Reflect, which hit Disney+ earlier this fall as a part of Disney Animation’s Short Circuit Experimental Films lineup, has gained traction over the last few weeks because of its subject matter; viewers are seeing themselves in Bianca and resonating with the story.

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The 6-minute short opens with Bianca in a dance studio in her leotard, tights, and ballet shoes, warming up before class. Once her fellow dancers join her, however, she doesn’t feel so confident, and watches the ballet mirror dissolve into shards of her own reflection. Can Bianca find her strength and keep on dancing? That’s the true heart of the story: tapping into your talent and realizing you are amazing just as you are.

The film is directed by Hillary Bradfield, who worked on both Encanto and Frozen. Bianca is Disney’s first plus-size protagonist, and Bradfield shared that the dance studio felt like a great setting for a story about body-image and self-love. 

“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 in an interview available on Disney+. “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.”

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