Meet the First Plus-Sized Protagonist in a Walt Disney Animation Studios Film

One of the things we love most about Disney+ is its vast library of content that falls under the Disney umbrella, including live-action and animated hits, along with films by Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Walt Disney Animation Studios has a large presence on Disney’s streaming platform, but the studio’s Short Circuit Experimental Films have become greatly underrated compared to its full-length feature films.

The Short Circuit program allows anyone at the studio to pitch their own concept for a film and follow through with creating it. One of the newest films to join the lineup features the company’s first plus-sized lead in an animated production.


Credit: Disney

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The newest short to arrive on the Short Circuit Experimental Film lineup is Reflect (2022), Directed by Hillary Bradfield. The short follows a young plus-sized ballet dancer, as she is forced to view her reflection due to the nature of a ballet class, while battling her own self-doubt and ultimately gaining newfound confidence.

Before the short begins on Disney+, Bradfield appears onscreen to share the inspiration behind the short, which she used to express her own thoughts on body positivity. “The idea for this short began thinking about my own body philosophy,” Bradfield says, “I feel like I’m a very body positive person in principle, but when it’s on a personal level it’s a lot harder to be body positive.”

Watch a trailer from Walt Disney Animation Studios featuring Reflect below:

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The short’s use of a more diverse main character follows other efforts from the Walt Disney Company as a whole to focus more in diversity through all of its ventures. Reflect follows initiatives like adding “Inclusivity” as the fifth Key to a Great Guest Experience at Disney Parks, and efforts to create new takes on classic stories like the upcoming Little Mermaid film starring Halle Bailey.


Credit: Disney

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Reflect is part of Season Two of the Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Circuit Experimental Films, and viewers can watch it anytime on Disney+ alongside 19 additional shorts that have been produced under this program so far. Disney+ is also home to all of the beloved shorts from Pixar Animation Studios, along with new favorite shorts featuring characters like Olaf from Frozen and Scrat from Ice Age.

Be sure to add Reflect to your watchlist, and check out the other Short Circuit Experimental Films, playing now on Disney+.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."