Disney director Hillary Bradfield spoke about the “heartfelt” reaction to her acclaimed short Reflectwhich featured Disney’s first-ever plus-size heroine.
Reflect follows a plus-size ballet dancer who struggles with body dysmorphia, including seeing a literal monster in the mirror, but manages to overcome the problem and goes on to give a spectacular performance.
The short was praised by many for its portrayal as well as the way the animated film dealt with body dysmorphia. In an interview with SubwayBradfield discussed the film’s reception.
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“Just seeing how people connect with the short is so special, especially since I put so much into it and so many members of the team did. They really invested a lot of their personal stories in that and so it’s incredibly meaningful,” Bradfield says.
“I got some very heartfelt messages from young dancers, and it was very meaningful, and then, it almost came out of nowhere, there was all this attention on it, and I thought to myself: “Wow, that’s so cool! Oh my God, people are watching this, they’re watching our little two-minute movie! It’s amazing!”
Bradfield explained that she grew up skating competitively and did ballet herself as a way to train for figure skating.
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“Part of performing arts and sports – a lot of it is about looking in the mirror and judging your posture, and especially in a situation like a ballet classroom, where most of the time, you’re even in uniform and you’re all wearing the same thing, it’s just very telling.”
She continued: “It’s hard not to go in your mind – it’s very easy to put yourself down.”
Reflect is available to watch on Disney+ as part of short circuita collection of experimental animated shorts made by Disney.