February 3, 2023

Disney director Hillary Bradfield has spoken out about the “sincere” response to her acclaimed short film Reflectfeaturing Disney’s first-ever curvier heroine.

Reflect follows a curvier ballet dancer who struggles with body dysmorphia, including seeing a literal monster in the mirror, but manages to overcome the problem and then give a spectacular performance.

The short was praised by many for its depiction and 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 people connect with the short is so special, especially because I’ve put so much into this and so many members of the crew as well – they’ve really invested a lot of their personal stories into this and so it’s been incredibly meaningful, says Bradfield.

“I got some really heartfelt messages from young dancers, and that was very meaningful, and then, it almost felt out of nowhere, there was all this attention to it, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s so cool! Oh my god , people are watching it, they’re watching our little two-minute movie! This is great!'”

Bradfield explained that she grew up figure skating and ballet dancing herself as a way to cross-train for figure skating.

reflect short film

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“Part of performing arts and sports — so much of it is looking at yourself in the mirror and judging your posture, and especially in a situation like a ballet class, where you’re often even in uniform and you’re all wearing the same thing, it’s just very exposed .”

She continued, “It’s hard not to go there in your mind — it’s very easy to get down on yourself.”

Reflect is available to watch on Disney+ as part of Short circuita collection of experimental animated shorts created by Disney.

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