Since Disney+ launched, it has slowly been adding new collections, including “Black Stories” and “Female Leads”, which highlight some of the shows and films on Disney+, which tell stories that can inspire and educate viewers.

One of my major gripes with Disney+ is the lack of a “Celebrate Disabled Stories” collection on Disney+, so today I ask the question, Does Disney Even Have Enough Content To Create Such A Collection?

Disney has many films, shows and series that are great e xamples of content that could fit within this category including:


  • Avatar
  • Loop
  • Hawkeye
  • Daredevil (2003)
  • Percy Jackson movies (2010 and 2013 films)
  • The Xmen film series (majority of them feature disabled characters)
  • Float
  • Ron’s Gone Wrong
  • Puppy Dog Pals
  • The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
  • Amy
  • Heidi
  • Mr Holland’s Opus
  • Finding Nemo
  • Finding Dory
  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
  • Marvel’s Hero Project

Not only are all these titles listed above owned by Disney, but unfortunately, several of them, including “Heidi” and “Daredevil” (2003), aren’t available to stream on Disney+ in many if any countries. The list of films and series above include representation of the following disabilities:

  • Autism
  • Asthma
  • Dyslexia
  • Wheelchair-bound
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Amputees

With such a selection of disabilities being showcased across the titles listed above, it’s rather shocking that Disney hasn’t uploaded them all to Disney+ and hasn’t given them a dedicated collection for those searching for content surrounding disabilities.



Disney Has More Upcoming Content About Disabilities:

Disney should be given some praise for the fact they seem to be investing in a small selection of titles following characters with disabilities these include an “Echo” series, a “Percy Jackson” reboot and “A Song For A Whale”, all of which could help build this image that Disney wants to tell heartwarming and exciting stories about people with disabilities. However, I am somewhat disappointed that we’ve had no updates on an original series Disney+ was working on in 2018 called “Life and Deaf”, so I assume this series has unfortunately been shelved.


Disabled Stories Get Buried By The Mainstream Film and TV Industry:

This is a problem with Disney and the entertainment industry as a whole. Some films like “Alita Battle Angel” follow a character who would be classified as disabled and is a beautiful representation of what losing a limb would look like in a few hundred years. The film inspired a group of people to raise money to donate a bionic hand to a needing child, which they want bionic model Tilly Lockey to present to the child. The film industry as a whole needs to do better with stories about those with disabilities, and Disney is no exception as they’ll shoehorn disabled characters into series and movies only to sideline them in later episodes.

My biggest gripe with a show, likely “Turner and Hooch”, is how Curtis is given so little screentime throughout the series, who, by the way, was played by an autistic actor. If Disney included episodes of their TV shows like “Raven’s Home” and “Fancy Nancy”, which have done episodes following storylines focused on characters with disabilities.


I believe that all streaming services should have a dedicated selection of titles focusing on characters and storylines surrounding disabilities and how it affects us all differently.

I love Disney and so many of its properties, but I wish they did more to promote stories about characters with disabilities. It feels as if Disney is slowly working on improving its representation of disabilities with series like “Echo” and “Percy Jackson” as well as Disney hopefully making that “Song For A Whale” movie. They should be pushing for more content starring disabled characters who are played by actual disabled actors.


But What About Star?

Internationally, Disney can include several shows and movies under the Star banner like “Glee” and “Family Guy”, which do include characters who are wheelchair-bound. Disney already do this for other collections on Disney+ outside the US so it would make sense that a “Celebrate Disabled Stories” collection would consist of films and series such as:


  • The Shape Of Water
  • 127 Hours
  • Bones
  • Family Guy
  • Glee
  • Fargo
  • NCIS
  • The Good Doctor


Final Thoughts:

Along with the rest of Hollywood, Disney owes people with disabilities genuine films and series that follow disabled characters and tell genuine stories. I’m not asking Disney to do much besides adding a collection for those with disabilities to sit down and enjoy something they can relate to and connect with, especially when most of the content I’ve listed is already on Disney+ in various regions. Having multiple disabilities myself makes this something personal to me, and I feel content like “Loop” and “Hawkeye” show the world from a perspective many people will never fully understand.

 

Children with disabilities need icons that they can see themselves in. Disney should try to capitalise on this idea and give future generations of disabled children, characters they can see themselves in. some content they could even do include a series based on “Loop” or something like a documentary film on teenage bionic model and TV presenter Tilly Lockey, but those are just some ideas.

 

What Do You Think? Does Disney Have Enough Content For A Celebrate Disabled Stories Collection?











Ethan Holloway

Ethan "Neil" Holloway is a huge Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar fan who grew up with Disney movies like Iron Man and The Lion King. Ethan has always been fascinated by movies especially ones that give a fair representation to those of disabled backgrounds and hopes to one day publish a novel with Disney Publishing Worldwide. You can call Ethan the "Disney Anime Guy" if you want.

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