Pixar’s Loop – An Autistic Person’s Perspective
Pixar’s Sparkshorts program has given us some gems since it started being released in 2019, and my personal favourite short so far has been Erica Milsom’s wonderful short “Loop”, which follows Renee (a non-verbal autistic girl) and Marcus, which was released in January of 2020, let me explain.
Back in 2011, at the age of eight, I was diagnosed with autism (among other conditions) and whilst I’m able to speak, I do slur my words more often than not and have overly sensitive hearing and do not like people physically touching me, I also wave my hands around when I talk as well. I’ve been an advocate for autism representation in movies and on Disney+, so when I saw “Loop”, it hit me, and it was amazing to see authentic autism representation on screen.
Genuine Representation Matters:
The main voice actor of “Loop”, Madison Bandy, voiced Renee’s non-verbal autistic character in the short. Madison is a non-verbal autistic voice actor, and hearing her authentic tone of voice inspires those with disabilities like autism who have been told they won’t amount to much because of their conditions. Renee as a character is what authentic autism representation should be, a character that does everything correctly, from the little gestures and noises we make to her obsession with a ringtone on her phone, which she finds comforting.
What Is “Loop” About?
“Loop” follows Renee, a non-verbal autistic teenage girl and Marcus, a non-autistic teenage boy who is paired together whilst canoeing, but after they get stuck adrift on the lake, they must learn to see the world through each other’s eyes.
My Opinion On “Loop”:
“Loop” feels like a love letter to the autism community, not only is the short groundbreaking for Pixar but also representation within the film industry as a whole as for decades, major film studios have used well-bodied and neurotypical actors to play disabled characters, a disgusting practise which continues to this day. The animation in “Loop” is beautiful, and everything shown on screen emulates real life in such stunning detail.
“Loop” is a beautifully told and heartwarming story about friendship and shows just because someone is different, it doesn’t mean their life is any less important than yours. “Loop” even has an end credit scene that shows Marcus texting Renee after their adventure asking if she wants to go canoeing again. “Loop” comes alive to me, and as an autistic person, I desire more representation like this in the future.
One thing “Loop” leaves itself open for is a continuation. I would love to see Disney+ pick up a miniseries continuing the story of “Loop”, maybe they could jump forward a year or two where Marcus decides to introduce Renee to his friends and family, which they could use to show how Renee reacts to whoever Marcus introduces her to, but more importantly how they respond to meeting Renee. (Disney call me).
I love stories about people with disabilities. I’ve written several articles for this site discussing Disney needing to do more to make people with all disabilities see themselves in the worlds Disney creates. What Erica, Mandy and the teams at Pixar and Disney+ created with “Loop” is pure magic and is a shining example of autism representation done correctly.
What Do You Think About Pixar’s Loop?
Note: most of what I’ve said in this article is based on my opinion and experiences as an autistic person. My experiences may differ from other autistic people, so please DO NOT take this as anything besides my personal opinion. Thank you for reading.