Disney has existed for almost one hundred years. In that time, Disney has produced thousands of films and television series as well as produced content telling stories from an infinite number of ideas, including films about talking animals, talking cars, aliens, and so much more. Disney has also produced films about minority groups, so I wanted to share the Top Ten Disney Titles On Disney+ About Disabilities.

Hawkeye

Let’s start with a Disney+ Original series, and what better series than “Hawkeye”. This series follows Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton as he must help newbie archer Kate Bishop take on the Tracksuit Mafia. This series not only features Marvel’s first deaf superhero in Echo, who is played by deaf-amputee Alaqua Cox. The series also features American Sign Language (ASL) and features Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton using a hearing aid who has hearing issues due to all the explosions Barton had heard due to their close proximity to those explosions. All in all, Hawkeye is a great series.

Daredevil

This series follows the superhero lawyer Matt Murdock who goes by the superhero name Daredevil, and the main character is blind but has super hearing. My only gripe with this series is despite playing a blind character, the actor who portrays Daredevil isn’t blind himself.  “Daredevil” is one of the most popular series and the character is going to be a major part of the MCU going forward, with appearances in “She-Hulk”, “Echo” and will also be getting an extended series “Born Again” in 2023.


Turner and Hooch

A follow-up to the original Tom Hanks films from the late 1980s, the series follows the son of Tom Hank’s Scott Turner from the original 80s classic. Where after his father dies, a young Scott Turner, who is part of the US marshals, decides to investigate what happened with his sister by his side. The character in this series with a disability is a character called Curtis, who is autistic and is the brother of Scott’s love interest, Erica. Curtis is special when compared to other autistic characters in TV and film because the actor who plays Curtis is on the autism spectrum.

Finding Nemo

The first great film on this list and the first entry from Pixar on this list, in 2003, Pixar released an animated movie about a clownfish with a fin bigger than the other one. “Finding Nemo” is a beautifully animated film that teaches kids to accept one another and themselves for who they are regardless of how they look. “Finding Nemo” is one of Pixar’s all-time best films, and it’s great that the film represents people with disabilities.

Amy

This film is an oldie but a goodie and follows Amy Medford, who is plagued by thoughts of dead children and decides to walk out of her marriage to become a teacher at a special needs school. This film was released in 1981. Disney could logically remake this film as a television miniseries set in modern times and casting actors and actresses with “special needs” like autism, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and ADHD. The original Amy film is excellent but could do well if it was remade.

Moon Knight

Yet another Marvel series makes the list, this time, we follow the character of Marc Spector/Steven Grant, a man with Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID), which causes the sufferer to have multiple personalities. Oscar Issac does a great job at playing both the mild-mannered Steven Grant and the mercenary Marc Spector. Disney made a great series with “Moon Knight”, which is well worth watching.

Avatar

“Avatar”, is one of the biggest films ever in terms of Box Office success and follows Jake, who is a person with paraplegia who replaces his twin brother on a mission to the Na’vi-populated planet of Pandora. Whilst “Avatar” is a good film. There is one problem with this film it focuses on the main character. The problem is that this film tries to promote the idea that a disabled person needs to be someone else in order to fit in when it should promote acceptance of Jake for who he is.

Marvel’s Hero Project

This Marvel docuseries features many teenagers from many minority groups, including racial minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities.  One of the episodes follows a young amputee and her bionic arm and an episode about a blind teenager who plays American football. This series is a beautifully made docuseries, and it empowers everyone who spends the time to watch an episode. Unfortunately, this series is assumed to be cancelled as it was an unscripted series that Disney+ seems to have culled back on over the last year.


Tru Confessions

This movie has gone on to become somewhat of a hidden gem amongst Disney’s made-for-TV movie library. This film is “Tru Confessions”. This film follows Trudy “Tru” Walker, who thinks she has a terrible life with a father who’s always working, a mother who never took her side and her mentally impaired brother who she must constantly stick up for. This film was released in 2002, so its representation of a mental disability isn’t as good as some other content, but it’s better than some content like Sia’s Music. If Disney wanted to, they could revive this IP as a modern sitcom for Disney+, but they would benefit from casting an actual neurodivergent actor to play Trudy’s brother.

Loop

My personal favourite title within the Disney+ catalogue that you should be watching during disability pride month. “Loop” is a beautifully animated short and follows the story of Marcus and Renee, two kids who are adrift on a lake. Renee is non-verbal autistic, meaning Marcus must find a way to communicate with her in a way she’ll understand. Renee is voiced by an autistic voice actress named Madison Bandy, and she does a spectacular job. In the making of the video, it’s revealed Pixar made sure she was accommodated as they allowed her to record her audio at home instead of the Pixar studio.

What This Means:

Disability Pride Month isn’t as widely celebrated as other months like LGBTQ+ Pride Month or Black History Month, but it is still an important month for those of us with disabilities. Entertainment conglomerates like Disney try to promote diversity, but disabled people are normally missed out. One notable example is after the success of the Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” series, Disney was working with an autism “charity” called Autism Speaks to develop a children’s television series about a girl with autism called “The A Girl”. This frustrated many autistic Disney fans due to Autism Speaks promoting electroshock therapy to help “cure” autism.


Disney has been making some steps in the right direction by developing new content such as “Echo”, “Out Of My Mind”, and “Song For A Whale”, meaning Disney is warming up to telling stories about disabled people and, better yet they’ve begun casting people with disabilities to play the roles they were literally born to play. But how does Disney keep the momentum going? Disability Pride is all the time, so the way Disney could continue to help with diversity in movies and TV would be to cast more actors with disabilities in their productions, as well as host writing competitions for scripts by disabled writers.  This is a small thing, but they could add a collection on Disney+ for all their content, including movies, TV series, shorts and select TV episodes for people to browse.

If anyone from Disney is reading, please keep taking the right steps forward and continue making great content about characters with disabilities and the worlds they live in.





For the latest Disney+ news, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.






Ethan Holloway

Ethan is an autistic, type one diabetic, Disney fan who grew up with properties like Iron Man, The Lion King, Aladdin and Toy Story. Ethan wants to someday get his own books/films/TV shows made to inspire those with disabilities to be themselves, but for now, Ethan covers his opinions on Disney, their content and how Disney+ can improve.

Related Article

1 Comments

  1. I'm autistic and you don't speak for me. July 29, 2022

    I really don't see the value behind all this jabber about diversity when people only show one side of the story. I'm autistic and I speak as one who hates being as such.