If there’s one thing, Disney+ isn’t short on; it’s great stories, offering hundreds of movies and series to lose yourself in as well as having a dedicated Celebrate Black Stories Collection. My issue? Disney+ seems to lack a collection of films and series about people with disabilities. Let me explain.
Loop Is Amazing, But It’s Not Enough:
I have made it clear to a lot of people how much I enjoy and relate to the short film Loop on Disney+, but one short film about a single autistic character isn’t enough when you realise there are thousands of disabilities. Loop is an amazing representation of autism, and Disney needs to build on that for other series and movies in the future. If Disney were to release a collection on Disney+ called “Celebrate Disabled Stories” or something with a similar name Loop would be the crown jewel of the collection. Still, even if you factor in the Star content available in most countries, the collection wouldn’t have that many titles.
What Upcoming Originals Star Characters With Disabilities:
The Disney+ Original Series in development that star characters with disabilities are very few in between a bunch of series about well-bodied characters, the series include Moon Knight, Percy Jackson, Echo and Life and Deaf, that is only FOUR out of SEVENTY-FIVE original series in development. In the case for original films? Well, that’s an even lower number with their seemingly only be ONE original film in production about a character with a disability, that film being Song For A Whale.
Why This Is Important:
Disney is an entertainment juggernaut and as a company whose content is streamed and broadcast to millions (if not billions) of children and families every day and yet they seriously lack a large collection of content available highlighting series and movies where the main character or even important side characters (i.e. family, best friend characters). Currently, if Disney+ was to release a “Celebrate Disabled Stories” collection, there would be about five movies and series with a few select episodes from Disney Channel, Disney+ Originals and National Geographic series thrown into the mix.
How To Improve:
Considering how big Disney is, there is no excuse for not making some Disney+ Originals about characters of disabilities. Something I would personally love Disney to do something like an educational series teaching kids sign language or a series for teens with a protagonist who suffers from OCD or ADHD or Schizophrenia (I know that’s what Moon Knight will show, but I mean a series for teens with a teen lead) or something else along those lines. Note: they should consult people with these disabilities and cast actors with those disabilities before greenlighting the series or movie.
In recent times Netflix has made series like The Healing Powers Of Dude and Atypical, which are rated TV-PG and TV-14 respectively, and those shows had lead characters who either had anxiety or had autism. These series feel like something that Disney should make for Disney+ to entertain and educate people about these disabilities and make it so people growing up with those disabilities see characters that they can connect with.
Disney has no cap on talent, so I think it’s time Disney shows that Disabled Lives and Disabled Stories are just as important as every other type of story in Hollywood.
You can find me on Twitter @ realENHolloway