A New Pixar Short On Disney Plus Features A Nonverbal Teen Girl With Autism

by Madison Vanderberg
Originally Published: 

A new Pixar short on Disney Plus features a nonverbal teen girl with autism

When Disney Plus premiered, everyone was excited to check out The Mandalorian and watch their favorite Disney films at the click of a button. But one bonus feature that you might not know about is that Disney Plus is full of fantastic Pixar shorts. Yes, we’ve all seen the “Forky Asks A Question” from Toy Story 4 short films, but there’s one five-minute short film in particular that needs to be seen. Pixar short “Loop” is the story of a 13-year-old nonverbal girl with autism who makes a new friend while canoeing.

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If you don’t yet have a Disney+ account, get in now while the deals are still hot to watch original content like “Loop.” You can sign up for a 7-day free trial now, and Verizon subscribers get a year free.

According to Pixar, “Loop” tells the story of Renee, “a non-verbal, autistic girl and a chatty boy [who] are partnered on a canoeing trip. To complete their journey across an urban lake, they must both learn how the other experiences the world.”

Renee doesn’t speak, so at first, the teen boy is exasperated and at a loss for how to communicate with Renee, but the short shows us that with empathy, quite literally anything is possible. The boy only had to re-frame what he considers “communication” to be able to connect with Renee.

In a behind-the-scenes clip, the director said she was inspired to tell this story because she loves canoeing, but the story began to really take shape when she and the other filmmakers spoke to individuals from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, who advised them on what Renee would be thinking and feeling.

For the lead role, the filmmakers cast Madison Bandy, a teen girl with autism who is also mostly nonspeaking. In the behind-the-scenes video, we see the filmmakers recording Madison’s part in her own home where she felt more comfortable, as opposed to a recording studio.

So far, the reception to the film and its portrayal of a person with autism has been positive.

This video should be required viewing on interacting with and having empathy for someone who is different than you. Check it out now on Disney Plus.

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