The SOF Team
This just in: Disney and Hallmark are releasing films centered around disabled individuals
Updated: Jun 23, 2022
These film companies represent those with Down Syndrome and those who are nonverbal on the big screen with their upcoming films
Image source: Andrea Piacquadio
Representation matters, and being able to see yourself in a movie is crucial for anyone to feel more included in society. Sponsors of the Future is highlighting Disney and Hallmark’s massive efforts towards inclusivity by making films surrounding individuals facing unique challenges (both visible and invisible).
A Film Telling a Nonverbal Teen’s Story
Disney is in the progress of making a film titled “Out of My Thoughts” which will appear on Disney +. This film is based on Sharon M. Draper’s novel “Out of My Mind” and will follow the story of Melody Brooks, a nonverbal preteen with cerebral palsy. Despite her condition, one of her teachers notices how knowledgeable Melody is and convinces her to continue with her public schooling journey rather than being homeschooled.
Image source: Barnes and Noble
The film will star 12-year-old Phoebe-Rae Taylor, a United Kingdom resident who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. This achievement is massive for Phoebe-Ray and will allow her to become an inspiration for other children who have suffered similar challenges that she has. Disney even stated that “the manufacturing staff has included a number of people from the cerebral palsy and augmentative and different communication system communities.” This is a phenomenal way to be inclusive to people with these difficulties, both off-screen and behind the scenes.
Hallmark Making a Change from Their Usual Love Stories
Hallmark is known for its love stories and heartbreaking plot lines, and now they are taking a step to be known for inclusivity. Hallmark’s latest production is a film titled “Color My World With Love” and will tell the story of Kendall, a painter who has Down Syndrome. When she meets Brad at a diverse learners center, Kendall’s mother worries that she will face the heartbreak that she has tried to prevent her daughter from ever experiencing.
Image source: TV Shows Ace
According to Lilly D. Moore, the actress who will portray Kendall in the film, “Everyone has a dream to fall in love and get married one day, even people with disabilities … I hope viewers take away that ‘Color my World with Love’ is about painting your own story through your emotions and that we all have endless possibilities.” This film has already gained a fan base online, as users on Twitter are showing excitement for the company giving a spotlight on those with Down Syndrome. This goes to show how much representation in films means to those who can relate to the characters and actors.
SoF understands that for those facing these challenges, it can be upsetting to rarely see yourself represented when watching television or movies. That is why we are highlighting these incredible stories and showing just how many aspects of society are making an effort to be more inclusive.