9 Reasons You Should Watch Disney/Pixar’s “Loop”

w: Johnathon E. Briggs

w: Johnathon E. Briggs

9 Reasons You Should Watch Disney/Pixar’s “Loop”

— January 11, 2020 —

When the calendar flipped to Jan. 2, director/writer Erica Milsom took to Twitter to announce she would share one fun fact each day—for a total of nine—leading up to the Jan. 10 release date of “Loop,” the new Disney/Pixar SparkShorts film she directed with producers Krissy Cababa and Michael Warch.

The seven-minute film, which debuted Friday on Disney+, unfolds from a premise that is unsuspectingly compelling: “A non-verbal, autistic girl [Renee] and a chatty boy [Marcus] are partnered on a canoeing trip. To complete their journey across an urban lake, they must both learn how the other experiences the world.”

The film breaks new ground by featuring Pixar’s first non-verbal autistic character.

As a black father raising a daughter who is on the autism spectrum, I shared my thoughts last month on the significance of both “Loop” and “Float,” which is based on the real-life experiences of creator Bobby Alcid Rubio who is raising an autistic son. I praised Milsom and her team for broadening the visual representation of who is affected by autism by depicting Renee as a person of color.  I concluded by saying, “I can’t wait to see if “Loop” delivers on the promise of its script.”

I’m happy to report the film indeed delivers.

By training our eyes to imagine what the world might look like from someone else’s perspective, “Loop” encourages us to practice empathy in what feels like an increasingly divisive and judgmental world.

Since Milson gave us nine fun facts before the film’s release, here are my nine reasons to watch “Loop” now that’s it available for streaming:

#1. Its realistic portrayal of a nonverbal autistic person.

Dr. Stephen Shore famously said, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Truer words have never been spoken. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is just that, a spectrum of behavior that manifests differently in each person affected by the condition. “Loop” presents an authentic depiction of what ASD feels like for Renee thanks to its close consultation with groups like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, whose motto is “nothing about us without us.”

#2. Its demonstration of empathy.

“Loop” puts the viewer in the shoes of Renee and Marcus by switching from Renee’s point of view one moment to Marcus’s the next. By training our eyes to imagine what the world might look like from someone else’s perspective, “Loop” encourages us to practice empathy in what feels like an increasingly divisive and judgmental world.

#3. Its emotional honesty.

Trying to connect with someone who is different from you can be awkward. “Loop” doesn’t shy away from that fact. Before Marcus steps into the canoe, he looks at Renee and says to the camp counselor, “Ugh. Why is she sitting like that?” The counselor replies, “So she can talk to you.” Marcus replies, “But I thought she couldn’t…” He’s utterly confused.

#4. Its memorable ringtone.

I found Renee’s ringtone—a pulsating rhythm followed by three dog barks—simply adorable. My daughter, a huge fan of “Puppy Dog Pals,” became fascinated by it as well and tried to imitate it, especially the barking part.

#5. The design of its film title.

Created by Pixar designer Laura Meyer, the curvy, rainbow spectrum title for “Loop” is a nod to the symbol for neurodiversity and appears in the film to mark a poignant turning point.

#6. Its setting in nature.

Being outdoors gets us out of our element and connected to the elements and, as seen in “Loop,” to each other. Milsom revealed that the setting for the film was inspired by Berkeley’s Aquatic Park.  

#7. Its reminder that not all communication requires words.

Before my daughter was able to express herself with words, I was fixated on verbal communication. But so much of communication is nonverbal. We use our face, eyes, hands, arms, tone, pitch, and volume of our utterances to help convey meaning. We don’t always need or use words.

#8. Its depiction of stimming.

You stim. I stim. We all stim. According to Healthline, “stimming” refers to self-stimulating behaviors, usually involving repetitive movements or sounds, such as biting your nails or twirling your hair around your fingers when you’re bored, anxious, or need to relieve tension. In people with autism, “stimming might take the form of hand-flapping, spinning in circles, body rocking, or vocalizations such as grunting and muttering,” says Steven Kapp, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom.

In “Loop,” Renee is shown stimming when she repetitively listens to her pulsating-bark ringtone; Marcus, while fidgeting with blades of grass as he waits for Renee to recover from a meltdown. “Loop” reminds us that despite our neurological differences, we share universal aspects of being human. Renee and Marcus share a passion for canoeing, a desire to explore nature and, yes, stimming.

#9. Marcus’ text message to Renee.

I won’t reveal it here. You’ll have to watch the film through the credits to see the endearing message. But let’s just say it involves a bowl of rice and an emoji of three barking dogs.

It’s heartening for me to see that people who are #ActuallyAutistic are embracing the film as exemplified by tweets like these:

In the end, “Loop” embodies a truism once said by Oprah, “Everybody just wants to be heard. Validate them. ‘I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.'”

Father on,

1055 words

1.11.20

Johnathon E. BriggsI love wingtip shoes + statement socks • Husband • Autism Dad • Comic Book Geek • #BlackDadMagic • ΑΦΑ

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About

Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father. This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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About

Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father. This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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