Gabrielle Union is especially proud of her Disney character’s “reasonable body proportions” in Strange World

Gabrielle Union last film in the next disney movie strange world marks another celebratory moment for the studio’s inclusion. The Bring it on actress voices the role of Meridian, a loving wife, mother, and skilled pilot who is key to Disney Animation’s original sci-fi adventure. When CinemaBlend spoke to Union about her Disney persona, she showed a lot of pride for Meridian’s place in the studio’s storied canon, including her more approachable body type.

During our chat, we talked about a Disney trope that just doesn’t happen in strange world. While many House of Mouse heroes tragically lose or are separated from their parents, Meridian, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal’s Searcher Clade, is the supportive current mother and father of Jaboukie Young-White’s Ethan Clade. In the words of Gabrielle Union:

Disney movies are notorious for killing the mother and killing her fast, or missing a parent in some capacity. So, I was just happy to be alive. But, having those kind of parents in a demonstrably loving relationship [relationship], I try to think of the last time we saw parents cooking together, dancing together, being affectionate? And then being of different races and having a mother who does that and has more reasonable body proportions. Like her breast to hip ratio was more reasonable, you know? And a black woman with natural hair, like all of those things, really resonated with me, and I hope to resonate with Disney aficionados, because it’s important to really showcase all kinds of families. And, it’s another perfectly imperfect classic Disney family. But, there is much more demonstrative love and affection.

strange world features Searcher and Meridian Clade as happy, loving parents who cook harmoniously together and steal kisses much to Ethan’s chagrin. As Gabrielle Union reflected on her latest role, she realized how rare it was for a Disney animated film to feature parents in this light. It’s one of the many things the actress is proud of when it comes to herself. strange world character, which she said was “completely” collaborative.

Union was also happy to see that her character had a body type that she calls more “reasonable” than the studio’s beloved former anime women. We’ve come a long way since Sleeping Beauty and The little Mermaidthe stick-thin princesses, even with Lilo & StitchNani is ahead of her time back to the early 2000s. As Gabrielle Union pointed out, it’s so “important” for the studio to represent diverse looks through its characters, and the strange world family can soon consider itself a new addition to its canon as the studio’s 61st feature film.

Then there is the aspect of strange world also featuring a biracial family, with Gabrielle Union among a few black women in major Disney Animation features after previously bring diversity to a live-action Disney remake with Cheaper by the dozen. Gabrielle Union is proud of Meridian’s natural hair and to be part of that representation. Her daughter was recently one of many children who have become empowered through live action The little Mermaid trailer, and quickly channeled the princess.

When talking about her time working in the voice booth with the filmmakers, Gabrielle Union also shared that the “majority” of her ad libs made it into the film much to her surprise, including phrases she uses in her daily life as a mother herself. she says:

‘You tried’. It’s a very personal thing that I tell my family when they’re trying to recover from a tired, weary mother. I’m like, ‘you tried it’, but being in this is wild and awesome. And I’m glad we got it. It’s like culture. Like, ‘boy, bye.’ Those kinds of things are, I don’t know, they’re pretty awesome, and I very rarely have that kind of freedom in any medium in my career to put a real cultural stamp on my characters, a uniqueness that we have just generally do not see.

Gabrielle Union has made Meridian her own, and her authenticity is sure to connect with people. Check strange world trailer here on CinemaBlend before we find out in theaters on November 23rd.

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