Credit where credit is due, Disney Channel has been making really good strides to tell multicultural and diverse stories for the past decade or so, arguably more than we see in most Hollywood films. Looking back at movies like Johnny Tsunami, or cartoons like American Dragon: Jake Long and Proud Family, and even more recent shows like Andi Mack, and you can’t help but give them props for casting POCs as leads and actually making those leads’ cultures central to the stories they’re trying to tell. And their upcoming movie, Spin is no exception.
Per Disney, Spin centers on a girl named Rhea (played by Avantika from the Disney Junior cartoon, Mira, Royal Detective), a relatable Indian American teen who discovers her passion for creating DJ mixes that blend the rich textures of her South Asian culture and the world around her. Her life revolves around her eclectic group of friends — Molly, Watson, and Ginger — as well as her after-school coding club, her family’s Indian restaurant, and her tight-knit, multi-generational family, which includes her father Arvind, younger brother Rohan, and her grandmother Asha. Everything changes when she falls for aspiring DJ Max and her long lost fervor for music is re-ignited. Rhea discovers that she has a natural gift for creating beats and producing music, but must find the courage to follow her true inner talent.
Check out the trailer here:
Another great thing about this movie is that it’s really showing this idea of encouraging Asian parents. That’s pretty rare in most films of similar themes. Most of the time the central conflict is that the kids will follow a dream that the parents disapprove of. But Spin puts a…. um… spin… on that worn out trope and shows an encouraging mother who’s pushing her kid to be the best at something she loves. That’s pretty huge.
Anyway, I think it’s a great step forward in the name of multicultural storytelling and representation. Yo go Disney Channel!
Spin premieres on Disney Channel Friday, August 13, at 8pm.