Billy Cranston and being unapologetically autistic
Billy Cranston a.k.a the Blue Ranger in the Power Rangers reboot, is one of my favorite film characters, probably of all time. Why? He is one of the first autistic characters I’ve seen on screen, books, or tv. “But, Kate what about all these autistic characters *points to BBC Sherlock and the one line about Aspergers” First of all, stop saying Sherlock’s autistic, Jenny, he’s a poor outdated stereotype in a white man’s circle jerking intellectual fantasy. But what I mean is, Billy is allowed to be autistic. And it’s portrayed pretty accurately, speaking as someone on the spectrum myself. So what’s the difference between Billy Cranston and what we’ll call “Hollywood Autism”?
First of the Hollywood Autistic never quite says they’re autistic. A few hints may be dropped, someone may wonder if they are, but if they’re in any genre that isn’t inspiration porn, it will remain up in the air. Billy says not long after we meet him, “I’m on the spectrum.” No question, no guesswork, he’s autistic. And no one really looks down on him for it.
Secondly, the Hollywood Autistic comes in two flavors: exaggerated caricature, or barely different from an allistic character. The first example is aloof, nonverbal, doesn’t get sarcasm or any jokes at all, hyperfixtates on a certain topic, and is almost always a suburban white boy. If they’re an adult, they’re basically a child in a grown man’s body. The second has one scene where they show autistic traits, and it is completely dropped after that one scene. Billy is neither of these characters. He has special interests that he focuses on (mining, art), the need for a routine (rearranging his pencils a certain way before he can use them), sensory issues (mostly with touch), he doesn’t get sarcasm, and he babbles (which could be interpreted as verbal stimming.) That last one brings us to the fact that Billy is allowed to stim! Stimming is often ignored with Hollywood Autistics, but Billy claps his hands when he gets excited, and babbles when he’s nervous. Seeing a character stim on screen without being seen as weird almost made me cry. And, to top it all off, Billy is black. This may not seem like a big deal, but autism goes underdiagnosed in minorities, and the stereotypical autistic is always a white boy. Billy’s representative of autistics as a whole, rather than the stereotypes.
In conclusion the world needs more Billy Cranstons and less Sherlocks and Sheldon Coopers.
Okay, you see this? These are jacket cover/inside cover of a book called “The Beast Within” written by Serena Valentino, who wrote other Disney books that are so amazing. I purchased her first Disney book in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot a few years ago and have bought every other book of hers since. But lemme tell you why this one is my favorite:
Not only is “Beauty and the Beast” one of my favorite films of all time, but the Beast is one of my favorite characters in any film. And this book makes him seem so much more understandable. It’s written in his perspective and there’s literally a scene where he’s so close to being an actual monster that he goes out to kill Belle after she runs away from him.
Did you hear me?
HE GOES TO KILL BELLE.
Of course, he fights the wolves that attack her because in his mind, he’s like “wait I can redeem my human status still” while the beast side is literally chanting “RIP THE FLESH OPEN AND SPILL HER BLOOD EVERYWHERE ALL OVER THE SNOW COVERED GROUND”.
Let me tell you, this book is so good. And it gives more backstory to Gaston (who is, as you guessed, one of my favorite Disney villains).
If you enjoyed the 2017 version of “Beauty and the Beast”, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s different than the film, but just as good, in my opinion.
I really really needed to draw these two after rewatching Belle. It has to be one of my favorite films, I love everything from the characters to the costuming to the score to the relationship/growth between Dido and Davinier
One of my favorite film characters, played by one of my favorite actresses, in one of my favorite performances from her long and storied career. Michelle Pfeiffer can do next to nothing wrong in my eyes.
so anyways im rewatching the mask of zorro and vividly being reminded of how elena “while you were getting blackout drunk in some hole in the wall i was studying the blade” de la vega was truly such a formative influence growing up
Am I the only one who absolutely loves this scene? Like it is one of my favorites. Maurice literally wins the #BEST BOYFRIEND EVER award. He is SO unbelievably sweet and caring…it kills me every time I watch it.