The Disney Pride Collection is dreamed up by members and allies of the community, for members and allies of the community. One of my favorite things about working for The Walt Disney Company for nearly 15 years is that it gives cast members the opportunity to pursue the work they love and make their most passionate dreams come true.
Today, I’m honored to share a special interview with one of the amazing cast members who helped develop and design the Disney Pride Collection, Cody Reynolds. Cody is the Director of Character Art and has been with Disney for over 25 years!
What was it like working on the Disney Pride Collection?
Being able to create something on behalf of The Walt Disney Company for the LGBTQIA+ community truly means the world to me. Of everything I’ve had the privilege to work on, I can honestly say that I have the most passion for the Disney Pride Collection and it’s the project I’m most proud to be part of. Two things that define me as a person are Disney and being a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community—and this project brings those two things together in the most wonderful way. I especially love that in addition to the new branding of the Disney Pride Collection, our primary focus is to ensure we are always proud and committed to creating year-round merchandise for this Collection.
You’ve been a part of the annual collection since it was first introduced in 2018. Can you share how it’s changed throughout the years?
2021 was the first time we expanded the Disney Pride Collection beyond just Disney and Mickey Mouse and included Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar. Expanding and diversifying the offerings within the Disney Pride Collection has not only made it stronger from a content perspective—it has also given a broader and stronger voice and reach to the Collection. I feel that there are elements of Pride in all of our stories and being able to tap into a broader spectrum of the Company’s storytelling and legacy is amazing.
What is your favorite piece (or pieces) of the Disney Pride Collection?
One of my favorite pieces of the Collection this year is honestly the Marvel Pride Collection T-Shirt. I love how the chosen empowered words that represent each of the Marvel characters tie perfectly to who THEY are and to their stories. Not only that, the editorial also resonates and relates to words that evoke the heart and strength of the LGBTQIA+ community.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride to me means so many things—but I think the most important thing that it means to me is being completely—and unapologetically–true to who you are as an individual.
Having the opportunity to interview Cody about this incredible collection was truly a full-circle moment for me. I was fortunate to be on the team that produced the photoshoot announcing the Disney Pride Collection. We felt it was important to include a wide variety of members of the community as our models. As Cody mentioned, this collection supports being yourself unapologetically, something that is also represented in our photography. From transgender models to those who identify as non-binary and a couple that has been married for several years, we wanted to make sure that our photos encapsulated authentic feelings of celebration and joy that we know are synonymous with Pride.
In an effort to deepen our support this year, The Walt Disney Company will be donating all of our profits from TWDC Pride Collection sales now through June 30, 2022, to support LGBTQIA+ youth and families. For more information about organizations Disney is funding, visit TWDCPrideCollection.com.