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Disney builds on diversity in films including 'RISE' movie on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 19:28:50-04

We are days away from the release of a movie based on the life of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family.

We know Giannis as the Greak Freak, an all-star on the basketball court, but on Friday we get an inside look into the Antetokounmpo family.

"Rise" is a Disney movie based on the trials and tribulations they endured and the rise to success through basketball.

Much like the name, the movie depicts the ups and downs the family faced as immigrants from Nigeria to Greece and then to the United States. It will also show the struggles the family faced living with the threat of deportation. A harsh reality for many dreamers in America.

"This story is one that is perfectly suited for Disney because it has all those right beats of strong family, love and faith concurring all," said longtime film critic Ryan Jay.

Jay believes art often time leads the way for cultural impact and change.

"It's very important for everyone, no matter who they are, what they look like, to see themselves depicted in storytelling," he said.

We've seen it in Disney films from Moana and Princess and the Frog to Coco and Encanto.

"Disney is really leading the way in breaking down those barriers and addressing them in a celebratory, beautiful way," Jay smiled.

Jay said there are teachable moments in every Disney film, and through this movie, an opportunity to talk about real like issues.

The movie debuts on Disney+ on Friday.

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