Disney launches Christmas campaign in support of Make-A-Wish, including new animated ad

Disney has released a new festive advert to mark the start of the Holiday season. ‘The Stepdad’ is a three-minute animated tale about family togetherness and the power of storytelling.

A sequel to last year’s ‘Lola’, which celebrated festive traditions passed down generations, the short film forms part of Disney’s festive retail campaign, ‘From Our Family To Yours’ in support of Make-A-Wish.

Following Disney’s 2020 debut consumer products Christmas advert, which secured more than 106 million views, this year’s instalment features a grown-up Nicole, the granddaughter from ‘Lola’, and her two children Max and Ella, as new step-dad Mike moves into their family home.

At the heart of the story is a special storybook – a precious item belonging to son Max from his birth father. The book celebrates how the power of storytelling can deepen family bonds, and the magic that reading together creates as stories from Disney and Pixar lift off from the pages igniting the family’s shared imagination and wonder.

Viewers will see the family navigate an emotive journey as they enjoy combining existing festive traditions with new ones in the run up to Christmas.

This campaign once again supports long-standing partner, Make-A-Wish, helping the charity to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses that can be an important part of the healing process. Since 1980, Disney has helped Make-A-Wish grant more than 145,000 life-changing wishes around the world.

Double Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter performs a rendition of original track ‘Love Runs Deeper’ – penned for the advert – which provides a musical narrative to the film through the eyes of Mike in lieu of any dialogue. Written by LA-based songwriters PARKWILD, the track also features CHERISE, a member of Tomorrow’s Warriors, an organisation committed to increasing diversity and equality across the arts through jazz music.

‘Love Runs Deeper’ is available for download now. For every download before 31 December 2021, 100% of the proceeds from the retail price will be donated to Make-A-Wish International to help grant life-changing wishes that help children build physical and emotional strength they need to fight critical illness.

Disney will give support worth more than $2m to Make-A-Wish International and their network of affiliates around the world. The support, made up of financial donations, media value and gifts in-kind, will help Make-A-Wish step that much closer to achieving their vision, to grant a wish for every eligible child.

Fans will also be able to purchase a Skating Minnie Mouse soft toy and Journal inspired by the ad, exclusively from shopDisney.

Throughout the advert, viewers will also be able to spot a number of hidden Disney and Make-A-Wish ‘Easter Eggs’, including two artworks created by children supported by the charity. One comes from 13-year-old Dylan, whose picture of a cheetah can be seen on the family’s fridge. Dylan’s wish to be an animator was fulfilled by Flux Animation Studios, who developed the advert creative.

Tasia Filippatos, SVP Disney EMEA says: “We’re delighted to once again support long-term charity partner Make-A-Wish through our holiday campaign. Reading together can be a truly magical experience and our advert celebrates this age-old tradition and the wonder and imagination it inspires. We hope the story will resonate with anyone who has seen the magic ‘lift off the pages’ of a book through the eyes of a child.”

Luciano Manzo, President and CEO at Make-A-Wish International says: “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Disney and are delighted to be a part of this year’s festive campaign. Audiences can also get involved by giving a gift of hope and joy to children with critical illnesses on behalf of loved ones this holiday season. They can brighten someone’s day and send a charity e-card that helps Make-A-Wish grant life-changing wishes.”

Over 200 retailers and brands are supporting Disney’s ‘From Our Family To Yours’ 2021 campaign, including Pandora, Primark and Vodafone, who will also have their very own animated stories featuring Mike, Nicole, Max and Ella, which can be seen on their own channels. Pandora, Primark and Vodafone’s spots will go live throughout November.
Watch ‘The Stepdad’ here.

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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