• With family togetherness at its heart, festive short ‘The Stepdad’ follows a family’s journey as they navigate their first Christmas together
• The advert celebrates the power of storytelling to inspire imagination and the magic created by reading together
• Two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Gregory Porter performs original advert soundtrack ‘Love Runs Deeper’, released as a charity single in support of Make-A-Wish® International
• Skating Minnie Mouse soft toy and journal inspired by the advert are available exclusively at shopDisney
• Fans can spot hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ including artworks from children supported by Make-A-Wish®
• The creation of the advert also enabled Make-A-Wish UK to grant a very special wish for 13-year-old Dylan, whose wish was to be an animator
IMAGES AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: https://www.flickr.com/gp/taylorherringpr/PqWgG5
YOUTUBE EMBED LINK FOR ADVERT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k620f8tV5PI
ADVERT VIDEO AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: https://vimeo.com/641213359/1db0b4581e
[London] 3rd November 2021: Disney has today released a magical 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 premieres on Wednesday 3rd November 2021, across TV and Digital plus Disney’s own channels in 45 countries across Europe, North America, South America and Asia. It 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 very 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 - bringing light, hope and joy to wish children and their families.
Double Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter performs an emotive 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’ will be available for download from the 3rd November 2021. For every download before 31st 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, eagle-eyed 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 of which 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 said: “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.”
International artist Gregory Porter, who performs ‘Love Runs Deeper’ said: “The lyrics of the track are so powerful, and underline that behind everything there is love. When I read the first line of ‘Love Runs Deeper’, “When you open the door, I will be standing there”, I was truly moved by its emotion and storytelling. I knew I needed to be involved with this campaign and support Make-A-Wish.”
Luciano Manzo, President and CEO at Make-A-Wish® International said: “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.
The advert was developed and produced by Disney EMEA’s in-house creative team, led by Angela Affinita, Director of Brand Marketing and Creative, in partnership with Flux Animation Studios in New Zealand and story consultants, POCC.
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For more information or interviews with Gregory Porter, Cherise Adams-Burnett and the Disney team behind the advert, please contact: Rachel McCullough - firstname.lastname@example.org or 07891 050 847
Notes to Editors
• Proceeds from the charity single Love Runs Deeper will be donated to Make-A-Wish® International. For every download before 31st December 2021, 100% of the proceeds from the retail price will be donated to Make-A-Wish® International to help grant life-changing wishes. For terms and conditions visit: thewaltdisneycompany.eu/fromourfamilytoyours
• Other hidden items to spot include Lola’s original Mickey Mouse toy from last year’s advert, which is one of ten Mickeys that can be found within the film, as well as items featuring other favourite Disney characters including Stitch, Lightning McQueen, Olaf the Snowman, Spider-Man and Black Panther
• A rainbow drawing on the shelf in the children’s bedroom, was designed by Make-A-Wish UK’s ®eight-year old Bethany, whose wish was to have a selection of art equipment to help fuel her complete her passion for drawing, something that was key to helping her express and entertain herself when she couldn’t attend parties or visit friends due to the increased risk to her health
• You can find out more about how to send a ‘Gift A Wish’ charity e-card, in support of Make-A-Wish, at fundraise.worldwish.org/giftawish
• This Christmas, Disney is bringing stories and characters to life through innovative products in more than 100 categories, from toys and clothing to jewellery and tech
• shopDisney is proud to be the home of Disney’s festive campaign ‘From our Family to Yours’ in support of Make-A-Wish®. Find out more here: thewaltdisneycompany.eu/makeawish
About Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing
Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing (CPGP) brings the magic of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and franchises—including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more—into the daily lives of families and fans around the world through products and experiences across more than 100 retail categories from toys and t-shirts to apps, books, video games, and more. A division of the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment, CPGP’s global operations include: the world’s largest licensing business, one of the biggest children’s publishing brands, a leading licensor of interactive games across platforms, and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.
Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Founded in 1980, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, having granted more than 500,000 wishes in nearly 50 countries worldwide. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 40,000 volunteers around the globe, Make-A-Wish delivers hope and joy to children and their families when they need it most. Make-A-Wish aims to bring the power of wishing to every child with a critical illness because wish experiences can help improve emotional and physical health. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org, and for more information about Make-A-Wish International, visit worldwish.org or follow @makeawishintl on social media.
About Make-A-Wish UK
Make-A-Wish UK is part of a global movement that was established in the UK in 1986, creating magical, memorable wishes that restore the childhood that critical illness often takes away. 63,000 children in the UK have been diagnosed with a critical condition changing their lives and the lives of their families forever. The joy of childhood is brought to an abrupt end, with treatment plans, hospital visits and sleepless nights taking over. The power of a wish revives a childhood stolen by critical illness. It brings light and joy to children and their loved ones and leaves a profound and lasting impact on all their lives. But Make-A-Wish UK can’t be that light for everyone. We need your support to achieve our vision of granting a wish for every eligible child. Together, we have the power to light up the darkness. Make-A-Wish® UK Charity Registration Nos. 295672/SC037479. To find out more about Make-A-Wish please visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk or follow @makeawishuk on social media.
Disney’s Social Purpose
As well as being a responsible business, Disney is dedicated to providing comfort and inspiration to those in need and creating inspiration and opportunity for those who want to improve their world. Disney’s long-standing partnership with Make-A-Wish® is an example of how, through working with others, we help build emotional resilience. Together we bring the power of our brand, stories and characters to inspire and create Moments that Matter for children and those closest to them when they need it the most. In 2020, we created over 39,000 life-changing moments across Europe. For more information on our programmes and our long-standing charitable partners please visit www.thewaltdisneycompany.eu
About Gregory Porter
Over the past decade, Gregory Porter has taken the world by storm, bringing contemporary Jazz to the masses. Collecting numerous accolades and acknowledgements, including two Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album. He is a well-loved favourite on TV shows such as Graham Norton, Jools Holland, Strictly Come Dancing and was the first celebrity to sing on CBeebies Bedtime Stories! In 2019 the singer launched and hosted his own podcast, ‘The Hang’, which has amassed two successful series to date and played host to a range of celebrity guests. Earlier this year, Porter released ‘The PorterHouse with Gregory Porter’ Presented by Citi, a six-episode cooking series in which the singer shares recipes inspired by his local community, culinary experiences on tour and his own family cooking traditions.
Owing much of her early musical development to the highly respected grass roots organisation Tomorrow’s Warriors, whose alumni include Nubya Garcia and Ezra Collective, Cherise then went on to study at the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music. Since then she has played venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Washington DC’s Kennedy Centre, festivals including The London Jazz Festival and Love Supreme as well as performing alongside artists including Nubiyan Twist and Corinne Bailey Rae. To add to this, in 2019 Cherise was awarded Jazz FM’s Vocalist of the Year Award and in 2020, she was also named Vocalist of the Year by the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. A truly multi-faceted artist, Cherise is fast proving herself to be one of the most fiercely talented young musicians around. Her effortless, irresistible vocal alongside her honest and soulful song writing manage to be simultaneously contemporary and timeless, firmly marking her out as one of the most exciting talents around.
About Tomorrow’s Warriors
Tomorrow’s Warriors was founded in 1991 by Queen’s Medal for Music recipient Gary Crosby OBE and Janine Irons MBE. 2021 is Tomorrow’s Warriors’ 30th anniversary year and it continues to support, mentors and champions aspiring young artists, with a focus on black and female musicians and those from challenging socio economic backgrounds. With a dedicated space to host its Learning Programme at Southbank Centre, Tomorrow’s Warriors is proud to be a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner. Since inception, the organisation has directly impacted over 10,000 young people aged 11-25 outside of traditional formal education. Its pioneering, £free Young Artist Development Programme has across 30 years provided a crucial development platform for many of the artists now tearing up the international jazz scene – Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Cassie Kinoshi and Nérija, Femi Koleoso and Ezra Collective, Binker Golding, Shabaka Hutchings and Sons Of Kemet, Cherise, Eska, Denys Baptiste, Soweto Kinch, Zara McFarlane and many more. Tomorrow’s Warriors is pivotal in elevating UK jazz, valued by its alumni and respected by funding partners and the industry for the impact delivered through its pipeline for outstanding, diverse talent. Tomorrow’s Warriors Trust is a Registered Charity No 1153613. https://tomorrowswarriors.org/.