Disney releases new Christmas ad ‘The Stepdad,’ sequel to last year’s ‘Lola’

Published November 20, 2021, 9:33 AM

by John Legaspi

Remember that young girl with her Lola last year? She is all grown up now and has kids

A master in presenting heartwarming holiday campaigns, Disney once again tugs everyone’s heartstring with the release of its latest advert titled “The Stepdad.”

Still from ‘The Stepdad’

The new ad, released on Nov. 3, 2021, follows Nicole, the young girl from last year’s “Lola” ad, who is now a mother of two, Max and Ella. In the three-minute video, Nicole and her family are seen doing holiday traditions with another character, Mike, the kids’ stepdad who moves into their home.

“At the heart of the story is a very special storybook—a precious item belonging to Max from his birth father,” Disney UK says. “The book celebrates the power of storytelling and how it can deepen family bonds; as the family are shown delighting in the magic of Disney storytelling, beautiful animation springs off the pages, igniting the true spirit of Christmas. Follow their emotional journey as we see them combine existing festive traditions with wonderful new ones. We hope you enjoy this special Christmas ad, celebrating the joy that the stepdads of the world bring us.”

With Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter’s “Love Runs Deeper” song playing in the background, the ad echoes its predecessor’s themes of Filipino culture, with parols—a key element in “Lola”—and Nicole’s Mickey Mouse dolls, among others, making an appearance in the new campaign with some Jamaican cultural references to celebrate Mike’s origin.

The campaign 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. Angela’s Filipino upbringing played a huge influence in the “Lola” 2020 campaign.

Bringing more love this season, the campaign is also “in celebration of the ‘From Our Family To Yours’ campaign,” where “Disney will give support worth more than $2 million to its long-standing charity partner, Make-A-Wish International, and their network of Affiliates around the world.”

“We’re delighted to once again support our long-term charity partner Make-A-Wish through our Holiday campaign,” Tasia Filippatos, SVP Disney EMEA, says. “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.”

Watch “The Stepdad” below.