Tis the season for the obligatory annual Christmas advertisements! That may be a rather cynical way to start off this blog but the ad that I’m going to talk about is actually a really sweet and surprisingly diverse take on the holiday season from one of the biggest companies in the world.
Disney is on the brink of taking over the whole world so it’s no shock that they have their own Christmas advert this year. However, the way they have gone about their marketing is a pleasant surprise. The three-minute animation tells the story of a Filipino woman who is gifted a Mickey Mouse doll as a child. As she grows up, she gifts the doll to her granddaughter Lola but poor Mickey gets his ear ripped. As the granddaughter becomes a young adult, she loses some interest in the Christmas celebration, leaving her grandmother feeling despondent about the holiday season. Seeing her grandmother’s sadness, Lola repairs Mickey and decorates their home with some festive Parols. Parols are an ornamental paper and bamboo lantern that serves as a major Christmas decoration in the Philippines. They celebrate the season together and everyone has a bit of a cry because it is lovely. There is also a dog thrown into the mix too for some added emotion. I wanted to cry just from looking at the dog, to be honest. It is all very sweet and sentimental, but it is also a brilliantly diverse animation.
The Filipino culture isn’t one that has been explored hugely in popular global media, so for Disney to choose to represent this culture within their Christmas advertisement- which thousands if not millions of people are sure to see- is a brilliant step when it comes to inclusion in the media. It is also a great way to educate others on the Christmas traditions from the Philippines. I didn’t know what a Parol was until I researched it for this blog and I found it fascinating to read up on the history of them, such as how it was created in 1908 and the design of the Parol- a star within a circle- is intended to evoke the Star of Bethlehem. There are plenty of kids and adults alike who will be able to learn something new about the Filipino culture from this advert and that can only be a good thing. Of course- no matter where you are from- we are all brought together by the supreme rulers over at Disney. All glory to the mouse in red shorts. Have a look at the tear-jerking advert for yourself below!