Disney is celebrating blended families with its new Christmas advert. The Stepdad is a beautiful animated short that sees a new stepfather moving in with the family at the beginning of the holiday season, and it’s such a lovely example of the way families can learn to interact with each other that you are definitely going to cry at least once when you watch it. Or twice.
The Stepdad is a sequel to last year’s animated short from Disney called Lola, all about a little girl named Nicole and her grandmother sharing precious family traditions for Christmas through the years. In that advert, Nicole gets older and drifts away from their yearly practice of making stars, only to come back to it and create a beautiful memory for her grandmother to remind her of her own childhood. Cue the tears.
In The Stepdad, Nicole is a grown woman with two kids of her own, Max and Ella. A new man is entering their life together named Mike, and the short shows him leaving his own apartment to move in with them. Mike brings his dog and the two of them try to find their way in this new family dynamic.
Mike is clearly patient with his new family, standing back to let them all enjoy a book from Max’s birth dad full of Disney stories where the animation jumps off the page. He builds snowmen, bakes cookies, reads books. When he accidentally breaks their gingerbread house, upsetting the kids, he rebuilds it and finally finds his place in the family.
A new stepdad changes things for this family.
The Stepdad was released as part of Disney’s “From Our Family To Yours” campaign in support of the Make-A-Wish foundation. The Disney storybook at the heart of the story will also be available for sale, as will the skating Minnie Mouse, on shopDisney.com.
Representation matters, especially for kids. Introducing a stepparent into the family can be complicated and upsetting, particularly for little ones, so to see a new man come into the house with patience and understanding and most of all, love... it mattered. It helps. And it’s going to make you cry, so get ready.