When two New York City toddlers' adorable hug went viral earlier this month, people simply couldn't get enough of their sweet friendship. And good news! Those viral hugging toddlers just met Ellen DeGeneres and they're just as cute as you remember.
The two boys — Maxwell Hanson and Finnegan McKenna, both 2 years old — and their parents visited The Ellen Show on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to share the heartwarming story behind that incredibly viral video and explain how their adorable friendship came to be.
From the very start, it seems that the connection between the two boys was instantaneous. "We were sitting at a communal table at our favorite restaurant a year ago, and then Maxwell came in with his family, and they asked to sit at the other end," Finnegan's dad, Daniel McKenna explained to DeGeneres. "We started talking, we ended up getting their number, and it's sort of, the rest is history."
Although the two boys go to different schools, they still are BFFs, often greeting each other in the same way as their viral video. "They're definitely huggers," Maxwell's dad, Michael Cisneros, shared. "And they hold hands while walking all the time and they love to dance together and they have this secret language amongst themselves. They're like little dolphins, they squeal and chat."
This could be one of the reasons why the original video of the two boys hugging went viral; it represents that unique bond between best friends that is unlike any other. In the original video, posted on Ciserno's Facebook page earlier this month, Finnegan and Maxwell can be seen on opposite ends of a New York City sidewalk, running towards each other with open arms. Once the boys finally reach each other, they share a hug before running in the same direction together.
The video perfectly captures the joy and pure excitement of toddlers. DeGeneres, however, has another idea as to why people are loving the video — it's exactly what this world needs right now.
"This has obviously been viewed so many times because this is what the world needs right now," DeGeneres told the boys' parents during the show on Wednesday. "[They need to] see people treat each other like this."
And Maxwell's dad, Alex Hanson, echoed that sentiment. "Out of any video to be out there, it just had such a great message," Hanson told DeGeneres. "And we love that it's been shared so many times and making people feel so good."
Because these boys were able to bring so much joy and happiness to the millions of people who watched the original video, DeGeneres decided to return the favor — in a pretty grand way, of course, At the end of her interview with the families, she gifted the two little boys two electric toy trucks (with their names and faces on it) and a $10,000 check for both boys to start their college fund, courtesy of Shutterfly.
While they probably don't realize it now, now that they've appeared on Ellen, these boys have easily made millions of people happy.