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Filipino Christmas tradition took center stage in a recent Disney ad celebrating the holiday. Photo: Disney/WKMG ClickOrlando

Disney takes Christmas global in a new ad highlighting Filipino tradition

“From Our Family to Yours” explores a Christmas tradition outside of America, but with many of the same values centered on family.

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Disney EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) has launched its first-ever Christmas advertisement, and it’s Filipino-themed. 

The three-minute ad is in the form of an animated story called “From Our Family to Yours” and tells the heartwarming tale of a grandmother, Lola, and granddaughter as they celebrate family traditions that connect them. 

The short story features several Filipino holiday traditions including Paskong Pinoy symbolism, the pagmamano honoring gesture, and Christmas “parol” lantern decorations. 

Since the ad has gone viral and gained positive attention from Filipino families, Disney’s Philippine office came out with a statement in support. 

“Disney has been telling authentic, culturally diverse stories for generations. While ‘From Our Family to Yours’ centers on a family with Filipino heritage, Lola and her granddaughter represent families from all over the world,” it said in the statement.

Nostalgia plays a big role in Philippine Christmas traditions. Besides the stirring music, impressive animation, and authentic symbolism, many Filipinos connected most with their memories of what the holiday is truly about: family.

“We knew that having a story that placed tradition and togetherness at its heart would make it feel relevant and relatable to people all over the world,” said brand and creative marketing director at Disney Consumer Products, Angela Affinita, in an interview with The Drum.

“We approached this in a similar way we would a Disney short. We only have three minutes to tell the story and we had to place the characters at its core,” she explained.

The animation process began in New Zealand in April. One of the main reasons that the ad was able to portray the unique “Paskong Filipino” feel was because it was inspired by the childhood of Affinita. She grew up with her Filipina grandmother and drew some elements of the story from her own experiences.

People on social media were quick to praise Disney for valuing representation and showing the world a Christmas story that has different origins, but is still very much American. 

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