After receiving backlash on the recent live action release of Mulan, Disney seems to have taken this criticism constructively. Disney’s 2020 Christmas advert, From Our Family To Yours seeks redemption for cultural sensitivity.
This time around, Disney featured the accurate Asian representation that its audience had patiently been awaiting. This Christmas advert features a small Filipino family and is peppered with Filipino motifs throughout the whole short.
From Our Family To Yours follows Lola (Filipino for grandmother) and her granddaughter who share a love for Disney and Christmas crafting, specifically star lanterns known as parols. As her granddaughter grows up, she seems to grow out of the things she loved as a child but as she looks through the window at her grandmother, she is reminded of their beloved family traditions. Reminiscent of her Christmas celebrations as a child, the granddaughter surprises Lola by filling their home with parols, reminding her of the special bond she has with Lola.
This heartwarming short was very well received by the community, with many of Filipino descent praising the advert for its very accurate portrayal of Filipino Christmas, while others were over the moon, finally seeing South-East Asian being represented in a Disney short.
Christmas in the Philippines is one of the longest holidays that are celebrated. Unlike the rest of the world, the Philippines celebrates Christmas from September all the way until December - a 4 month celebration! Christmas is so widely celebrated in the Philippines as a large majority of the population happen to be either Christian or Catholic. Their customs are a hybrid of Western and Filipino traditions, with Santa Claus and Christmas carols from the West and parols from the Philippines. As featured in the film, parols are star lanterns, traditionally made with bamboo and Japanese paper.
With Christmas festivities beginning to pick up in the West, and celebrations already in full force in the Philippines, From Our Family To Yours couldn’t have come at a better time.
Bio: Stephanie is a first-generation Chinese-Australian from Hong Kong. She is in her final year of completing a Bachelor of Communications in Public Relations and Journalism at the University of Technology Sydney.