Disney Christmas advert: Gregory Porter shares personal link to festive film

Gregory Porter releases Nat "King" Cole album

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Disney’s new festive commercial The Stepdad features a brand new single from jazz singer Gregory Porter, Love Runs Deeper. In the run-up to Christmas, the artist has spoken exclusively to Express.co.uk about what convinced him to sign on to the project, which will donate all proceeds up to December 31 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

Porter lends his voice to the brand new charity single for Christmas with lyrics from songwriters PARKWILD. 

As a father himself, most recently to a three month old son, he confirmed he sees himself in Disney’s new character, stepdad Mike.

“I do,” he agreed. “I think in trying to find traditions to carry on to my sons, it’s a thing. It’s very important to me.”

The singer-songwriter has already dedicated music to his children, including the song Don’t Lose Your Steam, which was written for his son Demyan.

He explained: “It’s about taking the things that he’s learned from me, and taking it to his children. Taking it to his next generation, taking it to the end of his life. 

“So this is in a similar vein; trying to create something and create new family traditions and a new thing with stepdad Mike. 

So, yeah, it’s very near and dear, and quite sentimental.”

The new advert from Disney is, in fact, a sequel to their campaign last year, From Our Family to Yours, which told the story of Nicole and her granddaughter. 

In this three-minute short film, a grown-up Nicole introduces her children to their new stepdad, Mike.

Mike struggles to bond with the two kids when he first moves in, but eventually learns to capture their imaginations when he unlocks the powers of their mother’s magical storybook. 

Several iconic moments from Disney’s animated canon are brought to life in the film, and there are also plenty of references to the studio’s other properties, such as Marvel and Star Wars, scattered throughout.

Porter recalled: “When the children get together, whether it’s reading or building the gingerbread house, you don’t get no cuter than that.”

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The advert also includes a touching tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman, whom Porter described as a “great friend”.

Boseman’s role as King T’Challa/Black Panther was an irreplaceable part of Disney’s MCU until his tragic death last year. 

The singer touched on the film’s moment in which Mike’s nephew and stepson exchange a ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute over a Zoom call.

He recalled: “Chad Boseman was a great friend of mine before he had any success, before I had any success.”

“He used to play chess with my brother, and I would sit on the side waiting to play chess with them, but they were all ‘we’re too good for you’ and they’d never let me play!

“But he’s part of my life story. We would sit in the coffee shop and talk about having success someday. I was writing songs, he was reading scripts and writing scripts. 

“So it was just amazing that we cross paths in such an interesting way, now.” 

Disney and Marvel fans can spot this tribute and many other references when the advert premieres across TV and digital this week. 

Please see the updated press release below, including links to the advert. Credit as follows: ‘The Stepdad’ is Disney’s magical ‘From Our Family To Yours’ animated festive advert, featuring an original soundtrack performed by Gregory Porter, which can be watched on DisneyUK’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/nS_yqoQmgBU. A Minnie Mouse soft toy and Disney journal that are inspired by the skating Minnie and storybook in the ad are available exclusively from shopDisney.co.uk. The campaign supports Make-A-Wish® International. To learn more, visit thewaltdisneycompany.eu/fromourfamilytoyours.

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