Disney’s Christmas advert has so many hidden messages—did you spot them all?

Disney’s Christmas advert has just been released and contains various hidden messages about the Disney and Marvel universe...

disney christmas advert
(Image credit: Disney)

Disney’s Christmas advert has just been released and contains a load of sweet hidden details, but did you spot them all?

Every festive season, brands release Christmas-themed adverts that pull at our heartstrings. From John Lewis's Christmas advert to McDonald's Christmas advert we realized that as a nation, we just love Christmas adverts, and now one of the best animations studios of all time has joined in on the fun.

Aside from being a heartfelt and beautifully told narrative Disney’s Christmas advert for 2021 has hidden a variety of messages, details, and easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans to find. 

The team behind the advert has spent more than a year creating this piece, so it's no wonder the hidden details are a little tricky to find—so did you spot them all?


Disney Christmas Advert 2021

The Disney Christmas Advert is actually a sequel

The new 2021 advert is a sequel to Disney's Christmas Advert 2020. In the 2020 advert fans watched as a grandmother and granddaughter learned to celebrate their Christmas traditions together.

A reference to the 2020 advert arrives in the form of a photograph on a mantelpiece. In the photo Nicole, her grandmother Lola, and her children Max and Ella are all sitting and smiling while dressed neatly in white. The family also still makes festive stars that were a key focal point of the first advert.

In the new advert, the granddaughter, Nicole is all grown up and has two children from a previous relationship. Now Nicole's partner Mike must learn how to become a part of his new family as the 'stepdad' and through the help of storytelling, he is able to bond with his new family members.

Aside from the obvious characters who came alive from Max's Disney book, there were other characters from the Disney and Pixar universe that made a surprise appearance in the advert.

Olaf, the popular snowman character in Frozen appeared as the snowman in this Christmas advert. Around one minute into the advert, the family is making a snowman that strongly resembles Olaf and pays homage to one of the most successful Disney films in the past ten years.

Stitch, one of the lead characters from Lilo and Stitch also makes an appearance as a stuffed toy that sits at the end of Ella's bed. A lamp with Pixar's classic cloud pattern also features in this advert as the side of Ella's bed.

In every Disney advert, the makers also try to hide as many Mickey Mouse references as they can. For this, Disney says there are close to around 10 hidden Mickeys in the advert but while some are obvious— such as the gingerbread biscuit that decorates the gingerbread house — some are less clear.

A mickey mouse toy is pictured in a photograph of Ella, Max, and Nicole that sits on the mantelpiece. Mickey Mouse-shaped baubles decorate the wreath that sits on the family's door. 

Another more subtle reference comes from Ella who carries a Minnie Mouse toy throughout the advert and has pink bedsheets with a mickey mouse print on the cover. The family also has a mickey mouse shaped cactus that lives in their kitchen and a mickey mouse designed mug that is hanging from their kitchen rack.

disney christmas advert

(Image credit: Disney)

In one scene, Disney references the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is now owned by the same Disney corporation with Spiderman playing in the background as Mike picks up his laptop to chat with his family.

A reference to Black Panther is then thrown in as Max and Mike's nephew make the Wakanda hand signal to one another as they video chat.

Disney also owns the Star Wars franchise and this was also referenced in the advert when Ella and Max play with lightsabers about 30 seconds into the ad.

Disney Christmas advert


(Image credit: Disney)

Make a wish children helped design the cartoons

Disney made their latest ad in partnership with Make a Wish, a charity that helps children to fulfil their dreams and wishes as they battle ongoing illnesses.

In the advert, 13-year-old Dylan is able to have his wish to be an animator granted and his drawing of a cheetah is placed on the family's fridge.

Alongside talented young Dylan, another artist, Bethany who is just 8-years-old also had her drawing of a rainbow included on the shelf of the children's bedroom. 

Unlike Dylan, Bethany's wish was not to be an animator. Instead, Bethany wished to have some art equipment to continue to fuel her passion for drawing and keep entertained during the pandemic. 

Luciano Manzo, President and CEO at Make-A-Wish International said,  “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Disney and are delighted to be a part of this year’s festive campaign. Audiences can also get involved by giving a gift of hope and joy to children with critical illnesses on behalf of loved ones this holiday season. They can brighten someone’s day and send a charity e-card that helps Make-A-Wish grant life-changing wishes.” 

A skating Minnie Mouse soft toy and journal inspired by the advert are available exclusively at shopDisney. Money made from these items, and also the Gregory Porter track created for this advert, will go to the Make a Wish charity which will help to make the wishes of sick children come true.