A new commercial for Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort is sure to tug at your heartstrings. The ad features families enjoying special times at the theme parks and an adorable dog wearing a blue vest interacting with Pluto! Yes, that beautiful dog is a Canine Companions graduate dog named Normandy. Joe Rand, a member of the Southeast Region Board and the vice president of Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group, called the Southeast Region looking for real stories for this campaign called “Unforgettable Happens Here.” Emma Anderson and her father Mark immediately came to mind. Emma, who was born with spina bifida, received Normandy from Canine Companions in August 2012, and he has already created many “unforgettable moments” in her life. Emma is in fifth grade and when she makes her way out of bed in the morning for school he is always there to help with the covers, to help pull up her socks, and if she drops her toothbrush he’s there to scoop it up. But more than anything else he’s helping Emma inch her way even closer towards independence.
The casting process happened quickly and within five days Mark, Emma and Normandy traveled from their home in Orlando to the backlots of the Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World. Professional hair artists went to work on Emma’s beautiful red hair and Mark went through several costume changes and each had a lighting test before they all headed out for the shoot. What an “unforgettable moment” for Mark, Emma and Normandy as Pluto came into the scene and began to interact with Normandy. The 30-second commercial is currently airing all around the country.
Walt Disney World and Canine Companions for Independence have a lot in common. Our work revolves around making memories and is an important part of the lives of many families and we are proud to be a part of “Unforgettable Happens Here.”