To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Disney Channel and Disney XD started airing new episodes of an original interstitial series titled, “This Is Me” on September 15.
These interstitial series, which are short programs aired in between Disney’s full-length shows or movies, feature children from diverse Hispanic backgrounds and aim to celebrate the Hispanic culture of many of Disney’s viewers.
The short programs were filmed at the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach and feature kids explaining what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them, as well as their opinions and feelings about their culture, heroes, families, and passions in life.
One interstitial features a 14-year-old boy expressing his passion for bike riding, and in particular for customizing bikes, a hobby which has been passed down to him from previous generations.
The uniqueness of the Disney “This Is Me” interstitial series is that it highlights the importance and influence that culture has on the interests and passions of everyday Latino kids, not actors.
While children are used to seeing actors and celebrities on their television screen, they are not as used to seeing or hearing the stories of other children like them.
Hispanic Heritage: This is me and it is great!
The various “This is Me” interstitial series will air throughout the month, maintaining a common theme of acknowledging and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
The children featured in the program will talk about everything from their favorite Hispanic dishes to their goals in life.
One young participant, Jesus, expresses his love for his family’s traditional Mexican cuisine, saying, “My family likes tacos and I like frijoles.” Other participants, such as Jeszel, trace their family’s Hispanic roots. Jeszel shares, “Both my parents were born in Mexico and so were my grandparents.”
The fact that Disney is embracing and celebrating cultural differences is important for its young audience, which is typically very receptive to things they hear and see on TV.
The “This Is Me” interstitial series highlight individual differences in a very positive light, as the announcer reminds the viewers, “Where your family comes from is a big part of what makes you, YOU.”
This isn’t the first year that Disney has created special programs to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, however. Last year, Disney Jr. aired 30-second programs featuring Latino children and their parents discussing certain traditions that are important to their culture. These short programs featured children playing games of loteria, hosting a piñata party, singing De Colores, and even making a traditional Colombian banana helado.
Disney also aired “This Is Me” interstitial series in 2011 and 2012 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and received extremely positive feedback from viewers, which is likely why Disney decided to bring the series back again this year.
Viewers can catch episodes of “This Is Me” both on Disney and on Disney XD.
Over 99 million homes in the U.S. receive Disney channel on basic cable, which means that millions of children will be able to watch these interstitial series celebrating the Hispanic heritage and culture. Disney XD, also a basic cable channel, reaches over 80 million households, and targets children ages 6-14 who love adventure, sports, and humor.
The Walt Disney Corporation claims that it “is committed to appealing to broad audiences and reflecting the diversity and multiculturalism of [its] audience and the world”, and tries to achieve this goal by creating programs that celebrate different cultures, such as this month’s new and original episodes of “This Is Me”.
Originally published on VOXXI as Disney “This Is Me” series celebrates Hispanic Heritage