“… and they lived happily ever after.”
With the release today of Disney’s Godmothered on Disney+, it has us thinking about the classic fairy tale. This Christmas time comedy stars Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher. The film is about a young inexperienced godmother-in-training named Eleanor that comes to the aid of Mackenzie. Who at the age of ten had sent a letter to her godmother that she was in distress. The problem is that Eleanor doesn’t realize that by the time she reaches her, Mackenzie is now a forty-year-old single mom of two girls. After having tragically lost her husband years before and with her career not doing so well, she is just about given up on the idea of a happily ever after. But Eleanor is determined to prove herself as a godmother by giving Mackenzie her happiness.
The Classic Fairy Tale and Happily Ever After
Many of us grew up with those words ending the classic fairytales that we were told. Disney adapted classics such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. All these saw the princesses needing to be rescued by a prince after a wicked female parental figure would oppress them for one reason or another. Only after that was she swept off her feet by the prince, moved into a castle, and live happily ever after. This modern-day structure of storytelling very outdated. This is something that some of the cast of Godmothered commented about in a recent press conference promoting the film.
Fisher, who plays Mackenzie, had very strong opinions about classic fairy tales. “Obviously a lot of the fairytale stories are a little bit offensive. (…) being rescued by a prince or, a woman without a mother, an abandoned woman, or a woman as a witch as a stepmother. A lot of these stereotypes are not really what I what as a parent. They don’t necessarily match my ideals.” Jane Curtin, who plays Moira in Godmothered, also weighed in on the subject of fairy tales and happily ever after saying that, “it’s not 1860 anymore. It’s not castles and all of this kind of stuff.”
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The same studio that gave us those mentioned classics also has done its part in being progressive. With films like The Princess and the Frog, Frozen, and Moana to name a few. Although it was was over two decades ago when Disney released the classic Mulan animated feature that also broke that mold. In Godmothered, we see that classic form of storytelling, clash with our modern way of life. Finding happiness is something that is unique to each and every one of us. Most of the time, there isn’t going to be the price of a godmother to save us. Fisher commented about this as well. “For young girls watching, happy ever after doesn’t necessarily include a castle, a prince, and a dress. It can be blessings you have in your life with your family or work”.
Curtin beautifully followed up that comment with her own thoughts on modern-day happily ever afters. “Happily ever after is what you want. It’s what you believe and it’s a goal that you can achieve on your own. If you want it, if you believe that you can get it, it’s something that is not reliant on magic”, she said. “It’s reliant on you and your spirit. I think that’s really something that we all have to remember. That we are capable of such amazing things and such positive things for ourselves and for others. That’s happily ever after.”
How To Find Our Modern Happily Ever After
In other words, we shouldn’t be waiting for someone to come and save us. We may not have literal magic to make things easier, but we do have our own will and determination. Through hard work, we are able to create our own happily ever afters. Which like they mentioned above, could look different for each of us. This as our lives take us on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows that we are sometimes unable to control. Mackenzie and her family in the film have suffered through a terrible few years having lost a member of their family. Does this mean that they would not be able to reach a happily ever after? It is a very interesting theme that is wrapped around a warm Disney comedy filled with magic.
In this way, Godmothered is a lot more than just another feel-good holiday film. It delivers a powerful message to a world that is currently filled with despair, in need of hope. While we may not have an Eleanor to champion our happily ever after, we do have our family and friends that can give us that spark of magic. Be sure to safely enjoy this film with your loved ones at home. All while pursuing your own happily ever after.
Disney’s Godmothered is now available on Disney+.