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‘Godmothered’ review: Not Disney’s best, but refreshingly progressive

What an interesting viewing experience I had with this brand new Disney film! I had rather low expectations going into this just because it seemed pretty so-so. Well I wasn’t entirely wrong in my expectations. Godmothered is not one of Disney’s best projects and it has its set of flaws, but… it must be commended for it’s surprisingly progressive message and values! I was very happy and touched by Disney choosing to include the LGBTQ community in this film, so even though this isn’t the best ever, it gets extra points from me for doing something that is long overdue.

The story that’s told here is sort of like a slightly different version of a better Disney film from the past, Enchanted. A woman from a magical land of fairytales is transported to an American city and improves the lives of a family, only this time it isn’t a princess; it’s a fairy godmother in training. The plot is simple enough and Godmothered’s formula includes just about all the token Disney emotion and magic.

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The biggest issue I have with Godmothered though is that it doesn’t have a script that is fully up to the job. With something like Enchanted, there was just a lot more energy and life and comedy but here they’ve chosen to play most of the plot as fairly by the numbers.

Having said that, there are a few moments of pizzazz and one scene where the comedy lands well. What ends up making this film moderately entertaining is Jillian Bell and actually… June Squibb. Bell has a joy and positivity that simply glows, she was a perfect fit for this main role. So even when the script isn’t particularly great, she can manage to make it still somewhat fun.

'Godmothered' review: Not Disney's best, but refreshingly progressive

And my goodness I just couldn’t love June Squibb more, I love seeing her pop up in more and more films lately! She was one of my favorite parts of Hubie Halloween and here she is her usual adorable self. I don’t know; I just think she’s such a joy onscreen and I love seeing a woman of her age still getting roles in mainstream films.

As far as the rest of the cast goes, while they aren’t as good as Bell and Squibb, they still manage to do what they need to, no one falls flat here. I also really liked the visual effects and the fun they have with Jillian Bell’s magical powers. There’s one scene where she turns a watermelon into a carriage and the effects are classic Disney, which is always fun. As the film approached its end, I was thinking ok this was just an average Disney film, nothing new here. Well I was wrong to assume that before it wrapped up, there is something new here and I want to personally thank Disney for doing what they do here.

This film gives us the switcharoo on what we have all come to expect from the usual Disney fairytale formula. Usually, fairy tales in mainstream films is completely reserved for straight people, and most of the time, white people too. Well, here Disney is making it as clear as a crystal slipper that they are widening they’re umbrella to include everyone. There is an interracial gay couple with their child featured and there is a scene at the very end where they’re training new fairies and they’re white, black, and one is a boy.

As a member of the LGBTQ community and someone that yearns for more diversity in film, family films especially, I’m elated by this. There’s even a really wonderful little part at the end where they talk about love and family coming in different forms and I’m so glad we’re at a place where my community is now being included in a film like this. Family entertainment is an aspect of Hollywood where diversity is especially needed because kids need to see and understand that different types of families aren’t wrong or weird.

'Godmothered' review: Not Disney's best, but refreshingly progressive

Is Godmothered great? No. This film is overall pretty average, but Jillian Bell and the beautiful LGBTQ/multiracial representation makes this better than the script allows it to be.

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‘Godmothered’ review: Not Disney’s best, but refreshingly progressive
Godmothered should be praised for its main performance by Jillian Bell and for its LGBTQ/multiracial representation, but the script does unfortunately hold it back from reaching its full potential.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Jillian Bell
June Squibb
Beautiful LGBTQ/multiracial representation
Some nice looking special effects
The script is pretty average and lacks the energy it needs
Only one bit of comedy really works

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