Godmothered is a new Disney+ fantasy/comedy movie from director Sharon Maguire.
The film, which stars Isla Fisher and Jillian Bell in the lead roles, is a generally entertaining satire of classic Disney princess stories. While the film is certainly inspired by Disney classics such as Cinderella, it successfully carves out it’s own unique identity.
Jillian Bell on Godmothered
In a recent global press junket hosted by Radio Disney that we were lucky enough to attend, Jillian Bell responded to a question about which classic Disney character inspired her during the production of Godmothered. This is what she told us about how she crafted Eleanor.
“Yeah, I mean the fairy godmother from Cinderella for sure, she’s the OG. She’s the original godmother. And, I was definitely trying not to channel her too much so I had to create something slightly different. But I mean, that’s the one to try to beat.”-Jillian Bell
GODMOTHERED IS A FINE ADDITION TO THE DISNEY+ LIBRARY
Was Jillian Bell ultimately successful in channeling that beloved character without feeling derivative? That is ultimately a question that can only be truly answered by the individual watching the film, however, a strong argument can be made for Bell’s performance as Eleanor. Cinderella is a tough one to top though.
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The physical comedy she brings to the film is generally hilarious, if a little bit juvenile. That being said, if you are watching a Disney princess movie (which Godmothered undeniably is) and expecting something exceedingly mature and refined, you are making a rather foolish choice. Generally speaking, her performance was whimsical, joyous, and uplifting.
In fact, director Sharon Maguire’s decision to embrace the childish and campier elements of the story work quite effectively to the advantage of the film. When asked about the experience she had working with director Maguire, actor Jane Curtin had this to say.
“ I had never worked with Sharon before. And I had a lovely time working with her. She’s very exact and she does like to do many takes. But she gets interesting things out of people. I thought it was fun working with Sharon. I enjoyed it.”-Jane Curtin
While her words indicate praise, her words indicate a somewhat begrudging tone. One can only wonder if Curtin is being entirely honest, or merely being polite.
WHAT WAS THE FILMING OF GODMOTHERED LIKE?
One recount from Isla Fisher details the use of improv while filming some scenes with Utkarsh Ambudkar.
“Some of his improvs…a lot of it’s in the movie. So, you get to see his comedy, right there, it’s just really funny. He had a buzzer that he would just hit and then do an improv line and we’ll-we’re in stitches.”-Isla Fisher
Improv is something that has been utilized in several high profile Disney productions in recent years. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller experimented with improv while working on Solo and Taika Waititi famously utilized the technique while filming Thor: Ragnarok.
Between Bridget Jones Baby and now Godmothered, Maguire is entering Disney’s atmosphere as a potential contender. If the views for this Christmas streamer are satisfactory, Maguire could certainly be tapped to helm an exciting new project for Disney. They do have plenty of amazing IP in need of development after all.
A big part of what made Godmothered work was the strong chemistry between the cast members, something that is absolutely essential in a film this comedic. A smart, dedicated director can prove essential in bringing together the various characters and actors that portray in an authentic, engaging fashion.
What did you think of director Sharon Maguire’s work on Godmothered? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!
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