Disney's Godmothered Contains a Brief but Beautiful Bit of Inclusivity

The godmothers could use a little 2020 upgrade.
The godmothers could use a little 2020 upgrade.
Screenshot: Disney

Disney+’s Godmothered might be the silly story of an out-of-touch fairy godmother trying to prove magic is still needed in the world, but at its core, there’s a heartwarming message of accepting ourselves. Nowhere is this better shown than in a tiny, blink-and-you-might-miss-it moment that star Jillian Bell said brought her to tears.

During a press junket for Godmothered, io9 asked Bell about an animated sequence in the film where (avoiding spoilers here) we see a group of young godmothers in their big, beautiful dresses getting ready to practice magic. One of the godmothers pictured has a short, boy-length haircut, leading Bell to believe they could be a boy or someone who was gender nonconforming. Bell said she “teared up” upon seeing the character and was thrilled to see them included in a Disney movie.

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“I actually got to see just a one-sheet of all the little fairy godmothers, and I immediately wrote back and I said, ‘Is that a boy or is that a non-binary person? Whatever, I’m very—either way, I’m very excited,’” Bell told io9. “This is progressive and inclusive and will make someone feel seen. I think at the end of the day, if we can be doing that in such a big movie, and a Disney movie, that’s a beautiful thing.”

Now, a lot of women and girls have pixie-length short hair (myself included), but Bell felt the character’s inclusion left the door open for anyone to see themselves in the little godmother. Several co-stars, including Isla Fisher and Jane Curtin, nodded emphatically in agreement. (We reached out to director Sharon Maguire, as well as writers Kari Granlund and Melissa Stack, for confirmation, but they were unavailable for comment.)

This comes at a time when we’re seeing a lot more growth regarding gender identity and expression in Hollywood. Singer Harry Styles recently made headlines when gracing the cover of Vogue, telling the magazine: “I find myself looking at women’s clothes, thinking they’re amazing.” And actor Billy Porter will play a fairy godmother in an upcoming live-action adaptation of Cinderella starring Camila Cabello. It’s about recognizing that everyone can be anyone they want: a princess, a pirate, even a fairy godmother. As Curtin put it, it’s about creating the happiness that you want.

“If you want it, if you believe that you can get it, it’s something that is not reliant on magic,” Curtin said. “I think that 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. And that’s happily ever after.”

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Godmothered —which also stars Santiago Cabrera, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, June Squibb, Jillian Shea Spaeder, Willa Skye, Artemis Pebdani, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Stephnie Weir—debuts on Disney+ on December 4.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

Jillian Bell is excellent and should be in more things.

But um.

This is the same weak shit inclusiveness Disney has been doing for at least the last 5 years.