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Disney has given us many fairy tales to love, and the latest, Godmothered, is redefining happily ever after. The film follows Eleanor (Jillian Bell), a fairy-godmother in training, who sets off to help 12-year old Mackenzie, only to find Mackenzie (Isla Fisher) is now 40 and has a very different perspective on love and happiness. Utkarsh Ambudkar plays Mackenzie’s boss, Grant, in the film, and he recently shared in an interview with CinemaBlend why he’s excited to watch Godmothered with his five-year-old daughter.
Without spoiling any plot points, Godmothered delightfully acknowledges the messaging of previous Disney films most of us grew up on, and then provides an alternative story. There is a moment in the film where some of the characters discuss living happily as opposed to searching for happily ever after. When I sat down with Utkarsh Ambudkar, he was excited about this aspect of Godmothered. Here’s what he said:
It’s not about a princess finding a prince, it’s not about a prince finding a princess; it’s not about being the strongest or winning the fight or things like that or being the loudest in the room. It’s about connection and it’s about finding purpose from within as opposed to what most of these princess stories have been which is finding purpose in a man, or outside of ourselves. I have a daughter, and most of the stuff we don’t let her watch because she doesn't need Prince Charming, my daughter is dope the way she is. And so I’m excited for her to watch Godmothered. I watched the screener and I was like YES I can actually watch this with my kid without having to explain like ‘hey, it doesn’t matter how you look and you know you don’t need a man and men and women are equal.’ This is a great step in the right direction... She’s five and a half, right at that age where she’s turning on to the world, you know? She’s smart and observant and she’s taking a lot in and at that age we want to educate and inspire so that’s what we’re trying to do.
Part of the magic of Godmothered is its relatability. Every character has a different thing that they’re pursuing and each has a different definition of what happiness looks like to them - as is real life. The audience gets to go on a journey with Eleanor as she learns to shift her perspective from what she’s been taught earlier in life. Utkarsh Ambudkar also shared his thoughts on this, too.
I think that I honestly chase after the same things now that I did as a kid. They’re not much different. You want opportunities to do the right thing, to be - maybe this speaks to my parents, I don’t know, and how they raised me, but you want opportunities to do the right thing, to sort of triumph over evil, to bring light into the darkness. Everyone wants a chance to be brave and to face their fears head on, at least I always did. I always wanted that moment to arise where you start to shake and you sweat and you don’t know what to do and then you just take the leap of faith and something great happens, whether it’s making the last second shot or standing up to the bully or getting the answer right at the spelling bee… even auditioning for a movie and getting the part. So I think those aspirations still exist for me. I just think the way that we tell those stories now, it’s important to change the framework.