Isla Fisher: Fairytales promote 'negative stereotypes' and 'toxic masculinity'

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·3 min read

Watch: Isla Fisher praises Disney for addressing ‘negative stereotypes’

Isla Fisher has said she hopes to encourage people to rethink the “negative stereotypes that go along with fairytales” and encourage them to consider the “toxic masculinity” often on display in male characters in children’s stories.

The Wedding Crashers actress, 44, stars in the new Disney film Godmothered, in which she plays a widowed single mother whose life is upended by a visit from a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training.

Upon hearing that her chosen profession is facing extinction, the magical visitor decides to show the world that people still need fairy godmothers and is determined to give Fisher’s character a happiness makeover, however she learns they may be more to happiness than a handsome prince, a castle and elaborate gowns.

Read more: Isla Fisher prefers to remain in the dark over Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Borat' antics

Discussing the way the movie, directed by Bridget Jones’s Diary filmmaker Sharon Maguire, dismisses the conventions of scores of older Disney fairytale films, Fisher told the PA news agency: “I think it’s completely important and about time.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 23: Isla Fisher attends the  2019 Australians In Film Awards at InterContinental Los Angeles Century City on October 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Isla Fisher attends the 2019 Australians In Film Awards, 2019. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

“I’m really proud of Disney for making a movie like this and getting that message out.

“I really hope families sit down and watch it and rethink the pressures that we put ourselves under to conform to, and all the negative stereotypes that go along with fairy tales, whether it be princesses doing domestic chores to be good or waiting for a knight in shining armour or being kissed by a bloke when they’re unconscious and then falling in love.

Live action models Helene Stanley (1929 - 1990) and Ed Kemmer (1921 - 2004) acts out the roles of, respectively, Princess Aurora and Prince Philip during the production of the animated Walt Disney film 'Sleeping Beauty,' August 1958. (Photo by Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
Live action models Helene Stanley and Ed Kemmer act out the roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Philip during the production of theWalt Disney film 'Sleeping Beauty,' 1958. (Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

“There’s a bunch of stuff that we don’t really think of, this toxic masculinity of a prince having to slay a dragon – he can’t be vulnerable either.

Watch the trailer for Godmothered

“So, I’m really excited we made a movie like this, that kids are going to get a chance to see it and I love the idea that it’s such an individual think, ‘happily ever after’ and we can just tailor it to suit what we really love.”

Read more: The best Christmas films on Disney+

Her co-star Jillian Bell, who plays the aspiring fairy godmother, added: “I think it’s really important to put out other ideas that are definitions of what love is and what happily ever after means.

The poster art for Disney+ exclusive Godmothered. (Disney)
The poster art for Disney+ exclusive Godmothered. (Disney)

“I think it’s so important for little ones to realise they don’t have to grow up so quickly and find romantic love or that they can find that through many different relationships.

“And what they hold to be important – it can be that they love soccer, they love science class, they love hanging out with their best friend, they love their brothers and sisters; I think it’s a beautiful message to put out that love can mean anything.”

Godmothered will stream on Disney+ from 4 December.