Isla Fisher: Fairytales promote ‘negative stereotypes’ and ‘toxic masculinity’
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
“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.