A New Look at the classic fairy tale, from the perspective of the Fairy Godmother.  It is cheesy, but it is kinda cute.

Certificate: PG

Director: Sharon Maguire

Screenwriter: Kari Granlund, Melissa K. Stack

Starring: June Squibb, Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy

Runtime: 110 Minutes

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

An inexperienced young Fairy Godmother travels to Boston to help 10-year-old Mackenzie to achieve her dreams.  But when she arrives, she discovers she is a few years too late and that Mackenzie is a fully grown woman, with a family of her own, and she no longer believes in happily ever afters.  If Eleanor cannot convince Mackenzie that there is magic and happiness in the world, then all the Godmothers will be reassigned, and all the portals to the Motherland will be closed.  No more fairy godmothers, and Eleanor will be stuck on earth forever, without her magic.

I was surprised that Disney did not make a bigger fuss about this one.  I do not really recall hearing anything about it until a few weeks ago when Disney dropped the official trailer.  This is a typical, formulaic, Christmas movie put out by Disney, I would expect more pomp and circumstance.  But still, watch it I did, and I can safely say, that this is the most Disney-fied Christmas movie I have ever seen.  It has every trope and plot device that you would expect and yet still manages to capture the heart of it’s viewers.  Even if you do know absolutely everything that is going to happen.

The Whole Magical Being Travels to the Real World and Causes havoc storyline has been done to death, and most successfully in films like Elf and Enchanted.  And yet, even though the jokes are old ones, and can get a little repetitive, there is still so much joy to be found watching Eleanor discover the wonders of the World.  And Jillian Bell’s performance as Eleanor really is the lynch-pin that keeps the whole film going.  We already know that she can hold her own in comedic roles, so there was no worry there, but what I didn’t quite expect was how well she would be able to balance it out with the emotional and sweet moments that happen in this film.  And there are a few.  Some of them fall a little flat as they lean a little too far towards the sappy end of the spectrum for me, but the ‘Favourite Things’ rendition and the big musical finale are two of the best in the film and they are handled excellently.

Furth brownie points go to Disney for encouraging the idea that Mackenzie’s happily Ever After didn’t have to involve finding love.  Rather, it was about loving the life that she had, and finding out how amazing it really was.  Sure they teased a romantic interest most of the time, but ultimately that wasn’t the direction they chose to go in, and that was about the only thing that shocked me in this film.

Kids will probably love this, there are plenty of jokes in there for the adults too, and it Is streaming on Disney+ now for no extra charge, so I would recommend checking this out over the holiday season.