I admit I put off watching the movie Godmothered, because I knew after I watched it I was going to feel sick. And who wants to ruin a perfectly good night? But my husband finally insisted we watch it.
Anyway, I thought I would list the similarities I noticed between Disney’s movie and my series. It’s been years since I read the last two books, so I may be missing some things. (And I know Disney read My Fair Godmother because it was pitched to them more than once.)
The premise of my series involves Chrysanthemum (Chrissy) Everstar, a young blonde, slightly ditzy, slightly incompetent fairy godmother wannabe who’s been going to school to learn to be a fairy godmother and whose biggest goal is to become a real fairy godmother.
Ditto for Godmothered. (But Chrissy has more sass than Eleanor.)
Chrissy goes to modern-day “damsels in distress“ who don’t believe in fairy godmothers and question their sanity when they meet her.
Ditto for Godmothered.
The role of magic is discussed: Do people still believe and need it?
My Fair Godmother has a dark-haired, handsome man named Prince Hugh.
Godmothered has a dark-haired, handsome man named Hugh Prince.
My Fairly Dangerous Godmother has a teen girl character who has an amazing voice but is so nervous when she sings in front of people that she projectile vomits. She gains confidence during the novel and sings her big number perfectly at the end of the novel.
Godmothered has a teen girl character who has an amazing voice but is so nervous when she sings in front of people that she projectile vomits. She gains confidence during the movie and sings her big number perfectly at the end of the movie.
In My Fair Godmother, the main character’s sister’s name is Jane
In Godmothered, the main character’s daughter’s name is Jane.
In my Unfair Godmother, since Chrissy hasn’t become a real fairy godmother yet, she’s been forced to take a part-time job as a tooth fairy, something that is beneath her.
In Godmothered, when the fairies discuss not being able to become fairy godmothers, they worry that they’ll end up having to become tooth fairies instead.
In My Fair Godmother, Chrissy whips up a ball gown for the character when the character doesn’t want it. It’s sort of a running joke in the series.
In Godmothered, Eleanor whips up a ball gown for a character when she doesn’t want it.
In My Fair Godmother, most of Chrissy’s magical help just makes matters worse.
In Godmothered, most of Eleanor’s magical help just makes matters worse.
In my series, it’s clear that Chrissy is helping out her charges because of self-interest–to help her become a real fairy godmother, and her charges call her out for it.
In Godmothered, it’s clear that Eleanor is helping out her charges because of self-interest–to help her become a real fairy godmother, and her charge calls her out for it.
In My Fair Godmother, Chrissy can’t find a pumpkin and so turns a squash into a carriage.
In Godmothered, Eleanor doesn’t have a pumpkin and so turns a watermelon into a carriage.
My Fair Godmother has a main character (Chrissy’s assistant, Clover) whose last name is BloomsBottle.
In Godmothered, Eleanor’s last name is BloomingBottom.
In My Unfair Godmother, Chrissy’s assistant is checking to make sure the heroine is presentable in her gown and says, “Your hair is fashionably done. Check. Wearing a stunning gown. I guess so, if that’s the sort of thing you like.”
in Godmothered after Eleanor creates a ball gown for Jane, she says, “Perfect outfit, check.”
In my series, Chrissy’s headmistress was not happy with her assignments.
Ditto for Godmothered.
In My Fairly Dangerous Godmother, one of the main characters is from Hamilton, Ohio.
In Godmothered, Jane goes to Hamilton High.
So coincidence? I think that’s statistically unlikely.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know if these similarities were the writers’ way of nodding to my series’ fans or whether the similarities crept into the screenplay subconsciously because the writers had read my series.
Whatever the case, the result is that studios who may have been interested in my series may now not be interested because my stories will now look like they’re copying Godmothered.
Godmothered differed in a lot of ways from my series. Instead of time traveling to medieval times to relive fairytales, the writers took a page (or more) from Enchanted and revisited a lot of things from that movie: an innocent young woman comes to the cynical big city, doesn’t even know what money is or how relationships work, and the protagonist takes her in out of pity. Woodland creatures help with housework.
I’ll also admit that there were some cute things in the movie. I laughed at the raccoon and the blonde reporter. I didn’t find the end all that satisfying, though, because it seemed to be more of a statement than an ending.
We read and watch stories because we want a happily ever after. If we wanted to be reminded that endings don’t always turn out the way we want, we’d watch the news instead.
Here’s the hard thing for me, though. I’d always planned on writing a fourth Godmother book. It’s partially plotted already. But there’s just something that feels really violating about having your ideas taken this way without any sort of consideration or acknowledgment. (I’m already wondering if someone is going to come out with a TV series about modern teenagers who fight dragons.)
If I tried to write the fourth book now, instead of enjoying spending time with my character and the fairy world I created, I’ll be dealing with those feelings of violation.
So… that book is going to be on hold for a while. Maybe for good.
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Time to call an attorney
I’m looking into it.
That is really sad. I loved the series and now you will never get the credit for something you created. Disney has become the villain.
Walt Disney never would have done this to an author. It is sad.
I would still read a fourth godmother book! I loved the first one when I was thirteen and I’d read another at 24. That was my gateway Janette Rallison book.
I want to use that as a blurb. A gateway book…
It was my gateway book too!
Same. 🙂 My older cousin handed that book to me when I was thirteen. And as soon as I read it, I knew I wanted more.
You’ve got a great cousin and great taste in literature!
Oh no! I am so sorry this happened to you. It definitely looks like they stole from your series. I hope you get a lawyer because this isn’t okay. It’s YOUR story, even if they made a few things different.
Also, I find this particularly sad because your godmother series is how I found you and have since read several of your other books. I love that series and am so sad to hear that you may not be able to write any more of it. I understand why you may feel you can’t, but I’m still so sad to hear it. How dare they do this to you!
Maybe when enough time passes I’ll feel differently. But really, as I was watching Godmothered, I was just glad I hadn’t written it so they couldn’t pilfer things from that book too.
Oh, that just breaks my heart. I’m so sorry!
I am really disgusted that Disney would pull a stunt like this and think you wouldn’t notice !! Don’t let them get away scott free with this ! Your writing is more than wonderful and with the time spent writing these books they need to acknowledge that the story is YOURS and pay you for it. They should also pay for harming your series and the potential you had for the next book.
Go get them woman !!!!
Thanks for your support! You’re the best!
I’m sorry this happened to your writing. You should be compensated, and I would seek legal counsel, if I were you. Hugs!
Thanks. That’s what I’m doing.
This makes me SO SAD AND ANGRY AND ALL OF THE OTHER EMOTIONS. Because you gave me a quick rundown of your idea for the fourth book when I last saw you at Storymakers and it sounded amazing. Your godmother books are probably(?) my favorites of yours (they’re all my favorites, so I can’t really compare …) and the fact that Disney did this to you makes me sick. I really hope there’s a lawyer who can do something. Please let us know if we can help in anyway. *hugs*
Me too. And thanks for the support.
I feel so angry for you! I love those books and so does my now teenage daughter! We would have loved to read another one.
Maybe eventually I’ll feel different about it. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway. I really don’t think Hollywood thinks about what they do to authors when they do things like this. (Or maybe they know and just don’t care.) Anyway, I’ve got plenty of writing projects to keep me busy. I hope you like some of the other stuff too.
Well, your fairy godmother books have long been favorites of mine! Whatever happens going forward, I’ll always treasure that series (and should you write another, I’ll buy myself a copy and buy other copies that I will then proceed to gift to loved ones, because everyone needs Janette Rallison books!).
You’re so sweet! Thanks!
This is awful! I don’t know that I will be able to watch Godmothered again:( Sorry! HUGS!
Thanks! I do appreciate it.
This stinks! I love you as author, you are one of my favorites and I am so sorry they violated you in this way! I love this series, I have actually just been reading it to my 9 year old twin girls and they are loving as well! We have laughed and made good memories during COVID thanks to you! I understand why you don’t want to write the fourth book, I hope you change your mind someday, but will understand if you don’t. I love your creativity and your sense of humor, thank you for writing! I actually haven’t watched the movie because when I heard about it, it sounded like a poor mans My Fair Godmother.
Thanks for your support! It means a lot. I’m glad you and your girls have loved the series!
I feel super frustrated on your behalf! It sounds like theft and plagiarism to me. I love your Godmother series and a lot of your other books too! I’m glad you’re getting legal counsel and I hope and pray that you get the credit (and money) you deserve. Your books are super entertaining and I’m always keeping an eye out on your blog to see what new books you’ve written! I hope we get to read the 4th Godmother book one day even though I understand why you would feel discouraged in writing it.
I feel super frustrated on your behalf! It sounds like theft and plagiarism to me. I love your Godmotherw series and a lot of your other books too! I’m glad you’re getting legal counsel and I hope and pray that you get the credit (and money) you deserve. Your books are super entertaining and I’m always keeping an eye out on your blog to see what new books you’ve written! I hope we get to read the 4th Godmother book one day even though I understand why you would feel discouraged in writing it.
Thanks for your support! It means a lot to me!
Ohhhhh nooooooo. I am so bummed about this (and sad and angry). GAH.
Also, I love your books, and the thought that this may keep you from writing a fourth book is just the pits.
Your books are a hundred times better. I’ve read them all multiple times. I have no desire to see godmothered again. It was pretty dumb.