Haven't we all wished at one time or another for a Fairy Godmother who could magically pop in and help us in times of need? One of the new bonus features on the new Cinderella Diamond Edition Blu-ray (now available in stores) reveals the real woman who was the inspiration behind the Fairy Godmother character.
When Disney art directer Ken O'Connor thought of his wife Mary Alice as inspiration for the fairy godmother character, she was young and svelte with dark hair. He imagined what his lovely wife, a woman who uplifted everyone she met, would be like as an older woman. As Mary Alice grew older, surprisingly, she began to look more and more like the grandmotherly fairy tale character. Mary Alice's daughter, JP O'Connor described her mother:
"As she grew older, just naturally, she had the most exquisitely beautiful silver hair that was all swept up on top of her head. And she was generously proportioned, not quite as much as the fairy godmother, but she was round and soft, and she had the most incredible sparkling blue eyes that looked like she'd just done something quite mischievous."
A glorious description, although, it was not for her looks but for her good works that Mary Alice O'Connor became known as the Fairy Godmother of Burbank. She was involved in helping with or establishing over 50 organizations in the town, and her children describe that she was always engaged in doing good for others.
Hearing about her life and works reminded me of the fairy godmothers in my own life. In fact, JP's recollection of Mary Alice that, "When you would talk to her, you would swear you were the only person in the whole world," was something that was often said about my own grandmother. I was grateful to hear about this inspiring women and regain some perspective about what is important in life when it's all said and done. And also, to reflect on the potential we each have to bring a little magic into the lives of others.
Who are the fairy godmothers in your life? And, who will consider you a fairy godmother for them?
(Photos © Disney)