Disney’s latest musical, Into the Woods, an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name hit all the right notes and is a thoroughly enjoyable movie… but it’s not one for kids.
Now, I’ve never seen Stephen Sondheim’s musical and the thought of Johnny Depp playing the Big Bad Wolf with a top hat and glued-on whiskers was totally unappealing. Of course that opinion changed the moment the movie began and very soon I was thinking ‘where can I get that suit’?
Into the Woods ties some of the most popular Grimm tales–Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel–seamlessly by way of a Baker and his wife. The cast of Meryl Streep as The Witch, Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife, James Corden as The Baker, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella play their parts really well. Especially Chris Pine and Daniel Huttlestone who shine (and preen and posture) as Prince Charming and Jack respectively.
However, it’s not all song, dance and fairy tales. Where Disney succeeded so well in making a movie that was well balanced for both adults and kids with Big Hero 6, Into the Woods is hardly one for children. Layered between the clever script are grim undertones that play on moral choices and social issues such as fidelity and ‘the blame game’. The back-and-forth between the characters might be just a little too much for some, but I loved it.