Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them-imdbPLOT CHANGES (Tamed for kids, but still has A LOT of innuendos)
Dominick Mayer's film review
When I was a teenager, I used to confuse the story of INTO THE WOODS with Hansel and Gretel's LOST IN THE WOODS. It took a while for me to realize that these were two different musicals/plays. INTO THE WOODS is about the rude awakening of the fairy tale characters as they discover their sexuality, which includes the lasciviousness of the wolf towards Little Red Riding Hood...that the prince's visits to Rapunzel included making love to her...et cetera, et cetera.
Disney tamed the story a bit and only a bit. The innuendos are still there. They just made certain characters remorseful and added more self-control. They should have sanitized it more, after all it's a Disney Film.
As adults, we somehow enjoyed the movie(I know that this has mixed-reviews), but I don't think I would recommend this for kids. No way! The music is beautiful, of course, because Stephen Sondheim is Stephen Sondheim. The voice of each character who sings is beautiful, but my parents believe that Chris Pine's voice sounded forced(even Perfect Pitch's Anna Kendrick was not as good, but good enough---she was better in PP). The lyrics, even with all the subliminal messages and the direct ones, are beautiful. Light wins over darkness and the message of NO ONE IS ALONE pulls some heartstrings:
Am I so bad for liking the second part of the story better? The twisted plot was exciting, even with all the violence and...deaths. Who died? I don't want to say. If you are not familiar with the play/musical, I don't want to give you spoilers. If you are familiar with it, you must know of the changes. Are the changes good? It depends on your perspective.
All I can say is that I love the loyal Baker, Cinderella and Jack the best.
- Meryl Streep as The Witch
- Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife
- James Corden as The Baker
- Anna Kendrick as Cinderella
- Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince
- Tracey Ullman as Jack's Mother
- Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother
- Johnny Depp as The Wolf
- Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood
- Daniel Huttlestone as Jack
- MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, The Baker's younger sister
- Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel's Prince
- Tammy Blanchard as Florinda
- Lucy Punch as Lucinda
- Annette Crosbie as Little Red Riding Hood's Grandmother
- Joanna Riding as Cinderella's Mother
- Frances de la Tour as the Giant's Wife
- Richard Glover as the Steward
- Simon Russell Beale as the Baker's Father