Into the Movies: An Into the Woods Review

“Witches can be right, giants can be good, you decide what’s right, you decide what’s good.” Into the Woods was originally a book by James Lapine, and was then made a musical by Stephen Sondheim. Now it is a Disney movie. Many interesting decisions were made in the making of the Disney version, but they were not all that different than the decisions often seen in stage productions of the show.

Disney did a great job of taking the dark play and lightening it up just enough for comfort while still keeping the integrity of the original musical. This was a perfect balance to please fans of the play, and those who didn’t care for it as much. That’s not to say there weren’t those who didn’t like the movie, however, but most of these were people who were unfamiliar with the original play and went into the theater expecting your average Disney fairytale. Be warned: This is nowhere near a normal Disney fairytale. This show should not be considered extremely kid friendly, however, disney did make it slightly lighter by adding a comedy aspect.  This was especially pertinent in the song, Agony, sung by the two princes.  Little Red also played a comedic role.  Disney also lightened the show in other ways. The wolf in the original version is portrayed as a pedophile, and that was still evident in the Disney version but a lot more was implied than shown.  This is also true with the affair between the baker’s wife and Cinderella’s prince.  While the more sketchy parts of the show were left to imagination, many parts you have to imagine on stage were shown.  The giant was clearly visible, there were actual animals, and the Disney magic was evident.

The show was well structured, had amazing actors and overall we found this to be an exceptionally good movie, but as always, “you decide what’s right, you decide what’s good.”