Hollywood heavyweights crank up their vocal cords. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a musical! But it’s also a comedy. That was unexpected. ‘Into the Woods,’ is not really for kids. It’s an adult fairy tale with a mishmash of your childhood stories from Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. And did I mention it’s more on the dark side? Well, it is. Figuratively and literally. Disney is definitely pushing the envelope and thinking out of the box lately. The plot is not your typical Disney.
‘Into the Woods,’ is a flick with many different stories intertwining. The screenwriter did an excellent job of linking each fairy tale and making it work. The audience meets each character at the beginning of the film. Each one sings their heart out about their wish. And as the tagline says, ‘be careful what you wish for,’ each character learned that the hard way.
The movie is a star-studded event with Rob Marshall calling the shots. Meryl Streep plays a witch who lives next door to a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt). Their story is to start a family but first they need the witch to lift a curse. They have to go “into the woods” to get everything on the list to break the curse. As they go about collecting, they bump into Little Red Riding Hood with Johnny Depp as the big bad wolf, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. Throughout the film, each fairy tale unfolds with a lot of humor.
There’s a funny scene between two Princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) singing about their love for Cinderella and Rapunzel. Definitely memorable. And Meryl Streep offers some comedic relief as well. Who knew she could do funny!
The biggest surprise is the Cinderella storyline. It begins with the typical story we all know so well. But it ends with a twist no one saw coming. It’s actually quite refreshing and realistic. Sorry kids, fairy tales are just that…fairy tales!
‘Into the Woods’ hits theaters on Christmas Day. Runs 124 min. Rated PG.