Into The Woods: a nice twist on the classic fairytale

Into The Woods: a nice twist on the classic fairytale

Michelle Leddon, Staff Reporter

Disney has done it again with the dark fairytale musical written by Stephen Sondheim, Into The Woods. Although parts of the story were adjusted to suit a more family-friendly audience, the film was still very entertaining.

In Into The Woods, various classic fairy tale stories collide when a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) must lift a curse cast by a witch (Meryl Streep) in order to have a child. At first the task seems rather simple, but as the plot thickens, things get a bit more complicated.

The musical talent and acting are great from the whole ensemble. Even those that did not have the most impressive voices (such as Chris Pine) seemed to have a clear understanding of their character and were still entertaining to watch. The stronger performances were definitely from James Corden, Emily Blunt, and Anna Kendrick.

However, the strongest performance was from none other than Meryl Streep. Although it doesn’t seem very likely that she will receive much attention at award season for this performance, she was still so very interesting to watch, particularly during the song “Stay With Me.”

The characters in the original story are three dimensional in a way that (sadly) could not be conveyed properly in a Disney film that parents would want to bring their younger children to. The story is overflowing with subtext that couldn’t be addressed much, but it seems that the cast worked with what they were given as much as possible. The acting and singing is certainly the best part of this film.

A few songs and even an entire character, The Narrator, were cut, either for content or time. Most adaptations of the musical are rather dark, and although this one certainly is not very cheery, it was clearly cut to be as Disney friendly as possible to meet the PG rating. The majority of the changes in the film were rather seamless, and the one time it seemed to truly weaken the story was the choice of cutting The Baker’s song, “No More.” His character arc did not flow as well without it, but aside from that the film was as true to the original as it could possibly be for Disney while remaining under two hours long.

This was not a flawless adaptation, but overall, Into The Woods was entertaining and will leave audience members humming the songs for days.