Into The Woods is a Broadway musical turned film that was released at the box office on Christmas Day.
It made $36 million during its opening weekend and has been nominated for three Academy Awards.
With an all-star cast featuring Meryl Streep, Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick, many moviegoers were drawn to the film by the actors alone. I was excited to see Johnny Depp as the Wolf, though he was only featured in one musical number.
Into the Woods has all the fun elements at which Disney excels. It combines the magic and romance of Enchanted with the wit and humor of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Rated PG for suggestive material, it’s an adult version of classic fairytales. In this new tale, an evil witch (Meryl Streep) sends a childless baker and his wife on a quest to find four objects needed for a beauty spell.
The couple quickly becomes entangled in the adventures of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel.
The plot infuses issues from today’s culture into the fairytale world as each character is faced with the adventures from the classic stories – but they make decisions that are far from cliché.
For example, Cinderella, played by Pitch Perfect‘s Anna Kendrick, runs away from her prince not because of the late hour but because she isn’t sure of her feelings for him.
Musically, Into the Woods is captivating. The orchestral parts compliment the melodies which in turn compliment the themes of the story.
Chris Pine, who plays Prince Charming, is featured in a humorous number. Though his voice is far from perfect, when added to his looks and charm, they made for a sarcastic jab at the prideful-prince stereotype.
Altogether, Into the Woods is entertaining and thought-provoking. It simultaneously pokes fun at the classics while raising serious questions about adultery, true love and identity.
It especially appeals to young people who appreciate darker elements and adult humor – and it has enough satire to entertain musical lovers and scoffers alike.