Every now and then we all roll our eyes at the Disney conglomerate that consumes existing stories and “Disney-fy” it. But fairy tales and musicals, that’s Disney’s specialty, at least the classic ones, and Rob Marshall’s new “Into the Woods” is no exception, except that it is.
Led by the incomparable Meryl Streep as the Witch (who frankly, did such a stupendous job it made me slightly hate her, then immediately love her), the star-studded cast brings Sondheim’s musical world to life. With obvious adaptations made to cater the film to a more “PG” crowd, “Into the Woods” captures the same haunting essence of the original stage version of the story. With tales by the Brothers Grimm in tow, “Into the Woods” follow the journeys of various characters as they go ‘into the woods’ to seek the fulfillment of their wishes and dreams.
The motion picture boasts a cast that actually have an impressive set of vocal chords, Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) as the young maiden/Cinderella, fresh (U.S.) faced James Corden as the Baker, Emily Blunt as the Baker’s wife, Daniel Huttlestone (Les Miserable, 2012 film), Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, and Lilla Crawford as Little Red. With Rob Marshall leading the way, who already has a couple musical-films under his belt, Chicago and Nine, “Into the Woods” captivates the wonder and imagination (with the haunting and hinted-provocative details of Sondheim’s original book), and remind (warn?) us that sometimes what we wish for isn’t always what it’s cut out to be. But if the film can guarantee anything, for about 2 hours or so we eagerly await the adventures Sondheim set before us, that stories are the spells that are casted on children as they listen, of which we are all included.
Verdict? Go, see it. Then find yourself inevitably spiraling back into your musical theater phase.
“Careful the spell you cast
Not just on children
Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you
Careful the tale you tell
That is the spell
Children will listen”