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Into The Woods (2015)

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Disney Princesses
A review by C J Dee

The baker (Corden) and his wife (Blunt) have struggled to bear a child. They discover their neighbouring witch (Streep) cursed his family due to trespasses by his father. (Did he goi into the woods? – Editor)

The witch tells them she can break the curse if they gather ingredients for a potion before the blue moon in three days. A cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, slippers as pure as gold and hair as yellow as corn. Enter Jack, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Rapunzel.

The cast

The costumes, the visual effects, the all-star cast — oh, my! Wait … wrong fairy tale. Never mind, Into The Woods is still spectacular in all of these aspects.

There is a reason Meryl Streep has managed to thrive in the film industry for forty years. She truly is a superstar of unparalleled talents. Her role of the witch is standout. Fun, fierce and, at times, a little frightening.

Cinderella and the Brothers Grimm

I loved that Cinderella was taken back to her Brothers Grimm roots to have golden slippers. As much as I adore the now famous glass slippers, it’s great that Into The Woods has set this Cinderella apart.

Almost all of the fairy tale themes revert back to the Brothers Grimm versions of tales. The resulting film has a much darker tone. Don’t be fooled by the appearances of fairy tale favorites, this is one Disney movie to which you don’t want to take the little ones.

The music

I had downloaded the soundtrack to Into The Woods from iTunes about a week before seeing the film. While I didn’t fully understand the context of many songs, I enjoyed it nonetheless. It wasn’t until about halfway through the film that I realised the songs were very similar in style to those from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sure enough, the movies are both based on Broadway musicals with music and lyrics from the mind of Stephen Sondheim.

Into the WoodsThe wrap

One of the things I really enjoyed about Into The Woods was that there was so much music featured. Often films are labelled musicals because they have one or two numbers with the cast involved. Into The Woods has so much music packed into it that you will be hard pressed to pick a favourite song. Though mine was ‘Agony’ sung by Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince as the brothers try to outdo each other in terms of performance and pain.

If you love musicals that are truly musical and aren’t afraid to take your fairy tales without milk and sugar, then head to the cinemas and check out Into The Woods. Just don’t stray from the path.

‘I was raised to be charming not sincere.’

CJ also recommends Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Movie details

Rating: full starfull starfull starfull starfull star 5/5 stars.
Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Daniel Huttlestone, Lilla Crawford, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie Mauzy
Other notable appearances: Johnny Depp, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski
Running time: 125 minutes
Watch this if you liked: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cinderella, Tangled

Series Navigation<< Pocahontas (1995)Maleficent (2014) >>
Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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