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Review: Into the Woods

Review: Into the Woods

Disney’s ‘Into the Woods’

It’s Christmas night, and I just arrived home from the movies. I saw Into the Woods, originally written by James Lampine and then made into a musical by Stephan Sondheim and performed on Broadway, but Disney has redone the play as a movie.

First off, I have seen the original, not on Broadway, but it was filmed on VHS (Ah the late 80’s) and my mother had a copy and was playing it one day when I was around five or six, and it became my new favorite thing. Into the Woods is what turned me on to theater and wanting to perform myself and join the drama club in high school and so on, though when I was in middle school I had other obligations after school and that drama club was actually performing it but of course do to my other obligations, I couldn’t audition… THOUGH I WOULD HAVE NAILED ANY OF THE PARTS… not to brag but I know the musical like the back of my hand.

When Disney announced they would be turning this into a movie, I was thrilled… until the cast list came out. Johny Deep will always have a special place in my heart, but the last few movies he has been in were not mind blowing… I thought that because such a big name was playing a small character in the movie that it would ruin most of the story just so Mr. Depp could be in more than the character’s normal five and a half minutes. Thankfully, Disney did not make this fear of mine come true and kept true to the Wolf’s character and only had him where he was in the original. I was also afraid he wouldn’t do the part enough justice, and again I was pleasantly surprised that he pulled off the character quite well. The only issue I had was his wardrobe, he did NOT look like a wolf, just a creepy dude, but hey what can you do? It’s Johny Depp. The Witch character is really the main character in this whole story. The fabulous Bernadette Peters was the Witch on the Broadway production. Meyrl Streep was cast as the Witch this time around, and I think Bernadette Peters would be proud of Meyrl’s performance, I was blown away.

All of my favorite songs from the Act One of the musical made it into the movie, really only filler songs such as The First Midnight and The Second Midnight didn’t make it into the movie. The song Agony, performed by the two Princes, has always been my favorite, and I was in tears giggling at the song Chris Pine (Cinderella’s Prince) and Billy Magnussen (Rapunzel’s Prince) sing as they try and one up each other, because that is what brothers do.

The second half of the movie after every one get’s their “Wishes” was not as well done as I would have hoped. Act Two is the final act of the play and shows what happens after every one has had their wish and now must face a few consequences. About half of Act Two’s songs were left out of the movie I am sure because Disney thought them a bit too dark or the Princes singing again about finding new fair maidens to woo.

Only one character was left out of the entire movie, and that was the Baker’s father. Had the character been in the movie, the story would have been slightly different, but it’s a character that isn’t around much like the Wolf. I also wish I could talk about ALL of the characters, but then this review would be a novel.

All in all, I prepared myself for the worst but I really enjoyed this movie. The actors did their roles well and the songs were still as good as the Broadway cast. I will most likely go and see this movie a second time before it leaves theaters.

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