Some stories are timeless and we enjoy their retelling in whatever medium they are delivered. But when you take a few of those stories, or four of them for that matter, and throw them together you end up with something completely different and unique.
That is the experience with Disney’s Into the Woods releasing Christmas Day. Made popular as a Broadway musical production, this story takes the familiar tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Cinderella and mashes them all together when a struggling baker learns why he has not fathered any children with his wife. Wait, what? What does a childless baker have to do with anything? Just ask the witch next door. She’ll tell you.
The story is driven by each characters wishes and their quests to fulfill them. They all venture into the woods for one reason or another and that’s where their familiar store lines get a good shake up.
I love that this movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. These are after all stories from everyone’s childhood. Everything about this movie is vivid yet realistic–from the costume to the settings. It’s the over dramatized musical numbers and the well-time self deprecating humor that make this movie so enjoyable.
My husband, who had not seen the musical, seemed to enjoy the movie. He especially got a kick out of Chris Pine’s playing of Prince Charming. We’re in agreement that Into the Woods would make a great date night movie, but we don’t know that we’d recommend it for younger children. There is some “suggestive material” and a little violence, but beyond that we don’t know many younger children that will follow all of the introspective songs and monologues.
INTO THE WOODS is rated PG and opens in theaters everywhere on December 25th!