Disney Musical Adaptation Falls Flat


Disney’s “Into The Woods” stayed true to the Stephen Sondheim musical, yet was surprisingly disappointing.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story “Into The Woods,” a baker and his wife cannot have children due to a spell cast upon his family as punishment for his father stealing from his neighbor, who happens to be a witch.

(The father stole magic beans from the witch’s garden which placed a curse on the witch causing her to appear old and ugly.)

The baker and his wife so desperately want children that they bargain with the witch and set off to find four items for her: a blood-red cape, hair as yellow as corn, a cow as white as snow and a slipper of gold. These four items are to be brought to the witch by midnight on the third night after their journey has begun so she can reverse the curse that has been cast on her. 

Of course the four items come from traditional Grimm Brothers stories such Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.

I was surprised that the Disney movie actually stayed true to the play. I was a little concerned that Johnny Depp’s character Big Bad Wolf would play a more significant role than he did in the play since he was in most of the previews, but it was just bait.

Speaking of Depp, I was disappointed in his portrayal of the wolf who tricks Little Red into switching the path to her grandmother’s house. I know that Wolf is supposed to be dangerous, but this movie conveyed him as a little more than suspicious.

The character came across as a pedophile to me. Perhaps it was only that creepy because Johnny Depp, who is known for his peculiarity, was playing the character. 

Not only did Big Bad Wolf give me the creeps, but his wardrobe looked poorly put together. The costume looked like something from a play.

I’m thinking that was the idea since the movie was originally a play; however, it didn’t work for me. There’s either a movie aura or a play aura. You can’t really do in between.

The music and voices also stayed true to the original musical. My favorite voice was Meryl Streep’s, of course. She portrayed the witch perfectly, as she does all of her roles.

The witch’s outfit, after drinking the potion made from the four ingredients that broke the curse cast on her, was astounding. You can never go wrong with electric blue hair and silver highlights.

Overall I give Disney’s adaptation of “Into The Woods” a seven out of 10. Was it horrible? No. Will I watch it again? Probably not. But it was alright for an outing with the family.