Into the Woods
A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children's stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.
Release Date: December 25, 2014
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murky themes, mirrored in the dark images of the film, may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the stage play. Family viewers may be the most likely to be caught unawares if they assume a Disney production full of musical numbers should be suitable for youngsters. Other worrisome content includes the implied mutilation of feet (chopping off the heel or toe) to fit into a shoe, birds plucking out eyes, infidelity, perilous situations and the death of some characters.Click here to read the full reviewJanuary 7th, 2015 · Details
There's no strong language to speak of (though some of the brilliant lyrics are tricky to follow); characters do kiss, and there's an illicit tryst between a couple who are married to others. But teamwork is valued, family is found in unexpected places, and characters tackle moral dilemmas in ways that will resonate with viewers.Click here to read the full reviewJanuary 6th, 2015 · Details
“Into the Woods” is pitched as a creepy family movie, but the more things move along, the less family friendly they feel. The sexual undertones of the Wolf’s fascination with Little Red Riding Hood feel just a bit uncomfortable, and when the baker’s wife crosses paths with Prince Charming, their encounter feels quite adult. The intent behind this is to deconstruct and examine the popular myths of our culture, which is very interesting to watch but may not make for the best fodder for the little ones.Click here to read the full review
When a production is as fizzy and fast-paced as Into the Woods, it's not always easy to sustain that level of verve for two straight hours. And while the movie does lag a little in the final 30 minutes, it's still the sort of cinematic experience that'll stick with you. Emphasizing how the most valuable of life lessons usually come at a great cost, something The Baker and his wife definitely learn in their quest to become parents, Into the Woods is the rare fairytale where "...and they lived happily ever after" isn't necessarily part of the deal.Click here to read the full review
Yet this is perhaps the most appealingly staged and wonderfully cast piece of musical wisdom you're bound to encounter. As we hear on the song "I Know Things Now," "Even flowers have their dangers/And though scary is exciting/Nice is different than good."Click here to read the full review
Parents looking for a movie for the family for the holidays need to know that this is not this year’s “Frozen.” It is a sung-through (almost no spoken dialogue) and there are characters who are injured and killed, including parents of young children. And the characters struggle with the consequences of their wishes and of the actions they take when they want something desperately. They lie and they steal to get what they want. And they learn that no one is all bad or all good. “Though scary is exciting, nice is different from good.”Click here to read the full review
“Into the Woods” is a movie musical that brings together many of the most beloved fairy tales to tell a special story about families and wishes. While Disney has done a great job of making a movie that speaks to both children and adults, “Into the Woods” has a few darker elements that parents should be aware of before taking their children to the theaters this holiday.
Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel are just a few of the most popular of the fairy tales told by the Grimm brothers that also appear in “Into the Woods.” While most people know the basic story of these characters, some might not know how scary these tales were originally. “Into the Woods” reflects the more frightening aspects of these original fairy tales. For instance, when Cinderella’s stepsisters tried on the slipper and it didn’t fit, the obvious solution for the awful girls was to cut off either a toe or the heel and make the shoe fit. This isn’t shown directly and there are some humorous moments; however, it is apparent what is happening. There are a few more scenes that might be more disturbing for some audiences than normally expected in a Disney movie.
Lessons of loss
Each of the characters in the movie wish for something they want more than anything in the world. Not only does “Into the Woods” show how they get what they want, but also what a wish can cost. Just like in real life, bad things happen that can’t always be explained, and the choices we make can determine our future. As each person is granted a wish, they also learn that life also includes loss. These themes might be a lot for younger viewers to handle, but they are handled with care and sensitivity as well.
The really important part
Even though the film includes some darker elements, “Into the Woods” is a beautiful story that children of all ages can enjoy and learn from. The music is beautiful, and every member of the cast performs incredibly well. The movie creates a fairy tale world, but it isn’t overdone or too cheesy. Overall, the best part of “Into the Woods” are the valuable messages of love. The things that happen in the woods are magical and might seem too fantastic to believe, but just like the fairy tales we were all told when we were younger and continue to tell children today, “Into the Woods” is a depiction of real life and the magic that exists all around us.
“Into the Woods” is rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material.
With its ominous gnarled trees and enchanted look, Into the Woods is a place worth exploring. Though fans of the Broadway musical may find the screen adaptation tamped down and lacking in detail, the film features stunning production design and a charming cast. The songs in this re-imagining of Grimm fairy tales are well-orchestrated and, for the most part, strikingly sungClick here to read the full review