If you think Disney’s “Into the Woods” is Bad You’re Missing the Point

Photo source: broadwayworld.com
Photo source: broadwayworld.com

If you hated the movie because you didn’t know what all these fairy tales’ characters were doing, or you thought the action scenes were boring and Johnny Depp had too little screen time to worth your ticket money, then you had most certainly expected the wrong thing.

“Into the Woods” is nothing like those huge action blockbusters you think it was. If you want to see epic giant battle, melodramatic plot twist or even a single heroic move that we would normally expect in a fairy tale, then you wouldn’t find it in this movie. “Into the Woods” is originally a Broadway musical created by well acclaimed composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and playwright James Lapine. Since its first debut in 1986, the musical had received numerous commendations over the years. The show was very well known for being brutally entertaining with its dark and twisted adaptation of the most famous fairy tales at the time.

The original Broadway cast, 1986.  Photo source: playbillvault.com
The original Broadway cast, 1987.
Photo source: playbillvault.com

I’ve never seen the musical before watching this movie, so I was going in “clean”. I didn’t know what to expect at all, and for the record, I am totally an old-school Disney nerd. As a kid, I was deeply influenced by Disney’s fairy tales, which are some really simple stories about good and bad people. Little did I know, “Into the Woods” was actually famous for its irony that mocks the over-simplicity of fairy tales that had been used for decades to educate our innocent hearts. The story questioned all the values we learnt from those tales, and the consequence? I felt like I was being left hanging in the mid air not knowing what to believe anymore.

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