Into The Woods – A Jersey Family Fun Movie Review

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by

We received tickets to Into The Woods advanced screening at no charge, to review this movie from Disney Films. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun that allows us to share with families movies we think their family may enjoy

 

What Into the Woods  is about:

Disney’s “Into The Woods” is a big screen adaption of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical of the same name. This movie is a modern twist on several popular fairy tales.  All of the characters and plots are intertwined and the underlining message is that when wishes come true, they do not always bring forth a happy ending. The classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel are all tied together with an original fairy tale, based on a baker and his wife. The Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) long for a child and are on a quest to break an infertility curse placed on them by a witch. Meryl Streep plays an over-the-top, yet surprisingly charming witch who instructs the baker and his wife to carry out 4 tasks in order to break the spell she has placed on them. Along their journey the couple have run ins with a variety of characters. Each character shares their desire to obtain something in life they do not have.

 

Into the Woods movie image

 

Into the Woods has always held a sentimental place in my heart. It was the first Broadway musical I ventured into NYC to see on my own and also the first original cast soundtrack I purchased on CD. I was a bit nervous to see if Rob Marshall and Disney films could match the feelings I had for the original. I was not disappointed!

 

 Why you should go see Into The Woods

  • The cast: Meryl Streep portrays the witch just as expected. She is funny and quick and her performance full of energy. She steals the movie the minute she appears on screen. The makeup is done wonderfully as we watch this witch go from haggard to beautiful once the curse is lifted.  Johnny Depp has has a short cameo as the Wolf who is hungry for Little Red Riding Hood. In typical fashion, he plays the character with perfect eccentricity and quirkiness.
  • The Music: The score of the movie is fun at times and at others emotional and agonizing. It is the combination of the two that will leave you humming as you walk out of the theater. Anna Kendrick sings with a sweetness that is believable and a voice that is golden. The movie version does not have a narrator, but instead each character is introduced to the viewer with a signature song.
  • The Visuals: From the moment the characters enter the woods I felt like I was in a dark, secluded place with surprises at every turn. Meryl Streep’s makeup was astonishing, taking her from a wrinkled old witch, to a ravishing young blue-haired beauty.

 

Who Should Go See Into The Woods

Into the Woods does have a dark tone. While Disney does a good job of  moving deaths off scene and taking out adult content; it does still have some parts I would deem a bit too mature for all audiences.  The movie is rated PG, and I would  suggest taking children ages 8 and older to see this film. I had the pleasure of seeing this film with a dear friend’s daughter who is nine years old.  She had this to say about the film:

My name is Katie Cortese. I am 9 years old. Because my favorite show is the series “Once Upon A Time”, I was excited to see Into The Woods. I didn’t know what the story of “Into The Woods” was about. Before I saw it I thought the story would be more about things that live in the woods and I also thought it was going to be a little scary. I went with my mom and her friend, who are both Jersey Family Fun writers. I really liked the movie! My favorite part was when Rapunzel’s prince and Cinderella’s prince sang a song called “Agony”. I think that it was a very funny movie. I thought it was going to be scary, but it really wasn’t. I personally think that it was kind of startling in a good way! I recommend that this is a good movie for kids 8-12.

 

I enjoyed my viewing of Into The Woods. Transforming a Broadway musical as complex as this is a hard task but Disney managed to produce yet another magical movie that kept me at the edge of my seat, melted my heart and left me wondering about mankind’s ability to be content in today’s world.  I can not wait until this movie opens up on Christmas Day, December 25th.

 

Need more help selecting family friendly movies? Visit Jersey Family Fun’s Family Movie Reviews series.

 

 

In full disclosure, we were provided with tickets to the advanced screening of Into The Woods to make our review possible. As always, our opinions are honest and based on our own experiences with the movie.

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