Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Movie Review: Into the Woods

Movie: Into the Woods
Genre: Fantasy Musical
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, and so many more!
Rating: PG (though I think it should be PG13)
My Rating: Two thumbs up

We've loved this musical at our house for years. In fact about 18 years ago when we went on a road trip with our little kids, we had these songs on a tape and they begged for it to be played NON STOP that whole trip. Whenever we think about that trip now, these songs are the soundtrack that goes with it!

We have the DVD of the stage production, which we have watched over and over. We've also seen it live several times. Yes, we love it and so when it was made into this movie with all these stars, we were fascinated. A little nervous too. Similar to when they did the same thing for Les Miserables awhile back. Cool idea, but could they REALLY do it justice?

Jack was the boy Gavroche from Les Miserables. He's amazing.

So that being said, I think they did a wonderful job. The singing was awesome. The cinematography was fabulous. And the casting was spot on. I loved seeing real kids in the kid rolls (Jack and Red Riding Hood). On the stage they usually cast adults like for everything else.

And I quite liked how they toned down the second half... the half wherever everything goes wrong and all the world comes to an end. In the play it's even worse, but they made it not quite so bad in this movie version and they took out a few things. Which was good I thought. I didn't miss that stuff.

The Agony song with the two princes was fabulous! With all the splashing in the water and baring of chests? Ha! I loved it! And who knew Chris Pine could sing? Ah, the secrets some of these actors have!
Chris Pine was great, but I actually really quite liked the other guy!

Meryl Streep did awesome as the witch too. They changed her rap song up a little, but not enough to mind. And Johnny Depp. Creepy! (But we KNEW he could do that gig!)

Perfect, no?

But my very most favorite thing about this musical is the combining of so many fairy tales into one tale that totally makes sense. It's genius. And you get a great sense of that in this production.

And not only is it just a fairy tale retelling, I think it makes a lot of points that make you ponder, for instance: be careful what you wish for, let you children grow up, children will listen and understand, the grass is not greener on the other side, money and wealth and fame don't buy happiness, nice is different than good, etc etc etc. If you seen it, what other lessons do you think it's touching on?

Anyway, I loved it. I do think it's a bit dark for young-ish kids and I'm surprised that it's only rated PG.

Here's one of the trailers:

And if you want, you can listen to ALL the songs here! You know you want to! The first song is epic and is pretty much the whole first twenty minutes of the movie, including the witch's rap... our favorite.

Edited to add: I guess the person who put up the soundtrack on YouTube got nabbed! So now I've replaced this video with the prologue song, which I've mentioned above. And here's a link to the whole list of songs on YouTube.


  1. I loved the movie too. I did miss the Agony (reprise), but I'm glad not everyone died in the movie like they do in the play. But, I'm glad they left in a lot of the second act's songs. Some of them are my favorite because they're in minor key.

  2. I have a little blurb about this in my Fairy Tale Fridays post this week. Would it be ok if I link to your review?

    1. Lisa: I sent you an email that says .... Yes!

  3. The link to the music isn't working for me. :(

    1. Rachel: They got nabbed! I've fixed it with the first song and a link to the whole playlist on YouTube. Hopefully that works. :)

  4. I enjoyed this as well. I need to get a review up!



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