Sparks of Magic

Review // Let's Go 'Into the Woods'

Disney, EntertainmentCamilleComment
Into TheWoods Cast-Sparks of Magic.jpg

Do you know what you wish?

"Be careful what you wish for," is definitely not something that a dreamer like myself likes to hear.

As the cautionary and exciting tale of 'Into the Woods' unfolds, the idea of wishing and its stark reality sets in. It would be wise to consider a wish and everything that could possibly go with it.  

I'm just going to share right now that I loved the film; I was entranced, wanted to sing along (even though I had never seen any version prior), and truly enjoyed it. There were some potential spots in the film where your mind could definitely wander into the unknown, especially during Johnny Depp's cameo because let's face it, his song was sort of creepy. My daughter (10) is a HUGE Depp fan, and I wasn't sure what to expect as her response. Any references or innuendos went right over her head. I'm happy to also report that the film is clean and there's no gore... just slight suspense. I have a thing with animals, so naturally the most frightening part would involve Red and the Wolf. So, if you have littles, just know that there is a scene that could potentially cause a scare but it won't last long. Also, when the Cinderella's step-mother attempts to "fit" her step-sisters' feet into the shoe, while there is nothing shown... you get the idea. Ouch.

Image © Disney

Image © Disney

Well, in addition to my daughter, I took my husband on this fun little date and they were both very entertained. Even today, you can hear my hubby humming 'Agony' around the house. I have to say that Chris Pine pretty much stole the film with that song. I wasn't sure how hubby would like the film, since he tends to fall asleep EVERY TIME I try to watch a musical with him. But guess what? He loved it! Makes me so proud. The actors all portrayed their characters fantastically and the singing... oh the singing was phenomenal. When you put an amazing cast together on screen and they sing it brings tears to my eyes. I would totally sing-speak in my daily life if it didn't annoy my family so much. Sometimes I just have to sing, it makes me feel alive.

Image © Disney

Image © Disney

Morals from the Woods

So what IS the moral of the story? Or are there many morals?

Perhaps it is to be happy with what you have. It's a classic story of "have nots," but it can be a bit more grim than what we see as a Disney fairytale. It's witty, human, and real. It's entertaining for adults and children, which is a huge plus since it's a family film. 

My "Woods" could be totally different than your woods, but we understand that we all have our own and somehow, we are in them together.

The beauty of irony and everyone's lives clashing in this epic tale just goes to show that we are all similar, "You are not alone," and maybe we should appreciate where we are, and what we are doing. However, it also goes to show us that we change and grow through our circumstances. We can be better than how we started out, no matter what happens along the way. We make our choices and we have to live with them. When the Baker's Wife is singing to her husband, she states that he has changed in the Woods, it was an exciting point in the film. He gained confidence through his trials. The Baker's Wife in her own respect, even though curiosity kills the cat in her instance, lets true colors show. She had a choice to let a fleeting moment affect the rest of her life. 

We meet The Witch, who has lost her beauty due to the Baker's father stealing magic beans, which leads you to find out that his wife is barren due to a curse on his family's household. He also finds out he has a sister (Rapunzel) and sets on a journey to the woods to gather items for The Witch so she can regain her beauty. Little Red happens up on the Baker's shop to gather food for her trek to Granny's house. Rapunzel sings out of her window and "The Other Prince" hears her and their fanciful love affair begins. Cinderella goes to her mother's grave to wish for a way to the Prince's festival. Jack's mother sends him off to sell his pet cow "Milky White," and ends up selling him to the Baker for beans. We all know where the beans end up, high in the sky to the land of giants. Granted, all of this is not in chronological order, so don't get all twisted when you see it and it doesn't happen exactly like that. You can read the plot of the film on wikipedia if you want a step by step recant of the film.

As everyone's wishes ultimately come true, we assume it is a happily ever after and.... roll credits. But there's more. Everyone wants more, right?  We find out that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and in fact, it might actually look greener but it's definitely not.

More than anything, I feel the theme being one of "reflection of who and where you are in life." To realize that not only are we to keep moving forward, but we should be able to assess the past and use it to propel us into our reality that will be. We all make mistakes, but we cannot let them define us. We have to keep going. I love when the birds come to tell Cinderella about her Prince and she pauses but replies back that it doesn't matter now. We obviously don't hear the birds, because only Cinderella understands birds. I wonder, in their exact chirps, what they told her? 

Theatrically, the film is wonderful. The music is amazing. We've been listening to the soundtrack at home and I can't wait to get it on Blu-Ray to watch with the rest of my family. If you're itching to see it, here is a featurette of Anna Kendrick singing "On the Steps of the Palace," which is my daughter's favorite song in the film! Enjoy! 

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About Into the Woods 

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several beloved fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them. Rob Marshall, the acclaimed filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directs the film, which is based on the musical stage production by legendary eight-time Tony, Grammy® and Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Tony® winner James Lapine, who also wrote the screenplay.  Produced by John DeLuca, Marshall, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall, “Into the Woods” [was] released in theaters December 25, 2014. 

Disclaimer: I was given screening passes to see this film in theaters in exchange for my honest opinion and review. No further compensation was given. My thoughts are always magical and 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links.