Into The Woods is a Disney musical for all ages. It includes some of the best actors and actresses of our time, including Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, and Chris Pine. There were also several child actors who had very strong vocals. Daniel Huttlestone, who played Jack, is 15 years old, and Lilla Crawford, who plays Little Red Riding Hood is only 13 years old. Even though their vocals weren’t the best ones in the movie, it is amazing to see how much talent can come at such a young age. It gives the movie as well as the music a huge range of excellence. Some of these actors aren’t even known for their musical talent, such as Emily Blunt, who has played in “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Gulliver’s Travels”, and “Gnomeo and Juliet”, and Chris Pine, who is best known for his role in the Star Trek movies as Captain Kirk.
This musical brings some of the best music known to theater and now onscreen with humor, thought, and heart. This has been a musical on Broadway since the late 80’s. It started out as a simple stage show with scene changes, live performances, and no “do-overs” like film stars are allowed between takes. Even though Into the Woods has has been on stage for at least 25 years and there have been many discussions of turning it into a film, no one ever wanted to take up the challenge until now. Finally, this tremendous Broadway show has hit the big screen. With modern technology, the movie version takes this musical to a whole new level. However, the music is recorded in a studio and lacks that live feel.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, true life lessons come from these tunes, including the song “No One Is Alone”, sung by the cast, which acknowledges that everyone is ultimately alone but explains the shared understanding that isolation makes life bearable. “I Know Things Now”, which is sung by Lilla Crawford, is about looking back on mistakes and learning from them. “Your Fault”, sung by the cast, shows how easy it is to blame others when it is your mistake in the first place. These are easily the kind of tunes that will keep you humming and singing in your head all day.
Overall music rating: 4/5.