Into the Woods
Taglines: Be careful what you wish for.
Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.
Set in an alternate world of various Grimm fairy tales, the film intertwines the plots of several Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel”, and “Cinderella”, as well as several others. When a Baker and his Wife learn they’ve been cursed childless by a Witch, they must embark into the woods to find the objects required to break the spell and begin a family.
The film is tied together to the original story of the baker and his wife and, their interaction with the Witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey. What begins as a lively irreverent fantasy musical eventually becomes a meaningful tale about responsibility, the problems that come from wishes, and the legacy that we leave our children.
Into the Woods is an American fantasy musical drama film directed by Rob Marshall, and adapted to the screen by James Lapine from his and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. It features an ensemble cast that includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen, and Johnny Depp. Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales of “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”
About the Story
A Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) wish for a child but suffer under a curse laid upon the Baker’s family by a Witch (Meryl Streep) who found the Baker’s father (Simon Russell Beale) robbing her garden to appease his pregnant wife’s insatiable cravings. The Baker’s father also stole some beans which caused the Witch’s mother to punish her with the curse of ugliness. The Witch offers to lift the curse, but only if the Baker and his Wife obtain four critical items for her to make a certain potion: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold. The Witch later tells the Baker that she asked him to do this task for her because she is not allowed to touch any of the objects.
The Witch’s demands eventually bring the Baker and his Wife into contact with Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), who is selling his beloved cow Milky White and to whom the Baker offers five magic beans left him by his father (the same ones stolen from the Witch) which grow into a large beanstalk when Jack’s mother angrily discards them in her garden; with Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), whose ruby cape the couple notices when she stops to buy sweets on her way to her grandmother’s house; with Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), the Witch’s adopted daughter (the child that she took from the Baker’s parents in exchange for the greens stolen by the Baker’s father), whose tower the Baker’s Wife passes in the woods; and with Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), whose beautiful golden slippers catch the eye of the Baker’s Wife as she flees past pursued by a handsome Prince (Chris Pine) who danced with her at the King’s festival.
After a series of failed attempts and misadventures, the Baker and his Wife finally are able to gather the items necessary to break the spell. Meanwhile, each of the other characters receive their “happy endings”: Cinderella and Rapunzel marry their Princes; Jack provides for his mother (Tracey Ullman) by stealing riches from the Giant in the sky, and kills the pursuing Giant by cutting down the beanstalk; The Baker saves Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother (Annette Crosbie) from the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp) by killing him; and the Witch regains her youth and beauty after drinking the potion.
Into the Woods
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp, Lucy Punch
Screenplay by: James Lapine
Production Design by: Dennis Gassner
Cinematography by: Dion Beebe
Film Editing by: Wyatt Smith
Costume Design by: Colleen Atwood
Set Decoration by: Anna Pinnock
Art Direction by: Andrew Bennett, Ben Collins, Chris Lowe, Mary Mackenzie
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material.
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: December 25, 2014