CHS students can’t wait to travel ‘Into the Woods’


Kim Rooney

Students who have seen the Broadway play are excited to see what the movie brings.

By Kim Rooney, Production Editor

Be careful what you wish for, especially if what you wish for is a mash-up of famous fairy tales such as Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood.

Originally a Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into the Woods, to premier Dec. 25, is Disney’s latest in its trend of live-action films.

“All of it looks like it’s going to be action-packed but still have a nice Disney plot to it,” senior Reena John said. “There will be some element of romance and magic, and it will all come together with the live action fairy tale elements. It will be really awesome.”

The musical version debuted at the Old Globe Theatre in 1986 and on Broadway in 1987. However, adapting musicals to screen can be challenging. Audiences are limited to what the director, Rob Marshall, elects to show, which worries some fans.

“Movie musicals are different from real life musicals, which is why people don’t like them as much,” sophomore Sara Miller said. “You can’t see the whole stage, so you can’t see the whole story, and there’s a disconnect.”

The musical itself is based on The Uses of Enchantment, a book by Bruno Bettelheim, which analyzes fairy tales through the lens of Freudian psychology. The book includes psychoanalytical readings of the aforementioned tales along with Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

“It would probably make more sense as to why the stories came to be,” senior Bahareh Farahifar said. “Like why Cinderella wanted to go to the party so much and why the characters interact the way they do.”

However, some do not believe that Disney will follow the darker symbolism that Bruno Bettelheim suggests in his book. Instead, they believe it will favor the light-hearted and happy ending style for which Disney is so well known.

“I’ve already seen Into the Woods on stage, so I know the twists and turns, but I think that Disney will change some aspects,” junior Jillian Tyson said. “I won’t give away any spoilers, but this musical does go into some pretty dark places. The movie is PG, so it’s probably going to be a bit lighter than the original show.”

With four live-action movies in the past year and five scheduled for the upcoming year, Disney is taking on a new focus with films such as Cinderella; Tomorrowland; McFarland, USA and The Jungle Book. The audience that grew up with the Disney Renaissance has reached its teens and twenties, and Disney seems to want to grow up with it.

“It’s cool how Disney is venturing into this new area,” senior Antonia Gaviria Roso said.

While there was a brief surge in live-action Disney films in 2011, this new wave features adaptations of previously animated Disney movies. With Maleficent, Disney’s reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, grossing over 7.57 million dollars worldwide, this trend will likely be a huge success.

“I grew up with all the classics on VHS, so Disney movies hold a lot of good memories for me,” senior Kaitlin Cruz said.

If Disney is nervous that nostalgia alone will fail to carry this movie, the well-known cast should placate its fears. Featuring Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince and Meryl Streep as the Witch, Into the Woods boasts a list famous and beloved actors and actresses.

“I’m really glad that Chris Pines is in it,” Farahifar said. “Meryl Streep is really good, and I love Anna Kendrick. I don’t have any doubts about any of their acting.”

The trailer offers glances at each of their characters and teases its viewers with bits of singing, all while revealing the basic plot: each character harbors a wish, and the Witch offers two of them, the Baker and his wife, the chance to fulfill theirs. To do so, they must gather ingredients, which the other main characters possess.

“It looks really interesting and well done,” Gaviria Rozo said.

The bar has been set high for Disney, but many fans are optimistic that they will rise to the challenge.

“I really adore this musical,” Tyson said. “I wouldn’t want anyone other than Disney to make a movie adaptation of it.”