Into The Woods, a phrase that belongs in a fairytale. Yet, in this case, it’s not one, but several tales, tall taking place in and around the woods. We have Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), and young Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) (the very one who climbed that beanstalk). And let’s not forget the two princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen).
A witch (Meryl Streep) sends a childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) on a quest to obtain a list of items, in order to reverse a curse placed on their family. The stories all head deeper and deeper into the woods, eventually culminating with all the characters needing to work together, in order to save the land from The Giant (Frances de la Tour) and defeat The Witch.
Into The Woods is a musical. the dialogue and narration are sung, with several choreographed moments where the forward momentum of the story is set aside for a short while. The upbeat tempo is sure to get feet tapping, and many a viewer will be left with these songs filling their heads for days after.
Those of the younger generation that enjoy singing will love the musical aspect, although at a few minutes past three hours, they are likely to watch in segments if they have too much energy.
The film is a thoroughly enthralling tale, that will have you totally absorbed for hours with its songs, intertwined story lines and exceptionally talented cast and stunning sets. This is certainly a film that any enthusiast or lover of fairytales should have in their collection.
Disc And Bonus Features
There is never a doubt, that a disc by Disney, is always done right. Into The Woods is no exception. The disc is encoded at a high bitrate, meaning there are no visible artefacts on screen, even in fast paced scenes, with fine detail. Sound is presented in a 7.1 soundtrack. Although a little surprising that there is not an option for Atmos, this mix makes extensive use of the surrounds, expanding the sound field, and on screen actions, and drawing the viewer into the story.
One slight issue, is that the navigation menu presented on the disc is comprised of only icons, which do not give a clear indication of their function, leaving one to guess, and try each one, before finding the bonus features. This does post an amount of frustration, not knowing if you have selected the correct option you desire, or should you wish to go back at a later stage to view a feature, you need to navigate only via icon or thumbnail.
The disc begins with a few trailers, but you are able to skip these if you so wish.
One bonus feature that is sure to delight the younger viewers, and provide great value as they watch the disc over and over, is that ability to play the film with all song lyrics displayed on screen.
For the movie aficionado and filmmakers, there is a very informative commentary provided by Rob Marshall (director), John DeLuca (producer) and Marc Platt (producer).
There’s Something About Into The Woods: the origin of the desire to create the film from the stage play, and the emotion and work involved in bringing this to life. This feature contains some interesting behind the scenes footage, with interviews with cast and crew, detailing the origin of the film, and the journeys travelled by all to culminate in this screen production.
Another featurette details the singing aspect of each character and actor, sharing insights into the musical performance aspect of the film.
Also included are a number of small video clips, explaining the story behind brining the stage play of Into The Woods to the screen, some insight into the role of The Woods in linking each characters story, and of course the eye catching and intricate costumes worn be the cast.
The plethora of extras on the Into The Woods disc is sure to appeal to any varied interest, and adds a ton of value to the disc.
Into The Woods is now available for purchase, on disc, in South Africa.