Into the Woods - Classic Tale Without Controversy
Disney rediscovered fairy tales in the last couple of years. They come with the big advantage for a large company that often enough has to calculate not only production costs but also expensive license and legal matters when it wants to turn something from the world of literature into a film: fairy tales don't cost money. Walt Disney noticed that when he produced his first feature-length film Snow White. But still, turning Into the Woods into a movie has other issues that are due to the successful 80's broadway musical it is based on.
The film mixes the tales of Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Sleeping Beauty. Those are tied together by a childless couple of bakers who meet a witch played by Meryl Streep.
As probably everyone knows, some of the good old Grimm tales were quite brutal and contained several sexual references, sometimes hidden, sometimes more obvious. And the broadway adaptation by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine fearlessly transported that, as well.
But, of course, that's no option for a Disney christmas movie aimed at the entire family. As Sondheim now confirms, the film was heavily toned down.
SPOILERS AHEAD (mark the text if you want to read)
Into the Woods is scheduled for a Christmas release in US cinemas.