Into the woods was originally a Broadway musical inspired by various fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Rapunzel. It had all the elements of a children’s story like witches and wishes plus many dark, scary features too. In 2014, Disney adapted the musical into a film with a star cast including Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp.

The first half of the film is light and funny but it soon turns into a dark and disturbing story. A baker and his wife set of into the woods to look for the magical ingredients which will lift the curse that a witch has put on them. On their journey they meet traditional fairy-tale characters, whose personal stories mix with theirs. The complex plot shows familiar stories from a very different point of view.

Not all viewers liked the fact that it was a musical, many were disappointed that it wasn’t a typical Disney fairy tale and some complained that it wasn’t a family film at all. Despite this, Into the Woods is not only entertaining but it shows us that our actions all have consequences and that when wishes come true, it’s not always in the way we imagined.

Watch the trailer!


Illustration by Paolo d’Altan, taken from Stories of Ghosts and Mystery, Reading and Training, Step 2 (B1.1)