• Wed, Jun 18 - 4:00 pm ET

Disney Is Apparently Ruining Into The Woods, Which Should Surprise Absolutely No One

Meryl Streep as The Witch in Into the Woods promo photo (Photo: Disney)

When I first heard that Disney was gonna make a movie version of the musical Into The WoodsI was confused. Really, Disney? Seriously? You guys want to tackle this particular Stephen Sondheim musical? The one that starts out with a fairytale and then turns it inside out, introducing adultery, loss, sexual predators, and oh so very many deaths? Is that for sure something you intended to do?

It just seemed like a project so far outside their typical realm of subject matter that I couldn’t imagine how they’d handle it. But now, at long last, we have our answer — according to The New Yorker, they’re just gonna take those parts out.

Okay, so I don’t know if you’re into musical theater at all, but if you’re gonna take out all the dark scary parts, you’re left with…half the story. Pretty much exactly half, because it starts like a normal fairytale and then turns itself on its head halfway through, like I said, WHICH IS KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT. Not in this version though, because in the world of Disney, Rapunzel never dies and the Baker’s Wife never cheats! Two things that Stephen Sondheim seemed perfectly okay with as he defended his decisions to a classroom of drama teachers:

“You will find in the movie that Rapunzel does not get killed, and the prince does not sleep with the baker’s wife,” he said.

The teachers gasped, but Sondheim shrugged. “You know, if I were a Disney executive I would probably say the same thing,” he said.

A teacher asked what would happen to the song “Any Moment” if the baker’s wife remained chaste. “Don’t say the song is cut.”

“The song is cut.”

The teachers cried out in despair.

“I’m sorry, I should say, it’s probably cut,” Sondheim said.

“Stick up for that song!” a teacher called out.

“I did, I did,” Sondheim said. “But Disney said, we don’t want Rapunzel to die, so we replotted it. I won’t tell you what happens, but we wrote a new song to cover it.”

Oh good, well as long as you wrote something new to replace one of the best songs in the whole show and you’re aware of the fact that this totally quirks around a ton of other plotpoints, lines in songs, and character arcs, that should be totally fine.

Bernadette Peters as The Witch in Into The Woods GIF 'bitch please'

(via)

(Cries quietly into a handkerchief.)

Share This Post:
  • Alana Vincenza

    I was in a terrible/fantastic production of Into The Woods, Jr. in 8th grade and it ended before all the terrible things happened so basically Disney is no better than my 8th grade drama class.

    • Music Mamma

      There is a version of the show called “Into the Woods, Jr.” that is basically just the first act of the show.

    • Alana Vincenza

      Yep, that’s what I was in!

  • sharon

    I saw the judgmental title and was so NOT surprised to see you wrote it…. Shame on you. I’m no longer allowing my daughter to read this site because you are such a bad role model.

    • TJ

      Out of all the articles that Alexis writes, this is the one that broke the camel’s back? Huh…Confusing.
      #NoDisrespecttoBenAffleck

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL

    • Alana Vincenza

      I’m sure you mean shame on Disney for taking such a fun musical and cutting out all of the fun parts.

    • CMJ

      Did you comment on the wrong article?

    • M_G

      ….am I to understand this means you’ve let your daughter read Alexis’ OTHER articles, and deemed their subject matter appropriate, but not this one? Sharon, I think we need to talk about this….

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      May I ask what it is about this article that’s making you react so strongly?

  • capoupascap

    Into The Woods is already not my favorite musical, and it sounds like the Disney version will be even worse….

  • MCR

    It doesn’t surprise me that they’re ruining it, but it does surprise me that Sondheim is letting them. Why would he consent to this? Does he need the money that badly?

    • noodlestein

      Not only allowing it, but DEFENDING it!!! Nooooooo.

  • Pingback: The Ways Disney Would Change Musicals To Have A Happy Ending