Trailer for Disney’s ‘Into the Woods’ Hits Web (UPDATED)

Into the Woods
According to Playbill, legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim (PeekYou profile here) recently disclosed some spoiler-filled details regarding Disney‘s upcoming film version of his musical, Into the Woods.

UPDATED 7/31/14: The trailer is now online and you can check it out below. (This entry was originally posted on 6/29/14 with the subject line “Disney Sanitizes Sondheim’s ‘Woods'”).

While few shows make it to the big screen fully intact, based on what Sondheim offered during a recent chat with high school arts educators, hosted by The Academy for Teachers, it seems that the changes made to Woods‘ have not been entirely artistic in motivation.

Bernadette Peters and Sondheim - 1987, Into the Woods
The revelations came to light during the chat when a teacher interested in mounting a school production of Woods expressed concerns over some plot details he regarded as inappropriate for younger audiences; specifically, the relationship between Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (the latter played in the film by Johnny Depp; PeekYou profile here).

“So, what is the objection?” Sondheim queried. The teacher responded, “Infidelity, a wolf being lascivious, that the whole connection with Red Riding Hood is sexual.” Sondheim then volunteered, “Well, you’ll be happy to know that Disney had the same objections.”

Visiting Playbill here you can see the rest of the changes Sondheim shared, but be warned that they would certainly count as spoilers.

Of some of the studio’s issues with the piece as originally staged, Sondheim generously offered, “You know, if I were a Disney executive I probably would say the same thing.”

One teacher shared that her students were angry upon discovering that productions of certain pieces they’d staged in school were altered (as is common practice). Sondheim sympathized with the students’ dismay and opined, “But you have to explain to them that censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that they’re going to have to deal with.” He added, “There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical. You have to deal with reality.”

UPDATED 7/31/14 The trailer is now online (this is the Australian trailer here, the film opens Christmas Day in the states):



Here’s a 1987 TV commercial, promoting the show’s original Broadway run: