Walt Disney Pictures' animated feature offering for 2014 will be the Marvel sci-fi/action comic book adaptation Big Hero 6, but that doesn't mean the Mouse House won't also be releasing a fairy tale-inspired musical (one involving princesses - this is Disney after all) this year. Case in point, the studio has Into the Woods scheduled to debut in theaters during the next Winter Holiday frame - and today, we can offer a slew of images from the film adaptation.
Into the Woods is based on the award-winning Broadway stage musical with music and lyrics by the legendary Stephen Sondheim (A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), as well as a musical book written by James Lapine - who also scripted the movie adaptation, as it were. Content-wise, the show mashes together multiple fairy tale worlds, including that of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Red Riding Hood, among others.
The unifying plot thread from Into the Woods revolves around a Baker (Tony-winner James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), as they attempt to undo a curse placed upon them by a witch (Meryl Streep). Other narrative threads in the musical focus on a varied assortment of famous fairy tale characters, whose sometimes encounter one another and/or discover what comes after, well, "happily ever after." Pictured in the image gallery below, via People, are most of those fantasy characters from the Into the Woods movie.
Cast-wise, in addition to the aforementioned stars, shown here are Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) as Cinderella, Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness) as her prince, Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher) and Tammy Blanchard (Moneyball) as her stepsisters, and Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) as her stepmother. We also have Mackenzie Mauzy (Brother's Keeper) as Rapunzel; Lilla Crawford (Little Miss Perfect) as Red Riding Hood; and although you can't see his face, that's Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf.
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As you would expect, the Into the Woods costumes from three time Oscar-winner Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman) are quite worthy of admiration, in terms of their precise use of colors, fashionable designs, and careful attention to detail. Indeed, there's no reason to question the production values of the Broadway musical film adaptation, nor is there reason to be concerned that director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) won't stage all the action and various musical numbers in an eye-catching manner.
Question is - how much has Into the Woods changed over the adaptation process, in order to earn the seal of approval from Walt Disney studio executives? The original Broadway show features dark, satirical, and/or otherwise adult material - the sort that the Mouse House is generally not comfortable with giving its blessing to - so a few alterations are to be anticipated. However, if too much of that substance gets dropped, then we could end up with a musical that's big and beautiful on the outside, yet hollow on the inside. Hopefully not, though.
Into the Woods opens in U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2014.