“Into the Woods” was one of those shows that used to divide the drama nerds. The serious drama types thought it was a forced mature take on proper fairy tales. The musical types just liked dressing up as Cinderella and singing. Disney thought they could gut the musical, force a repackage and then dump it out onto the Holiday audience. The use of death hasn’t been removed, but manipulated for lame effect. The music felt out of place and Johnny Depp continued his Disney decline. Naturally, I can’t say that I was a fan of the show.

Adapting a musical to the screen takes a clever hand. Recent offerings have handled the change pretty well, so we were due for a misstep. James Lapine wrote the original show and I feel that he was pressured too much into making changes. People don’t realize that the film was initially planned as Rob Reiner’s follow-up to “The Princess Bride”. The Baker couple were supposed to be Goldie Hawn and Robin Williams, just to give you a taste of how long this project has been gestating. So much talent had been involved with the film leading up to now. However, very few people stuck with the material for long. That’s a shame, as I feel that something was lost in waiting so long to cut a definitive film take.

The Blu-Ray comes with a Digital HD copy, featurettes, commentary and a never-before-seen Sondheim song as the special features. The A/V Quality is stunning for a musical. The 1080p transfer stands among the best released in 2015. Plus, the DTS-HD 7.1 master audio track is reference quality material. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to fans.

Release Date: 03/24/15

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