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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jun 26, 2014
Headline for Disney's Domino Effect: 8 Possible Changes to the "Into the Woods" Disney Adaptation
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Disney's Domino Effect: 8 Possible Changes to the "Into the Woods" Disney Adaptation

Recently, Stephen Sondheim revealed (and then backtracked) that Disney has made a few changes to the plot of Into the Woods. The story is already a re-imagining of various fairy tales as it pays a post-modern homage to them with complex themes. Disney isn't making a whole other story, they're tweaking the existing one, which could lead to a narrative domino effect. The outcome might be great or it might be so-so. We'll have to see!

1

The Affair Between the Baker's Wife and Cinderella's Prince is Cut

The Affair Between the Baker's Wife and Cinderella's Prince is Cut

In the original Into the Woods, Cinderella's prince is a complicated person with a lack he cannot seem to fill. As an audience, we get angered by, and feel for this character at the same time because he reveals realities about relationships we experience outside of the theatre. He sleeps with the Baker's Wife behind Cinderella's back in the first, and there are rumours that Disney did not approve of this tryst.

2

Changes to the song "Any Moment"

Changes to the song "Any Moment"

Rumours are swirling that the song might be cut entirely because it is directly connected to the Prince and the Baker's wife sleeping together. But if it is not cut, there will still be changes to the song. The scenes are threaded tightly with the songs in musicals, as they help with emotional response and storytelling. So any story changes will likely lead to song changes.

3

No Sexual Tension between the Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

No Sexual Tension between the Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

It is obvious that Disney would want to cut the sexual tension between the Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood in this story. But even the smallest ridding can have consequences for the story, literature in general, and the impact on greater culture. Because Disney's platform is the biggest of all, they have the power to alter stories forever.

4

Repunzel Does Not Die

Repunzel Does Not Die

In the original, Repunzel is trampled to death by a giantess. This event is key to the narrative of the second act with the Witch. The choice to keep her alive could take the story in a completely different direction.

5

The Witch in Act 2

The Witch in Act 2

In act 2 of Into the Woods, we see the inner life of the Witch's character develop because of Repunzel's death. With the death cut, the Witch might be left a flat character, or a different character all together. Either way, something will change, otherwise it will make no sense.

6

Changes to "Witch's Lament" and "Last Midnight"

Changes to "Witch's Lament" and "Last Midnight"

Like I mentioned before, the events in the story and the emotion in the songs are deeply connected. The removal of Repunzel's death will lead to the altering of more songs so that the story ties up properly.

7

Bending Stories into Disney Tradition

Bending Stories into Disney Tradition

You can expect that Disney has a particular story to tell, probably different from what the original was trying to say. They are a brand with a specific goal and exist inside a far different world from the one that the original was written in.

8

Changes in the Quality of Characters

Changes in the Quality of Characters

All of these changes might seem minor, but a story is thoughtfully crafted for it's outcome both within the tale, and greater society itself.These changes mean more that just a simple sanitizing. The characters unravel and expose their humanity in the events that happen. If you change too much, the quality of these characters change, and the fullness of their personalities are left bent and broken.