Special to the AmNews

The Disney Christmas release, “Into the Woods,” is definitely a gift for the entire family. Rated PG, it is a delightful movie to experience. When “Into the Woods” was a Broadway production, it did very well. It had an engaging storyline and marvelous songs. And now, as a movie, it presents the same level of entertainment.

With a screenplay by James Lapine and music and lyrics by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, how could the movie be anything less than wonderful? It is a delight to see a Broadway hit successfully transferred to the big screen, where more people can experience it and know the beauty and delight of this musical.

Everything about this production needs to be experienced—the fantastic singing, the amusing storyline, the wonderful acting and the delightful humor that runs throughout, especially during the song “Agony.”

The casting was also well done. Meryl Streep is marvelously wicked as the witch, Johnny Depp is fiendishly evil as the Wolf. James Corden and Emily Blunt are endearing as the Baker and his wife, who desperately want to have a child. Tracey Ullman is a pleasure to see on the big screen and is hilarious as Jack’s mother. Daniel Huttlestone is amusing as Jack, of “Jack and the Beanstalk” fame. Anna Kendrick is enchanting as Cinderella. Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen are perfectly casts as the princes (Pine was Cinderella’s prince and Magnussen was the prince who romances Rapunzel). And Lilla Crawford is a darling as Little Red Riding Hood.

“Into the Woods” is such an amazing story because it takes several childhood fairytales and brings them together, but in a way that departs from the original stories we heard as children. It interconnects stories of “Cinderella,” “Rapunzel,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “The Baker and His Wife,” and “Little Red Riding Hood.”

The only question I had as I watched this movie was, “Why didn’t Bernadotte Peters get cast as the witch, since she did such an incredible job in the role on Broadway and she is a proven, Broadway-trained actress and singer, who has also been in movie musicals like ‘Annie’?”

Take the kids and go to the nearest theater, so you can experience the joy and pleasure of “Into the Woods.”