Move over “Downton Abbey.” as the recent London hit premiere of the movie version of Stephen Sondheim’s beloved Broadway musical, “Into The Woods,” quickly put all that idle speculation to rest.  The brits know how to party!

Like England who certainly knows a great movie when she sees it audiences around the world will also certainly enjoy this star-studded studded adaptation. Scheduled to burst into American movie theaters on Christmas Day, the two hour adventure is a delightful PG-rated romp. With some plot revisions to appeal to a Disney audience’s sensibilities, “Into The Woods” contains favorite songs from the beloved stage version, plus a few written just for the movie. Musical aficionados will appreciate the return of the iconic “Children Will Listen” and “No One is Alone.”

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Major Hollywood and Broadway luminaries lined up to appear as new and favorite characters from traditional fairy tales. Tied together around the story of a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), audiences are treated to the spectacle of Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood, Meryl Streep as the Witch, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Stepmother, and Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother. A plot which explores the consequences of actions taken by the characters is intertwined with the well-known fairy tales.

While it can be daunting to re-envision a 1987 musical for modern movie audiences, Rob Marshall of “Chicago” movie fame has deftly overcome the challenge of believably bringing all these characters to life, while still providing some jolly good fun. Lyrics from the prologue ask, “Into the woods, and who can tell what’s waiting on the journey…” Based on its reception in London, U.S. audiences can tell that they are in for a wonderful journey when “Into The Woods” hits the American silver screen.

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