Johnny's movies

Into the Woods, Sondheim and Disney’s “censorship” and vetos

Posted in Uncategorized by Anna Maria Polidori on June 19, 2014

Stephen Sondheim talks of the adaptations, cut and new songs added to the cinematographical version of Into the Woods


Invited days ago at a Sardi’s event with a group of high school teachers specialized in arts and in particular theater,
with a theme in discussion like this one: Challenges and artistic censorship in an educational setting Stephen Joshua Sondheim  S Sodheim talked of the variations apported to the original Into the Woods musical for this movie adaptation.
Adding words regarding censorship.
Censorship is a sort of guideline for media, cinema, theather,  press, networks.

Mainly what it is important to avoiding, hiding, and not to let seeing or put on screen or on stage for trying to keep safe in particular certain kind of people as little adults ones, teen-agers, kids,  adults to. It’s a thematic incredibly important.


Talking about censorship Sondheim said: “You have to explain to your students that censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that they’re going to have to deal with. There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical. You have to deal with reality“.

Into the Woods    has been largely treated during this meeting.

The story is the one of a Bakery and his wife. They are cursed by a witch and they can’t have any child at all. So during this trip for breaking this curse they will be helped by a lot of other fairy-tales characters, like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel etc.

Some of high school teachers asked a question about the relationship between Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Johnny Depp‘s


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“Infidelity, a lascivious wolf, the whole connection with Red Riding Hood is just sexual” added the teacher. Sondheim agreeding added: “Well, you’ll be happy to know that Disney had the same objections”.

The wolf Johnny Depp and Little Red Riding Hood, Lila Crawford have been a strong thematic  for Sondheim because of
Disney’s “objections” to Woods. “Hello, Little Girl” is loaded in fact with sexual innuendo.

“Rapunzel won’t be killed as in the original version, so we replotted it. I won’t tell you what happens, but we wrote a new song to cover it” added.

The baker’s wife won’t have any affair with Prince Charming, Cinderella’s prince.

Sondheim confirms: “If I were a Disney executive I probably would say the same thing.”

It’s like if Disney would return to a  quiet familiar movie although of course thematics treated are incredibly adults as in the best Sondheim’s tradition.

Into the Woods movie will feature two new songs: Rainbows, and another one for the the Witch. The movie, directed by Rob Marshall, will be released this Christmas’ Day.




Anna Maria Polidori



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