Lyricist: Stephen Sondheim.
Audio Mixer: Andrew Dudman.
Liner Note Author: Rob Marshall .
Recording information: Air Lyndhurst Studios, London, UK (2014); Angel Studios, London, UK (2014); British Grove Studios, London, UK (2014).
Arrangers: Mike Higham; Matthew Margeson.
The original soundtrack to Disney's 2014 film adaptation of Into the Woods reveals a few changes to the beloved Stephen Sondheim musical, but for the most part keeps its soul intact. The film, which offers a modern take on a number of different Brothers Grimm fairy tales, stars Meryl Streep as the witch who has cursed a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) to a childless life. In order to break the curse, they must venture into the woods where they encounter characters like Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), the Wolf (Johnny Depp), and Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) of beanstalk fame. The well-chosen cast offers spirited and musically adept renditions of the well-known stage songs like "Giants in the Sky," "Any Moment," "Agony," and "Stay with Me." The part of the narrator has been transferred to the baker character and a few of the original songs have been modified ("Ever After" is presented here only as an instrumental) or omitted from the film version. Still, the Hollywood treatment has done more good than harm and fans of the stage version will likely be charmed by this colorful cast and the elegant orchestrations. ~ Timothy Monger