Sondheim Talks “Into the Woods” Censorship

Stephen Sondheim penned the musical “Into the Woods” back in the mid-1980s and it became a success for taking the subject matter of fairytales and returning it to the dark tone of the original Grimm works. There was sex, infidelity and death amidst this group of figures who more occupied children’s fables.

Rob Marshall is helming the Disney movie adaptation that is in the works starring Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, with the studio aiming to make a big splash this Christmas. Unfortunately, as it’s a Disney adaptation, Sondheim has confirmed that the material has undergone some censorship to make it much more kid-friendly – think less “Sweeney Todd” and more “Frozen”.


Talking to The New Yorker, Sondheim confirmed that some of the play’s most memorable key moments are gone. Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) does not get killed, the prince (Chris Pine) does not sleep with the baker’s wife (Emily Blunt), and the scenes between Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford ) and the Wolf (Johnny Depp) have toned down the sexual awakening metaphors.

The audience favorite song “Any Moment” has also been “probably cut,” but a new one has been added in. Sondheim says “Disney said, we don’t want Rapunzel to die, so we replotted it. I won’t tell you what happens, but we wrote a new song to cover it.”

Further details about the cuts can be found here.