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Should Kids See ‘Into the Woods’?

Sometimes people leave you in the woods. Nice is different than good. Children will listen.

These and other profound messages are woven throughout Into the Woods, along with stellar performances and gorgeous set design that makes the audience feel as if they’re in the woods themselves. Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit from 1987 with roots in the Brothers Grimm tales, the screenplay beautifully intertwines the classic stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and others.

For all of these reasons, the major motion picture released Christmas Day has become a record-breaking, box-office hit musical with three Golden Globe nominations, a hot-selling soundtrack and kudos from audiences, critics and even fans of the original Broadway show. But what makes the movie wonderful could be lost on or confusing to young children.

Movie Details

Rating: PG
Run Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Is Into the Woods Violent?

Violence sometimes depends on the interpretation of the viewer. That’s definitely the case with Into the Woods. A couple of parents in my social network reported their eight-year-olds being “scared” during certain scenes. My nine-year-old daughter didn’t feel that way at all. There are scenes that incorporate accidents, injury, and death, but I think describing any of them as violent would be a stretch.

Is Into the Woods educational?

Into the Woods carries many insightful and thought-provoking messages and themes about life, emotions, human experience, risk, decisions, and consequences. My daughter and I had a lengthy conversation about several elements of the movie, some of which she was quite aware of and others, not so much. The film is essentially as educational as you and your child want it to be, depending on their understanding and maturity level. In my daughter’s case, her lack of understanding of certain elements did not affect her enjoyment. Your child may react differently.

Does Into the Woods have foul language?

No.

Your child should see this movie if:

They are capable of understanding and appreciating literary material, musical theater, and complex or deeper subjects.

Your child should not see this movie if:

They are easily scared or disturbed by witches, death, or dark themes.

Discussion questions:

What was your favorite character and why?

What does the movie teach us about making decisions?

What does the movie teach us about relationships and family?

We will continue to add to the list of films we review for parents. If you have any questions about this movie, or if you have any films that you would like to know more about, please let us know in the comments. Be sure to check out our posts on other recent movies.


Featured Image © Disney

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Deanna Glick

Deanna Glick

Deanna Glick has spent two decades as a writer and editor, covering education policy, adoption, and other issues of interest to children and families. Deanna has also worked and volunteered for youth-focused nonprofits, including Students Run LA and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. A California native, Deanna loves to hike sections of the Appalachian Trail and spend time on the Shenandoah River near her Northern Virginia home. She often finds writing inspiration through her 8-year-old daughter, who loves to read, paint, play sports, and learn.

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