You may call me….Keeper….for I am the keeper of theme park tales….
This tale strays a bit location-wise from my usual journeys. I do hope, my friends, that you will indulge your pal, keeper as I feel that the story elements are worth discussing. So come along down this path into the woods for a little journey to the place that my dear editor calls…offsite.
As you might know, I consider myself a bit of a raconteur so that’s why my ramblings here tend to lean in that direction. As such, that’s why our conversations seem to center about story and character driven plotlines in theme parks. It was a little more than a dozen or so years ago when this hit home for me, which is why this story is a bit of a personal one. Around the time my beloved Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando opened, I fell in love with the stories it told and how it took the theme park experience up a notch. The most important story there for me was the original Poseidon’s Fury in which a humble old storyteller becomes a surprising part of the very yarn he was spinning. If you only know this attraction as an archeological expedition then I urge you to seek out the original version and re-educate yourself with the true story of Zeus and Poseidon. At the same time I also discovered the Broadway play “Into the Woods” where once again the narrator takes a surprising role in the story he’s telling. It was then that yours truly was born and my lessons began. Many of those lessons died along with the fansite IOACentral.com (a site dedicated wholly to Universal Orlando, and filled with fanatics that could put Disney purists to shame), but after a brief hiatus the fine folks here at Behind The Thrills extended this new home to me, and I have tried continued my ramblings here in the hopes that it sheds some light on the importance of storytelling in entertainment. So in my own, long winded way, I guess it’s safe to say that I am a fan of the story, and when I saw “Into the Woods” was being made into a movie it was as important an announcement to me as it would be if they brought back the original Poseidon’s Fury show.
Yes, the purist in me admits that the play is superior, especially with its use of the narrator; but as we say at the Islands –Darkenon is better than nothing. Ahhh a cheap joke…No—that’s not fair. Into The Woods is worth seeing and stands pretty well on its own as long as it’s not compared to the stage version. Different mediums often require different techniques. What is important is the story. What is that story, some may ask? On the surface it’s about wishes, dreams and goals and what happens when you get your heart’s desire….what happens AFTER the happily ever afters. That my friends, depends on which story you are in. This movie plays fast and loose with our perceptions and expectations.
Witches can be right. Giants can be good
You decide what’s right, you decide what’s good
When you enter your woods, do you take with you what you already KNOW to be true ?
The way is clear,
The light is good,
I have no fear,
Nor no one should.
The woods are just trees,
The trees are just wood
Or are you open to learn and grow in your own story?
Mother cannot guide you
Now you’re on your own
Only me beside you
Still, you’re not alone
No one is alone. Truly
No one is alone.
Do you learn, do you evolve? Or do you just munch on some popcorn for a couple hours?
You decide what’s right you decide what’s good
Heavy concepts for what on the surface seems to be a light musical-comedy. Yes, I’m purposefully not giving many details because I want what you take from this movie to be personal to YOU. My story is another story in the woods….we might meet; we might visit for a while on one website or another. And eventually, we will part. But it’s important that we learn in our interactions…and even more important…like the narrator, that we pass along the story so others may learn.
And I know things now
Many valuable things
That I hadn’t known before
Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood
It will not protect you
The way that it should
And take extra care with strangers
Even flowers have their dangers
And though scary is exciting
Nice is different than good…
Isn’t it nice to know a lot!
And a little bit not…
My wish to you, my friends is the same as always. No matter if you are in a theme park attraction, a dark movie theater, or taking a simple stroll thru the woods …
To go to the Festival-!
That you absorb all its story has to teach you and that you always remember….
Every Day’s An Adventure
Into the Woods hits DVD and Blu-Ray on March 24th!