Into the Woods: All is Not as it Seems in the Land of Wishful Thinking

Into the Woods

As the cultural engine of our collective dreams, Hollywood is where fantasies of being rich and powerful, macho action heroes or beautiful princesses are made flesh.

We all dream of escaping whatever drudgery we face – stale relationships, boring jobs and money woes are just three popular archetypes. What else were classics from The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Star Wars (1977) to Easy Rider (1969) and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (1994) about but leaving what you know behind and embarking on grand adventures into the unknown?

There’s a telling moment in Aladdin (1992) when Aladdin and Princess Jasmine are comparing frustrations. Street rat Aladdin can’t escape living as a petty thief, fleas and all, and Jasmine just wants to experience life outside the palace where nobody knows her. The pair finish each other’s plaintive plea for change by saying they both feel ‘trapped’.

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