The first and biggest surprise for me was that it is a musical. Now, I know to many that is a plus and not a negative. For me, it was a big negative. I am not a fan of musicals and couldn't help but be put off when I figured out that the singing was not going to end. In fact, most of the movie's story-line is in the music.
This movie syncs all of your favorite fairy tales together in one movie. You have Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Bean Stalk and Rapunzel. Of course, it wouldn't be a fairy tale without the evil witch (Meryl Streep). She ties all the stories together by sending the Baker and his wife on a mission to break an evil spell that has been set upon him making it impossible for him to have offspring. Johnny Depp's performance is short-lived but grand all the same.
The biggest surprise comes at the end. I won't divulge too much as to not spoil it for you. However, I will say that it seems that the someone had a change of thought near the end of the movie and thought things were going to well so they decided to shake things up. It doesn't have the "happily ever after" that we would expect from a fairy tale. It does have a semi-happily ever. For me, the ending is what made this movie worth watching.
I never really got over the movie being a musical, but I liked it all the same. If you enjoy musicals, you will love the movie. The songs were written in such a story-like way that they truly told the story well. The plot twist at the end is what really made this an enjoyable tale for me. I would recommend this movie to people of all ages.