Yes, I know, the next scene lets Moss make peace with his father and it's lovely in the book. But you've got to know how to cut away the underbrush. Kaufman knew. Hart learned. Lapine here, blinded by love, clearly forgot.
The musical opens with a big dance number that features a mermaid, giant, witch and every other character we've yet to formally meet. Subsequently, the score provides only enough to keep the audience engaged up to the show's tearjerking finale.