The fact he put the knock on the original for the reasons he did makes me discount his praise for the new effort.
Yes, I agree. The new version, from the trailer at least, looks far glossier and more Technicolored than the 1961 film. The cast in the Spielberg seem to be your typical bland photogenic millennials too, so I'm not sure why Sondheim is being so disparaging in that admittedly very brief interview. Perhaps he gets extra bucks for promoting the remake?
I have mixed feelings about the new version. The 1961 film isn't perfect, but the dance numbers are still as electrifying as they were 60 years ago, and Johnny Green's musical direction (along with the dynamic sound recording) is peerless. I suspect the remake will feature lots (and lots) of jump cuts in the dance sequences and an orchestra that sounds synthesized and overly-dense, so depending on your standpoint (and age!) will either be exhilarating or excruciating!