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REVIEW: Disney On Ice magic leaves audiences spellbound

Posted onPosted on 25th Nov

Disney is celebrating 100 Years of Magic with its latest Disney On Ice show that is touring the country – and it is leaving audiences spellbound!

I might not quite be 100 years old myself but as a proud granddad and dad, the show fully catered for our three Disney-mad generations – my daughters are word-perfect for some Disney films and my granddaughter is being ‘indoctrinated’ too – with a selection of tributes to some of Disney’s top shows from throughout that 100 years.

I can still remember taking my two daughters to Disney On Ice around 25 years ago – not to mention trips to Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris.

And memories of one of those trips to Florida came flooding back at the start of the second half of the show as the skaters took to the ice in a fast-paced routine to Friend Like Me from Aladdin, complete with plenty of Genies.

That was followed by cheers from the audience – with many of the younger members dressed as their favourite Disney characters and some parents not too old to don Mickey Mouse ears – at the arrival of a host of Toy Story characters.

For fans of the now four film series, Woody is always a favourite but a new character from the recently-released Toy Story 4, Forky, took a leading role and was well loved.

Next up was a surprise for me – and, I have to admit, not one of my favourite Disney films. But the skaters put on a spectacular show to music from Mulan. First the lead female skater’s solo to a routine to Reflection was full of fast-moving twists and turns before the arrival of a spectacular dragon.

Talking of animals, the first half of the 90-minute show was also full of surprises.

It began, of course, with Mickey and Minnie, together with Donald Duck and Goofy, introducing the look back over the previous century as excited youngsters waved their flashing and spinning Disney toys bought before the show.

As befitting a production that is looking back over the past, there is a good blend of classic Disney together with contemporary films and those of the present day.

A nod to the distant past came with a Pinocchio routine and then we moved forward several decades for a medley of songs from Finding Dory, including a giant turtle.

Then came one of Disney’s favourite films for all generations – Beauty And The Beast. But it was not Belle or the Beast that drew an excited cry from my young granddaughter. Instead it was the appearance of Lumiere as she shouted out: “I’ve got one of those!”

The ‘past’ was also well represented with a brief selection of Disney princes and princesses – Ariel (always known as Auntie Jess in our family!) and Prince Eric from Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White, Princess and the Frog and Tangled among others.

I say brief, but I suppose there had to be fleeting glimpses of those characters to make way for a lengthy tribute to Frozen.

We saw this show just two days after the release of Frozen 2 at the cinema and it is clear that Frozen remains number one in the hearts of the majority of children of today. We all sang along to Let It Go, of course, as the snow fell on to the ice and my granddaughter shouted out in vain to Anna.

The skaters had plenty of time in this segment to show off all their skills and Elsa and Olaf were also to the fore as the younger members of the audience sought out their favourite to wave to.

It was a very popular part of the show that closed the first half.

Back to the second half and some of Disney’s best modern-day songs have arguably come from The Lion King and Can You Feel The Love Tonight and Circle Of Life were well received in a terrific finale when I saw the show at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham.

And as all the characters came on to the ice to wave goodbye, my two-year-old granddaughter – glued to the entertainment, despite her young age – turned around and said: “I want to see it again.”

My thoughts exactly…

Tim Morriss