Reviewed by Helen McWilliams
LG Arena, Birmingham – Wednesday 20th February 2013
An exciting, energetic and delightful showcase of the best of Disney’s animated films told through stunning choreography accompanied by popular Disney tunes. This production by Feld Entertainment is a must for kids of all ages who will appreciate the bright, colourful sets and props combined with multi-tasking ice skaters at the top of their game. They demonstrated technical ability with elegant dance moves and all this dressed as Disney favourites, therefore remaining in character at all times. An impressive feat that made for a spectacular evening’s entertainment.
The opening of the show included a wide selection of characters from ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ among many others. Mickey and Minnie Mouse made their appearance from the middle of a giant gift basket and a cheer went up around the arena. We were treated to a ‘Merry Unbirthday’ with ‘Alice’, ‘Mad Hatter’ and ‘Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum’ at which time children were selected from the audience to glide across the ice while sitting in a giant cake! It seemed to be a highlight of the evening for the lucky few. The famous scene from ‘Fantasia’ followed with ‘brooms’ sweeping their way around the rink in neon costumes which provided an added air of magic against the darkness of the arena.
No Disney show is complete without a contribution from the villains, they certainly didn’t disappoint as Jack Skellington, Captain Hook and Maleficent led a gruesome ensemble in a Halloween party extraordinaire. The choreography had a ‘Thriller’ feel to it and was one of the most memorable numbers. In stark contrast was the celebration of love featuring the Disney Princesses performing some of the most technically difficult moves with their Princes. There were spins executed at lightening speed coupled with strong lifts and the ‘head-banger’ move (I’m sure viewers of ‘Dancing on Ice’ and indeed skating enthusiasts will know the ‘edge of the seat’ moment that this particular element provides!).
Act Two explored many more cultures in a celebration that took the audience on a journey to Hawaii (courtesy of ‘Lilo and Stitch’), China and Japan. The costumes were exquisite, as one would expect and cumbersome in some cases – I didn’t envy the skater inside the ‘Ham’ (pig from ‘Toy Story’) costume; it led me to question if there were two performers inside.
My husband and I holidayed in Disneyland Paris twice last year and the high standard of ‘Let’s Party’ – the finale in particular, reminded us of the quality of the shows we saw over there. In our opinion, nobody does it quite like Disney! We both smiled widely all the way through (and waved to the characters…); my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough. With a starting time of 19:00, an interval and then finishing time of 21:00 – it left me wanting more, although I can understand that as a children’s show time is of the essence in respect of their attention span.
Visit http://www.disneyonice.com for tour dates and to book tickets, the show stays at the LG Arena in Birmingham until Sunday 24th February. There will be an autumn tour entitled ‘Dare to Dream’, so if you miss this one, be sure to catch the next!
First published 25.02.13