The National Indoor Arena, Birmingham
11am, 1 November 2014
Disney on Ice, 100 years of Magic could not be more different from last week’s I Believe in Unicorns but was still engaging albeit in a very different way.
Favourite Disney characters old and new singing the popular songs, colourful and inventive costumes, talented skaters in exciting high-octane routines – it was enough to wow any child.
And the adults couldn’t fail to be amazed by it all either, particularly the rather impressive bottoms fashioned by a skater’s training. There really was something for everyone!
As a special treat we stayed in a Birmingham hotel before the show and as we walked to the NIA I was worried V might get tired and antsy as she had still been up at gone 9pm the night before, pushing buttons, opening cupboards and trying to make tea! I shouldn’t complain though – I always do the same in hotels!
But there was no fatigue problem as there was no time during the show for her mind to wander.
It speeds (literally!) through stories including Aladdin, Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast with Mickey, Minne and Goofy providing the links.
The numerous synchronised genies in Aladdin were spectacular and Pinocchio was particularly impressive as he whizzed and jumped – his few slips were understandable!
Beauty and the Beast gave a superbly romantic duet and when all the princesses came on – well – V was speechless!
Other highlights were Mickey flying in a hot air balloon, Pinocchio’s flying fairy and the enormous orange Chinese dragon in Mulan brought to life by a number of skaters.
The end of the first half was a highlight for V as the skaters depicted a range of people from around the world in a recreation of the famous Disneyland ride – It’s a Small World.
Oh – and The Lion King sequence made me cry!
Our rink side seats made it all the more exciting as you could see and hear the scrapes of the ice and feel the breeze as the performers whizzed by.
And being able to interact with the characters during the finale made a lot of children’s day.
I have many issues with Disney. From its romanticised pirates and needy princesses to its unashamed commercialism – I always have to run a small background commentary to some of the older films about how you can be happy without a prince charming.
But I can’t be churlish, you can’t beat the joy, colour and excitement of the stories and adding an ice rink makes them – to coin a modern phrase – epic!
I really liked Woody and his gymnastics but I don’t know why Stitch was in Toy Story!
Finding Nemo – I liked the way they did the sharks – it wasn’t scary I just enjoyed it.
Aladdin – I really liked how there were lots of genies.
Run time: about 90 minutes including an interval.
Age: Suitable for any age really.
Other stuff: The merchandise is pricey – set a side a certain amount you can spend on it and keep to it. The brochure is a nice keepsake though – it costs a tenner and you get a free fabric Disney rose. I also spent £9 on a slushy at the interval because I wanted the plastic princess cup for V. Just to say – ONLY buy this if you want the cup. The slushy is not refreshment as it tasted like what you might scrape off the back of the freezer!