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Princess Classics, Disney

Disney On Ice: Princess Classics @ M.E.N. Arena
Simon Donohue
29/ 9/2006

 

IT was the kind of evening you'd expect if you left a pastel pink tweenage princess in charge of the family's viewing for the night - and said that she could do it with her ice skates on.

Zipping around a frozen stage were every little girl's favourite Disney characters, accompanied by the kind of pomp, ceremony and supporting cast you'd expect of the fairytale conglomerate.

This show - the 23rd in the Disney On Ice series - saw to it that the audience was transported seamlessly between the edited highlights of classic Disney Princess vehicles down the ages. Each fanfare and dimming of the lights was followed by a carefully edited excerpt from the house of mouse.

If one were to offer some form of criticism it was the lack of a unifying narrative to the whole affair.

There's also the difficulty that serving up a condensed catalogue of Disney can only ever serve as a reminder that the stories are pretty much all the same: vulnerable yet accomplished beautiful young girl pricks finger/eats poison apple etc, then escapes from the clutches of demonic witch/queen.

Furthermore, this was hardly an equal opportunities show: perhaps next year's offering will be a little-boy friendly display of the cast from Cars skidding around an ice track.

Yet there can be no mistaking the magic which is still conjured in Walt Disney's image.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair might have been in town, but even they could learn a thing or two about a slick delivery from the Disney team.

Slapstick

I spotted only one unfortunate and unintended tumble on the ice. There were quite a few falls of the slapstick variety.

Every costume and performance was magnificent, no expense had apparently been spared in ensuring that the look of the show matched the images emblazoned on the minds of countless little girls across the planet.

Alongside the beautiful princesses was an array of supporting characters: my particular favourites were the singing crab from Ariel, a cavorting dancing carpet and an exotic Indian elephant.

Among those worthy of particular praise is scenic designer Eduardo Sicangco, whose fairytale castle towered 35ft tall, making it larger than most Broadway sets.

A free-standing castle was dressed and redressed to represent an 18th century palace for Cinderella, a French stained-glass chateau for Belle in Beauty And The Beast and a Far-Eastern fortress for Mulan.

Barely visible wires meant that characters were able to soar over the frozen stage beneath.

It all ended in fitting style with a finale which saw Mickey and Minnie reunited for the fairytale wedding of Cinderella.

It was Disney on ice spectacular for certain, but there can't possibly have been a cold heart left in the house.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 by Registered CommenterEduardo Sicangco in | Comments Off

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