Disney on Ice has become a favourite winter event of our family, as my 5 year old in particular anticipates the opportunity to see her favourite characters come to life on the ice via the remarkable costumes, hair and make-up presented by Feld Entertainment. This year’s offering is special in its own right, as after giving us a glimpse of the Frozen story in last year’s production this show is an homage to the full tale of sisters Elsa and Anna.
Frozen is perhaps the greatest Disney tale of all to be reimagined on the ice as of course ice is at its very heart thanks to the magical powers of a certain queen. So the scene is set long before the cast of Arendelle step onto the rink. We went along to Wollongong’s WIN Entertainment Centre this past weekend to indulge in an Olaf frozen slushie ($18) and the story of an Ice Queen, her sister and the fabulous (and not so fabulous) characters they meet along the way.
Introducing the show, as they always do, is Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald (Duck, not Trump) and joining the fabulous precursor to the production proper a whole host of loved characters including Woody and Buzz (my Toy Story obsessed-2 year old’s absolute favourites), the stars of Finding Nemo and of course my daughter’s favourite Disney princesses, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Cinderella. Kicking off the action with a wonderfully vibrant number, my kids were in Disney heaven.
With every well-known musical number from the film prompting audience participation, not to mention the lines we have all memorised (willingly or not) from the narrative, adults and youngsters alike were swept along with the magic, the romance and the comedy.
Olaf the snowman was rapturously welcomed to the ice when the time came for his appearance, of course preceded by the by-know legendary Let it go sequence which I have no doubt we were all waiting for impatiently. The set was transformed again and again to transport us first from the sister’s castle in Arendelle then to the wintry wonderland of the north mountain where Elsa creates her magical new abode. The scene of Anna and Christoff being chased down by wolves was expertly choreographed and their comical interaction with the “love expert” trolls was equally executed with the finesse we’ve come to expect of Feld Entertainment’s Disney on Ice spectacles.
Possibly one of the most exciting moments and spectacular uses of design was the emergence of the ice monster Elsa whips up to ward off first her sister and later Hans and his men who come looking for her. A little frightening perhaps, though it didn’t faze either of my children, and entirely spectacular this was my personal highlight of the show as it really set this instalment of Disney on Ice apart from its predecessors. Tangled brought us Cirque du Soleil on the ice but Frozen brings us the best ice monster ever.
Coming to its dramatic conclusion following a 20 minute interval, I thought the way the producers handled the final sequence detailing Anna’s heartbreak over Hans, Elsa’s escape and ultimate reunion with her sister was nothing short of excellent. We watch as Anna turns blue with ice as she moves to protect Elsa and then the magic as love thaws a frozen heart, which spreads out to the remainder of Arendelle. Elsa’s icy magic is cleverly captured in this context with shards of light seemingly emitted from her finger tips and strategically positioned set pieces demonstrating her powers.
At its conclusion, Mickey and Co once again skate onto the ice joined by the cast of Disney alumni for a musical finale and the end to yet another professional, entertaining and dynamic slice of pure Disney magic.
Book your tickets now to see Disney on Ice presents Frozen at one of the remaining venues along the tour:
Newcastle Entertainment Centre – 22-25 June
Brisbane Entertainment Centre – 29 June – 2 July
Melbourne Hisense Arena – 5-9 July
Sydney Qudos Bank Arena – 12-17 July