A forgetful fish, a stand-up comic in a lamp, an aerial performer on hair to name a few… Disney has introduced us to a whole host of extraordinary characters over its centennial reign, and this year Disney on Ice is celebrating 100 years of Disney magic with its greatest spectacle to date.
There’s a special prelude to this year’s event with the stars of Zootopia (2016) Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps warming up the crowd in the best way they know how; by solving a mystery… who’s stolen the lights without which there can be no camera and action?!
Have no fear, though for there is action aplenty. Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney on Ice delivers year on year, taking the stories made famous on the silver screen and reimagining them within the rink. Hosted by the most famous faces of all, namely Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy; the Disney on Ice quartet are making a movie this year and for inspiration they’re taking a wander down Walt-memory lane.
Taking us back to 1940 and the second ever animated feature film produced by Disney, is the puppet who wants to be a real boy, Pinocchio. Cleverly incorporating iconic highlights from childhood classics we all remember, expect to be swept away on a tidal wave of nostalgia as past greats complement the Disney stars of the present. Cue the fish with the short term memory, Dory (Finding Dory, 2016).
Joined by her clown-fish co-stars and stars of Finding Nemo (2003), Dory reminds us how important memories are, particularly when they reconnect us with family. Clap along to the Turtle Rock with Crush and Squirt as the little blue fish with the can-do attitude just keeps swimming until she finds what she’s looking for.
Of course no Disney on Ice production would be complete without the princesses, much to my daughter’s delight. Like many of their young peers, she and her brother have come dressed up in full Disney character dress and she is thrilled to see Rapunzel among the heroines out on the ice. Speaking of princesses, the second story to be played out comes by way of the stars of last year’s Disney on Ice spectacular, Frozen (2013). The tale of two sisters and the importance of love have everyone singing along and perfecting their best Elsa and Anna impressions.
Aladdin (1992) and the genie welcome us back after the interval in a fabulous explosion of magic, music and memories (not least for Robin Williams whose hilarious voicing of the genie will forever thrive inside one of the greatest stories ever told). This year is undoubtedly one for the whole family with its fabulous variety playing to all sensibilities. Toy Story (1995) is up next much to my son’s delight, continuing the theme of friendship.
My personal favourite and highlight of the whole production though, is the story of Mulan (1998), with this year marking 20 years since its debut. Bursting with colour and alive with the rich tapestry of Chinese history, the homage to one of Disney’s strongest female role models presents an epic adaptation from screen to ice.
From Chinese tradition to those of a more primitive nature, the final act is The Lion King (1994) and its iconic Circle of Life offers the perfect segue into a finale with the entire cast re-emerging onto the ice to close out a fabulous afternoon of entertainment.
Feld Entertainment’s Disney on Ice never fails to impress with its attention to detail employed in every costume, characterisation and set piece. The music, the stories and the way it all comes together in an exquisitely seamless sequence of events leading to the show’s climactic conclusion. The story that every other story is ultimately about and that is spending time with the ones you love. So come and spend time with the ones you love and celebrate 100 years of Disney magic.
What you need to know:
What: Disney on Ice celebrates 100 years of magic
Where: Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park
When: 18-23 July 2018
Cost: From $25 (best available) - $66 (VIP); babes in arms (23 months and under) are freeDuration: 2 hours (15 minute interval)
Getting There: There is plenty of parking at the venue (follow signs for P1, Qudos Bank Arena once you get to Sydney Olympic Park) with a maximum rate of $25 or the closest station is Olympic Park Station which is a 5 minute walk from the arena.