Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes

Like you would expect from a production done by Disney everything on this afternoon was magical and well done. Thousands of young female fans delayed their turkey eating to come out on Thanksgiving Sunday afternoon to see their favourite Disney princesses live in the flesh and on the ice. Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Snow White, Mulan, and Jasmine all made appearances much to the delight of the crowd.

First to make an appearance was that magical fairy Tinkerbell. Dressed in her usual green costume and carrying her magical wand, Tinkerbell got things underway. The female skater assuming the role of the Disney fairy was probably the best skater of the afternoon doing all her stuff at high speed and often showing considerable flexibility. And she did everything with an exceptional amount of energy replicating the frenetic movements of Tinkerbell.

Next up were the grand stars of Disney Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Whatever the show these two beloved characters are always there. The positive reaction when they took the ice shows that their appeal continues on generations after their first appearance on television and film. The two dapperly dressed mice explained to us that the theme of the afternoon's show would be wishes and that they hoped that everyone's wishes would come true. They went on to say that the show was not only about wishes, but also about love. Through love the wishes of the princes and princesses would come true.

Every one of the princesses who had parts of their stories retold before us on ice had a wish to find their true loves and the moral appeared to be that if your heart is pure that this type of wish will always come true. Reality? That does not really matter as this was Disney.

Here are some of the stories that were told on this magical afternoon:

The story of Aladdin and Jasmine was the first to be told. We began with a young princess in her castle wishing that she could sample the world outside the walls of the castle then we switched to the noisy and chaotic nature of a marketplace in which a poor young man named Aladdin is being chased by the Royal Guards because he stole an apple.

Aladdin, in an oftentimes humorous segment, is able to allude the guards and also saves a mysterious young girl from being arrested herself by pretending she is his crazy sister. Later, that young girl saves Aladdin by revealing herself as Princess Jasmine. Young love is blooming.

Skatingwise when the pair skated together it added to the magic of the story. The lifts and turns were crisp and fluidly executed. The height of the male skater compared with the petiteness of the female added an interesting dimension to the visual.

A disappointment, if you could call it that, was the handling of the story of Belle and the Beast. I say this because the Beast was the only prince who did not get his time on the ice. If you did not know the story you would not have been aware of how the two fell in love because that part of the story was not told. I don't know why. The Beauty and the Beast portion just featured Belle skating with Lumiere and then the flatware and dishes for the famous song "Be Our Guest". Even the princess Belle was not really allowed her moment to shine and since this is one of my favourite Disney films I was a little disappointed.

Snow White and Prince Charming's love story was also outshined by the supporting cast. Though what a supporting cast those uber cute Seven Dwarves are. Dopey, Doc, Sleepy, Grumpy and the other dwarves did a cute number featuring their famous "Hi Ho" song and the crowd loved every moment of it.

One of the more dynamic moments of the show happened during The Little Mermaid section. The crew from Prince Eric's ship wowed the crowd with their stunts. The stunt that involved a seesaw that launched a skater/sailor into a complete backflip then ended with him sitting in a seat that was high in the air was impressive.

After a short intermission, Mulan came out and attempted to show her followers some of her martial arts moves. Mulan and her partner General Fa Li's couple skating portion was impressive as they are both physically impressive specimens with her height and his strength.

Another visually impressive section of the show was that involving the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Other than Ursula of The Little Mermaid fame the other stories did not involve the villains. This omission made the appearance of Maleficent and her huge glow in the dark, fire-breathing dragon all that much more impressive. There was smoke, fire coming from the large dragon's mouth and even a trail of fire on the ice to make the crowd "ooh" and "aah".

Of course the finale featured Disney's most famous princess, Cinderella. She made her appearance in the ballroom on her horse-drawn pumpkin carriage. During this section all the princesses and princes came back onto the ice for their final number. There were spectacular fireworks to end it all with a punctuation mark. It was a fun ending to a magic and fun-filled afternoon.

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