Disney On Ice’s new show, Worlds of Fantasy takes us through the magical fantasy worlds from favourite Disney films such as Cars, The Little Mermaid, Tinkerbell, and Toy Story 3.
Not too long ago, I took my little girl (then a preschooler) to see Disney On Ice Disneyland Adventure. We had such a wonderful time, so were both looking forward to sharing a Disney on Ice experience with her little brother and Daddy. With the requisite overpriced tub of toffee popcorn in hand – or shall I say possessively cradled by 3 year old Danger Boy – we took our seats and prepared to be amazed by the figure skaters….
Only to find that swooshing gracefully around the ice were not ice dancers but a full sized Lightning McQueen, Mater and the other characters from Cars 2. No, not people dressed in Cars costumes – from where I was sitting, these looked like actual cars, albeit with blinking eyes. Very cool, and my little Danger Boy was in heaven. As was Daddy.
Disney on Ice – The Little Mermaid
Next we visited King Triton’s fabulous underwater Kingdom and watched as The Little Mermaid (Ariel) took to the ice accompanied by her friend Flounder. At the beginning, I found The Little Mermaid sequence a little disappointing in comparison to the costumes and artistry we had seen during Disneyland Adventure.
Sebastian the Crab leading us in singing Under the Sea was fun but not exactly rousing – but then again he had a very difficult task given the age of most of the children in the audience. I often find that very young children respond much better to ‘real’ people than to skaters in full costume or masks.
As the sinister sea witch Ursula spun onto the ice with her eels, the show took a turn for the better. Her performance was deliciously dark and quite funny, and we were really impressed by how the Disney on Ice team depicted the scene where Ariel signs over her voice, her encounter with Prince Eric, and the transition between land and sea.
Disney on Ice – Tinker Bell
From The Little Mermaid we flew up to Pixie Hollow to find the delightful little Tinker Bell and her fairy friends. With lots of action, humour and pretty costumes, the children in the audience loved watching the fairies prepare for spring. They were even genuinely worried watching Vidia, the fast-flying fairy trick Tinker Bell into ruining the preparations. The ice dancers were a pleasure to watch, darting and twirling across the ice like little sprites, and seeing Tinker Bell fly was just wonderful. By far, our favourite character was Queen Clarion – besides getting to wear an enviably sparkling gown, her arrival on the set is truly magical.
Disney On Ice – Toy Story 3
In Part 2, Disney on Ice takes things up a gear with a brilliant ice dancing version of Toy Story 3, with some of the best, most skilful performances of the whole show.
The costumes in Toy Story 3 have to be seen to be believed (so we are definitely not showing you the photos and spoiling the fun!!), and the story and dialogue is so true to the film that you will find yourself laughing out loud and wiping away tears at all the right moments. The scenes with Barbie and Ken were brilliantly funny. We absolutely loved it.
What’s with the Worlds of Fantasy theme?
Overall I found the combination of shows a little strange. Mickey Mouse and friends attempt bring the stories together with an occasional appearance on stage and a word or two reminding us of the Worlds of Fantasy theme.
The fact is the link is a bit tenuous – that’s why we needed reminding! – and they could have used it to explain any animated Disney movie ever made being included in the show. In trying to include something for everyone, the producers have only succeeded in making a show that as a whole feels a little disjointed.
Saying that, the individual stories that make up the show are well constructed, each with a proper beginning, middle and end. We rather liked the fact that the voices and dialogue were true to the original animated Disney films.
We loved how the journey through the different worlds of fantasy meant a journey through different skating and dancing styles – in The Little Mermaid we saw grand, sweeping movements, while in Tinker Bell the skaters were quick and light on their feet. In Toy Story 3, each character has his own style, and there are some remarkably powerful moves from Buzz Lightyear that just wouldn’t have fit with any other character.
While there were a few mis-steps, Disney’s ice dancing team are thoroughly professional in both performance and skating ability – to me the occasional stumbles were more a mark of the level of difficulty of some of the moves they were performing.
It struck me that Ice Dancers at the Winter Olympics would have struggled with some of the turns and choreography – and they aren’t trying to skate in unison, around props, or with 40 other skaters… and they most certainly are not trying to do it while wearing an enormous unwieldy costume.
As always, Disney has put on a big, first rate production. Yes, there were some lacklustre scenes in the first half, but the superb Toy Story 3 performance in the second half more than made up for it. Worth seeing!
Disney On Ice Worlds of Fantasy Tour Dates
The Disney On Ice: Worlds of Fantasy show is touring the UK in 2011 – click the links below for more information or to buy tickets.
Tickets for Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy in Birmingham (NIA) -November 4, 5, 6 2011
Tickets for Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy in Sheffield (Motorpoint Arena) – November 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Tickets for Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy in Nottingham (Capital FM Arena) – November 17, 18, 19, 20
Tickets for Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy in Dublin, Ireland (Citywest Hotel) – December 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 & 1st January
We will try and get some free tickets to give away to a few lucky families – make sure you join our Facebook page and you’ll be first to know!
Fabulous Photos of Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy
Click the image thumbnails below to see the larger versions.
Have you seen Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy, or any other Disney on Ice show? What did you think? Leave a comment below!