Disney theme parks worlds away from you and your rugrats? Disney on Ice is the roadshow version, bringing rodent magic to your city. I was in Orlando recently for a gig, and I still didn’t make it to the mouse castle. Fortunately, Mickey and posse are posted up at The Pepsi Center this weekend for their annual skate fete. Denver dancer Fancy Nancy planted the seed in my head–I quickly realized it was something my god-daughter would get a kick out of too. Fancy fashioned mouse-eared tiaras for the occasion.
Dare to Dream, the moniker of this particular “icecapade,” highlights storylines from two newer cartoons–Rapunzel vehicle Tangled and Big Easy adventure The Princess and the Frog–and one classic foot fetish tale in Cinderella. As far as Disney flicks go, Frog is the dog’s tuxedo. Sure, there’s the obligatory love angle, but Princess-in-progress Tiana has aspirations above and beyond tying the knot. She’s a heroine unafraid of elbow grease. Plus, the New Orleans setting and characters are full of flavor–just like the Cajun food Tiana becomes famous for. The feature-length plot gets distilled for the rink, but still sees pirouetting amphibians, choreographed flamingos, a dentist-deprived firefly, a blind octogenarian and a skating gator.
Cinderella is the program’s centerpiece. Considering it’s one of the most well-known yarns of all time, this is hardly surprising. In accordance with its status, the arc doesn’t get truncated much. Step-daughter is told she can’t dance. Mice assemble gown so she can. Step-sisters demolish gown. Magic granny saves day/night. Prince is aroused by beautiful stranger. Midnight strikes. Footwear is left behind. Massive search is mounted. Prince is reunited with his pretty girl. Being a performer who’s constantly on the hunt for costume inspiration, I was positively delighted by both the aesthetics and functionality of the stagecoach steeds—their design artfully suggested four legs but only required two.
Dare to Dream’s third chapter is based on Tangled, basically a Rapunzel remix. Having tower window-length locks laid out across the ice would’ve presented logistical issues for the blades involved, but the incorporation of gold aerial silks makes for a suitable substitution. The aspect they totally nail is the palace horse. Tangled‘s stallion actually glides around on all fours a la Chinese dragon, thanks to two obviously dedicated and hopefully well-paid skaters. I’m honestly curious how mister or miss hind legs sees at all (not to mention the magnitude of his or her chiropractic bills). The mule even moonwalks for Pete’s sake.
A parade of Disney princesses joins the cast for the curtain call/grand finale. Kids shriek with joy upon recognizing their favorites, from Snow White to Jasmine. Skills on skates are subsequently (and thoroughly) demonstrated. “When the Saints Go Marching In” soundtracks the mass exodus. Merch is hawked at the exits, but, in our case, mouse-eared tiaras are cherished as souvenirs instead.
George Peele enjoys strapping on height enhancers and aurally ambushing strangers. He is Music Editor for 303 Magazine. Follow Peele on Twitter: @Orangepeelmoses. Avatar image courtesy Jonathan Shoup.