Disney on Ice starts its celebrations of "100 Years of Magic" with a non-skating storytelling set-piece in which Zootopia's bunny / fox duo Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde try to sort out an "issue" with the power.
Presumably, it's there to give the tension and excitement time to build because once it's over, it's bang-bang-bang as the show goes directly to a high-intensity, all-action skating and colour extravaganza that goes non-stop through to the interval an hour later.
The pre-interval part of the show includes performances from Pinocchio, Finding Dory, Beauty and the Beast and the show's centrepiece Frozen, which dominates the performance both in terms of length and pure crowd-pleasing song and dance numbers. It's the movie in microcosm, with all the big songs and major ice time for all the significant characters — not just Anna and Elsa.
This latest Disney on Ice is pure highlights from start to finish, a supercut of all the greatest Disney moments, supercharged by the loud music, the arena setting, the sensational skating, the sets, lights and effects which include snow and fireworks.
There were a couple of moments that frightened my two daughters, ages 3 and 5, particularly the first appearance of Beast, but the success of the show is down to its start-to-finish appeal for all ages. There's the power, artistry and grace of the skating, the satisfying Disney story arcs, the spectacle, the humour, the princes and princesses and the sense of adventure and the great music.
The interval came more than an hour in, but afterwards there were still performances from Aladdin, Toy Story, Mulan and then, after nearly two hours, the ice cleared and The Lion King's Nala and Simba danced to Can You Feel The Love Tonight, one of the finest of all Disney songs, and the dance is so beautiful, so filled with spectacular lifts and spins, that I could almost have forgotten it was 8.45pm and I had two very tired preschoolers with me who were not going to make the post-show experience easy.
What: Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic
Where & when: Spark Arena, until Sunday
Reviewed by: Greg Bruce