In one of the first numbers of Disney on Ice "100 Years of Magic," a host of genie duplicates from the classic film Aladdin cover the rink with their "magic," a small taste of the magic to come. The hour and a half celebration of Disney enchantment that follows retells shortened versions of several well-known Disney stories. Featured favorites include Finding Nemo, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, Pinocchio, Mulan, The Incredible and The Lion King, as well as shout outs to Disney parks with a wonderful first act finale tribute to It's A Small World and The Main Street Electrical Parade.
And for those who can't afford Disneyland or Disney World, Disney on Ice makes a delightful cheaper alternative. Its short length will hold the attention span of young ones while still providing both children and adults the chance to dress up as their favorite Disney characters. The picture opportunities are there, too. An announcement at the beginning allowing photography for personal use and proving Disney knows how to appeal to a generation so involved in social media. All the Disney characters come line The Edge of the rink at the end of the second act to wave to and interact with the audience, and Disney invites all to sing along.
The ice show, itself, has plenty of impressive skating tricks - flips, jumps and all. The theme might have been better served had the various acts gone in the order their respective films and inspirations came, Sleeping Beauty is missing from the Classic Princesses number, and one or two costumes are laughable, including a Simba (from The Lion King) who looks like the cave man from the Geico commercials. But overall, the only complaint that matters will always be that the magic never seems to last long enough. Meanwhile, audiences get all the beloved fairy tales and several beautiful couple moments on ice aimed directly at the classic romantic.
Boys won't feel left out, either, as the warriors from Mulan face off, toys from Pinocchio wind up, soldiers from Toy Story march, and heroes from The Incredibles show off their super powers. The choreography for each routine uses character traits to influence every movement, and the skaters flawlessly lip-sync to favorite songs that Disney always invites the audience to sing along with. Finding Nemo's Dori is as flamboyant as ever in a lovely costume reflecting her adorable personality. A very talented skater gets on all fours to play Pumba from The Lion King. And even a break-dancer gets in on the fun. The princess dresses sparkle. The Blue Fairy flies in for a lovely solo. And Mickey leads the band.
It's a nonstop magic carpet ride that any Disney fan will no doubt love. Of course, right now there are a lot of baseball fans in the bay area. So, if the San Francisco Giants keep up their winning streak, what will do to celebrate? Maybe they'll go to Disney on Ice!
Disney On Ice: 100 YEARS OF MAGIC
San Jose HP Pavillion
Through October 28
Sacramento Sleep Train Arena