Disney on Ice review: Disney just doesn't get it, do they?

Disney on Ice review: Disney just doesn't get it, do they?

We had nothing going on this weekend, so we decided to buy tickets to Disney on Ice. Our kids will never be at a more Disney on Ice age than they are right now; plus it has been so warm and balmy out this winter, we figured it would be nice to feel a chill in the air for once.

I, of course, had problems with the show; but first, the good:

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas segment was both fun and unexpected (unexpected because I have no idea how they chose which movies to highlight in this show, see also: The Bad).

2. Jasmine and Aladdin killed it.

3. So did Hamm and Rex from Toy Story.

And now the bad:

1. This show is so old. Like really, really old. Like, so old it feels tremendously lazy. I realize it might be asking too much for them to have included Frozen in the show because of choreography and costumes and lighting and everything (but imagine a Frozen on Ice; it writes itself), but the newest movie featured in this show was The Princess and the Frog, which came out in 2009. I feel like five years is a long enough time for the Disney on Ice folks to have added a few new characters, i.e. Rapunzel or Merida or a few of the Pixar commodities. Only Toy Story was represented here. No Monsters, Inc. No Wall-E. No Ratatouille (it may be only me who wants that).

Also, Disney now has the rights to Star Wars and folks in the Marvel universe. I want to see Hulk on Hoth. Is that too much to ask?

2. The theme was a mess. I actually liked the idea of focusing the show around different kinds of celebrations. They kicked off the show nicely with an unbirthday party featuring Alice in Wonderland characters. Then they moved on to Halloween and Jack Skellington. And then…suddenly they decided it was full-on princess time and they invited Minnie out to sing about how she wants to meet a prince who will sweep her off her feet. Clunk.

All the princesses (at least all the princesses featured in this show, i.e. Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, Mulan, and Tiana) came out with their princes and they skated to horrible mixes of the popular songs from their movies (I mean, the mixes were really horrible. Like early aughts horrible. Like world gymnastics competition horrible). The focus of this whole segment was on finding a man (except for Mulan’s part, because she wants to find herself, but then she still finds a man and starts skating with him). In a room full of impressionable young girls (and boys), this just irked me.

Why couldn’t they have done a better job incorporating the princesses into the celebration theme? They kind of do this in the second half of the show (which is horrible, and which I’ll get to in a minute), but it’s truly half-assed. They had a lot of gold to mine here. Mardi Gras is featured in The Princess and the Frog. Cinderella goes to a ball. They could’ve done a ball scene. In that context it would’ve been perfectly acceptable for princesses to dance with princes. Maybe they could’ve mixed it up a bit, have Cinderella dance with Prince Naveen. They could’ve thrown a giant dinner party, a la “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast.

3. The second act is just embarrassing for everyone. John described the show thusly: “The first act is about the Magic Kingdom, and the second show is all Epcot.” And like Epcot, this show is Disney’s watered-down view of the world. The celebrations featured in this segment are a luau (with the Lilo and Stitch characters), Chinese New Year (with the folks from Mulan), Mardi Gras (kind of; they don’t actually call it Mardi Gras or explain anything about it, Tiana and friends just show up), and Christmas (which, again, they don’t  refer to as “Christmas,” nor do they mention the name “Santa,” — it’s like even they felt bad about highlighting this holiday above all others — but the whole stage is decorated in red and green, so secret’s out).

Even more baffling is when Minnie shows up between the luau and Chinese New Year dressed as a geisha. A geisha. So in this show, Minnie has been a girl looking for a prince to take care of her and a courtesan. Way to show girls all the things they can be!

Did you see Disney on Ice? What did you think?

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Tags: Disney on Ice, Kids, Parenting

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