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The toys are definitely back in town!
Disney On Ice: Worlds Of Fantasy
Member Name: cha97mw
Disney On Ice: Worlds Of Fantasy
Advantages: fantastic well produced show, very entertaining for all age groups
Disadvantages: bit repetitive in points - so expensive.
The venue we visited was the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena. This is a good venue for large touring shows such as this, and the show worked fabulously in this environment. Although we were at the cheaper seats nearer the top of the Arena, we had a fabulous view of the whole stage area, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, so in my eyes, that was £100 well spent.
The show is presented by Feld Entertainment, who have been producing Disney on Ice shows for a long time, and have worked out a winning formula. From the second the show started, we were waiting to see what magical thing would happen next.
This particular show was in 2 acts, and featured scenes from 4 popular World's of Fantasy. Presented by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, with appearances by Goofy and Daffy Duck, there was something there for everyone.
The show started with a little scene with Mickey and Minnie's car breaking down. While they went off to find some water to put in the engine, the car was left on the stage. This provided a lovely link to a Cars themed segment. With not much on stage to set the scene, the impact was all from the 6 cars on stage, with favourites such as Mater the tow truck, and Lightning McQueen himself. We were marvelling at how smoothly these moved on the ice, with no visible means of control. The eyes on the cars moved as the voice over played, and the lights flashed.
Without us noticing at all, as the Cars cast left the stage, there were dancers carrying huge pieces of blue and green material mimmicking the action of the sea, as we went to Ariel's underwater world for a Little Mermaid secton. Here, there were a few props on the stage to set the scene, but most of the amazement here came from the brightly coloured costumes, and the spectacular dancing as we saw Ariel strike a deal with Ursula, and get legs so she could go on land and make her Prince fall in love with her. The story was true to my memory of the Disney film, though it has been a little while since I saw this one. My boys loved the sea horses and lobster, and there were some impressive lifts from the dancers which I recognised from watching other professional ice dancers.
I was so impressed at how the Ursula character could skate at all in such a huge costume, appearing to glide across the ice with ease. And the other thing that was magical to me was in one of the big song numbers, clouds of bubbles appeared from the truss in the roof, falling to the Arena floor. Visually, it had a lot going for it.
The 3rd segment in the 1st act was the story of Tinker Bell the fairy from Peter Pan. This was my least interesting part, as we have not seen this one on DVD, and while I could appreciate how visually stunning it was, it felt a bit repetitive and boring in places to me, and the kids were getting a bit fidgety during this segment.
The most stunning part of this segment was the main fairy entering by flying into the set. She was on a wire in the air for quite a long time, wearing the most beautiful glittery dress. It looked truly magical. My boys couldn't work out how she was flying.
We were introduced to all the different sorts of fairy. Tinker Bell is a tinker, and needs to work with the other Tinker fairies to help Winter turn into Spring. Tinker gets cross when she finds out she can't go out into the world, and she is persuaded by one of the other fairies to complete some impossible tasks to prove she can go. She instead makes everything go wrong, so Spring can't happen after all, but she realises how to put it all right. She learns to be true to herself, and saves the day.
I felt here, not a lot happened, and it was a bit weak compared to the rest of the show, but like I say, perhaps lack of familiarity is the problem here for me, and everyone else may have loved it.
After a break of 20 minutes, we went onto Act 2, which was the act my family had really wanted to see. It was lovely that so much time was devoted to telling the story of the toys from Toy Story 3. My boys loved this bit, as did us adults, and I would pay again to let them see it.
Opening up, the set was very simple, but effective. There was a computer table with a computer, and a box of toys, and bookcases. Andy was preparing for college, and he was looking through this box of old toys to see what he would do with them. Very effectively, the Arena floor was lit like Andy's bedroom wallpaper from the film. Blue background with white clouds. Very impressive.
When Andy left the stage, the small pieces of set were replaced by identical pieces, but larger. so that the toys looked like they were small compared to the furniture. Simple but very effective.
Sarge entered the stage, and the army men were marching in, arriving by parachutes, and were in synchrony. They performed a routine, before Sarge introduced the rest of the toys onto the stage for a staff meeting. All the familiar characters that we all love were on the stage. Slinky the dog, Hamm, Rex the Dinosaur, Mr and Mrs Potato Head, Barbie, Jessie, Bullseye, Buzz Lightyear, and finally Woody.
The storyline was based upon the story in Toy Story 3, but with some minor changes to make it more suitable for the stage. It was still an impressive piece of show.
The toys are donated to Sunnyside daycare. There they meet Ken, and Lotso-Huggin Bear. Woody tries to persuade the toys to go home to Andy's house, but they want to stay and be played with again. Woody manages a daring escape where he gets on a kite, and flies into the air and off stage.
The other toys meanwhile, are soon realising sunnyside is not that nice a place to be. The children come in to play with them, and they are left wrecked by it. (This was one of the most surreal moments in the set. The children were huge models on plinths being pushed around by skaters in black. They were a bit weird to look at because of the way they moved around.)
When Buzz tries to sort it all out for them all, Lotso and Ken work out how to switch Buzz back into Demo mode and keep the other toys prisoner.
Woody finds out what is happening to the other toys, and goes back to rescue them. It is here that we see a divergence in the script. In this show, the character Barbie is the person who takes the central role here.
My favourite scene from the film is in the show. Ken takes Barbie back to his dreamhouse, where he does a fashion show of his favourite outfits. I loved this section. The set was really simple here, with a rail of clothes, and a bright pink chair for Barbie to sit on. Ken got outfits, and went off stage to change, and was back on in seconds wearing the outfits. There must have been at least 2 dancers playing Ken here, to allow the changeovers to be so smooth. From where we were sat, it looked absolutely seamless.
Barbie manages to get hold of the key to let the other toys free, and somehow they turn Buzz into a Spanish mode. They work out there escape from Sunnyside, having to dice with flames while running from Lotso, but at the last minute, the aliens appear and bring 'The Claw' to rescue the toys. The toys are carried off away from the danger, and come back to Andy. Andy then decides that he is going to donate his toys to a young child called Bonnie so they can stay together.
My overall impression of the show was that the set was quite basic but clever. A few props and different filters in front of the lights could really affect what you were seeing on the ice. The costumes were really amazing. The toy story costumes in particular were so close to what I have seen on the screen at home, and it really made it for me. Even down to the cast wearing plastic wigs to resemble the hair.
It was ok that the script deviated from what we have seen in the film, as it was done to make it fit the time allowed and make it work in such a simple setting.
The professional dancers were absolutely amazing. So fit, and dancing around in these cumbersome costumes in some cases, and making the whole story so believable with such a simple set. I was amazed with the Barbie/Ken scene, as I know from watching the TV show where celebrities learn to do Ice dancing, that one of the hardest things to do is to dance with props, and they were using a chair, canes, hats, and it all went without a hitch. The only mistake I saw, was Woody fell over on one occasion, and that in a live show is pretty amazing to me.
I found the show as a whole definitely worth going to see, and I will definitely look at taking my sons to the Disney on Ice tour next year. For me, it is helping to start the magic of Christmas a little early in our house, and will be something we talk about for a long time to come.
Summary: The best show on Ice I have seen.
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