Review: Disney on Ice ‘Memories’ has amazing ice-skating, eye-popping visuals
As if ice skaters dressed as Disney characters doing Salchow jumps and spins isn’t enough, Disney On Ice has piled on the spectacle for some eye-popping visuals in “Disney on Ice presents Celebrate Memories,” through Feb. 2, PPL Center, Allentown.
Skaters not only glide on the ice but they fly in the air. And not only does snow fall on the ice, but for one act, a section of the ice explodes in flames. Sparks fly, elaborate seaweed decorations fall from the ceiling and an outrigger “sails” across the ice.
It all comes together for an entertaining show that will hold the attention of young and old.
Two emcees, the perky Katelyn and energetic Benji, interact with the audience and on-ice characters to tie the show together. The theme is memories and the nominal story has Mickey Mouse trying to come up with his favorite memory.
The four main characters, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck, come out between acts to set up the acts. One of the best acts involved Mickey, recreating his iconic “A Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequence from the 1940 Disney classic animated feature film, “Fantasia,” complete with 16 skaters dressed as brooms in precision routines.
The show starts with “Woody’s Roundup,” in which children in the audience were encouraged to dance along with Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, Rex the Dinosaur, Hamm the Piggy Bank and a Green Plastic Soldier from the animated feature film, “Toy Story.”
Another Disney hit animation feature, “Finding Dory,” is recreated on the ice with ocean waves cleverly represented by skaters holding flowing silks. Seaweed strands drop from the ceiling and the ice is filled with a colorful assortment of skating fish, including Dory, Nemo and his father Marlin.
No Disney show would be complete without princesses and the first act ends with a series of performances highlighting eight different princesses.
The act gives several of the skaters the chance to display their technical ability with plenty of spins and jumps, as well as some nice pair-skating.
Ariel from the popular animated feature, “A Little Mermaid,” isthe first skater to go aerial, flying high above the ice on an aerial rope.
Rapunzel also performs impressive moves, along with Flynn Ryder, on aerial silks.
Mulan and Li Shang skates a lovely pairs number accented by a Chinese dragon that snakes around them as they glide over the ice.
Also impressive were Jasmine and Aladdin, who do thrilling lifts and pairs spins.
The second act mainly consists of abridged reenactments on ice of the stories from the animated feature films “Frozen” and “Moana.”
“Do You Want To Build a Snowman” offers a young Anna and older Anna opportunities for evocative solo numbers, with a humorous appearance by Olaf.
In “Love is an Open Door,” Anna and Hans do a pair skate highlighted by a dramatic death spiral spin.
Elsa’s “Let it Go” is punctuated with an LED lit cloak, snowflakes lit across the ice and a hydraulic snow castle. The segment ends with some nice side-by-side skating by Elsa and Anna.
For the animated feature film, “Moana,” the title character took to the ice backed by grass-skirted villagers, giving her the chance for some jumps and camel spins for “How Far I’ll Go.”
Maui and the gliding outrigger take the ice for a playful “You’re Welcome.” The segment comes to a dramatic conclusion as Moana braves the flaming ice to confront Te Ka and return the heart that Maui stole to Te Fiti.
All the skaters, including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald, return to the ice for the big finale.
“Disney on Ice presents Celebrate Memories,” 7 p.m. Jan. 31; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Feb. 1, and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Feb. 2, PPL Center, Allentown. Tickets PPL Center Box Office, 701 Hamilton St., Allentown; PPLCenter.com; 610-347-TIXX; 484-273-4490