A flamboyant opening number creates high expectations for “Let’s Celebrate!,” another installment of Disney on Ice making a stop at the TD Garden during February school vacation week. This version of the skating show wows the crowd with the number of its skilled performers more than a coherent theme or eye-popping costumes.
Lumiere, from “Beauty and the Beast,” is the first to appear, inviting everyone to “Be Our Guest,” while a parade of no less than 22 Disney characters appears on stage heading right into an impressive kick line. Mickey, Minnie, and their pals Donald, Daisy, and Goofy arrive to let us know they are looking for a party.
Pinocchio claims it’s his birthday, but when the truth comes out, the celebration moves to “Alice in Wonderland” where the Mad Hatter leads us in “A Very Merry Unbirthday.” The party gets a little wild, and when Mickey stays behind to clean up the mess, he steps right into “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and finds himself trying to manage a host of skating brooms.
Once they’re under control, Minnie arrives to tell him one of her favorite celebrations is Halloween, and we head directly into “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” where Jack Skellington leads a ghoulish party whose guests include famous Disney villains including Cruella De Vil, Captain Hook, Jafar, Maleficent, and the witch from Snow White. When Mickey lands in the midst of the spooky scene, he’s overwhelmed by all the bad guys, but the resourceful Minnie arrives just in time to save the day.
The celebration theme takes a left turn here as the heroic Minnie meets Cinderella’s fairy godmother and inexplicably asks her how she’ll know her prince (duh, it’s Mickey, the mouse you came in with). With a wave of her wand, the fairygodmother invites no less than seven Disney princesses, including Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, Mulan, and Tiana, to explain how this prince thing works. The result is some impressive pairs skating, including some jaw-dropping lifts, even if the message is questionable and the theme-song mixes oddly dated.
In Act 2, the celebration theme strains its bounds as Mickey uses a silly computer tool to transport them to different parts of the world to sample celebrations — or is it to relax on vacation? We visit Hawaii (“Lilo and Stitch”) for a “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” that includes surfing across the ice; stop by a Brazilian carnival; visit Japan, where Minnie participates in a fan dance; swing over to China, where a dragon dance brings us Mulan and her prince; then land in New Orleans to see Tiana and her prince.
Just when you’re feeling a little jet-lagged, Minnie mentions her favorite holiday, Christmas, and a crass, commercial atmosphere takes hold. After all, what says Christmas better than toys? The toys from “Toy Story” arrive in all their glory, and even the minor toys, like Hamm (the piggy bank), Rex the dinosaur, and the tiny Troll are eye-catching. For the big finale, no less than 36 skaters are spinning and leaping around on the ice, while Mickey, Minnie, and pals prance around them.
Despite the level of talent among the skaters, “Let’s Celebrate!” feels like a mishmash of recycled scenes cobbled together with no thought for how they might fit into the theme or what message it’s sending to the young audiences.Terry Byrne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: Because of a reporting error, an earlier version had the incorrect date for the show. It is Feb. 23.