Leave it to Disney to create an evening of entertainment that not only includes snippets of scenes from 18 of the company’s animated classics, but also features nods to some favorite moments at its theme parks. All of this is presented on the ice at the TD Garden through Sunday with a cast of nearly 50 talented skaters who impress with flips, spins, and jumps.
The key to a successful ice show is the pace, and director Cory Obst keeps the proceedings moving swiftly from one story to the next. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy serve once again as the evening’s emcees, but before you know it, Aladdin and his monkey, Abu, have conjured up that frisky genie. In the course of a flashy solo, one genie multiplies to 20, all of whom move through precision routines.
Before there’s a chance to get bored, the action moves into “Finding Nemo,” including the scene in which the fish are threatened by sharks (impressive skating in those clever costumes), “Beauty and the Beast,” and then into a series of pairs skating, featuring six of the Disney princesses and their princes. Watching those 12 skaters spin and lift their partners in unison is one of the highlights of the evening.
Choreographer Sarah Kawahara strikes just the right balance of graceful solo routines for the Blue Fairy from “Pinocchio” and “Mulan,” as well as clever group work for Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie from “Toy Story,” but the real showstopper is the Act I finale that features “It’s a Small World,” with 30 skaters working together and then in combinations that highlight dance traditions from around the world. Scott Lane’s costumes are glamorous and glittery, and the “Small World” scene morphs beautifully into a tribute to Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade.
Act II opens with Mickey leading a band of 20 musician/skaters who invite the audience to stand and sing “The Mickey Mouse Club Song” but then shifts into a series of scenes from “Pinocchio,” including an appearance by Monstro the Whale that’s worth the price of admission.
After the “Pinocchio” scenes, we are treated to another extended series of snippets from a movie, this time from “Mulan.” Here, Kawahara shows her skill with some extraordinary fight choreography.
“Mulan” is followed by Edna Mode from “The Incredibles” describing her designs for the superheros’ costumes. As she describes them, each member of the family has a chance to show off their power, with all four of these skaters offering some impressive technique that fit each character perfectly. My 10-year-old companion found this section the most fun to watch.
The show culminates with a few scenes from “The Lion King” with the “Circle of Life” bringing all the performers back on the ice for a final bow. For the finale, the company sings “Zippity Do Da,” encouraging the audience to join in, and, in classic Disney fashion, is punctuated by fireworks.
As always, Disney on Ice is polished and professional and designed so that no matter where you sit, you and your favorite Disney fan (ages 2-12 will enjoy it the most) will walk out singing.Terry Byrne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.