REVIEW: "It was all started by a mouse..." - Here's what we thought of the opening night of Disney on Ice 2019 at Sheffield's FlyDSA Arena
A sea of Cinderellas, Jasmines and Elsas make up the crowd at Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena tonight.
Mini Woodys sit alongside mini Buzz Lightyears, and tiny Mulans hold their flashing colourful LED swords aloft.
It can only mean one thing; the magic of Disney on Ice has returned to the region.
For our family, Disney on Ice has become a much-loved Christmas tradition, signalling the start of the big festive countdown.
“It was all started by a mouse,” said Walt Disney himself.
That’s the simple message behind this year’s Disney on Ice Arena show, as the company celebrates 100 years of Disney Magic. And clearly it’s made its impact; I’ve never seen so many adults in one place wearing flashing Mickey Mouse ears - and grins as big as the children’s.
As the lights go down at Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena, there is a cheer of voices – young and old.
My five-year-old squeals with sheer delight as Mickey and Minnie enter the rink, waving at the crowd. Thousands of tiny hands wave back, each convinced theirs is the wave that will be seen by the world-famous pair.
The evening of music and storytelling opens with the tale of Pinocchio, followed by a visit with the fantastically forgetful Dory, and an exciting trip to France where the gripping tale of Beauty and the Beast unfolds with plenty of lights and effects. When the Beast transforms into the handsome prince, I feel my heart swell like a seven-year-old – and that’s the true magic of Disney; it makes us all children again, allowing us to sit side-by-side with our kids and feel like peers.
A highlight of the first act sees a wave of Disney princesses – oh yes, and their beaus – enter the rink in a fantastic piece of feel-good choreography.
But Elsa and Ann a steal the show’s first half with a re-telling of the now legendary first film (just in time for the release of the second, very clever Disney...) with everyone’s favourite characters, from Olaf to Kristoff, putting in an appearance. My favourite moment is when Elsa transforms into the ice queen for the first time. As Elsa belts out Let It Go, thousands of little voices – with equal sass – sing-out around the arena to deliver every line along with her. Pure Disney magic.
A trip to Andy’s room is clearly another fan favourite of the night, as is an appearance by one of Disney’s new kids on the block – Forky.
The choreography of the Mulan storyline is beautiful, and a trip to Africa with Timon and Pumbaa sees us all get front row seats to Simba and Nala’s beautiful love story.
The show culminates in a fantastic finale that sees everyone from Aladdin’s Genie to the nimble Nemo take to the ice for a glorious last number.
Disney, you never disappoint.