Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Wonder (touring) – theatre review

Disney on Ice is always wonderful family entertainment, but 100 Years of Wonder is the best yet. What a fabulous, engaging show it is – so warm, friendly and inviting. There were seven in my party on opening night, with the youngest being four. The look on her face throughout said it all. She was like the cat that got the cream. She was totally besotted. Truth be told, so was I.

The premise is that Tinker Bell has disappeared, after Captain Hook tried to capture her magic. The other Disney characters must follow the clues on his treasure map to try to find her. That, of course, is the perfect excuse to introduce many of our favourites in a series of colourful routines, accompanied by ear pleasing, hit music.

First up is Belle (played by Leo Leillig) and Beauty and the Beast. I feel compelled to wax lyrically about the skating prowess throughout this act and all the others on the 85-minute program (plus interval). Simply amazing. Far from just moving effortlessly around the large ice rink, some of the stunt skating routines must be seen to be believed. I swear, there is more than a little dose of magic in this show. It all but looked like I was watching the Gold Medal round of the Winter Olympics. Turns, jumps, somersaults, high-rise action – you name it, it was there.

Who doesn’t love Woody (Matthew Young) and the characters from Toy Story, including the soldiers who are on the march? No less than four musical numbers accompany Moana (Sarah Dalton) and her boat, before Coco takes centre stage. We’ve certainly made headway in tracking down Tinker Bell when the second act starts, but it still takes a lamp rub to bring out Aladdin (Will Ott). Prince Eric (Matthew Young) literally sweeps Ariel (Rachael Dobson) off her feet in the set involving The Little Mermaid. That also includes one of my favourite pieces of music, Under the Sea. Before the reappearance of Tinker Bell and the finale, there’s a luscious tribute to Elsa (Marina Folam), Anna (Kirstie Nelson) and Kristoff (Ryan Santee) from Frozen. The showstopper is Let it Go.

Part of the beauty of the experience is the audience involvement, with littlies frequently interacting with the characters. The production values on Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Wonder are sensational. Everything is so poised, polished and positive. The costumes are gorgeous – vibrant and massively appealing – and help transport us back to the stories we have seen on the big or small screen and read in books. They are accompanied by mood-setting projections. I am fortunate to see many great shows. This is one I would see again in a heartbeat.

It is playing at Rod Laver Arena until 2nd July, before heading to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre from 6th to 9th July. Then it is off to Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney from 12th to 16th July and finally Newcastle Entertainment Centre from 20th to 23rd July. For tickets to Disney on Ice 100 Years of Wonder, go to https://www.disneyonice.com/en-au/tickets

Alex First