Buzz Lightyear, left, and Woody skate in the "Toy Story" section of the program, backed by toy soldiers.

Disney works magic
on Blaisdell Arena

"Disney on Ice" has the spectacular
figures that children adore

By Nancy Arcayna

Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.

The Mouseketeers kicked off the ice spectacular "Disney on Ice" Friday with a medley of songs including "Under the Sea," "Bear Necessities" and "Hi Ho."

A drumming Donald Duck, baton-twirling Minnie and cymbal-playing Goofy were led by bandleader Mickey onto the ice.

Those who frequent Sesame Street Live's annual shows will find higher ticket prices await for the Disney shows, but this translates into more eye candy for the viewer, with extravagant costumes, fireworks, an array of castles and sets, and high-tech effects.

Many in the audience, picking up pricey souvenirs and popcorn ($4 and $6) and shave ice ($10) during intermission seemed resigned to pay the price. The consensus was, "Oh well, it's the closest we'll get to Disneyland."

If you can keep the kids away from the concession stands, the show is worth the cost of admission. One of the most dazzling performances features Simba and Nala of "The Lion King." The team, Natalia Zaitseva and Dimitri Savine, also performed the roles of the Prince and Belle in the "Beauty and the Beast" segment. The Russian pair dazzled the audience with their graceful yet powerful twists and turns.

After their debut, they were joined by other princesses fortunate enough to find their own Prince Charmings. The beautifully dressed princesses included Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Snow White. The pairs cast a spell that would convince anyone there is such a thing as "happily ever after."

With 100 years of history entertaining families, Walt Disney's ice spectacular showed the magic hasn't faded. And there were many classic characters to draw from.

Jiminy Cricket was the host of the proceedings, assisted by Mickey and Minnie, as toy-maker Geppetto's workshop came to life to tell the story of Pinocchio, a carved wooden toy who wanted to become a real boy, but not before Geppetto and Pinocchio are swallowed by Monstro, a 36-foot-long whale, that slithered across the ice.

As impressive as it was, the children seemed more enraptured by a rollicking flea circus, led by P.T. Flea. Rambunctious twin bugs Tic and Tac tumbled over each other again and again in a never-ending somersault.

They were equally enamored when life-size dolls in blue-and-white glittering costumes presented a variety of folk dances in the "It's a Small World" segment. Hawaii was represented with a bit of hula interspersed with Tahitian dancing, with skaters dressed in hula skirts, leis and headdresses.

In an ode to contemporary Disney, a "Toy Story" segment brought on a skate-off between Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, with the mean and green toy army soldiers making an appearance.

Also from the film world, the rowdy Genie from "Aladdin" made a grand entrance. A rub of the magic lamp by Goofy caused the fast-talking granter of wishes to pop out of Donald Duck's ice-smoothing machine. The Genie then proceeded to howl, sing and keep the audience guessing with his antics.

Then, in a backdrop of snow and wind, Mulan took on the Huns. American figure skater Anne Ramos transforms Mulan from a young girl learning to present the perfect tea party into a fearsome warrior, as colorful umbrellas and a giant Chinese dragon add to the Far Eastern ambience.

And those who have been to Disneyland or Disney World will recognize the spectacular finale of an electric light parade on ice, complete with floats and a hot-air balloon. The effect was pure magic.

'Disney on Ice'

Where: Blaisdell Arena

Tickets: $15 to $50

Call: 526-4400 or 593-4439

Show times

Tomorrow: 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: Noon, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10:30 a.m., 2:30 and 6 p.m.

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