national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, July 16, 2017


(A scene from “Aladdin”)

A delightful show, filled with all the magic, high-energy action, colour and razzmatazz one would expect from the world of Disney at its best. (Review by Keith Millar)

The spectacular ice-capade Disney On Ice has huge entertainment value. The breathtaking parade of favourite Disney characters, both old and new, had the kids in the audience, and their parents for that matter, gasping with pleasure and wonderment.

It also has huge production value with everything from sound and lighting to the superb costumes, choreography and the ingenious sets and props being of world-class quality.

The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice is in South Africa for the sixth time, but this is the first time it has visited Durban where all 11 performances at the ICC Arena were completely sold out.

It is a delightful show, filled with all the magic, high-energy action, colour and razzmatazz one would expect from the world of Disney at its best.

It does not skimp on artistic value either, with the cast of international figure-skaters whizzing around the ice, displaying all the jumps, lifts, spins and twizzles expected at the highest levels of this sport. It is a fantastic and breath-taking display.

The story has Mickey and Minnie Mouse along with Donald Duck and Goofy going on a treasure hunt to try and find the greatest treasure in the world. My five-year-old co-reviewer, Landon, commented that Goofy was silly because he kept falling down.

I found it a bit difficult to follow the pre-recorded dialogue of these characters as the sound was very loud and boomy, and their thick American ascents didn’t help, either.

Their journey leads them via scenes from classic Disney moves - complete with the wonderful array of hit songs, iconic characters and memorable action.

Their first visit is to the domain of The Lion King, in my opinion one of the best sequences. All the beloved characters are there including Simba, Mufasa, Rafiki, Timon and Pumba. The final scene which sees the entire cast flying about the ice dressed in the most imaginative animal costumes was stunning. My co-reviewer commented that Simba is cool, but Scar is the baddest baddie of all.

The journey then goes back in time to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, then on to visit Aladdin. The co-reviewer was no too happy about the rather large and ugly blue Genie. The Aladdin sequence included a marvellous life size elephant.

Also visited were scenes from Under the Sea, Rapunzel, Toy Story (I thought this sequence was a bit short), Finding Dory (spectacular fish costumes), and finally Frozen.

There was also a parade of all the Disney Princesses over the years dancing with their Princes. This was truly a down memory lane moment.

The Frozen sequence was the longest and most extravagant. It had pyrotechnic effects, an extended snow storm, ingenious props for the village scenes and a huge drape which floated down from the roof and magically folded away again. This was truly magic.

What is more, this sequence help Mickey and company to find the greatest treasure in the world, which was – LOVE!

This production is a technical marvel. Everything from the 950 square metres of ice to the huge back-drop which transforms to anything from castle to an underwater world, to the props such as a 4,5-metre-high pride rock for The Lion King to the wonderful lighting effects was gobsmacking and brilliant.

But it is possibly the costumes which are the star of the show. There are over 300 hundred of them which include 200,000 hand placed Swarovski crystals. They are ingeniously made and exquisitely beautiful.

The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice is world-class family entertainment. With all the performances being sold out, Durban audiences have made it plain that they will support productions of this quality.  Let’s hope we get more in the future.

Last word to the five-year-old co-reviewer. “I loved that. We must come back tomorrow!” – Keith Millar