Review: Disney on Ice, SSE Hydro

Four and a half stars

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I've been on the record with this before. Disney does something to you. Or me anyway. Little else underscores the magic of Christmas quite like it.

It does a cracking line in dreams and magic, few iconic brands come near its production values and attention to detail and new classics like the Toy Story trilogy show its ability to reinvent. Hell, all this and I can actually just about put up with Mickey Mouse.

But 'on ice'? Robin Cousins never floated my boat and Torvill and Dean dominated childhood viewing for years.

But an opportunity to check out the new Hydro Arena in Glasgow, and a night out with the two elder of my three, Aoibhy, 8, and four-year-old Calum, well it was worth a bash.

Collectively, we'd no idea what to expect. The emergence of Disney's Holy Trinity of Mickey, Minnie and Donald waving to the crowds didn't bode that well if I'm honest.

But by the time the show really started with a massive set piece with the characters from Cars, well, things changed.

The next 90 minutes saw the audience treated to condensed versions of modern classics The Little Mermaid, Tinkerbell, and of course Toy Story (3 by the way, the best one).

Dexterity on ice on a par with the only 15 minutes of Olympic ice dancing I've ever watched (liar), spellbinding choreography, and a real skill for squeezing the movies into 20 minute, it was shaping up well from the minute Ariel and Sebastian the Jamaican crab were heralded by the army of aqua clad skaters.

As a little sideline I couldn't help but keep my eyes peeled for a slip up or two. It never materialised. I can even forgive the faintly irritating waving to the crowds by Ariel when its followed by a quadruple jump going into a reverse rotational lift.

And 'Under The Sea'... Top tune.

I'll be honest. I know little of Tinkerbell but according to Aoibhy the ice version was a faithful rendition of the movie. And even if Calum could see "the strings", flying fairies across and ice rink is pretty impressive.

But Toy Story was the pinnacle and was rightly given the entire second half, post interval. If you've ever had the faintest admiration for a pantomime horse, consider Slinky Dog. Two skaters either end, with the slinky wire connecting. Same with Bulls Eye, Woody's horse (as if you don't know). And blimey, how did Lotso the bear move across the ice? With a nod to the adults, a good five minutes was given over to Ken and Barbie and that 'clothes scene'.

And by the time it was concluding, I'd actually forgotten how much I disliked the world's most famous mouse.

Kids' verdict? Calum didn't talk. Or want to go the loo. Or want chips. Says it all.

Aoibhy searched for her 'wish', code for what needs improving, but couldn't find one.

I could though. Saturated in merchandise, it could be quite an expensive evening. The kids of the international footballers nearby didn't go wanting. Mine didn't ask. But £15 for your multi-coloured torch thing? No thanks.

All in all, we left enchanted. Disney weaved its magic. As we'd hoped.

Arts and Entertainment

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