With The Walt Disney Company consisting of so many various subsidiaries, it’s virtually impossible to attempt to cover every aspect of The Mouse House here at The Mickey Mindset. One of these great sections of the Disney company that often gets overlooked and sadly forgotten are the delightful Disney On Ice traveling shows. Since 1981 ,the traveling Disney On Ice has been a proud staple of the Disney family, entertaining young Disney fans around the world. Operated by Feld Entertainment under a license agreement with The Walt Disney Company, these shows feature skating performances from the Disney characters derived from Disney films. While Disney On Ice is often overshadowed by the rest of the company, there’s certainly a lot of phenomenal work worth shining the spotlight upon.
With new shows being launched almost every year, what’s the most impressive thing about these shows is that after forty years, Feld continues to find imaginative ways to expand their shows and be creative while working with their low budgets. Disney On Ice never uses outlandish or impressive sets, likely due to Feld’s small budgets and the cost of the Disney license alone, but yet that doesn’t stop them from blending creativity to find how they can push the boundaries of what their shows can offer their audience.
This past weekend, I got a chance to view the brand new Disney On Ice addition, called Follow Your Heart, which debuted in 2016 to include new Disney films such as Finding Dory. While the show is primarily targeted at young fans, I found myself constantly being impressed by the extent that Disney and Feld went to push the boundaries of their previous works. Working within their small budget and confined performance space, the show uses its resources to pull out the best performance it can with some truly spectacular performances and costumes.
Follow Your Dream is one of the series most jam-packed shows, with characters from movies such as Inside Out, Finding Dory, Toy Story, Fantasia, and Frozen just to name a few. Like all Disney On Ice shows the story is rather weak or often almost non-existent, but of course, nobody is truly there for the story, instead audiences will be treated to some great performance starring their favorite Disney characters, and this show delivers some fantastic moments to delight most young fans. The first half of the series is helmed by the crew of Inside Out, who introduce the rest of the Disney characters through memories in Riley’s head. The first half consists of characters from Tangled, Aladdin, Mulan, and The Princes and the Frog. The second half of the show is dedicated to retellings of Finding Dory, a brief Toy Story musical number, and of course, the near-entirety of Frozen before all of the show’s characters come together for a finale. The inclusion of some of these characters worked flawlessly, such as the Inside Out characters and their bridge to other Disney properties, while the Finding Dory one failed to translate to an ice performance and fell rather flat. Naturally, there’s a mandatory Frozen inclusion which unnecessarily skims through the entire movie, but if the hundreds of delighted kids in the audience were any indication, the segment was a hit. Not everything about the show works or is perfect, but in the end, it offers up a great entertaining family-friendly offering that only Disney can truly provide.
While boasting some impressive performances by pushing the limits of their confinement, the show includes some great costumes, impressive acrobats and characters, and a few great surprises scattered throughout. The entirety of Disney On Ice never necessarily served to impress, but it manages to get the job done while adding a delightful offering for any young Disney fan. Follow Your Heart is another great example of the quality entertainment that Feld Entertainment continues to provide and their continuing dedication to the ambition and creativity of Disney On Ice, and that even after thirty years, this show can still find new ways to entertain a whole new generation. Whether you’re going for the nostalgia or looking to share that experience with children of your own, Follow Your Heart shows that all these years later that Disney On Ice is still a cherished piece of Disney magic.
Disney On Ice is regularly on tour with new shows appearing locally according to your region. Check the Disney On Ice website for details about which shows will be appearing in your neighborhood.