Disney. Childhood memories. Nostalgia. An essential part of our upbringings. So we’re once again very excited to tell you that Disney On Ice will be coming to the Dubai World Trade Centre from June 10-13, with all of our old favourite Disney characters coming back and some new ones as well as the theme shifts to princesses and princes. This is the third version of the Disney on Ice spectacular, with previous productions being “Rockin Ever After” and “100 Years of Magic”. This year promises to be bigger, bolder and better. So let’s hope that there is a fairy-tale ending to the show.
Perhaps apt that the ice performance now has a whole new story to tell with the emergence of characters from Frozen, such as Anne, Elsa and the snowman Olaf, this show has Disney characters, old and new, ready to capture the imagination. With two acts and many scenes, the stories are told through the characters skating and doing acrobatics on the ice. To tell you the whole plot will spoil it, so you’ll have to go and watch it. The best bit, though, is that although there is a princesses and princes theme, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy will also be there. Here’s a bit about the characters we will see.
Orphaned, street-smart and suffering a tale of woe, Aladdin went from being the petty thief (only to survive) to the man who got the girl of his dreams. Going on adventures with Jasmine, a very special carpet and a genie, they discover “A Whole New World”. His cheeky-chappie monkey Abu is also a cool character.
Born into wealth as the sultan’s daughter, Jasmine finds herself falling in love with Aladdin, with the low-born orphan saving her at every turn. The lady of Agrabah longs for a life outside of the palace and a little more adventure, but has the problem that she is supposed to get married for wealth and politics rather than love. She’s a caring and compassionate princess.
Aladdin and Jasmine can both be seen in act one, scene one.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
So who really is the fairest of them all? Snow White, of course. Ably abetted by her dwarves, naïve Snow White is a symbol of innocence, cocooned in the belief that everyone is wonderful and the world is a perfect place. In steps her nasty stepmother, The Evil Queen, who is desperate to be the fairest in the land. The dreamer and romantic is also a top cook and of course pals with all the dwarves.
Feeling bashful, grumpy, dopey, sneezy, sleepy or happy – or just one of those? Then you follow the traits of the dwarfs. And let us not forget Doc, the dwarf in charge of all the others to make sure their endearing inadequacies do not mean that everything is a catastrophe. When Snow White is cast away, she finds refuge with them as long as she cooks and cleans and does all the domestic chores to help them out. ‘‘Hi ho, Hi ho, it’s off to work we go…’’
Snow White and all of the seven dwarves can be found in act one, scene two.
Beauty and the Beast
Who would fall in love with such a beast? The wonderful Belle, of course. The daughter of an inventor, she is studious and highly intelligent, meaning that she is both open-minded and it is all about a person’s heart that is important for her, not superficial looks. And so she saw beauty in the beast, and in doing so restored love and laughter to the castle, and became a beautiful princess.
Belle will be in act one, scene three of Disney on Ice.
She really needs a hair cut, but then those beautiful blonde locks do come in handy sometimes. Loosely taken from a Brothers Grimm fairy-tale, Rapunzel hasn’t had it great in life. Locked away in a tower all of her life by the treacherous, villainous Mother Gothel, the poor maiden carries her hair along with her and spends her time doing stereotypically ladylike things, such as knitting, cooking and reading. Eventually, she is rescued by the dashing but rather flawed Flynn Rider.
Eugene Fitzherbert, more commonly known as Flynn Rider, is a very good looking chap and also a thief. Not only did he steal Rapunzel’s heart, he’s also happy to take objects from others, with great skill and audacity. He appears brash and arrogant, and more interested in getting his tiara back from Rapunzel. As with most men, a good woman sorts him out, and as he begins to fall in love with her he becomes more trustworthy and shows signs of chivalry. Willing to die for Rapunzel, he is a character reformed, but still keeping his cocky charm. He turns into a true prince
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider will be in act one, scene four.
The Little Mermaid
Under the sea, Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian, to give him his proper name, is a red crab (NOT A LOBSTER), that you can’t forget. Mates with Ariel, the Jamaican Rastafarian is charged by King Triton to follow her and keep her out of trouble. Seeing her save human Eric from drowning, he is horrified as you are not supposed to interact with humans. Having to battle sea witch Ursula, Sebastian and Ariel become the closest of acquaintances as they ultimately strive to get her Prince Eric.
Quite the little mermaid, Ariel is a mermaid with a heart. Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s character, she is a beautiful princess with ginger hair. Forgetting to go to her father’s (King Triton’s) concert, her forgetful nature is evident and so she does need looking after. Falling in love with Prince Eric, the dashing man she saves, comes at a price. Selling her voice to the sea witch so she can acquire legs to go on land proves problematic as he cannot communicate with her. However, love knows no obstacles, and true love prevails.
Tall, brown locks and exceptionally handsome, not only is he royal but he’s also a very accomplished mariner and helmsman. So in many ways he’s a bit of a catch. Looking for his ideal bride, Prince Eric is not having much luck, until an accident on the boat renders him unconscious and he is saved by Ariel. Meeting her again, Eric does not think she is the same person as she no longer speaks, but after a while, and thanks to the efforts of Sebastian, they finally get together, despite the schemes of Ursula.
With her schemes and lavender skin and white hair, she is a villain not to be messed with. She is a caecilian, a half-human half-octopus. She has a genuine care for her henchmen, Flotsam and Jetsam the eel minions, and is mortified when they die. She convinces Ariel that men don’t like women to talk on land, meaning she had to give her voice up as part of a deal. Her magical powers are used for ill, and her contracts which she insists are signed mean very little to her as she is happy to break them.
The characters will be in act one, scenes five to eight.
The Princess and the Frog
With a dream to own her own restaurant, Tiana isn’t really your typical princess. Living in the French corner of New Orleans, she is a waitress and a grafter, and obviously not born a princess. Being outbid on her restaurant, Tiana makes a wish to the stars, then meets a talking frog, who it turns out is Prince Naveen, turned into an amphibian by a witch doctor. With Tiana wearing a princess’s dress, he mistakes her for one and when she kisses him to break the spell all it does is turn her into a frog as well. They end up falling in love as frogs and eventually return to their human form and marry and, of course, they get a restaurant.
He was a bit of an arrogant swine, as well as a smooth talker. He spent his whole life being waited on, and had a polar opposite life to Tiana. His family got so fed up with the fact he was so lazy that they cut him off from the inheritance and gave him two choices: get a job, or find a rich wife. Popping to New Orleans with the plan to marry Princess Charlotte, he is taken in by Dr. Facilier, a tall, skinny villain who has aspirations of running the city. After being turned into a frog by Dr. Facilier, only a kiss from a princess will break the curse. As a frog, he learns his lessons and, once back in human form, becomes a better person.
Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen are in act two, scene one.
From the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty (and only recently as the title character in the 2014 film Maleficent), this is a very wicked witch. In fact, she is the ‘mistress of all evil.’ With sharp features, no compassion and a hatred for the three fairies, if something is going wrong in King Stefan’s kingdom, it is a guarantee that Maleficent will be at the root of it. Putting a curse on the king’s new born baby, Aurora, who is, of course, Sleeping Beauty, she curses her to die on her sixteenth birthday, but one of the good fairies manages to remedy it by softening the curse to one of a stupor until she finds love’s true kiss.
And she truly is a sleeping beauty. With beautiful blonde hair, she is the daughter of King Stefan and Queen Leah. Raised by the three fairies Maleficent hates so much (Flora, Fauna and Merryweather), she is respectful, kind and courteous, but also a little apprehensive when she first meets Phillip, until she falls in love with him. Not knowing her royal roots, she finds that she is already betrothed and cannot be married to him. As a twist in the tale, Prince Phillip is indeed the man she is supposed to marry. Maleficent manages to invoke her original curse, with Aurora now in an enchanted sleep, and only Philip’s kiss will awaken her.
A knight in shining armour, Philip is a chivalric hero and the son of King Hubert, with an excellent steed named Samson. He finds Aurora in the forest, they dance with each other and, believing Aurora (alias Briar Rose) to be a peasant girl, King Hubert is initially mortified but ultimately allows Phillip to follow his heart. Maleficant captures him and takes him to The Forbidden Mountain and he gets incarcerated in a dungeon. The fairies come and help him escape and be with his betrothed. And they lived happily ever after.
Maleficent, Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora are in act two, scene two.
Idealistic and lonely, orphaned Anna needs to find someone to love to melt her heart before she dies after Elsa accidentally puts ice in it. That said, Anna remains loyal to her sister and will not speak ill of her. Anna, with no one to speak to, falls in love very quickly with the first man she meets, but it isn’t true love and it is ultimately the love from Elsa that is the true kind, which stops her heart from freezing over. She ends up saving her kingdom from eternal winter, and her family. She is a modern-day princess who is proactive and manages to shift her boredom at not doing anything into action, rather than being the damsel.
Being able to turn things to ice but not being able to control it, Elsa believes the best way to look after her sister is to avoid her entirely. She is the ruler of Arendelle and one day accidentally uses her powers to put the whole kingdom in ice. Because of this, many believe that she is a monster, happily inflicting eternal winter on the world with her power, when in fact she is a misunderstood heroine. Elsa the Snow Queen ultimately forgives herself for hurting Anna, and it’s only her love for her sister that thaws Anna out.
Probably the only snowman who likes the summer, Olaf doesn’t understand that too much exposure to the sun and heat will actually melt him. Sprung from Elsa’s powers, his innocence is a major reason why he is so loveable, born from the love between Elsa and Anna. His love for warm hugs makes him think he likes all things hot. He is of great comfort to Anna, and is the first to understand that it is Elsa’s love of Anna that helps her survive.
Anna, Elsa and Olaf are in act two, from scenes three to scene ten.
Those slippers only fit her! And no matter how much her ugly step sisters try and get into them, they just don’t fit. When her father dies, Cinderella finds that her mother-in-law is in fact a callous tyrant, letting her daughter bully her and make her the scullery maid. But the fairy godmother makes her a dress, glass slippers and a carriage and she goes to the ball hosted by Prince Charming, who falls for her. But she must leave by midnight. Leaving behind one shoe, Prince Charming scours the country, finally finding the foot that it fits.
Our Time Out editor has a striking resemblance to Prince Charming (so he thinks). A lover of ballroom dances, it was fate that he was to find Cinderella. He’s a typical, manly prince – randomly having sword practices, challenging people at things and doing manly activities. He likes the hard-to-get girls, so all the women throwing themselves at him at the ball do not interest him, but Cinderella does.
Cinderella and Prince Charming are in act two, scene 12.
Our old favourites
The little sweetheart makes fleeting appearances in Disney On Ice. She may not be a princess by birth, but we think she is. She doesn’t say much, but her dainty fairy wings and kind heart make her an adored member of the Disney family. Like many of us, when she gets angry her face turns a fiery red. Spreading her fairy dust, Tinker Bell enables others to fly, and she goes off on adventures with Peter Pan. His friendship with Wendy gets Tinker Bell all flustered, but ultimately they all go to Neverland and meet their nemesis, Captain Hook. No Hook at this show, though.
One of our favourite Disney characters, Disney On Ice would not be the same without Goofy. The clumsy, loveable dog is a good mate of Donald Duck and Mickey. He’s bound to be fooling around and falling over and providing great amusement for the kids (young and old) during the transitions between scenes.
Mickey is Disney. The happy-go-lucky mouse was created by Walt Disney himself in 1928 and is the most sensible of his pals Donald and Goofy and is a father-figure for Pluto the dog. His main nemesis is Pete, a brutish cat. Luckily for Mickey, Pete won’t be at Disney On Ice, so he can provide the entertainment during scenes without having to put up with him.
It’s only fair that Mickey has a soulmate, and Minnie is indeed Mickey’s “best girl.” Always with a bow in her hair, the show wouldn’t be the same without her. She basically keeps Mickey out of trouble and is an exceptionally sweet mouse.
Tinker Bell, Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be in numerous transitions throughout the show.
Aladdin’s face was modelled after Tom Cruise
Prince Phillip was named after the Duke of Edinburgh
Lots of dwarf names didn’t make the final cut, including Wheezy, Dumpy, Lazy, Puffy and Burpy
Beauty and the Beast was the first ever animated movie to be nominated for a Best Film Oscar
Princesses and Heroes is on from June 10 to June 13 at Dubai World Trade Centre. Dhs113 - Dhs2000. Show times vary according to date, showings at 10am, 11am, 3pm, 3.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are available at Virgin Megastore stalls and online tickets are available at www.tickets.virginmegastore.me. Follow the event at www.DisneyOnIceMe.com and www.facebook.com/disneyoniceme. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and those under two do not need a ticket, but must sit on their parent’s lap.