The Disney on Ice production of “Dare to Dream” is supposed to attract children, but don’t be ashamed of acknowledging the appeal. The athletic stunts wow the audience, both young and legal-age. The classic recognizable personalities made an appearance, but the bulk of the show were the newer, but still famous characters of recent Disney movies. The shorter-story format works well as a walk down memory lane and to serve short attention spans. It seems ridiculous, but there is no shame in wanting to experience Disney on Ice “Dare to Dream,” as long as you can tolerate small children.
Three popular Disney movies, Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and Tangled, are compressed into the hour-and-a-half show. Being the SparkNotes versions, they are highly summarized, but as it turns out, the dramatic compression work well and focuses on the spectacle the ice skating format offers. The skaters perform to the original audio from the movies as if they were on stage. They theatrically mouth the words to dialogue and music. The plots are neatly snipped, but each story keeps the famous songs that everyone knows.
While the show tells a story, there are musical and acrobatic interludes like the songs in the musicals from which they originate; they are breaks form the story to provide laughs and gasps. They are a spectacular combination of frozen slithering and aerial acrobatics. The ice skating was surprisingly first-rate with exciting twists and turns and plenty of exhilarating jumps. While the characters were still in the story, the show uses the wow-factor of the ice skating to express fantastic events in the story, like fairy godmothers and flying. The skates actually leave the ice and fly around the arena, all without harnesses. They wrap them selves in sheets (Rapunzel’s hair) and maneuver in the air.
The length of each story is just long enough to get into some detail and allow the audience to get involved with the story, but they are all still short enough to not feel dragged out. All the highlights are easily covered, which is probably why the show is so engrossing. They short stories are all the fun without any of the investment, which works because the audience should already be familiar with the character and the storyline.
“Dare to Dream” is a succinct summary of some recent and classic Disney movies. The ice skating keeps the audience members of all ages in a state of wonder Disney is wont to perpetuate. The shorter stories are great reminders of the stories them selves and include some forgotten details to keep the experience fresh. The show is familiar, yet different. The show is surprisingly engaging and entertaining, especially for those who indulge their inner princess.