I'll admit that I wondered if my girls would still be crazy about Frozen more than six months ago when I plunked down $12 a ticket for my family to see Disney on Ice present the hit movie at PNC Arena. Silly me.
Let's say I'm glad that I was among the thousands who took advantage of that pre-sale code that I shared back in May. Now, tickets can be hard to come by and most aren't close to $12 (though there are still some $15 tickets available for Thursday night's show in the top level).
I'd seen Disney on Ice once about six years ago when my older daughter was three. That show focused primarily on Disney princesses and even included a display of dresses in a room at the PNC Arena. I remember seeing Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel, along with characters from the Lion King and others glide across the ice. The show featured scenes from the individual movies. There were group numbers that included all of them together too.
Disney on Ice presents Frozen is a little different spin on some of the more recent Disney ice shows. While characters like Minnie, Mickey, Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Buzz Lightyear and others come out at the beginning and end of the show, this year's production isn't a montage of various Disney movies. It is exclusively about Frozen.
Indeed, the show, which runs about two hours with an intermission, is sometimes a line-by-line copy of the box office smash starting at the beginning where Anna and Elsa play together in that fateful snowy scene to the storybook ending. Of course, not every single scene is there. The parents are missing, for instance.
But it's generally so faithful to the movie's script that superfans could easily act out the parts along with the skaters and, of course, sing along to all of the songs. And that was happening. Girls, some waving the light wands their parents had purchased for them from vendors in the stands, stood up and sang along to "Let It Go" and others.
Judging from the number of girls in dresses last night, Elsa was the must-see character. And Becky Bereswill skated gracefully across the ice. But Taylor Firth, who played Anna, was among the hardest skaters on the ice last night, making appearances or starring in nearly every scene.
I kept waiting for Firth to fall on the ice with her jerky, wobbly movements. But she was just in character as Anna, who is an awkward, but kindhearted girl. Firth's athleticism and that of the other skaters (hats off to Kristoff and his flips!) were impressive.
It's hard to bring super powers to life, but a clever use of pyrotechnics made Elsa's powers all the more real. And I won't ruin the surprise for those of you who are going, but the snow monster is pretty cool (pun not intended).
My five-year-old was absolutely mesmerized by the show. My nine-year-old, who is heading quickly into those tween years, was entertained and fascinated by the production.
Disney on Ice presents Frozen is at the PNC Arena in Raleigh through Monday. Then it heads to the Crown Complex in Fayetteville from Dec. 17 to Dec. 21. The first act runs about an hour. It's followed by a 15-minute intermission and a second act of about 45 minutes.