PORTLAND – In Disney films, the princesses wow audiences by dancing, leaping, running and sometimes flying on a magic carpet.

Ice skating was added to that mix Thursday, and the princesses didn’t miss a step. And the audience was just as much in awe.

“Disney On Ice Presents Princess Classics” opened a seven-show run Thursday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center before a nearly packed house. The several thousand people in attendance were mostly parents and kids, including more than a few little girls dressed as their favorite princess.

The two-hour-and-10-minute show combined classic Disney films being acted out — with the original dialogue and soundtracks — and an Olympic-style skating exhibition. At one point, no fewer than seven of the famed Disney princesses were on the ice, along with their princes.

For skating fans, there were several interludes where the skating took center stage. During “The Little Mermaid,” for instance, Eric and Ariel did the kinds of jumps, spins and lifts you’d expect to see at a competition. Most of the princes at some point were seen skating with their princesses held overhead.

One of the highlights came during a segment of “Aladdin,” when nearly two dozen skaters in Middle Eastern dress did a Broadway-style kick line, on skates. The sequence featured a massive plush elephant, also on skates. There was a metal frame on wheels to hold the elephant up, but you could clearly see skates sticking out of the elephant’s legs, providing the power.

Families who got seats near the ice were treated to several interactive moments when skaters went right into the crowd. The ugly stepsisters from “Cinderella” were often seen falling off the ice or sulking in the stands.

And when the Grand Duke from “Cinderella” tried to find the maiden whose foot fit the glass slipper, he tried it on several little girls in the audience.

For younger fans, Mickey and Minnie Mouse made a few appearances as well.

The first half of the show featured short segments on several of the classic princess stories, including: “Aladdin,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Mulan,” “Snow White” and “Beauty and the Beast.” After a 15-minute intermission, the second half of the show focused mostly on “Cinderella.”

Some impressive stunts included making Aladdin and Jasmine fly on a magic carpet over the civic center ice, and also allowing the fairy godmother from “Cinderella” to fly as well.

The sets included a neon glowing undersea world for “The Little Mermaid,” several palaces and castles, and the carriage from “Cinderella” decked out with blinking white lights.

The finale was a grand ball in honor of “Cinderella,” with every princess and princess dressed in white formal attire.


Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: [email protected]