For a feast of colour and wholesome entertainment Walt Disney can still satisfy the most critical of palates.
Indeed, the latest offering by Disney on Ice, the Magical Ice Festival, is a veritable smorgasbord of music, fantastic costumes, brilliant lighting and top-notch skating to boot.
The show is hosted by a glitzy Mickey Mouse and old pals Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck, while scenes from films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Tangled are re-created on ice with a voice-over.
Youngsters longing to see the latest Disney it-girls, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa from the hit film Frozen, have a long wait, however, as they don’t appear until the very end of the show.
The appeal of Frozen is apparent even before you enter the arena as rivers of miniature Annas and Elsas, accompanied by the odd Spiderman and their carers, flow into the venue, and then fill it even midweek on a Wednesday night.
Accompanied by two seasoned 10-year-olds and an even more seasoned 74-year-old, I feared the show would tick no-one’s boxes with the strain of negotiating Leeds traffic all in vain.
But it was not to be.
In fact, this show was one of the rare productions that actually managed to tick everyone’s box.
The colour and spectacle of the first set-piece, The Little Mermaid, was a joy to behold with Ariel displaying not only her skating skills but those of an aerial(!) gymnast suspended high above the ice by ropes.
The costumes and special effects were wonderful and the song, Under the Sea, led by lobster Sebastian, got the show off on an up-beat note.
While I may have seen a horsefly I have never seen one skate. And in the scene from Tangled (Rapunzel) I was pleased to see one of my all-time favourite Disney characters the horse Maximus – Flynn Ryder’s trusty steed – make a pantomime-style appearance.
sun-loving snowman Olaf
In Beauty and the Beast familiar characters like Mrs Potts, Cogsworth and Lumière the candlestick all featured alongside the star, with the Beast demonstrating a suitable air of menace.
The big stars of the night were, of course, Anna and Elsa and a ripple of excitement radiated through the audience as supporting reindeer Sven trotted onto the ice, followed by Kristoff and, of course, the sun-loving snowman Olaf.
Skating throughout the show was excellent to my untrained eye but I felt it was surpassed in the scenes from Frozen.
While not actually a fan of the film, I found the combination of Queen Elsa’s costume, the music and skating in the solos, was quite enchanting.
An interval gives children the opportunity to get out of their seats and scamper round the venue but be prepared to pay £8 for a ‘snowcone’ and £10 for a bag of candy floss complete with Olaf hat.
If I had any criticism it would be that Rapunzel’s hair, amazingly, left something to be desired.
The golden tresses featured in the animated film appeared to have been replaced with a wig that looked, quite literally, a bit ropey.
But that was a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent show.
That old Disney magic has lost none of its lustre.
The show runs until Sunday, May 17.