Any number of tiny girls make the most of the tiaras and shimmer-trim ball gowns in their dressing-up boxes when the Disney on Ice bandwagon skates into town.
This fairy-dusted paean to eight of Disney’s best-loved female leads has a ‘make a wish’ theme. The fact that the wish-fulfilment of all eight is contingent on a dashing man’s assistance is where the heroes come in, of course.
While wistful songs and triumphant duets boom through the arena, the ice dancers, gorgeously tricked out to represent fairytale land’s most venerable couples, glide and twizzle. Each excerpt from the films (Snow White, Cinderella, Aladdin among them) is a perfect little taster of female longing, high drama and waltzing romance. A fast-moving Tinker Bell and a more ponderous Mickey and Minnie Mouse provide the links between the sets, introducing each as the towering backdrop segues from fantasy palace, to undersea cavern/rocky shore before becoming palatial again.
Lighting designer Peter Morse employs a massed rank of travelling spots and laser effects to splatter the ice and audience with rainbows and excitement. Along with fabulous pyrotechnics, including a giant high-vis dragon that breathes a ring of real fire on to the ice during a thrilling Sleeping Beauty sequence, there’s a virtuoso display of skating and tumbling in the Little Mermaid shipwreck scene - the child-transfixing qualities of the show do not disappoint.
So when your tired little princess wishes for a £15 flashy light magic wand from the ubiquitous merchandising, remind her that you can never reproduce this kind of magic at home.