Disney on Ice, Ogie Oglethorpe and Me

by Steve, November 17th, 2006

meSo yesterday I’m going for a cuppa joe with my cubie neighbor, and he mentions that he and the clan went to Disney on Ice the night before. I called the wife, and before I knew it we had tickets for last night’s show (half price thanks to the Entertainment book). The kids, they loved it. Well, “love” may not be the correct word. They were a bit overwhelmed, I think. Little guy, who was dumbfounded throughout the show, finally broke his silence on the way home. “I will always remember this day,” he said.

The show, Disneyland Adventure Featuring the Incredibles, was (predictably) long on tech and short on literary value. The whole “On Ice” genre is a little weird to me to begin with. There’s always this sense of forcing together elements that really don’t belong together. At a basic level, there’s some really good skating, but the kids don’t care about that. Nobody cheered for the double and triple jumps these guys and gals were landing in costume in the midst of props and lights and smoke. Then there’s the awkward attempt at retelling part of the movie. The outline of the script could be done in 25 words or less. Most dialog serves only to setup the next action sequence. There is no irony, no appeal to grown-up humor, and no subtlety whatsoever. Just a ton of flash and sizzle. But that’s all I expected, really, having once before experienced Toy Story 2 On Ice.

Anyway, here’s a late Thursday Thirteen, which I will call Thirteen Things About Disney on Ice:

1. Disney on Ice is produced under license by Feld Entertainment.

2. Feld Entertainment got their start in the circus, as owners of Ringling Bros.

3. In 1979, Feld bought the Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice.

4. In 1981, Feld produced the first Disney on Ice show, and has held the exclusive license for Disney on Ice shows ever since.

5. Feld Entertainment employs 450 professional skaters in 8 shows touring continuously world-wide.

6. Who are these skaters? Good question… In the early days, they employed well-known Olympic skaters, but today you won’t find the names of the skaters anywhere. Not on programs and not on Web sites. I did find this one interview with a member of the chorus ensemble of Toy Story 2 On Ice. She’s been doing the same show for four years. Sheesh. What a grind that must be.

Ogie Oglethorpe7. After all these years, and with all that crazy, overwhelming tech (lights! sound! pyrotechnics!), it still comes down to the pinwheel. In this show, it was performed by “robot copy” Syndrome’s army. During this, I leaned over to Wacky Mommy and whispered “Oglethorpe fucked her, you know.” She said “Huh?” “It’s true,” I said, “I heard it from a couple of guys. Ogilthorpe fucked the last girl on the pinwheel of the lce Stravaganza. That’s her, right there.” Then I yelled towards the ice, “Get yer butt in gear, for the love of Mike!” (I recorded the whole thing on my cell phone! No, seriously, if you don’t get the Slap Shot reference, you probably think I’m a real a-hole.)

8. If you want to skate with the anonymous hordes of Disney on Ice performers, you need to be 17 and have a high school diploma.

9. If you can’t skate, Feld may have an opportunity for you in Animal Care. You don’t need a diploma for this one. One area of responsibility is “manure pickup”.

10. If animal poop is a turn off, you may prefer the Circus Nursery Attendant position. One of the duties of this job is “Directs children in resting and toileting.” But you get to run away with the circus.

11. Disney on Ice has been performed in 45 countries on six continents.

12. Feld Entertainment is the single largest employer of figure skaters in the world.

13. “Well after that, we don’t have to go to Disneyland,” said Wacky Mommy on the train ride home. “Yes we do!” cried little miss missy. Damn it! Stupid sexy advertising!