The timeless charm of Disney’s beloved characters and storylines continue to bring smiles to faces of all ages.
For children, the colour, music, humour and overall spectacle of a Disney production – be it a movie, a cartoon or a live show – is mesmerising. For the more mature audiences, Disney characters can evoke long-forgotten but fond childhood memories. That is certainly the case for Disney On Ice ambassador Shelley Craft who started her television career on Saturday Disney and is best known for her presenting roles on Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show and The Block.
“Cartoons bring back memories – you can almost transport yourself back in time to your living room,” she tells Weekender.
“I remember I had a mustard yellow, vinyl ottoman and I’d sit right in the front of the television. I can almost picture the pyjamas I was wearing and the smell of freshly-made toast. Memories are incredible and it only takes the smallest trigger to take you back.
“I also remember going to see Fantasia at the El Dorado Theatre in Indooroopilly near Brisbane. My sister and I had a box of Jaffas and Maltesers and we rolled them down the aisle.”
This year’s Disney On Ice production celebrates 100 years of magical Disney moments. Fourteen of the best will be showcased at Newcastle Entertainment Centre in July, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Aladdin and Frozen.
Mickey Mouse will lead a who’s who of characters including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and an ensemble of Disney princesses.
“I know every one of these stories. I have such fond memories from my own childhood, as well as my time working on Saturday Disney. Now a mum of two young girls who love these stories and characters, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Disney On Ice for a second year – and so is my family,” Craft says, laughing.
“Disney On Ice has become a tradition for us. Each year we create new memories, which I value dearly. Everything is so throwaway these days, and kids get so much stuff, that all you have are your memories.”
Last year Disney On Ice surveyed Australian families about their childhood memories. More than 8000 participated and revealed their most treasured childhood memory was a “specific family activity” (55 per cent), followed by a “specific holiday overseas with the family” (14 per cent), a “specific family celebration” (12 per cent), a “major life event” (6 per cent) and “receiving a specific toy/game” (5 per cent).
Disney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic is at Newcastle Entertainment Centre from July 13 to 15. Tickets are on sale now at the venue or through Ticketek. Audiences are encouraged to arrive at the show on time to help Zootopia’s Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde investigate an off-ice caper to ensure Disney On Ice starts without a hitch.