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‘Disney on Ice: Frozen’ brings the magic to Seoul: The beloved animated film comes to life with spins, jumps and a skating snowman

Aug 07,2019
[UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENT, YONHAP]
If you enjoyed the 3-D version of the successful Disney animated film “Frozen,” wait until you see “Disney on Ice: Frozen,” which brings Elsa, Anna and Olaf to life and has them spinning and jumping on the ice. What more could a “Frozen” fan want?

“Disney on Ice: Frozen” has arrived at Mokdong Ice Rink in western Seoul for a 12-day run, featuring all the characters from the Academy Award-winning animated film. As the story is being performed on ice, it is impossible to show some of the film’s magical moments like when the estranged queen Elsa builds herself a magnificent ice palace or when Elsa turns her kingdom Arendelle into a frozen land. (Arendelle is already icy cold even before Elsa traps it in an eternal winter at the Mokdong Ice Rink.) But the ice show is filled with so many spectacular moments that none of that matters.

“What makes it so unique and exciting is that ‘Frozen’ and ice make a perfect match,” said Gig Siruno, performance director of “Disney on Ice: Frozen” during the show’s press conference last week. “We are excited to bring these iconic Disney characters to life on the ice along with everyone’s favorite music.”

Although every number isn’t included in the ice show version, all the fan favorites, like “Let It Go,” “For the First Time in Forever” and “Love Is an Open Door,” will be performed.

The story of “Frozen” revolves around a fearless princess named Anna, who sets off on a journey to find her sister Elsa with a rugged ice harvester named Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. On their journey, they meet a naïve snowman named Olaf, who joins them on their adventure to look for Elsa, who ran away from the kingdom of Arendelle after inadvertently turning her kingdom into an ice land. There’s of course a villain in the story, and that’s Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. Anna falls in love with him at first sight, but he has a scheme to take over the kingdom by marrying Anna. Eventually, Elsa realizes that sisterly love is the key to controlling her magic. Elsa eventually ends winter in her kingdom and gives the snowman his own snow flurry to survive in the warmer climate. Prince Hans gets arrested and exiled, and Anna and Kristoff kiss and live happily ever after.

If the story doesn’t sound appealing to you, at least being able to watch the exciting jumps and dance moves inside the cool ice rink is a fun way to beat the summer heat.

The ice show stays very true to the original story, “vividly presenting moments and scenes from the film that audiences love, decorated with sophisticated replica props and costumes and dazzling lighting effects,” says Siruno.

Other jaw-dropping moments that the ice show can present are the amazing athletic skating the cast shows, especially by Vilma Lehtinen playing Elsa and Morgan Bell playing Anna. The two skaters’ jumps and twirls are worth watching, as their colorful dresses beautifully contrast against the glimmering ice.

The two skaters said during the press conference that they wanted to show something extra special for Korean “Frozen” fans and spent some time learning a little bit of Korean to sing some lyrics in Korean for local fans.

“My favorite part of the show is that I can share this wonderful story with audiences every day, especially during ‘Let It Go,’ when all the kids sing along,” said Lehtinen, who is a former competitive ice skater from Finland.

“That certainly does take a lot of detail and time to understand the language,” Siruno said, adding that the ice version of “Frozen” will touch young Korean audiences in a more emotional way.

Most of the shows, however, which will run until Aug. 11, will be in English, while only the 11 a.m. shows will be performed in Korean. The dubbed version will be extra familiar to young children who have watched the animated film in Korean because the same actors and voice actors, including Park Ji-yoon, Park Hye-na, Jang Min-hyuk, Lee Jang-won and Jeong Young-joo, who dubbed the Korean version of the film worked on the ice show as well.

Meanwhile, the film’s feature-length sequel “Frozen 2” is set for release in November, and fans can hardly contain their excitement. “Frozen” is the most-watched animated film in Korean history, selling 10.3 million tickets in 2014. It is also the highest-grossing animated film worldwide, earning a total of $1.3 billion. It won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.

The show runs until Aug. 11 at the Mokdong Ice Rink in western Seoul. Tickets range from 35,000 won ($29.79) to 180,000 won. Two to three shows are staged everyday, with the 11 a.m. show being dubbed in Korean while the rest are performed in English.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]


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