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"Toy Story 3" gets put on ice tomorrow at Lakeland Center

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"Toy Story 3" gets put on ice tomorrow at Lakeland Center

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"Toy Story 3," you've just crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office. How are you going to celebrate?

"I'm going to Disney On Ice."

Or - rather - Pixar's latest hit is about to become an ice show. Which will actually have its world premiere tomorrow afternoon at the Jenkins Arena in Lakeland Center. Then - after two days of performances (which will then followed by a few more days of rehearsal as "Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3" gets tweaked) - this brand-new Feld Entertainment production hits the road for Orlando's Amway Arena. Which will be the first stop of this ice show's two-year-long, 75 city tour of North America.


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar material copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All right reserved

Now it might seem counter intuitive for an ice show to rehearse in Central Florida, especially during the brutally hot summer months. But according to Melinda Hartline, Regional Public Relations Manager for Feld Entertainment, Lakeland's Jenkins Arena is the perfect place to stage & rehearse a new "Disney On Ice" show.

"We've been using this facility for years now. 'Toy Story 3' is actually Feld Entertainment's 31st 'Disney' show. And given that Lakeland is just down the road from Walt Disney World ... Well, that makes it that much easier for the folks at Disney to come on by the arena and see how the new ice show is shaping up while we're still in rehearsal," Melinda explained.


Kenneth Feld, Chairman & CEO of Feld  Entertainment
Copyright Feld Entertainment. All rights reserved

To hear Hartline tell the story, each of these "Disney On Ice" shows is a real collaboration between Feld and the creatives at Disney & Pixar.  Which typically gets underway during the first three months of every  year when Kenneth Feld (i.e. the Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment) and reps from the Company sit down & discuss what theme that year's "Disney On Ice" show should be built around.

In some cases, Disney (which - as the licensor of its characters & content - always has the final say in these situations) has an event or an anniversary coming up that it then wants to promote to as big an audience as possible. In a case like that, Feld Entertainment then tailors that year's "Disney On Ice" so that it then helps to support this new corporate initiative. (Case in point: The "75 Years of Disney Magic" version of this traveling ice show. Which was then renamed "100 Years of Magic" in 2001 to help support that year's Companywide celebration of the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney's birth).


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney material copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All right reserved

In other cases, these "Disney On Ice" shows are actually used to introduce audiences to characters from new Disney films that haven't even hit theaters yet. Take - for example - last year's "Let's Celebrate!"  Which is where ice-skating fans got to meet Princess Tiana & Prince Naveen a full two months before "The Princess and The Frog" hopped into theaters.


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney material copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But when it came to a new edition of "Disney On Ice" for 2010, given the obvious audience interest that was building for this then-yet-to-be-released sequel to "Toy Story " & "Toy Story 2," it only made sense that this year's production should be built around Pixar's latest.

So even before "Toy Story 3" showed up at your local multiplex on June 23, the folks at Feld Entertainment were already hard at work on this new "Disney On Ice" show. Looking at world-class skaters from as far away as Japan and the U.K. to find just the right performers to play Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the rest of the Andy's room gang in this arena show.


The cast of "Toy Story 3" rehearses at Jenkins Arena at Lakeland Center.
Copyright Feld Entertainment

"Once we finished casting, we then began 5 weeks of rehearsals," Hartline continued. "Patty Vincent - the director of 'Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3' - has been with the Feld Entertainment organization for more than a quarter century now. So she's a pro. Patty really knows how to put a show like this over.  She teaches the skaters how to make a gesture so that even the folks who are seated in the very back of the arena can then understand what's going on in the show."

And this time around, Feld Entertainment really did need all five weeks of rehearsal time. Given that "Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3" is going to feature some state-of-the-art projection design. Which will blend four separate images into one massive 3D projection on the ice surface. Which will - in effect - shrink the audience down to the same size as the toys in Andy's room.


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

"I've seen this effect used in rehearsal once or twice now and it really is amazing," enthused Melinda. "Just wait 'til you see the Pizza Planet scene when all 15 aliens come skating out and begin worshipping the Claw.  It's a pretty dazzling effect."

Of course, the real test comes tomorrow when the first really-for-real audiences makes its way to the Jenkins Arena at Lakeland Center and then check out those first four performances (i.e. 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. on Friday & 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. on Saturday) of "Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3."


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright

"After those performances, I'm sure that we'll make a few small tweaks to this show.  Nothing that an audience would notice, mind you. But given that they've been eating, sleeping and breathing 'Toy Story 3' for weeks now, I'm sure that these changes will seem huge to the cast," Hartline laughed.

And after that ... Well, it's all about making sure that this new "Disney On Ice" production is really ready to hit the road. Double-checking to see if the behind-the-scenes team for this new Feld  Entertainment show knows all of their load-in, set-up and tear-down procedures. That they're making inspections before every single performance to make sure that every character looks their best before they then hit the ice. (Which - in the case of "Disney On Ice: World of Fantasy" - meant making sure that all of Lightning McQueen's stickers were in the right place...


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... or making sure that some overzealous backstage crew member didn't accidentally clean off one of Mater's rust spots)


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

FYI: You can expect this same sort of attention to detail when it comes to "Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3." Take -- for example -- the teeny tiny arms that this arena show's designers gave Rex. Which look just like the undersized appendages that this poor plastic dinosaurs is saddled with in the "Toy Story" films.


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

At the same time, recognizing that this is an ice show, "Disney On Ice" 's designers do what they can to create costumes that are not only faithful to the art direction of each film but allow provide challenges to skaters as well as entertaining the audience. The two-man Slinky dog costume depicted below is a perfect example of an outfit that services all three of these needs.


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex and Slinky Dog aren't the only Pixar characters that will be popping up in this new "Disney On Ice" show. Since the "Toy Story 3" arena show will also be revisiting 'Toy Story' & 'Toy Story 2,' " Melinda says to keep an eye out for the Green Army Men. Who  have a fun number in this show.


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Beyond that  ... Recognizing that parents bring awfully young children to see "Disney on Ice" shows (and - more to the point - acknowledging that the film version of 'Toy Story 3' had some pretty frightening moments), the folks at Feld Entertainment have taken a few liberties with this movie's storyline.

"You're still going to get that scary scene at the garbage dump. In fact, we use our new 3D projection technology at that point in the show to simulate fire," Hartline said. "But that said, 'Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3' isn't so scary that little, little kids aren't going to be able to enjoy this show. We've just taken everything that people have ever loved about the 'Toy Story' movies - those Pixar characters, their relationships and all the adventures that they go on - and then put that on ice."


Copyright Feld Entertainment. Disney / Pixar materials copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

And if you'd like to be among the first to experience  'Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3' ... Well, you can either head on over to the Jenkins Arena at Lakeland Center and catch the world premiere of this new ice show. Or you could wait 'til Friday, September 10th. When this new Feld Entertainment production kicks off its two-year-long, 75 city tour of North America with a stop at Orlando's Amway Arena.

For further information of Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar's Toy Story 3'  and/or any of the other Feld Entertainment productions that are now touring nationally and internationally, please click on this link.

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  • I love that they are making Disney on ice out of full movies again! I like tha mash ups, but I used to love Aladdin on Ice, and Beauty on the Beast on Ice when I was little! Full movies on Ice are awesome (Tangled on Ice someday, maybe... Jim?).... :)

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