Well, when it comes to keeping young children entertained, Disney has all the tricks and then some. This show is magical in every sense of the word, the traditional abracadabra way included. Here Disney's favourite characters, led by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, team up with a pair of young illusionists, Brad and Benny, to perform a whole range of tricks from the simple bunch of flowers to levitation and disappearing acts that will have even the adults wondering how on earth it happened.
Saying that, it's not simply the illusions, although often spectacular, that keep everyone entertained. It is a rounded show, aimed especially at young children, which, right from the start, gives youngsters free reign to make as much noise as they want and have fun. Seeing the larger than life Disney characters on stage is very much part of that enjoyment.
Donald Duck and Goofy join Mickey and Minnie on stage, magically conjuring up a whole host of other favourites, including Disney heroines, Belle, Snow White and Princess Jasmine. Particularly wonderful for little girls of all ages is watching the fairy godmother transform Cinderella for the ball as easy as Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.
There is some typical Disney schmaltz too, as Mickey tells us, "The secret to being good at something is to believe in yourself and find the magic inside you." Yet in this atmosphere the words ring true, because they are life affirming. There is no place for cynicism in Disney and that's what makes it such a breath of fresh air.
It's pure escapism that allows every parent and grandparent who grew up with Mickey Mouse to feel like a child again, while a new generation come to the characters anew. I had a two-year-old with me and, believe me, anything that can keep him mesmerised for an hour-and-a-half has got to be magic.
- Carmel Thomason
(Reviewed at the Lowry, Salford)