Since Walt founded his animation studio in 1923, magic and Disney have always gone hand in hand. It’s a word the company uses quite a bit in its marketing, and heck, it’s even in the name of this website, which frequently has an emphasis on Disney-related news and events. But “magic” tends to be used metaphorically when one enters a Disney theme park or sits down for a Disney movie. It’s not too often that Disney incorporates actual magic into its productions.
That’s one of the reasons I was so impressed when I had the opportunity to see “Disney Live! – Mickey & Minnie’s Doorway to Magic” this past weekend in Ontario, California. In addition to the usual Disney characters, songs, and stories, this touring family-oriented area show integrates stage illusions into its roughly 90-minute run time, including intermission. Mickey Mouse and friends are definitely the stars of this performance, but magic is the glue that holds the whole thing together.
WATCH FIRST SONG FROM “MICKEY & MINNIE’S DOORWAY TO MAGIC”:
The show begins with a lively song-and-dance number that introduces the main cast, including Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, and of course Mickey. Then the gang embarks on an adventure via a series of magical doors (as implied by the title) that takes them through a variety of different lands and stories inspired by famous animated Disney movies such as “Cinderella,” “Toy Story,” “Aladdin,” and “Tangled.”
Along the way, the gang is wowed and amazed by numerous magic tricks such as the classic levitation, quick-change, and even sawing a woman in half. These are all considered very rudimentary illusions among stage magicians, but it’s incredibly cool that the creative forces behind “Disney Live! – Mickey & Minnie’s Doorway to Magic” have chosen to introduce them to young children in this manner, sandwiched between familiar characters and locations.
I was admittedly a little hesitant going into this performance because I half expected some cheesy third-party Disney knockoff, but the costumes, set design, and actors are all top-notch, worthy of being onstage at a Disney theme park. In fact, I believe if this exact show were replicated at Disneyland or Walt Disney World it would be an instant hit among regulars and tourists alike.
“Disney Live! – Mickey & Minnie’s Doorway to Magic” is currently on tour around the United States, with dates scheduled through mid-April. Be sure to visit the event’s official website for more information and advance ticket sales.