Photo via Feld Entertainment
ALBANY — Since the movie’s release in 2013, “Frozen” has had a tight grip on the hearts of Disney fans of all ages.
Its popularity continues to carry over into the Disney On Ice tour, where Frozen! runs through cities it has already visited.
“It’s very popular, still in high demand right now,” said Mathew King, who plays Kristoff in the latest tour of Disney On Ice’s “Frozen!” It starts a four-day, seven-show run at the Times Union Center on Thursday, Dec. 14. “We performed at cities that the show has already performed in. So, yes. It’s still in great demand. Everyone seems to still love it. I think you see the girls, and the sisters out there. With the guys, too, I think there’s a whole aspect to the show that both guys and girls can appreciate and look up to. … The damsel in distress is now out to help everybody.”
Disney flipped the script on the tired storyline involving a “knight in shining armor” to save a helpless young woman. Perhaps the first of such plots would be from 1998’s “Mulan.” Within the now popular “Princesses” line, Disney started a string of movies with 2009’s “Princess and the Frog,” starring an empowered young woman saving the day.
“Frozen” continued to buck old traditions, this time on the focus of “true love,” with its storyline focused on the lives of sisters, Ana and Elsa. With generations
growing up and looking forward to one day experiencing “true love’s kiss,” the sisters from Arendelle helped establish a fresh appreciation for that familial bond.
The on-ice production follows the storyline of the popular animation feature, with a few twists that enable visits from familiar favorites such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald. As for Kristoff, King doesn’t see his character partaking in the aforementioned role of hero.
“I meet up with Anna on her adventure trying to find her sister, Elsa. Then, I tag along and try to help her along the way,” said King. “She’s the strong one of the pair, but he’s there to help get through the tough times.”
King is from Watford, Ontario, a town that boasts 2,000 people, up in the Frozen North of Canada. Though, it’s not at all similar to Arendelle, he describes home as cold, and a place where “everybody knows everybody.” It’s where he first picked up a pair of ice skates as a 7-year-old playing hockey. Figure skating, he said, was something he initially used to help his skating skills for games. But, he found himself liking the competition.
In his third year with Disney on Ice, he now plays one of the lead characters in arguably the most popular story in Disney’s catalog. “He’s a great character to portray and perform on the ice,” King said of Kristoff.
“It’s just a great story to portray for the kids on the ice. And, I’m out there the whole time, so I get to see the faces. And, they just get so excited over everything… it’s just great.”
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.