When you say Disney on Ice, most Weekly readers—the cynical, nasty, horrible ones, which is you, you and you—automatically jump synaptically to Walt's poor, mustachioed severed head. But there are those of us for whom the wonderful phrase connotes a magical afternoon of bad disco, great axels, and $7 Cokes, of which we love every sucrosey slurp.
We're not even Disney freaks—those weirdoes with The Little Mermaid collections and the ability to spend 14 hours per day, unblinking, in front of Disney message boards. (These people are also big Clay Aiken fans.) No, some of us just have kids, and if there's one thing this paper is it's family-friendly.
For the past several years, I've been taking my small buttercup of a son to Disney on Ice every time it swings through the Anaheim Pond. This week, they've got "Jungle Adventures on Ice," with scenes from The Jungle Book, Tarzanand The Lion King, and you know what that means: all the Phil Collins your heart could desire. But go anyway.
The sets are fantastically intricate—even the lights glowing on the ice are crazy beautiful—and most of the time, the skating's awesome. (People do sometimes fall, which is cringe-making. This is not Daytona; we don't want car crashes.) Also, a lot of the guys are hot, but we can never tell which ones are gay and which ones are just European.
We spoke this week with Simon Aldridge, who is from Europe.
OC Weekly:Who are you?Simon Aldridge: I'm one of the principal skaters in the show; I play a lot of roles. You're not Mowgli, are you?
I'm definitely not Mowgli. We have to be careful what we say about the different characters.
Well, Mickey's Mickey. Once the show starts, we're the characters.
So it'd be like taking your head off in front of the kids . . . [. . .] You have a beautiful accent. Where are you from?
Originally, I'm from Birmingham.
[Long conversation, excised, about my old roommate from Birmingham and how much he drank, billiards and soccer.]
I'm a big Miami Dolphins fan.
How did that happen?
When I was 16 and came to the States, it was where we flew into. If I'd flown into Anaheim, I could have been a Raiders fan.
How old are you?
How'd you get into skating? Were you a hockey player?
When I was younger, my sister Lisa skated, and when I was six or seven, I wanted to try it. My mom said, "Well, why don't you?" And I did, and I enjoyed it. [I'm thinking of the guy fromA Chorus Line who sings "I Can Do That": "One morning, sis won't go to dance class. I grabbed her shoes and tights and all." Gay men, are you with me?] At 13, I started competing, and at 20, I started with Disney.
Are there groupies?
I know I don't have any.
I think the way Disney updated the vultures song from Beatlesy to boy-band actually works really well, but then they made "My Own Home" all techno, and it's horrible.
I like the techno. I am European.
How about all the Phil Collins?
I like Phil Collins!
So you haven't heard that enough to last your entire life? [. . .] Do you ever say anything bad about people? You seem like a very optimistic, nice person.
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I am! My mom and dad and coaches always taught me to make the best out of a bad thing.
Are you handsome?
Let me ask my wife. Lynette, am I handsome?
Lynette:Very. Yay! Disney's "Jungle Adventure on Ice" at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 740-2000. Thurs., March 25, 11 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., noon & 3:30 p.m. $13-$50.