First, let's get the really important question about Disney on Ice: Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 out of the way: Does Lotso, the sweet-scented villain from the movie Toy Story 3, smell like strawberries?
"He does when you really use your imagination," said Adam Loosley, who skates the role of Woody in the production, which comes to Rupp Arena through Sunday.
Imagination is a must to enjoy this show. Loosley said the plot for the show merges the high points from all three films in the blockbuster franchise. Characters include the platoon of green Army men and favorites Barbie and Ken, and the show has a hoedown for Woody, a galactic battle between Buzz Lightyear and Emperor Zurg, and the toys escaping from the Sunnyside day-care center.
Loosley, a native of Canada whose parents coached ice skating, has been with Disney on Ice for eight years. This is his second round as Woody.
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"It's like coming back to my roots," said Loosley, who dons Woody's iconic brown cowboy hat, yellow-and-red shirt and cow-print vest for the show. "I can really relate to Woody. His heart is really in the right place. He's always trying to do the right thing."
Loosley has long been a fan of the Toy Story movies. "I saw it with my mom and dad at the drive-in theater," he said of the first film. "Going to it was a big deal."
This version of Toy Story is filled with the whiz-bang energy and colorful costumes of Disney's ice shows, but it also has some of the emotion that made the movie a favorite of kids and parents alike. Loosley said the scene when a grown-up Andy says goodbye to his toys "might tug at your heartstrings."
Parents and kids might show their moves to the song Hoedown Throwdown, popularized by former Disney television princess Miley Cyrus. The song wasn't in any Toy Story movie — it was in Hannah Montana: The Movie — but it's part of a lively, dance-in-the-aisle number during the ice show, Loosley said. In another bite of corporate synergy, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and a number of other characters from the Disney stable will be skating at Rupp, too.