5 out of 10
6 out of 10
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Joan Cusack as Joan Carlyle
Kim Cattrall as Tina Harwood
Michelle Trachtenberg as Casey Carlyle
Hayden Panettiere as Gen Harwood
Trevor Blumas as Teddy Harwood
Connie Ray as Nikki's Mom
Kirsten Olson as Nikki
Juliana Cannarozzo as Zoe Bloch
Jocelyn Lai as Tiffany
Michelle Kwan as Herself
Brian Boitano as Himself
Steve Ross as Mr. Bast
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Tiffany's Dad
Roy Bradshaw as Tiffany's Coach
Mark Hird as Nikki's Coach
Music Videos: "Reach" By Caleigh Peters; "No One," By Aly & A.J.
Exclusive Audio Commentary With Young Cast Members
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 99 Minutes
The following is from the DVD cover:
"From Walt Disney Pictures, the studio that brought you The Princess Diaries, Ice Princess is a hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age story featuring popular teen star Michelle Trachtenberg (TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eurotrip). Though she longs to become a graceful champion figure skater, gawky Casey Carlyle (Trachtenberg) has always been just a brainy high school misfit. And with a strong-willed mother (Joan Cusack -- Raising Helen) pushing her toward a top university, it seems as if she'll never get the chance to be like the elite skating prodigies she sees at the rink. But when Casey uses her head and follows her heart, she'll find herself transformed beyond her wildest dreams! Also starring Kim Cattrall, it's an uplifting and laugh-packed story your whole family will flip for!"
Ice Princess is rated G.
Ice Princess is aimed squarely at fans of figure skating and The Princess Diaries. If you like both of those things, then you have a good shot at enjoying this movie. If you don't fall within that target audience then there's very little of interest here for you.
Like The Princess Diaries, it's the story of a high school geek who finds a hidden talent and becomes a superstar. The gimmick of Ice Princess is that Casey derives a mathematical formula to do perfect figure skating jumps. If you can get past the absurdity of that plot point then you're OK. It opens the door to figure skating and a variety of other musical numbers that may or may not entertain you. The film is very much by the numbers and very predictable. About the only interesting plot point is that Kim Cattrall's character, the ice skating coach, isn't all that she appears to be. When she finally butts heads with Casey's mother played by Joan Cusack, Ice Princess becomes a little more interesting.
The cast of the film is decent, but nobody is really a standout. Michelle Trachtenberg leads the cast as Casey Carlyle. She's a convincing math geek and a convincing figure skater, but her character has little personality to make her interesting. Joan Cusack plays her mother, Joan Carlyle. Cusack is also rather bland in the role though things perk up when she battles Kim Cattrall as Tina Harwood, the skating coach. Cattrall ends up being the most interesting of the characters in the film. She's alternately good and evil and her hidden past gives her a creepy Tonya Harding kind of vibe. The only other notable cast member is experienced child actor Hayden Panettiere who plays Gen Harwood. She pretty and, like her mother, alternates between playing the hero and the villain. Also look for cameos by Michelle Kwan and Brian Boitano.
A few bonus features are included on the DVD:
Alternate Opening – In this alternate opening, we see Casey as a young girl working with her mother on homework. Her mother gives her a break from her work and lets her go out and skate on their frozen pond. She displays a talent for skating at an early age when she has to jump to avoid a fallen branch.
Deleted Scenes – The deleted scenes aren't particularly noteworthy. Besides the alternate opening, there's a scene where Cattrall's character shows up at Casey's house and agrees to coach her. Another scene shows more interaction between Casey and the other young skaters in her beginners class.
Music Videos: "Reach" By Caleigh Peters; "No One," By Aly & A.J. – These are your standard teen pop star videos featuring Disney's latest starlets. Your enjoyment of them will depend on your musical tastes.
Exclusive Audio Commentary With Young Cast Members – Like many teen movies with commentaries, the commentary sounds like nothing more than a bunch of kids hanging out together and chatting during a movie. There's a lot of joking around, off topic talk, and constant chatter. They do occasionally offer interesting bits of info, but you have to be patient to get to it.
The Bottom Line:
Unless you're a preteen female skating fan, I recommend passing on Ice Princess. It won't kill you to watch it, but everyone except for the target audience is going to be bored by it. Unlike other chick flicks, it doesn't have a lot to offer to anyone forced to view it.