Disney/Pixar's Monsters Inc. on Ice is the latest musical skating extravaganza based on a hit movie touring arenas across the country. Produced by Feld Entertainment, the show follows the adventures of one-eyed Mike, his furry friend Sulley, and a little girl named Boo.
Lighting design is by Peter Morse with lighting programming by Eric Wade on a Martin Maxxyz, one of the lighting console's first tours. Gabriel Bolston handles daily lighting operation.
Morse used Martin Mac 2000 Profiles that he added to an “inherited” lighting rig. The rig was the same one used for a previous show, Princess Classics, that Morse also designed, but it consisted largely of PAR cans. “They had three-color washes and some older mirrored lights,” he says. “Luckily, I was able to order new fixtures which brought us the intensity for the ice and the brightly colored costumes.” He placed some of the Martin Mac 2000s around the perimeter of the ice, despite some initial resistance, but they helped bring the characters to life even more, a vital component when bringing a popular cartoon to the masses.
Fortunately for Morse, his lighting programmer had previous experience with the Martin Maxxyz before he hit the ice. Wade was a Beta programmer and influenced several aspects of the console's development. “I feel the day you quit learning is the day you're not growing anymore, so I wanted to be involved,” Wade says. “I've had a console for two years now and have really followed its development.”
Wade uses the console in a full seven or eight universes to operate the large rig of MAC 2000s, Clay Paky Scans, High End Systems' Studio Colors, and lots of conventionals, as well as scrollers, scenery, and practicals. Luckily, all the equipment came together flawlessly to add to the illusion of a cartoon coming to life on ice.
“We needed that intensity to mimic the vivid look of the Pixar movie and give it the same pop,” Morse explains. “I could have done this show with the fixtures already in place, but I would not have gotten the same number of patterns and scenic choices, and the brightness would've been diminished.”