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Ice Princess is a 2005 American figure-skating film directed by Tim Fywell, starring Michelle Trachtenberg, Joan Cusack, Kim Cattrall and Hayden Panettiere.

PlotEdit

Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenberg), a very smart and talented science student, plans to pursue a scholarship to Harvard University. For the scholarship, Casey must present a personal summer project about physics.

While watching a figure skating competition with her mathematically inclined friend Ann, Casey realizes that her favorite childhood hobby, ice skating would make a perfect project. She decides to try to improve her own skating by applying physics and what she has discovered from watching other skaters.

She becomes proficient and skips two levels to become a junior skater. She helps junior skaters Gennifer "Gen" Harwood (Hayden Panettiere), Tiffany Lai (Jocelyn Lai), and Nikki Fletcher (Kirsten Olson) improve their skating. Torn between her Harvard dream and her growing love of skating, Casey has difficulty juggling schoolwork, skating, and a part-time job.

Casey's mother, Joan (Joan Cusack) attempts to prevent Casey from skating due to her declining academic performance. Meanwhile, tension arises between Casey's coach Tina Harwood (Kim Cattrall), a disgraced former skater and Gen's mother.

Tina, who manages the rink where Casey trains, has Gen on a strict training program. During a competition where both Casey and Gen compete, Tina sees that Casey may outrank Gen and attempts to sabotage Casey's performance by switching her skates. Upset at this, and frustrated by all the restrictions of training, Gen quits skating.

Casey declines the Harvard scholarship competition to devote herself to skating to her mother's dismay. Casey asks Tina to be her personal coach and help her train for sectionals. Joan (upset at this change of direction in her life) refuses to watch Casey skate.

At the sectionals, Casey's mind is not fully focused on the competition and she falls while attempting a triple salchow jump. To her surprise, she discovers that her mother is in the audience. Inspired, Casey gives a highly rated artistic performance. The sectionals ends with Nikki going to the nationals and Casey becoming the runner-up.

Gen's brother, Teddy (Trevor Blumas) gives Casey flowers to congratulate her and they kiss. Later, Joan and Tina discuss about how many college courses Casey should take, Teddy and Casey's budding romance, Casey's sponsors and Casey's future in figure skating.

CastEdit

  • Michelle Trachtenberg as Casey Carlyle
  • Joan Cusack as Joan Carlyle
  • Kim Cattrall as Tina Harwood
  • Hayden Panettiere as Gennifer "Gen" Harwood
  • Trevor Blumas as Teddy Harwood
  • Juliana Cannarozzo as Zoey Bloch
  • Erik King as Chip Healey
  • Diego Klattenhoff as Kyle Dayton
  • Jocelyn Lai as Tiffany Lai
  • Shanique Ollivierre-Lake as Chantal DeGroat
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Mr. Lai
  • Martha MacIsaac as Mean Party Girl
  • Kirsten Olson as Nikki Fletcher
  • Connie Ray as Mrs. Fletcher
  • Signe Ronka as Emma Flanders
  • Amy Stewart as Ann
  • Kristina Whitcomb as Ms. Fisher Lee
  • Michelle Kwan as ESPN Reporter

ProductionEdit

The filming dates took place from May 3rd to July 23, 2004 in Toronto & Millbrook in Ontario, Canada and Santa Clarita, California. Other locations included the George Bell Arena, Western Technical-Commercial School, Christie Mansion and De La Salle College.

The pond that Casey skated on was actually a custom ice rink that was built by Custom Ice Inc.

Trevor Blumas said that he was put on hold for two months during the audition process, and that there had been “a lot of switch-overs with the directors”. He ended up playing Teddy as a sort of father figure and began training to drive a Zamboni soon after arriving in Toronto; according to him, he later ended up smoothing the ice on some mornings at the rink where they were shooting.

Hayden Panettiere did much of her own skating, including a fast spin seen at the end of the film.

Michelle Trachtenberg trained for eight months, including the time they were filming (during which time she says she worked twenty-hour days) & had to be on the ice longer than most of the other actors as she was one of the few adults on the film. She had stunt doubles to handle the falls and some of the complex moves, although she did learn a specific move that could not be done by a stunt double as the differences in their build would be apparent. Trachtenberg sustained some injuries while working on the film.

According to Trachtenberg, a mistake was made in one of the physics formulas her character recites, which was later fixed; a shot of the back of her head was used and the correct term was looped in. She described the film as “not a Disney kitschy movie” and was somewhat apprehensive of the idea of a sequel for fear of belittling the original.

Joan Cusack noted that the relationship between Casey and her mother had already been well-developed in the script, but said that it generated a good deal of discussion during the production and she ultimately described her role as "meaningful" in terms of the acting and also how it related to her personally.

ReceptionEdit

Box OfficeEdit

"Ice Princess" debuted at #4 at the box office, grossing $6,807,471 during its opening weekend, coming in behind films The Ring Two, Robots and The Pacifier.

Domestically, it grossed $24,402,491 and $27,645,491 worldwide.

Critical ReceptionEdit

The movie was given a 52% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, it was given a score of 55 based on 27 critics

Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and commended the film for its entertaining nature and ability to overcome cliche and "formula".

Todd Gilchrist of IGN questioned the speed at which Casey becomes adept at skating and pointed out some other improbabilities and clichés, but strongly praised Joan Cusack’s and Kim Cattrall’s performances as emotionally powerful and fully human.

The Boston Globe's Wesley Morris called it "a feel-good but inane Disney production".

Carrie Rickey from the Philadelphia Inquirer called the movie "an unsteady empowerment film for 'tweenage girls and their moms, Ice Princess boasts more spark than sparkle".

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting rated the film "A-I" (suitable for general patronage) and provided the film a modest praise as a good family film.

The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awarded the film their platinum award.

Theatrical TrailerEdit

Ice Princess Trailer

Ice Princess Trailer

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