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. Joan Carlyle (Joan Cusack) Casey's mother, 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. 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. Her mother, upset at this change of direction in her life, refuses to watch her 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 bicker about how many college courses Casey should take, Teddy and Casey's budding romance, Casey's sponsors, and Casey's future in figure skating.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 Zoe 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 woman ESPN reporter
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”. Blumas ended up playing Teddy as a sort of father figure. He 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. Panettiere did much of her own skating, including a fast spin seen at the end of the film. Trachtenberg trained for eight months, including the time they were filming (during which time she says she worked twenty-hour days). She 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 Trachtenberg did learn a specific move that could not be done by a stunt double as the differences in their build would be apparent. She 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. Trachtenberg 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. 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 Cusack ultimately described her role as "meaningful" in terms of the acting and also how it related to her personally.
The film was shot from May 3 to July 23, 2004 at several locations in Toronto, including George Bell Arena, Western Technical-Commercial School, Christie Mansion and De La Salle College.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $6,807,471 million in 2,501 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #4 at the box office, behind The Ring Two, Robots and The Pacifier. By the end of its run, Ice Princess grossed $24,402,491 domestically and $3,243,000 internationally, totaling $27,645,491 worldwide.
Film critic Roger Ebert gives Ice Princess three out of four stars and commended the film for its entertaining nature and ability to overcome cliche and "formula". Reactions from other critics have been mixed, as 52% of the T-meter critics on Rotten Tomatoes reviewed the film positively. 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 Cusack’s and Cattrall’s performances as emotionally powerful and fully human. 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. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awarded the film their platinum award. It is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America.
The Ice Princess Original Soundtrack was released on March 15, 2005 in the United States by label Walt Disney Records, features tracks by Natasha Bedingfield, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Michelle Branch, Aly & AJ, Jesse McCartney, and Raven-Symoné, and various other artists. It peaked at number 53 on the Billboard 200 and at number 2 on Top Soundtracks.Track listing
Not included on the soundtrack.
"Ray of Light" by Madonna appears in the background of the Casey Carlyle's scene of the regional competition, but is not included on the soundtrack.
"Freak Out" by Avril Lavigne appears in the official trailer, but is not included on the soundtrack.
"Toxic" by Britney Spears was included in the ice skating scene from Zoe, but wasn't included on the soundtrack.
- Reach - Caleigh Peters
- If I Had It My Way - Emma Roberts
- Get Your Shine On - Jesse McCartney
- You Set Me Free - Michelle Branch
- Reachin' for Heaven - Diana DeGarmo
- No One - Aly & AJ
- It's Oh So Quiet - Lucy Woodward
- Get Up - Superchick
- I Fly - Hayden Panettiere
- Just a Dream - Jump5
- Bump - Raven-Symoné
- There Is No Alternative - Tina Sugandh
- Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield