If Achilles gets one of the most concentrated laughs in the movie, then Djali gets more laugh spend out through the movie.
Djali is Esmeralda’s pet goat. Djali helps her make money, and reminds of her not to leave money when she about to run off. Part of Djali’s function is to be Esmeralda’s double. In the book this meant that Djali was dainty, pretty, and talented. Djali had gilted hooves and horn and was white. In the Disney movie Djali is grayish white with black hooves and has an earring. The earring is meant to link Djali and Esmeralda. Like the book, I think Disney’s Djali is also a double for Esmeralda. In DVD commentary, they discussed that the reason why they cast Demi Moore as Esmeralda is because they wanted the heroine to have a rougher quality to the the voice, that sounded like (and I’m quoting this from commentary, I’m not making this up) like “she had been around”. Not saying that I think Djali has been “around” but Djali is not the dainty, delicate goat she is in the book. So I think Disney’s version fits Esmeralda’s aesthetic more in this movie.
Djali also has another functions than being Esmeralda’s better half. Djali is her security system. Djali is distrustful of anyone Esmeralda meets (Phoebus and Quasimodo included). Djali also bleats when someone is approaching them (Frollo or guards).
Djali also aids Esmeralda in her old beggar disguise. This enable her to go undetective by Frollo and the stupid guards he employs.
Djali also kicks ass in a fight.
So what makes Djali a great chacater? Djali provides levity without hindering the movie (like Achilles). Djali reacts to things in the movie and does not inject the movie with randomness to try to make a joke like the Gargoyles. This is starting to remind me of the south park episode “Cartoon Wars”. But it’s true the Gargoyles have the same type of humor as “Family Guy”.
Another aspect of Djali that adds to his(her) charm is that Djali is incapable of Bullshit. All of Djali emotions and thoughs are always showed on his (her) face.
Djali started off in the Dinsey movie as a minor character but do to the animation done on Djali by Ron Husband (Commentary, got love them) the executives demanded more Djali and Djali got double the screen time.
Djali’s gender is neblous. Djali is called a “him” throughout the movie and Hugo has a thing for Djali (Hugo being gay is a sensitive issue with Disney). My guess is this is a case of male pronoun default. Djali’s gender mattered in the book because Hugo(author) wanted to communicate that Djali is Esmeralda’s double, so Djali is a definite girl. In the Disney’s version, it doesn’t really matter so the default male pronouns are used.
Next time – a little bit more on Achilles and Djali (there is something more alike about these two)Follow thehunchblog