To be fair any villain when compare in direct opposition to Frollo is going to look weak and lack luster, so Saroush being in a sequel of Hunchback didn’t stand a chance. The only way he would had avoided negative comparison was if his deeds were far more despicable than Frollo’s which means he would have had to kill many cute things but since this film is about Quasimodo getting a girlfriend that was not going to happen.
Being in a direct to DVD sequel, Saroush was doom from the start, I mean no one takes those movies seriously, No One! Saroush is a Gypsy circus master who wants to be rich. To get rich he steals from his patrons but he has his sights on La Fidèle. It’s curious though, Saroush has exotic animals in his circus which includes but not limited to three elephants, two giraffes, and a zebra. Any of those animals would have worth more than the Bell. He also seems to employ some magic tricks that look more like magic than illusions, ex the transporting balls into the crowd. Not sure how that one could be explained but it seems that would have been a boon to his stealing. So he’s greedy and dumb.
Beside being a “criminal mastermind” he is VERY vain. He has pictures of himself in his cart that can change to mirrors, so he can see himself. He also wears a corset (griddle) and a hair piece. Not sure if this is only for comedy or if they is some under lying commentary on a youth obsessed culture? No it’s just for shits and giggles and to make him look stupid when he gets his comeuppance at the end seeing him all fat, bald and old (actually there is some commentary on youth obsession). Actually my guess is Saroush’s vanity harkens back to Quasimodo and how awesome he is even if he’s ugly. Remember the first rule of a Hunchback cartoon for kids, drive the “ it doesn’t matter what you look like” moral over the edge. To reiterate Saroush is greedy, dumb, and vain yet ugly.
Saroush is also ruthless. When he gets idea in his head he will do anything to achieve those means even someone has to get hurt. He also blackmails and uses guilt to get what he wants. He sets up Madeline to be arrested by telling Phoebus that she wanted the bell just as a distraction. He then also kidnapped Phoesbus’ son Zephyr and threaten the boy to ensure his get away. Saroush is greedy, dumb, vain yet ugly and an Asshole.
Now in the scope of villain, being greedy, dumb, vain yet ugly and an Asshole isn’t bad, but Saroush’s non sequitur about referring to things as lovely, his nicknames for Madeline (trinket, Eclair, Bonbon, and other anachronistic treats of the 19th century), and his reference to his underwear make him comic and not scary or menacing as a villain. But what chance did he have of being a Villain whose main objective is to steal a jewel encrusted bell on the inside.
That being said I kind of enjoy his stupid antics and he’s voiced by Michael McKean who played Mr. Green in Clue and I love that movie (it was my childhood). However Saroush is a lousy villain but at least he’s entertaining.
Next the Personality Deficient Fruit of Phoebus’ Loins Plot Device umm Zephyr