Despite all of its negatives, the Jetlag version has one major positive that seems to eclipse the all negatives and that its adherence to the original plot of the book albeit with a happy ending and no deaths.
A lot of the plot point from the original book are let in tact. Like Frollo as Priest and he starts off kind, there is the kidnapped attempt, Phoebus is a cad who tries to seduce Esmeralda even though he has a fiancée, Fleur de Lys, and does get stab by Frollo, Gringoire’s character is large let intact, Quasimodo is deaf etc.
Coming off the heels of the Disney movie which is very different than the book, to watch this version despite its lazy execution is very refreshing. However since Disney is a big company they couldn’t make Hunchback accurate to the book without offending people whereas Jetlag is a smaller company so they don’t have that concern. But more that Jetlag is a American-Japanese company so a lot the hang ups on making Frollo a lusty priest didn’t really apply. This also explain why Esmeralda has an anime look to her.
Hunchback was Jetlag’s last production under the name GoodTimes before GoodTimes turned in a new company. This version of Hunchback came out on April 30th 1996. So it beat the Disney version but it’s release was meant to capitalize off of it. However, in direct competition to Disney movie the Jetlag version’s saving grace is that it maintain the plot whereas Disney didn’t and most people seem to forgive the laziness and the slow pacing of the Jetlag version because of this. If there was a film version that had good execution and maintain the plot of book than this version would fade into more obscurity. There are some version that come close but there is also something missing.
Next Jetlag article (almost done) – a major Plot hole