Wishbone’s main premise is that there are two stories being told at the same time. One story is the classic tale and the other story is what Wishbone’s owner and his friends are experiencing. The classic story told by Wishbone parallels the owner’s and friends’ story.
In this episode “The Hunchdog of Notre Dame” the story that Hunchback parallels is that Wishbone’s owner, Joe (Jordan Wall) and his friends, David (Adam Springfield) and Sam (Christie Abbott) are playing hockey with a bunch of other kids. After a good play made by these three pals the kids decide to play a real game and break-up into teams. Joe is a team leader as well as the token bully, Damont (Joe Dufffield). Tensions arise when they’re down to the last pick, Nathaniel (Justin Reese). Damont, who is short a player refuses to take him because he can’t skate very well. Damont tries to push Joe to take him but Joe doesn’t want to. Sam offers to sit out so Nathaniel can play but Joe doesn’t want her to as she part of the core team. In the end, Nathaniel says he will sit out but loses his balance and falls. Naturally, Damont’s team laughs at him.
The public humiliation of this underdog reminds Wishbone of Quasimodo. And this where the parallel comes in but wait there is more.
Sam, being the nice pretty girl she is, decides to teach Nathaniel how to skate so he can be better friends with the other guys. Sam spending all her time with Nathaniel makes Joe and David upset. This promotes Wishbone to check in on Sam. Sam and Nathaniel are at her house after another skating lesson. Nathaniel feels he is not getting any better but Sam tells him not to get discourage. The two then bond over how both of their parents are divorced. Sam shows Nathaniel a keepsake that her parents gave her that reminds herself that her family did have good times together.
Just then, Wishbone comes into the room on Sam’s skateboard (there was a sub-plot about Wishbone trying to figure out human’s fascination with wheels). Nathaniel gets up from his seat in a rush hitting Sam’s hand causing her treasured keepsake to go flying to its doom upon the floor. But before the keepsake hits the floor Nathaniel launches himself forward and saves it. This also reminds Wishbone of how Quasimodo saved Esmeralda from the gallows.
Sam thanks Wishbone for helping her figure out how Nathaniel is going to get on the guys’ good side. Wishbone is confused but takes the thanks.
Sam and Nathaniel return to the gym for another hockey game and she tells everyone that Nathaniel is now a great hockey player. The other kids are dubious especially Joe and David. Joe and David are still upset with her for abandoning them for Nathaniel. However they work it out but Joe still protests Nathaniel playing as he think he is clumsy but Sam retorts that appearances can be deceiving.
So Nathaniel plays goalie for Joe’s team against Damont’s team. Nathaniel turns out to be a great goalie and wins the respect of everyone including Damont.
This story works well when paired next “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The show definitely go for one angle of the story which is the underdog but for a children’s show that works and it does teach kids a lesson about understanding and acceptances. The dark destiny, social inequality and religion angles would have been much harder to work into a Wishbone narrative.
Next Wishbone Article – A look at how they told the Hunchback