I know I have mentioned the lesson before in other posts where I bashed, I mean reviewed, the Hunchback episode of Madeline but I find that the way it was handle in this episode is so awful that it needs to be bashed more.
I do not claim to be expert on the show, I mean I could only watch two episodes other than the hunchback one, but the two episodes I saw had two good lessons; one was altruism and not judging dogs based on breed (allegorical to racism).
In those two episodes people had to actively learn something and a sense development was achieved. The episodes were torture but there was at least a depth.
Then we get the Hunchback episode. Anything that deals with Quasimodo should be more or less deal with getting over looks to see who a person truly is, unless it’s done as parody or satire. But this is a kids show so is the standard lesson should be applied.
The problem is NO ONE learns it because the episode doesn’t care about the Hunchback. Writing-wise the episode is all over the place so there is no time to for a character to grow or learn the Quasimodo lesson.
Since everyone but Pepito gets that Quasimodo is awesome, he is the one who is at odds with Quasimodo’s looks but he only comes around to liking Quasimodo because his idol tells him that he is great and should play Quasimodo in the play. Then Pepito plays Quasimodo and good is in a dumb play but he learns nothing.
But there is nothing to indicate in the episode that Pepito is like Quasimodo, he is just a jerk throughout the episode, he made a much better Phoebus. But since he is the one in opposition to Quasimodo he had to be the one to realize how great Quasimodo is but it’s pointless if he just told it out right.
The episode should have been about the girls meeting a Quasimodo-like figure, Pepito or one of the little girls judging him and then the Quasimodo-figure helps them somehow and the jerk learns that judging people based on appearances is a jerky thing to do. Cliche? Yes but at least someone learns and grows from the core Quasimodo-lesson-for-kids.
The title is also confused, as it’s Madeline and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I know the scheme of the titles go Madeline and Whatever the focused is, but Madeline has no connection to the Hunchback. It should have been called Madeline and the Play or Madeline and Notre Dame.
This episode is a mess for beginning to end and it’s no surprise that lesson is a mess and just tacked on to weak cash in episode.
Next Time; Conclusion, Thank God