Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

You know who in the Disney line-up would make the perfect Disney Princess? Who embodies the ideal of what it means to be a lovely human being? Quasimodo.

In all seriousiness ,Quasimodo meets all the qualifications for Disney Princess-dom, whatever that means and to be fair to this idea  the official rules don’t actually make a stipulation that the “Princess” has to be a female. It;s implied but not stated.  But given that Quasimodo is presented as a man lets consider him and the only female human character isn the movie, Esmeralda and   lets’ look at the the official rules and the meta guidelines.

Rule one states that they must have a primary role in an animated movie. I think Esmeralda and Quasimodo both have that, especially Quasimodo. Check

Rule two states the character must be human or become human. Check for both Esmeralda and Quasimodo. Especially given the thesis of Hunchback is What makes a monster and what makes a man? Check

Rule three is they can’t be a sequel only character. Yeah, I don’t think I have to explain this one. Check

Rule four says that the character must be royal, marry royal or perform an act of heroism. As we all know the act of heroism was only there so Mulan could be in the line up. I would say that Esmeralda going against authority to save Quasimodo from the mob and Quasimodo saving Esmeralda as well as defending the cathedral as well as bring down a corrupt public official hell bent on rape,  murder, and genocide is an act of heroism. So Check!

Rule five the characters must be from a box office hit i.e. the movie had to have made money. Because Disney loves it money, like most companies.  But since the rule uses the words “Box Office” which means movie ticket sales  we have to look at those numbers. These amounts are from www.boxofficemojo.com.

Now I know what you might be think, Hunchback didn’t make a lot of money at the box office. Well this might surprise  some but Hunchback made more at the Box Office than some movies that have official Disney princesses. Hunchback made $325,338,851 worldwide. Mulan made $304,320,254 worldwide. The Princess and the Frog made $267,045,765 worldwide. I will concede that both Mulan and The Princess and the Frog did better domestically than Hunchback but Box Office seems be in place to explain why Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron  and Kida from Atlantis are not up for discussion as part of the line-up as they are both actual Princesses in their movies. While Hunchback isn’t popular it still made more money than a movie that Disney bent-over backwards to allow in the line up.

So there are the official rules which Esmeralda and Quasimodo and all pass BUT let’s look at some meta rules or guidelines that appear in the Wreck-it Ralph 2 trailer because Disney like to poke fun at its self.        

In the trailer  Pocahontas asks Vanellope what kind of Princess she is, these are the questions asked to her but the official Pincess and Elsa who isn’t one but who cares.

Magic Hair?   No.

Magic Hands? No.

Do animals talk to you? Quasimodo talks to a bird and Esmeralda talk to Djali the goat, so check      

Poisoned ? Who can say? Maybe Quasimodo was poisoned but no.

Cursed?  Who can say? Maybe Quasimodo was cursed but no.

Kidnapped or enslaved? This one is weird since Belle wasn’t either. It was her idea to trade herself in for her father and she wasn’t enslaved and either was Rapunzel. But Quasimodo falls into the Belle/Rapunzel brand of princess So check there.

Do people assume all your problems got solved because a big strong man showed up?   It’s a meta thing but one would have to watch the movie and look into the relationship dynamics. But did Quasimodo’s problem get solved because of a man? Quasimodo’s problem was abusive parental figure. I guess Phoebus and Esmeralda helped him to see that Frollo sucked? Esmeralda was aided by Phoebus. But were her problem solved by him? Considering she acks for help for her people and outcasts, no in the long run but maybe the fall of Frollo helped in short-term?  So yes to this one?

Anyway,  They get a pass for the meta qualifications, since it just seems like one is all you need but who knows? They are not hard and fast rules.

Should Quasimodo and Esmeralda be officially Disney Princesses? Yes they pass all the rules except the only rule that matters; Disney doesn’t like The Hunchback of Notre Dame because it’s not popular. The rules are just a front. After all Elsa and Anna are not in the line up, they have their own franchise that makes money. They don’t need the Disney Princess label.     

The reality is while it’s nice to muse about a male character being in the princess line up it’s not going to happen and Esmeralda was at some point in the line up but got dropped like Alice. It is interesting however to see how little the rules matter when they are all met and still nothing. If everything the rules just look hypocritical to allow one character through or bar others.    

Here’s a dumb post, what is the chance of me getting a hunchback or hunchback related song (as in a singer who associated with a Hunchback version) to randomy play on itunes when it is on shuffle? I know, super important scientific enquiry!

Now I don’t really listen to my music on iTunes anymore. I tend to use Pandora, spotify or youtube so the music I have on iTunes represents my taste circa mid 2000s up to 2014 roughly. So I have a lot anime/ video game music and Bollywood and random stuff as well as Norte Dame de Paris and other Hunchback stuff.

I took a sample of 20 songs because 20 is a good sample size. So what is the likelihood of me listening to a Hunchback song or a singer from a Hunchback version on itunes in shuffle mode?

Click for the list of songs

1. Rien n’est comme avant by Helene Segara (1)
2. Beau comme Soleil by Nadia Bel (2) DAMN first two out of the gate
3. Higurashi no naku koro ni opening
4. Tromme in der stadt from Berlin Hunchback Musical (3) We’re getting so many
5. Now I’m your Mom by David Byrne
6. Tere Liye from Veer-Zaara
7. Wind City [ City of Wind Windia] by Cyril the Wolf (This is the 2nd time I have listen to this)
8. Kokoro no Kasa wa from Sakura Wars
9. Kogaku Motet from Final Fantasy 9 Plus OST
10. A Walk in the Dark by David Byrne (I love this song)
11. Fossil Roo from Final Fantasy 9 OST
12. Pandemonium from Final Fantasy 9 OST
13. Broken Things by David Byrne
14. Surreal by Ayumi Hamasaki
15. Sumida from Sakura Wars
16. Hungarian Dance no.5 by Brahms
17. Amnesie by Julie Zenatti (4)
18. La Sorciere from Notre Dame de Paris (5)
19. Kalluri Vaanil from Pennin Manathai Thottu (The Benny Lava song)
20. Phony King of England from Disney Robin Hood

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The result is one in five or 20%

But everyone knows that good science requires testing so MAYBE  I will do this again sometime for science. Another good experiment would be the frequency of language. Like how many English language songs I get, or French, or Japanese or Hindi, but this a Hunchback blog so let’s keep to hunchback.  But in this case of this sample because I’m curious;

Click for song language frequency

Engish – 5 out of 20
French – 4 out of 20
Hindi – 1 out of 20
Instrumental – 4 out of 20
Japanese – 4 out of 20
miscellaneous – 2 out of 20

I’m kinda surprised that  more English songs came up.

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I have become fascinated by the culture of youtube videos where people buy basically low quality products off of sites like Wish and Romwe just for the curiosity of what the low cost products are like in real life. It does seem that youtube is a sea of these types vicarious purchasing videos as evident by all the haul and product base review videos.

Now I have gotten at least two items from Romwe in the past and I hated them and I have no desire to get anything off of Wish but I want to play in this content sandbox too so I decided to see what Wish had to offer for Hunchback products.   

Wish Disney Esmeralda Costume picture image

Wish Disney Esmeralda Costume

Turns out it seems like to search through Wish you need to  have an account, screw that. A cursory google search brought me to a $93 Esmeralda costume, which looks like a really good costume. However,   Wish is notorious for using other people’s images to sell the products so is this actually the costume someone would get in that mail?    

Aliexpress Disney Esmeralda Costume picture image

Aliexpress Disney Esmeralda Costume

The same picture is used on Esmeralda costume on Aliexpress along with some other pictures of clearly different Esmeralda costumes. Also there are two different sellers on Aliexpress “selling” this particular costume.

myshow26 Disney Esmeralda costume picture image

myshow26 Disney Esmeralda costume

 

After a bit more research I found this costume on eBay where I finally could read the watermark which reads myshow26. This is not a person but a cosplay company. They sell a lot on amazon.jp. The only myshow26 costume I could find on amazon.com was Ariel’s Blue dress.  So while this product may not be the best quality at least the sellers did not steal someone’s cosplay picture to sell the product. It is in fact the product they are selling (in theory.)   

Now for the record I don’t want to waste any money for curiosities of what this costume is actually like in person,  so I failed there but the culture of buying products for the sake of entertainment is very interesting to me. The people on youtube buying these cheap products are making their money back on ad revenues at least the bigger channels are but it still stands that people are being entertained by someone else’s consumerism.  And if I were to get a advance degree in sociology or even anthropology,  I would love to study it more or just read reviewed articles on the subject for fun.

Reem Kherici as Juliette and Nicolas Duvauchelle as Mathias Wedding Unplanned picture image

Reem Kherici as Juliette and Nicolas Duvauchelle as Mathias

Basically this  is a French Wedding Planner. You know how it goes, the wedding planner falls in love with the groom but instead of a meet-cute where they have some sexual tension here they have a one-night stand at a costume party. Sure, whatever. Also to add more conflict in the mix the wedding planner/mistress (movie’s word), Juliette and the bride-to-be, Alexia were childhood class mates and by that  I mean Alexia was a pretty rich blond mean child and Juliette was fat and poor.

So there is the dynamic of the characters, unfortunately it’s all presented as very shallow and artificial, like this movie needed another round of rewrites and editing to the screenplay. Aside from Juliette’s connection to her childhood/inner child and her alcoholic mother nothing about that seems to impact her life or personality, she seems pretty together and confident.

There is nothing to really suggest that Mathias, the groom,  is at all unhappy being with Alexia except that he has been with her for five years but didn’t think of marriage until Alexia found Juliette’s professional card in his pocket and assumed they were getting married. Alexia is a sort of bitchy and shallow but not deserving  of Mathias’ wishy-washy/lukewarm attitude. Really it’s just bad character development. 

For instance the movie tells us that Mathias doesn’t have a family, ok fine but what happened to them? Are the dead or was there a falling out? I he going to reveal the truth to Juliette there by strengthening their connection? Nope, it’s a taboo subject never brought up again. He might has well have a family if it’s not important to the plot otherwise why bring it up? The movie isn’t at all that interested in flushing out the characters and their interactions beyond smiling,  drinking and the wacky antics they get into.

Which bring us to the humor. Now French humor is a little different, they like misfortune to happen to other people, other people’s pain is funny and BOY does this movie take that and run with it, with train and throws it over a cliff and then breaks its teeth just for good measure. And here are some that occur in the move; Mathias is forced into kissing a man to keep his trite with Juliette a secret, a Bride’s gets her mouth smashed during her wedding after a cross falls on her, Alexia is hit in the face with a tennis ball and breaks for front teeth, Alexia’s father’s prized wine collection is  broken by Juliette as she tries to hide after her Mathias are nearly caught having sex again in Alexia’s father’s house, and many more with one being so awful I nearly stopped the movie. This is a style humor that I don’t find very funny but maybe if the characters were better it could have worked. Like I didn’t care that Alexia got her teeth smashed in. There was no feeling it, it was supposed to be funny but that joke land on it’s face much like that random bride whose face was literally smashed which was also not funny.

While I did finish this movie it wasn’t good  or  enjoyable. Perhaps if you want just a  mindless movie to fill the void for a little over and hour then if’s a fine but you could want anything else and get the result  with your time.

Site Note  While I ‘m happy I at least did the four reviews I set out to do this month but it came down to the wire. While like the idea of reviewing random movie streaming on Netflix I don’t think I will continue. I had mentioned reviewing French Musical in during the month of August, as I have wanted to do that for a while, the truth is my August is looking busy so I’m going to hold off on that for now. In the meantime I want to  at least try to do more Hunchback content even if it’s stupid, like 100 layers of Esmeralda. So no more random movie reviews for a while.  Not sure how frequently I will post but I will try and post something once a week at the very least and something related to Hunchback.

Karla Souza as Maru and Ricardo Abarca as Renato ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño? picture image

Karla Souza as Maru and Ricardo Abarca as Renato ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño?

I’m going to blame the fanfic I read right before I picked a movie to watch for my choice on this one. That’s right, I read something about a one night turing into something more meaningful and then I watch a 2016 Mexican movie about a one night stand turning into something meaning. Also I wanted something that was a different and not Asian/Indian Media.

And like a one night stand turning into something meaningful this movie starts as some nothing and the gets a little more complex at end when there a twist that actually makes it rather sweet.

As you might have guessed this movie is about a young professional upper class woman, Maru,  who has a drunken one night stand and gets pregnant. The guy is a very young unemployed loser named Renato and he is all in on being a dad and marriage and love. Maru doesn’t want to get married to him but does due to family and societal  pressures but in they end up in love and have  their baby.

I haven’t’ seen many examples of Mexican movies so I can’t really rate the style of acting but it seemed fine. Maybe coming off a Bollywood where sometimes in the more mainstream movies, they tend to over-act without much subtlety, so in they were over-the-top in this movie it didn’t come across, aside from the weird musical moments but even then it didn’t seem like too much. Here the characters seemed like slight over-exaggerations of real people. They were fairly shades of gray, as in the characters had their ups and down. Were they amazing characters? No. Were they serviceable for the tone and story being told? Yes.

Was this a great movie? No. Was this a serviceable movie? Yes, I mean I finished it, that seems to be an accomplishment  for me right now.      

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015) picture image

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015)

Sorry, this posting series has gotten away from me, much like reviewing Hunchback versions. Anyway let’s see if I can somehow watch/review two more movies before then end of July. On a better note I did at least decide on the next Hunchback version.

Anyway I hadn’t planned on reviewing another Bollywood movie since I just did one but I watched this with a friend of mine so  I figured why not?

Before we get to this movie, a brief history. As a semi-casual Bollywood fan I enjoy the pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Prior to Dilwale I had seen every movie they have been toegther, which is not major accomplishment. But as a person who enjoys this pairing I was very excited to hear that in 2015 they were going to be a new movie and I had wanted to see it in theaters but then another movie came out around the same time and distracted me. That movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Then I heard Dilwale sucked and I forgot all about it. That is until I saw it streaming on Netflix and I knew I should watch it. So was everyone right? Was this the worst movie with this actor pairing?

The answer is yes. I didn’t finish the movie, I’m such a pro at the whole reviewing movie thing. (I know am not.)

I was so confused by this movie. Most of the characters  are terrible. Shah Rukh Khan plays Raj, I think he repairs cars or something but he used to be a gangster. He has an idiot brother who likes a boring yet conventionally attractive girl. Raj is okay with the pairing until he meets the girl’s  sister, Meera. Meera and Raj had an affair 15 years ago in Bulgaria but she was in a rival gang and both their father killed each other or something. And then she shot him.

Was there anything good about the movie? I mean maybe we should just focus on the positives.

Oddly I liked that the film said they were in Bulgaria, as random as that sounds. But there is a movie called Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam, which a way better movie, but in that movie they tried, and failed, to convince the viewer that Hungry was Italy. It was clearly Budapest they went to and not Rome. So I guess kudos Dilwale for saying you filmed in a place and putting that in the story?

What else? The Shah Rukh/Kajol part of the story was better than anything with the younger couple. That should have been the movie. Their chemistry wasn’t as good as any of their other movies.

Some of the lighting was okay. It was OVERDONE in cluttering the frame but it was a nice distraction in parts.

Everything was bad. This movie was bad. If you like the pairing of these actors and want to be a completionist sure you could watch it  but I would recommend the other movies they have been in. Sometimes it’s not worth being a completionist.         

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na picture image

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na

Instead of doing the roulette thing, I decided to take destiny in my own hands and pick for myself. I decided to go for  a Bollywood movie since it had been a while since I last watch one. So I picked Kyun! Ho Gaya Na because it was a period of Bollywood I used to watch when I first started watching  Bollywood movies (mid 2000s) and I do tend to go for the romantic saccharine movies.

So how was this movie? Very boring. I turned it off after and hour because I just couldn’t muster any attention for this movie. I even paused it to try my hand at water-marbling my nails. Which didn’t go well either but I had more fun failing at nail art than watching this movie.

The center conflict of the film isn’t bad, basically the two leads have opposing attitudes on love. The guy, Arjun, wants his parents to choice for him because love is complicated and Diya rather fall in love. It’s a take on tradition vs modernity theme that you see in a lot of Bollywood movies but the stakes are not high so it’s not compelling.

Honestly that isn’t even the issue. A small love-story that is either chill or silly is fine but this is neither. It doesn’t really know what it’s doing with a tone. The acting is also weird combo of hammy and wooden. Aishwariya Rai is only as good as her director.  There isn’t much in the way of chemistry between the leads either which is detrimental in a romance movie.

The look of this movie is off. Some Bollywood movie have a weird super contrast look which makes color pop but darker tones are really dark. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has that look however that movie know to use a lot of color, Kyun! Ho Gaya Na doesn’t so it look weirdly washed out.

Then there is  the editing and dancing, both of which are  very jarring. To be fair I did stop watching so maybe the songs in the second act were better and the editing was tone down. But not the first three songs.

I would pass on this movie. It’s just all around dull.

I failed this quest line. Shame on me. Or did I beat it because I refuse to have it waste my time?  Those are the questions! That is the true debate! I did really fail at water-marbling though but I suck at nail art in general much like reviewing movies on the internet.    

The trend of 100 layers of stuff maybe over but I lost my mind, so here is 100 layers of Esmeralda.

100 layers Esmeralda picture image

100 layers Esmeralda

Not Real News Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

Not Real News Hunchback Notre Dame

So this made the rounds and ended up on my news alert. So why not do a quick fire round of casting thoughts on these performers in these roles. This very off impromtu. Read the article here    

Andy Serkis as Quasimodo – Unless it was motion capture I don’t see this casting. Serkis is a great actor but I can’t see him being a innocent child-like Quasimodo.

Gal Gadot as Esmeralda – I get it. She could work as Esmerlada but it’s not a casting that I would have thought of. I think there are better opinions but if did happen probably wouldn’t be the worst.

Peter Capaldi as Frollo – I have never heard of this guy, I apologize.  Apparently I have see him in The Devil’s Whore, which I don’t remember at all.  He has played The Doctor though and he was in the Vicar of Dibley of which I have only watched the last two episode. Well I will say this for this casting HE LOOKS the part so shrugs of this casting. Probably wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Chris Hemsworth as Phoebus  Did an actual post on this one back in 2012 so read it here.  I guess this a popular casting pick for Phoebus.

Eddie Redmayne as Clopin – No! While I could see him as Gringoire and Disney’s Clopin has elements of Gringoire in his characterization just no to this one.

Kesley Grammar as Victor – I don’t understand this one. I want to but I don’t.

Betty White as Laverne – Don’t put Betty White in a Disney movie. Don’t censor her.

Jack Black as Hugo – Maybe but no. Sure they are both crass but still.

Anthony Hopkins as The Archdeacon  Well he did play Quasimodo in the 1982 movie so having him in another version could be cool but no. Again not the worst casting but meh.     

  

But what do you think of this fantasy casting?  And will Disney actually remake Hunchback?

Cinema Sins' take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania picture image

Cinema Sins’ take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania

Though considering the totality of the movie it shouldn’t have been surprising that they messed up Quasimodo. I don’t even consider this a version of Hugo’s character.