Francia Raisa picture image

Francia Raisa

Three years ago I did a post comparing HBO’s Game of Thrones and Hunchback , in which I said Arianne Martel resemble Esmeralda in the looks department and I quote myself here “I would say whoever they get to cast her for the show could make a lovely Esmeralda…”  However stupid poo show runners cut Arianne from the show and made that whole storyline stupid. However since other people like to do speculative casting I thought heck let’s just find a hypothetical casting for Arianne Martel and apply that actress to Esmeralda. One actress that came up was Francia Raisa.

Francia Raisa picture image

Francia Raisa

Francia Raisa is an American Actress  of Mexican and Honduran decent.  This gives her a very good look for Esmeralda. As is the case for most movie Esmeraldas is that she looks exotic to the “standard French type.” So her look is one point for most movie versions of the character. She also has soft features which makes her look cute, so she has the whole cute yet sensual aspect that is very applicable to Esmeralda.

Francia Raisa as Shahrzad in Beyond Paradise picture image

Francia Raisa as Shahrzad in Beyond Paradise

As far as acting goes, I can’t super speak to her ability. She is most known her role on the TV show The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Bring it On: All or nothing, two things I have avoided watching. I did try and watch some clips from her 2015 movie Beyond Paradise and wasn’t that impress with any or it. That being said she seems like she gets the mostly sexualized roles, which for Arianne Martel is fine but for Esmeralda it’s a mixed bag. Esmeralda isn’t supposed to sexual aware of herself but movies ignore that so it’s probably not a big deal. I would give the movie a great director and she’ll be fine.

Francia Raisa picture image

Francia Raisa

But what do you think would Francia Raisa be a good Esmeralda? I don’t think she would be my top point or even top five but there are far worse casting options out there. Gotta say her name is like near spot on for the role.





Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus performing Someday, La Jolla cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus performing Someday, La Jolla cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

When I planned these posts, i.e. weakest/strongest posts I though I would be more on the side of the stronger but when I was thinking about the strongest aspect I came up with more of the weakness than strengths. I feel a bit sad that I’m more mixed with siding more on the side of not being as in love with it as some other people. But oh well. I’m going to TRY to be as positive as I can.

So what did the musical did well? Well the music and the score were amazing. I mean you can’t go wrong with Alan Menken and a requiem mass inspired music. It also does well when it’s doing it own thing. Like Thai Mol Piyas

I will say that Esmeralda and Phoebus were well done. The irony here is that Esmeralda is let pretty much untouched from her Disney persona and the book persona didn’t really enter into her characterization. Phoebus however is a great combo between the two which gives him an arc. He starts out closer to the book and then turns more of Disney character.

The perfumers also do a great job, as in they sing well. I will say Arden does a good job with Quasimodo in parts. His weird attempt at sounding deaf broader on sounding mentally disable. I get that he is deaf and lacks self-codience but really?

So then were no gargoyles, that was a plus. Still not sold on the chorus as it seem kinda of high school or some day camp but still no gargoyles.



Oddly the movie I had originally did this post for got moved to the best list for a few reasons but these movies are ones that I just liked or I was surprised by but didn’t quite reach the best list.  These are in no order.


Trudy Young as Princess Melora & Gordon Thomson as Sir Robin the Brave with Kermit and the other frogs Jim Henson's The Frog Prince picture image

Trudy Young as Princess Melora & Gordon Thomson as Sir Robin the Brave with Kermit and the other frogs

Jim Henson’s Frog Prince – I’m a fan of the Muppets, there is no way I couldn’t love this one. It was just what it needed to to be. It was the perfect blend of the fairy-tale and Muppet Charm. Bake that Candle in the hall of her brain.


Sarah Patterson as Rosaleen with the wolf In the Company of Wolves

Sarah Patterson as Rosaleen with the wolf


In the Company of Wolves – I really respect this movie. It nicely subverted Fairy Tales and had a nice dream-like and symbolic tone. However I don’t really want to re-watch it and a lot the imagery was freaky, to say the least.


Black Swan picture image

Natalie Portman as Nina


Black Swan – To be honest this one was originally going on to be on the best list and it was really because I was having a hard time hitting that that ten target. Again, it doesn’t have a ton of re-watchability however I really enjoyed the play of the duo roles and it does the same thing as In the Company of Wolves with regard to leaving childhood and entering adulthood.

Tim Curry as Darkness Legend picture image

Tim Curry as Darkness

Legend – Watch this one for Tim Curry, it’s just delightful. It’s still a fun and imaginative movie. Plus it’s rumored to have inspired the Zelda series.

Lily Collins as Snow White and Armie Hammer as the Prince Andrew Alcott Mirror Mirror picture image

Lily Collins as Snow White and Armie Hammer as the Prince Andrew Alcott


Mirror Mirror – Okay, by all accounts this movie is dumb but for what ever reason I can’t hate it, it might be a guilty pleasure.

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I have been wanting to this for a while. I was going to do Hellfire but for some reason Google Translate was being weird so I went with Out There. So this is Out There through Google Translation.

It went from the original English to Hindi then to Swedish then to Japanese then to Spanish then to Korean and then back to English and here is what we got;

“These safety behind this stone windows and railings”
“People looking down at me,”
“I like my life hiding here alone, I am in favor of them”
“They show the hunger is for profit of history”
“All my life, I remember your face”
“They know they can not learn from”
“All my life, seems to go in one day”
“Over them”
“However, some of its”

“Living in Japan”
“Let me see one days”
“I ask all”
“Always keep”

“I do not know where they live”
“I want to”
“I will venture”
“Only meet one days”

“Mills and craftsmen external wife”
“I can see through the ceiling and gable”
“Day ev’ry, they scream to hear that embarking on his life
“It has to be that they inadvertently gift”
“If I had their skin”
“Ev’ry want the goods immediately”

“Senna walks”
“Enjoy breakfast out”

“Freedom to move”
“Just days after”
“I swear I will enjoy drill”
“And part of me”
“Does anger”
“What not despair”
“Previous Bent”
“I do not care”
“I wrote”
“One day”

Honestly I don’t know what to call this show as a whole.

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills Hunchback of Notre Dame, Picture image

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills


This post is mainly focusing on the story and characters from mostly the Cast Album Point-of-View. I will not get into any aspect from the technicals of the show itself.  And instead of me being all nit-picky, I’m going to try to keep this as general as I can, so no mention of Phoebus’ last name or the wars. The stabbing thing is a different point.

I do think of the biggest weakness is actually the idea of the show which was merging the Disney movie and the book. The real trouble is they were working with three different mediums of story telling; a Book, A Movie and a Broadway style musical. It’s no easy task, things that work in one do not work in the other two.  Another trouble is they pretty much had to keep the Disney movie fairly intact within the show which ruined other aspects of the show, namely Frollo as a whole. It just seems to a case of them adding book stuff to the movie story and didn’t really think about what they were doing so along as it didn’t mess with the movie stuff.

Case in point, Frollo. Frollo in this version is  a very weird mash-up of Book Frollo and Disney Frollo and I don’t think it was super effective in this version of either story. You can make the argument that this Frollo is his own thing but the point of this musical is combine the Disney movie and the book in a workable combo. A big thing wrong is that Frollo really keeps his composure throughout the musical even Hellfire is super controlled. I really didn’t see or hear the lust for Esmeralda taking control of him. Nor did he get jealous towards Phoebus or even Quasimodo for Esmeralda being nice to him. I didn’t see either book Frollo or movie Frollo in this one.


It really comes down to some of the decisions  the show takes with the two sources that leads to the some of the weakness of the show as a whole. The first is the opening with Frollo and Quasimodo’s backstory. The show brought in Jehan, Frollo’s little brother from the book. If you have read the book you would know Frollo was much older than his brother and didn’t know about him till their parents died. So when Frollo saw Quasimodo abandoned in Notre Dame he is moved by empathy thinking  about how Jehan  could have been in Quasimodo’s position.  In this musical Quaismodo is Jehan’s son making Frollo  Quasimodo’s uncle. This family connection waters down the relationship between the two and is actually never mention in the musical as a core plot point. It doesn’t add anything. Frollo had a brother, so what? Is that really a better back story than Disney movie or the book? It just seemed like they wanted to work in Jehan somehow.

The another scene a combo of few scenes. So in the book Esmeralda and Phoebus have a meeting at house which ends with Frollo stabbing Phoebus and Esmeralda getting blamed for the crime. The musical has this scene sort of but doesn’t do much with it aside from an awesome song. In the show Frollo walks the city looking for Esmeralda and one night he sees her in a bar where she kissed Phoebus. That’s it. Sure, it gives some insight to Phoebus and Frollo’s desperation but not enough. It just seems like they wanted that scene but could only work in so far and then added the whole stabbing thing later. As Phoebus is getting his character arc he says no to burning a building and Frollo sentences him to die.   Esmeralda then appears and helps Phoebus,  then Frollo stabs Phoesbus AND then blames Esmeralda and that is one of her crimes. Am I crazy or that dumb? Am I going insane? The whole stabbing which a driving force in the book in shoehorned in this show in a near insulting manner.  Unless she stabbed another officer? There was a fight scene but still it’s an after thought.

But here is the thing instead of doing the Inn/Tarvern scene properly which would have meant probably switching Hellfire and Thai Mol Piyas it also meant forgoing the whole burning/search for Esmeralda as well as changing Phoebus’s character arc  a bit ergo they went for the Disney story and just threw it where they felt like. And that is weakness of the show as whole and an overdose Disney with pitch of the book.

It’s like they were baking a cake and were told that chile and chocolate go well together, so instead of adding ground cayenne pepper they just added some crushed up Jalapeño to a cake box cake.





This are movies that I was disappointed in and in a few cases just missed the worst list. These are in no particular order.  Also only did five of them.

Jang Dong-gun as Kunlun & Cecilia Cheung as Qingcheng The Promise picture image review

Jang Dong-gun as Kunlun & Cecilia Cheung as Qingcheng

The Promise –  This one just nearly missed the worst list. A few things kept it off, one being it was its own thing so it didn’t  oppose a source material, at least to my knowledge, the visuals in parts were very nice and I gave it the benefit of the doubt that the Chinese version was better. However, I wished the plot focused more on the lead female like Netflix suggested it did and not a fast runner fighting an evil duke that has a thing for feathers. Overall this one way really confusing and disappointing.

Vincent Cassel as the Beast and Léa Seydoux as Belle La Belle et la Bete 2014 picture image

Vincent Cassel as the Beast and Léa Seydoux as Belle

La Belle et la Bete (2014) – This movie I really wanted to like but the film-makers really messed most of this up. They gave the Beast a backstory that confused things and they went too far with trying to make it epic. I’m not saying that Fairy Tales movies can’t be epic but film makers need to stop doing it because you can’t pull if off. But more than that they didn’t even bother to have  Belle and Beast fall in love which should have been a crime. This movie is lucky that they were so many other terrible  movies or it would been on the worst list. The costumes were nice though.

Moira Shearer as Vicky having to choice between love and dancing The Red Shoes picture image

Moira Shearer as Vicky having to choice between love and dancing

The Red Shoes – This movie is yet another movie that people like and I was more disappointed in. If they had spent the time to establish Vicky’s love of dance, the romance,  and why she really had to make the choice between dancing and love it would have been better. The plot was just too rushed and unexplained. The Ballet part of the great though, so it’s slightly forgivable that the rushed the boring icky movie parts. I just want to note that shot  which is the picture shows  a really great.

Rutger Hauer as Navarre with Isabeau in Hawk form Ladyhawke picture image

Rutger Hauer as Navarre with Isabeau in Hawk form

Ladyhawke – I really wanted to like this movie but it was just too boring, too bland, too tonal confused  and too fill of 80’s cheesiness.   It’s a weird yet bad combination.

Lily James as Ella and Richard Madden as Prince Kit Cinderella 2015 picture image

Lily James as Ella and Richard Madden as Prince Kit

Cinderella (2015) – Again I really wanted to like this movie, the casting spoke to me and it had lovely costumes but it wasn’t enough. The choices they made just confused the plot and Ella was less proactive than her 1950 counterpart. I don’t need or really want a super hero military leader Cinderella but girl just spins and twirls. Also the pacing of this one was really bad, it felt so much longer than it needed to be.

Honorable Mention

The Snow Queen (2002) – Just because it was super long, the acting was bad and the weird to heck plot. But I didn’t have any excpetations of it so that helped.

This is far too silly. Video by Rin.


Michael Arden as Quasimodo & Ciara Renée as Esmeralda during the finale, La Jolla Hunchack of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo & Ciara Renée as Esmeralda during the finale, La Jolla Hunchack of Notre Dame

While the City Sleeps – A bridge song. Maybe it a slight bitterness in my mood, I’m not perfect in some of criticisms but I really do not care for the choir singing near operatics with the nasal singing of the chorus or rather the congregation. That nasal tone is very musical and Broadway but it two styles that do not mesh well together.

As it is, it’s a bridge song getting the musical from Someday to Made of Stone. But styles of singing just didn’t work, the congregation is capable of singing not as nasally so I’m not sure why they did here.

Made of Stone – I don’t want to seem jaded, though to be fair I am but this version of Made of Stone is very much the same as the German version. Is that bad? No. I just can rave about this song as much. That being said it’s well done. Michael Arden gives great performance. He pulls off a good combination of anger and pathos that the song requires. Though in the stage show at least for the La Jolla performance, I wish he was just a little bit anger but it could have just been that show, that night.

I do think it’s weird that Quasimodo asks what his own mind know of him. Quasimodo is crazy. Also I don’t know if I get why the congregation take off their cowl things? I think something more akin to pulling hoods over their faces would have been better, like they lose the spark and individuality Quasimodo’s mind gave them. But what do I know about stage craft.

Though I still maintain I liked Made of Stone before Someday better. There was just more power there but they clearly wanted the the epic Latin music that the Disney movie had hence the switch.

Finale – OK, before I can even start with the song, I need to discuss this insanity of logic in the script. One of Esmeralda’s crime was stabbing Phoebus. No musical, I told you can not do that. I might have forgiven you if you let it alone but you bring it back? I know the book did it, it made sense (somewhat) in the book but you can’t do it here. Frollo sentenced Phoebus to die in public, then he stabs him, still in public though albeit in some confusion, then blames Esmeralda and THAT is one her crimes she is to die for? THE FUCK? I know you wanted to be like book more but you need to think about logically. There was enough to convict her, witchcraft was enough. Just so much NO here. And that was just one line.

Aside from that one line which seems like it shouldn’t matter but does, how is the Finale? This one is a bit of a roller coaster. There are parts I really like and other parts that I find meh to other parts that are just left me wondering if musical didn’t really getting the original  source material i.e the book.

Before I say what parts of the song that were good and which ones missed the mark, let’s just discuss the song sturture. It’s a frankenstein song as in it’s made up of other songs from the show. Like Made of Stone, Someday, On Top of the World, Esmeralda, Sanctuary, Out There and Bells of Notre Dame. This is the same case of the German version so it’s not a negative. they all work together.

So what parts did I like? I liked the song after Frollo died, in particular the congregation singing about the world to Frollo’s part of Out There. That part was lovely and so bittersweet, made me tear up a little bit. Also the lovely female Latin solo was quite nice. The ending is the best part of this song hands down.

The meh parts were the parts lifted from the Disney movie which is little sad since it’s the Sanctuary/ fight scene. It just didn’t translate that well to stage show. I can see why Notre Dame de Paris didn’t bother. Speaking of Notre Dame de Paris, Frollo has the same powers to suspend Sanctuary or rather negate, still same difference. I will say that the molten lead was cool in the stage show.

The part that leaves me questioning if the people in charge get the book was Frollo’s death. Though I will say I did like that response to Frollo saying “You don’t want to hurt me” and the congregation saying “Yes” in a creepy whipser, that I liked. Ok, so this part hurts my brain trying to figure it out. On the one hand Quaismodo throws Frollo off the building and he utters “There lies all that have ever loved.” But unlike the book where Quasimodo throws Frollo in a fit of rage for laughing at Esmeralda’s death here in this version he seems more intent on killing him, saying the wicked should not go unpunished. Quaismodo was quite murderous here. It just didn’t sit well with me. I get the whole scene was a call back to start of show when Frollo was singing the wicked shall not go unpunished but still.  Maybe if Frollo had been more crazy at this point and laughed. This version he so cool and calm that it just weird. Where is this guy’s crazy lust?  It’s not Frollo.

But hey at least like in the book everyone but Phoebus dies even if it’s super unclear that Quasimodo takes Esmeralda and lies down to die. If you don’t really think about things too much and just let this Finale wash over you, it’s great and very powerful at the end. Though I would note the riddle of what makes and Monster and what makes a man is technically the moral albeit vague. The ending for me was the best part of the finale.

Still more to say on the cast album.

This is a list of the worst Live-Action Fairy Tale movies that were reviewed. This list was hard to compose because there was just so many bad movies and they were bad in different ways. Some were just bad, some confused the source material the point of insanity and some did both. But when is came down it it came to a question of which one would I rather watch again.

Also a note I’m adding two posts on movies that I personally was disappointed in and ones I liked were were surprised by, these movies also do not appear on the Best/Worst lists.


Number #10


Mila Kunis as Theodora Oz The Great and Powerful picture image

Mila Kunis as Theodora

 Oz the Great and Powerful – This one made the list more on wasted potential and its odd casting. Mila Kunis and James Franco were just too ill suited in their roles. There were just too many odd other choices to ignore, like none of the characters have good motivations. The movie does have nice technicals like the China Girl but a lot of the techicals come at the expense of the characters. Plus Mila Kunis as the wicked witch was just silly.


Number #9

Amanda Seyfried as Valerie Red Riding Hood picture image

Amanda Seyfried as Valerie

Red riding Hood – Yes, this movie sucks and is pretty much a Twilight version of Little Red Riding Hood.  I get the feeling though that people working of it more less knew that and just went on because it’s a paid check. However given some of the other movies, I would rather watch this one. Plus the very first time I watch it I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would so that is something, granted I was hanging out with people and having fun so the movie might have been a mute point.


Number #8

Tom Hanks as Allen & Daryl Hannah as Madison Splash picture image

Tom Hanks as Allen & Daryl Hannah as Madison

Splash  – I know a lot of people out there like this movie but I found all the characters so unlikable. The plot also sucks with the mermaid time limit, the weird rules and the whole government thing.  It’s dumb and unlikable.  Plus it lost me the second they said let’s look at Cape Cod, stupid movie.


Number #7

Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife, James Corden as The Baker and Daniel Huttlestone as Jack Into the Woods Picture image

Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife, James Corden as The Baker and Daniel Huttlestone as Jack

Into the Woods – If Splash under explained its plot than Into the Woods over explains it to the point where you don’t even need to watch the movie, just listen to it in another room. I mean what’s the point of a visual median if you don’t need to watch the thing?  Though to be fair this movie is so dark and devoid of good visuals anyway that you’re not even missing anything.  It’s really disappointing since that could have made the visual interesting and they didn’t and with musical movie you need or it’s get boring, like this one.

Number #6

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy

Beastly – Yet another Twilight-eque take on a Fairy tale. In this world being bland and tattoo is super ugly and if you don’t live in Manhattan you might as well just kill yourself because you’re in exile. This one is just shallow, vapid and stupid. I mean really the guy won the girl with quite literally candy and flowers.

Number #5

Amanda Bynes as Sydney with The Seven Dorks Sydney White picture image

Amanda Bynes as Sydney with The Seven Dorks

Sydney White – Oh this one is so stupid that it hurts. The sad part is that I think the movie thinks that it is indeed being clever and funny, which it is not. Also I hate the whole girl is cool because like a dude but with a vagina. Hated this movie.

Number #4

Kristen Stewart as Snow White & Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsmen Snow White and the Huntsmen picture image

Kristen Stewart as Snow White & Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsmen

Snow White and the Huntsmen – It’s a kick-ass Snow white movie, problem is the girl doesn’t do much of anything except for the one thing a man taught her.  There just so much just wrong with this movie that it’s impossible to put it one paragraph. But it a chaotic mess that promised an active Snow White but didn’t not. The only thing we really get is a screaming Charlize Theron in some cool costumes but that isn’t enough, it’s really nothing.

Number #3

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent picture image

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent

Maleficent – This movie is just so misguided that it’s a wonder that they actually made it. It’s basic a Frozen and Wicked knock-off just with Sleeping Beauty. But what really gets me is that they took the Mistress of all Evil and made her a scorned woman who was really a good fairy. Just so much No. Also so was more a prankster than an evil villain.

Number #2

Matt Damon as Will and Health Ledger as Jacob The Brothers Grimm picture image

Matt Damon as Will and Health Ledger as Jacob

The Brothers Grimm – The idea behind this movie might have been good but the excution was beyond annoying. The jokes were not funny and character all sucked.  Everything and I do mean everything about this movie was pure rancid vomit that at no point was I entertained or amused.  Why was this even made? Who gave someone the money to make this?

Number #1

Eliza Bennett as Snow White Grimm's Snow White picture image

Eliza Bennett as Snow White

Grimm’s Snow White – What can really be said about a movie when the people making it had the intention and the hope that no one watching it was paying attention? Beyond that I just don’t know what to say about this movie as it’s not telling the story of Snow White that I’m not even sure why the threw in the elements and slap the name on it in the first place. First off this is more of a Lord of the Ring knock-off than a Snow White but also Snow white is Blonde, it’s just what the fuck is this? The Dwarves are Elves and the Evil Queen wants some Star Fire. Even if the plot misses the point of either source there nothing else that this movie offers of substance, the characters were so devoid of anything that you can’t even call them characters and the technicals are cringeworthy.

This is the worst thing I have ever seen. This movie makes Happy N’ever After and Milo’s return look like works of brilliance and those movies are shit.  Grimm’s Snow White isn’t even shit, it’s the festering bowels  of a beached whale carcass that is so corrupted by the polluted waters that it will not wither away into nothingness.

The real question is what is worse Grimm’s Snow White or The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale? That is too tough to even think about.

This is a recent performance in Bari of Bella from the Italian Cast of Notre Dame de Paris. What is interesting about this cast is that is mostly the original cast from 2001.

Quasimodo – Giò Di Tonno
Frollo – Vittorio Matteucci
Febo – Graziano Galatone
Esmeralda – Lola Ponce

I never really discussed the Italian cast but I hope to go more in-depth of them someday. For many people it’s their favorite but for now I will just say that the Italian version is a little more Operatic than the Original French in terms of acting.

Also this version of Bella is spot-on, they are wonderful.