Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

On March 15th 2017 Billboard ranked every song from the Disney Renaissance (1989-199) and it was done by various staffers. Now everyone is entitled to their opinions but their opinions are wrong. You can read it here if you want.

For Hunchback the ranking are as follows;
42: God Help the Outcasts
41: Heaven’s Light/Hellfire
38: A Guy like You
37: The Bells of Notre Dame
34: Topsy Turvy
30: Out There

Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo Court of Miracles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo Court of Miracles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Court of Miracles didn’t count as the article called it “Super Slight” but Trashin the Camp ranked #26 even though it’s just scat, just saying. It’s important to know that the list was out of 45 songs, Hunchback didn’t get even in the upper half. Honestly it doesn’t really matter that as it seem the “staffers” have a very weird sense of what a “Disney” song should be.

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

First off they said God Help the Outcasts was “sombre and flat.” Heaven’s Light/Hellfire was “it’s one least memorable tunes” (Are they saying Hellfire is not memorable??? The Heck you say). The really didn’t say anything bad about A Guy like you. They said The Bells of Notre Dame “lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.” They called Topsy Turvy the “most Disney-like of the entire Hunchback film and soundtrack.” And Out There again nothing bad, though Out THere is pretty much Part of your World 2.0 and that song ranked #9 so it’s really not surprising that these people would like it more that the other Hunchback songs.

Shock the Priest Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Shock the Priest Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Just looking at the way they ranked the Hunchback song I’m not sure these people understand anything about anything. They seem to like either bright happy song, love songs or the I want type song, you know typically Disney stuff. Oddly the highest ranking Villain song was Be Prepared at #15.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

With that in mind yes, their ranking make a weird sense but how does one say that Hellfire even if it’s paired with Heaven’s Light, is a worse song than A Guy like you? Sure, if you like bright happy things, but Hellfire is one of great villain songs and Heaven’s Light is the perfect foil. My guess is that these “staffers” collectively didn’t like Hunchback as much as other movies as Hunchback is one more a-typical Disney movies.

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

They can rank the songs however they want, with bias or not but but I take their credibility as critics into question with how they dismissed Hunchback songs as being “unDisney” because they are not as bright and colorful as the “popular” songs.

Prove these critics wrong and get the soundtrack

and maybe if Hunchback products make money, Disney will see the merits of a Live-action movie.

 Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

Confession time, Beauty and the Beast was never like a favorite Disney movie of mine, don’t get me wrong, I like it, I’m just not attach to it in a nostalgic ways. Nor am I a big fan of Emma Watson so I don’t have any excitement for the new version.   With that said, let’s look at the music video “starring” Ariana Grande and John Legend.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

It’s rather interesting that this version of the song sounds more 90’s than the 90’s version.  This is not a good version of the song. Grande’s voice doesn’t seems suited for it. Like her diction is all over the place trying to sound “pretty.” Legend does better but does very little for the song.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana-Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

So let’s just move on to the actually video. Well let’s just get this out of the way, WHAT IS GRANDE WEARING? Who designed that and who said “yeah let’s put her in a loofa?” (I realize everyone is saying it looks like a loofa and that because it’s true)  Grande dress is supposed  to look like a rose but this is a monstrosity. If this was on Project runway it would be voted out. It’s like bolt of tulle threw up on her. There are ways of communicating the shape of a flower in cloth without like like a wanna-be-designer.  I don’t want to give the impression of knowing anything about actually fashion design or aesthetics BUT typically when doing voluminous or big gown you need to balance out the portions. So big ballgown more streamlined bodice and vice-versa. This gown, why I get is suppose to be artistic does adhere to that method and just opts bit volume on volume but hey at least her hair in flat and straight. The thing the dress could have been fixed easily, just remove the tulle from the bust and left it smooth or add bead ot embroidery for more close up shots.  The volume isn’t even necessary as you don’t see the dress when the dancers form a rose around Grande.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

The dancing is actually one of highlights of the video. The way they form a rose is quite visually pleasing. While I know knowing about dancing the  choreography was very nice.

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

I get the visual frame but what is it framing? Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

Though I will say this with the dancers, Grande’s gown, Legend at the piano , Belle and Beast dancing, the over-the-top set and the firework sparkle effects,  it’s a visual overload. The a lot of  shots become cluttered.      

 Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend picture image

Beauty and the Beast music video with Ariana Grande & John Legend

This music video is just a case of  more equals  more. With minor tweaks it could have been a well-portion over-the-top grand video but instead it seemed a case of over indulgence all over the place.        

What do you think? Was Grande wearing a Loofa? Did you find this video timeless and elegant  like the song or was over-the-top and over blown?   

Click here to watch the Video  

Warning, Kind-Rant-y

My Crack Team of Young, Impression and Insecure, teenage girls a.k.a Disney Princesses picture image

Disney Princesses

In liking  some more nerdy media, like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, you find yourself looking into Fan-Theory. Personally, I enjoy fan-theories and speculating but sometimes they can be a bit of stretch especially all the ones for Star Wars…#Reysfatherislonestar (let me know if you get this.)  The fan-theories that are really the most annoying to read or hear about are the ones about Disney movies.

The Lamp Seller Aladdin picture image

The Lamp Seller Aladdin

The Disney Fan-theory just take whatever Easter Eggs or aspects of the production and just try and give it a deeper meaning that are often beyond ridiculous. The only one I really do subscribe to was the Genie being the Lamp seller and I don’t really want to pat myself on the pat but that was my thought when I first saw the movie in theatres as young child and I was by no means a smart child. But while we’re on the subject of Aladdin the one that annoys me is because of the mere fact that Robin Williams ad-libs and did impression in the movie led some people to think Aladdin took place in a post-apocalyptic world. Not that this REALLY debunks it but I had this mini Aladdin hardcover book  that was a summary of the movie, and I swear it had a year given in it for when it took place. I can’t recall exactly but it was around 900 A.D. Again doesn’t debunk the theory but the point is  Williams ad-lib and they took it as a cue for a deeper meaning.

Tarzan Parents picture image

Tarzan Parents

All the Disney theories are just so far-reaching. I won’t say that Game of Thrones or Star Wars aren’t but they are not bad as the Disney ones.  My least favorite has to be Tarzan’s parents are Anna and Elsa’s parents but Tarzan takes place sometime during the Victorian era but Frozen doesn’t seem to and Rapunzel is in Frozen and that is certain not Victorian. Your eyes will go cross if you think about it for too long.  Also they look nothing like Elsa and Anna’s parents in fact they look more like Anastasia and Dmitri but darn, not a Disney movie, plus again wrong time period. 

Belle, Carpet, Pumbaa Disney Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King

Belle, Carpet, and Pumbaa

Also speaking of Tarzan, another theory is Belle is an ancestor of Jane BECAUSE Jane has a teapot and cup that looks like Mrs. Potts and chip. It’s not an easter egg it’s a clue. But then how do people explain how Hercules got Scar’s pelt? Did the Lion King take place at the same time as ancient Greece? Wouldn’t have the Hyenas torn up Scar’s skin when they ripped him apart? And then with all this logic is Little Mermaid a contemporary of Aladdin since Sebastien was in Aladdin? Is The Little Mermaid post-apocalyptic? Are Mermaid’s mutant?   But isn’t The Little Mermaid in Neverland since people think Ariel’s mom is one of those Mermaids in Peter Pan because one of the mermaid looks like Ariel even though Ariel was going to originally have Blond hair  till Splash happen. Oh but Belle, Carpet from Aladdin and Pumbaa are in Hunchback! Where is the theory to explain those?  I’m confusing myself now.

Belle and the Provincial Town, Beauty and the Beast picture image

Belle and the Provincial Town, Beauty and the Beast

Well since Hunchback doesn’t  have any popular theory here one that doesn’t make sense but doesn’t not make  either. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle acts like she is rather above the village. She calls it poor and provincial and she fully admits she doesn’t fit in with the townspeople. So WHAT if Belle and her father were originally from Paris. They had to  move to the quiet provincial town to escape  Frollo’s genocide of the Gypsy as their house had gotten burned down in the fired Frollo created. The farm the live in the move belonged to Belle’s mother. This theory also ties into the adsenty royal family as Frollo doesn’t have to deal with a King and why one cares or knew about a Prince seemingly vanishing.  Despite the fact that Hunchback is clearly medieval and Beauty and Beast has a somewhat 18th style especially since Cogsworth mentioned the Baroque era which was from 1600-1750 seems unlikely and Beauty and the Beast have a bonus that they take place in the some country at the very least.  I guess I need to figure out Pumbaa and Carpet since theories have Carpet in a post-apocalyptic world and Pumbaa lived sometime during 5th century. Also why does Hercules have Gospel music with an  Ancient Greece setting? Off Subject…   

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The point is these theories have no sense of the movie’s setting and tone and rely on Easter Eggs and other production decisions  to connect dots that aren’t really there.

It’s Christmas time! A great thing to get for yourself or as gift are ornaments. Disney puts out a lot of ornaments and Hunchback has gotten a few, won’t say a lot. I do like this one because it depicts a nice scene from the movie  and has a nice sense of togetherness which just sums up the Holiday times.

Disney Quasimodo and Esmeralda Christmas ornament Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda Christmas ornament

 

However maybe you’re not in the market for a Hunchback ornament. Don’t worry there are plenty and I do mean plenty of other Disney Holiday ornament for you.  These are really just a few, there are so very, very many. This isn’t like a list or anything just a super minimal sampling.

2016 Disney Ornament  picture image

2016 Disney Ornament

 

I like how simple and to the point this one it. It’s classic Disney yet fun and simple.

 

Eeyore Ornament picture image

Eeyore Ornament

 

I admit it, I have a soft spot for Eeyore. I like how he is tangled in lights.

 

Elsa, Anna, Olaf Ornament Frozen picture image

Elsa, Anna, Olaf Ornament

I love how wintery this one is plus it has that feeling of togetherness that Hunchback one also has.

Moana Ornament picture image

Moana Ornament

The Newest Princess.

 

Also if your if more Holiday crazy and ornament are too basic for you there is this Disney Christmas insanity,

Disney Tabletop Christmas Tree picture image

Disney Tabletop Christmas Tree

This is for serious Disney/ Christmas fans!

 

 

 

 

I spotted this while I was at my local comic book store.

 Pop-up Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame Book picture image

Pop-up Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame Book

Isn’t it beautiful? Who doesn’t love a pop-up  especially a Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame pop-up book?   There were actually like two copies of them at the store but  I was unable to  obtain it.

DTV Monster Hits was a big thing in my childhood, my family recorded it on VHS (oh yeah) and I used to watch it a lot. Sadly this is pre-Disney Renassiance so no Hunchback but it defiantly a call back to 1980’s sentiments where you could scare child so long as it ended happily. I do prefer Disney being scary than sweet Princess stories but what can you do, I’m not an executive at Disney (Hire me Disney, we can make a scary Princess!)

Just click the picture below to watch the special (only only I could share it.)

DTV Monster Hits picture image

DTV Monster Hits

So this is basically Disney music videos with spooky songs. There  a few other things that are creepy and Halloween-ish, like the Evil Queen’s magic mirror and Witch Hazel. Also just to date this special, it has a preview of the newest movie at the time which was the The Great Mouse Detective, which was a fun movie!  The special  a great blend of old-school Dinsey charm and spooky creepy stuff.  I think my favorites of the music videos are Bad Moon Rising (not my typical style of music), Sweet Dreams, Monster Mash, Somebody’s watching, Better Run and Heffalumps & Woozles just to name a few. I really do love this special.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

I could not resist sharing these.

Disney Esmeralda Balloon Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Disney Esmeralda Balloon

They are Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame Balloons which I only found as the result of a typo. Typos are magical

Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical performing Esmeralda picture image

Ensemble performing Esmeralda

Last time we talked about the overall set from the American version and in general I liked it. It was a good simplifying of Notre Dame itself. Click here to read that post. However the problem that arises from fairly stationary main set piece is they way other scene outside of Notre Dame are communicated to the audience and in some case even the faced of Notre Dame itself. The American version of the Disney musical used moving set pieces as well as lighting. This also the approached that Notre Dame de Paris used and still uses today, albeit they have less set pieces and use more lighting and abstraction.

Hunchback of Notre Dame Set picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame Set

While I do like the primary set, all the other such i.e the set pieces, the extras and the cast does make for a lot of chaos on the stage and makes it at time seem like a cluttered mess. There is just too much and to be fair the differing patterns of the floor with the Rose window of the backdrop doesn’t help. If anything, it like the use of the extras made it lack focus.

On Top of the World Der Glockner von Notre Dame. picture image

On Top of the World Der Glockner von Notre Dame.

The American Musical version’s closest other version besides the movie, is the 1999 version musical Der Glockner von Notre Dame. Glockner also had a lot of moving parts but in a a very different way. To communicate the height of the Cathedral they used hydraulic lifts with screens and projections.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Both approaches is an apple and oranges kind of thing and not every production can have hydraulic lifts, moving set pieces are an easier more flexible approach. By I won’t pretend that I don’t like hydraulic lifts, they are cool to see in action. However there is a price, having your character higher in the high makes them higher from the audiences and it easier to loose that characters connection to the audience.

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

The use of the American Musical moving set pieces isn’t the issue, the issue is how clutter it made things. And when compare to Der Glockner which has it levels and tier that coalesce better and seem more purposeful, it does seem like American version once again could have use some editing.

And again if haven’t voted in the poll for the next version you still can.

What should be the next version?

  • Quasimodo d'el Paris (53%, 9 Votes)
  • The Dingo Version (35%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (PLEASE say what it is in the comments) (12%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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And I still sick so I’m sorry this post is more confused than normal.

 

 

Hunchback of Notre Dame Set picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame Set

I have a bit of a confession to make, I really wrote myself into a little corner with this post as originally I had planned to discuss the Gargoyles VS the chorus but I just did that in a more organic fashion last week and I don’t what to be knowingly redundant. After looking through the production, I found my muse, one Alexander Dodge.

Alexander Dodge was the set designer for the American production of the Disney Musical. His other work include, The Tempest, Ghost of Versailles and Anastasia for the Hartford Stage. Anastasia is based on the Don Bluthe movie and is going to Broadway. You can check his work here which is gorgeous.

The Hunchback set is lovely. It does a good job of basically simplifying the cathedral into its main parts os action but working upwards. The floor represent the Sanctuary, the Rose window and the Statues the Middle portions and the bells for the Bell Tower. It’s not hard to understand.  Places outside of Notre Dame are communicated more with set pieces and lightening.

I feel like there is a large disconnect between the vision of the musical trying to slightly minimal with Quisimodo’s deformity and the extras filling in as set pieces with the grand vastness of the set. For instance when Quasimodo is saving Esmeralda, he goes through the Gallery of Kings. The Gallery of Kings is represented with the Extras but they are also part of the set on the sides.  It would have been confusing to an average viewer and the set could have allowed for that. I guess because the extras go back and forth between the animated and stone states that their poses made it clear but I was even confused for a second.

Overall the sets were not so much the issue the vision of the production was problematic. Also a lot of the time it was hard to even see the set through all the moving parts, i.e the set pieces and the extras.

 

 

 

Just for the record, this more on the story/characters and not the technicals of the show, that comes next month.

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a little mixed with a leaning towards not liking the show. The Disney plot and the book elements didn’t blend together at all. The only element that worked with regards to the movie and the book was Phoebus and too be fair the 1923 Lon Chaney version did the same type of arc with Phoebus. It’s a classic asshole womanizer turn good when he falls in love trope. 1980’s Teen Movies and Trashy Romance novels do this character all the time, it’s not a hard arc to write. The only character that is likable is Esmeralda and she just Disney Esmeralda with a touch of Der Glockner throw in for good measure.

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

It seemed that a lot of people were happy when they heard that there would be no Gargoyles in the show. The lack of the Gargoyles in this version gave the production legitimacy and maturity however the gargoyles shouldn’t have a problem.  The Disney characterization of the gargoyles was the problem not just having the characters in the show. The personalities could have been easily tweaked, I.E no fart jokes. They could have written them such that they were represented of Quasimodo’s Id, Ego and Super Ego. Even if that is an obvious attempt at seeming smart it’s still an attempt at writing characters and not filling the stage with extras. It was easier to write non-character extras or simply the congregation than writing and fixing the gargoyle characters like what Der Glockner did, although they were boring they were still characters.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

The congregation also had another ill-affect to another character, they made Clopin useless. Clopin really does nothing in this musical. In the Disney movie Clopin takes on a few roles; he is the story-teller, leader of the Court of Miracles and a performer. It’s the story-teller role however that gives him his importance. It makes more interesting. Without that role his other roles could have been filled by the congregation and no one really would have noticed.

Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical performing Esmeralda picture image

Ensemble performing Esmeralda

Ultimately the concept of blending the Disney movie and the book didn’t work as this musical presented the  story. It was disappointing to say the least. With more tweaking and editing it could have have worked into a fluid narrative that would been more impactful and bittersweet. The music was good, so it wasn’t ALL bad.

Note for next month – Next month I’m taking a minor break. This means there will only be five posts in June. I’m only going to posts Tuesday and one Wednesday for a casting post since people seem to enjoy though. I can’t say if this will be for the whole Summer or just June but I need break.

Also here is a poll for what should be  reviewed next. It expires June 30th

What should be the next version?

  • Quasimodo d'el Paris (53%, 9 Votes)
  • The Dingo Version (35%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (PLEASE say what it is in the comments) (12%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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