There are seven differences.

Jetlag version of Spot the Difference  picture image

Jetlag version of Spot the Difference

 

Original

Esmeralda and Gringoire Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Gringoire

Esmeralda and Gringoire Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Gringoire

The Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame gets a pass on execution because it maintains the most of the original plot of the book which is rare to see with a movie adaptation of The Hunchback. It’s admirable that the production team did it but there is no excuse for just how lifeless and lazy the Jetlag version is. The nicest thing I can say about it is that the Jetlag version is dull, everything about it is dull; the characters, the colors, the songs, everything. It’s not an overall bad movie and but it’s not that enjoyable either. The only reason I would recommend watching it is to see the plot left pretty much intact but there is no depth or joy to this movie.

Next Version up for Review – It’s a secret. I’m also going to take a brief hiatus from my Hunchback movie reviews till January 8th. I’ll still post everyday but fewer articles.

There one big major glaring plot-hole in the Jetlag version of the Hunhcback of Notre Dame .

Frollo attack while Esmeralda and Phoebus embrace, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo attack while Esmeralda and Phoebus embrace, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

During the ill-fate meeting of Esmeralda and Phoebus, after Phoebus is stab by Frollo, Frollo rips Esmeralda’s necklace off and throws it in the river where it drift down to Quasimodo who seems to be in the general area during the stabbing.

Quasimodo holding Esmeralda's Necklace, Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo holding Esmeralda’s Necklace, Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame

Why was he there? The film makes no indication of him following either Esmeralda or Frollo. Was he out taking a midnight scroll?  In the words of the Nostalia Critc  “Explain Movie, Explain.”

Esmeralda tells Quasimodo about Frollo Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda tells Quasimodo about Frollo

Now when Esmeralda realizes that Frollo is the one who stabbed Phoebus she runs to tell Quasimodo who doesn’t believe her. But When Quasimodo confronts Frollo at the end on bridge he says that he saw him stab the captain.

Frollo threatening Esmeralda, Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo threatening Esmeralda, Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame

So Quasimodo saw Frollo stab Phoebus but didn’t believe it? Or he saw it but didn’t know it was Frollo but we never see him come to the realization that Frollo did it? In fact, we never see Quasimodo realize that Frollo is no longer a nice person and inflicting pain on Esmeralda, the woman he loves.

Quasimodo throws Frollo off a bridge Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo throws Frollo off a bridge

In the book Quasimodo sees Frollo laughing at a dying Esmeralda and throws him off Notre Dame but he does it in a fit of rage but never quite understood why he did it. In the Jetlag version he sees Frollo trying to kill Esmeralda and he all like ‘yeah I saw you stab that guy even though I never really thought about it or seemed to even care about that incident, so you’re bad guy now it’s time to get wet and inconvenienced’ and over the bridge he goes. Got to wonder how high that bridge was, I mean Frollo’s comeuppance is getting wet whereas Quasimodo and Esmeralda may get to live happy ever after but they are chased out Paris and are basically criminals. But then again searching for logic or a deeper meaning to things in the Jetlag version is pointless as it was rushed, not thought out and lazy.

Quasimodo and Esmeralda embrace Esmeralda in Sanctuary Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda embrace Esmeralda in Sanctuary

Next Jetlag Article – The Epic Conclusion

Gringoire balancing a chair Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gringoire balancing a chair Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame

Despite all of its negatives, the Jetlag version has one major positive that seems to eclipse the all negatives and that its adherence to the original plot of the book albeit with a happy ending and no deaths.

Frollo attack while Esmeralda and Phoebus embrace, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo attack while Esmeralda and Phoebus embrace, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

A lot of the plot point from the original book are let in tact. Like Frollo as Priest and he starts off kind, there is the kidnapped attempt, Phoebus is a cad who tries to seduce Esmeralda even though he has a fiancée, Fleur de Lys, and does get stab by Frollo, Gringoire’s character is large let intact, Quasimodo is deaf etc.

Esmeralda, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Coming off the heels of the Disney movie which is very different than the book, to watch this version despite its lazy execution is very refreshing. However since Disney is a big company they couldn’t make Hunchback accurate to the book without offending people whereas Jetlag is a smaller company so they don’t have that concern. But more that Jetlag is a American-Japanese company so a lot the hang ups on making Frollo a lusty priest didn’t really apply. This also explain why Esmeralda has an anime look to her.

Quasimodo throws Frollo off a bridge Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo throws Frollo off a bridge

Hunchback was Jetlag’s last production under the name GoodTimes before GoodTimes turned in a new company. This version of Hunchback came out on April 30th 1996. So it beat the Disney version but it’s release was meant to capitalize off of it. However, in direct competition to Disney movie the Jetlag version’s saving grace is that it maintain the plot whereas Disney didn’t and most people seem to forgive the laziness and the slow pacing of the Jetlag version because of this. If there was a film version that had good execution and maintain the plot of book than this version would fade into more obscurity. There are some version that come close but there is also something missing.

Next Jetlag article (almost done) – a major Plot hole

Esmeralda tells Quasimodo about Frollo Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda tells Quasimodo about Frollo

Like most of the other elements in the Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame the animation is just lazy. But more than that it’s dull and joyless.

Quaismodo Jetlag The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quaismodo Jetlag The Hunchback of Notre Dame

First, the colors. They’re dull and muddy. If it was meant to be stylistic, it failed but I don’t think it was. I think the color story was done quickly and without much thought.

Baby Quaismodo, Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame   picture image

Baby Quaismodo, Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame

Second, the repeat animation. Quite often in this movie the animation will repeat frames of animation for what seems like an eon. It does this because it has to padded out the story. The movie also does this with still frames. The effect of this method is sheer boredom. It’s almost painful to have to sit there a watch baby Quasimodo wiggling around for a few seconds.

Esmeralda twirling, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda twirling, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Three, the movement of the characters. It’s awkward, weird and sort of jolty. Nothing looks smooth or fluid. Also the lip sync is bad. It gets very annoying. In fact at one point Fleur de Lys is talking but nothing in coming out of her mouth. This could be the dub cutting dialogue or repeat animation. Take your pick, either choice is the result of laziness.

Esmeralda and Gringoire Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Gringoire

More than that the screen composition and framing is just really dull and not interesting to look at. It just feels lazy, rushed and joyless which just further the boredom that this movie brings on.

Tormented Frollo Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Tormented Frollo Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame

The animation is just so soulless. There is not joy or style in it and it really makes the movie feel so much longer that 40 minutes.

Next Jetlag Article – Plot Adherence

Esmeralda & Phoebus Kiss while Frollo attacks Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus Kiss while Frollo attacks

 

The character design in the Jetlag version the Hunchback on Notre Dame is just as lazy and uninspired as the songs and the rest of the execution on this movie.

Esmeralda, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda is probably the most designed character in this version. I think that the designers tried most with her relative the other characters. However the designers are guilty of putting her red and they made her look too sexy. They put her in a strapless corset and a long red skirt with a slit that goes all the way up her leg. Her clothes are just wrong for the time period. But at least she is pretty.

Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road picture image

Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road

However she looks at lot like Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road, a Japanese anime from the 1980s. It actually get a bit detracting because she is the only character in this that has an anime look. It maybe because she is a gypsy and they wanted her to look distinct but the difference of animation style looks more sloppy than stylistic.

Quasimodo, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo looks a little more normal that he normally depicted. He has the hunch, a closed eye and a large protrusion over said eye. But he doesn’t read as ugly or deformed as he does in other versions. This one of the few times that he doesn’t have red hair instead he has black hair. The black hair reads more boring but that’s okay because Quasimodo’s look is boring in this version.

Frollo gives an evil smile Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

As I said in the voice acting post, Frollo sounds like Gargamel from the Smurfs and he kind looks like him too. Frollo has more hair though. Frollo has a tonsure which is a nice trait but it’s not gray at all which was a major trait of Frollo’s in the book. He look oldish and austere but not in the some capacity as the book or in the Disney movie. Like Quasimodo his character design is just boring.

Gringoire from the Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gringoire, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gringoire’s character design wins the award of the most boring design. His design is like ambien, it’s sleep inducing. Most of the extras have more interesting designs.

Phoebus and Esmeralda,  Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus and Esmeralda, Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Phoebus in this version has a mustache and looks fairy believable as a late medieval soldier. But for some reason he has reddish-pink-brown hair, which looks really silly. Phoebus typically has blond hair to reference his name sake. His hair color in this version seems out of place.

The Duke of Egypt, Jetlag Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Duke of Egypt, Jetlag Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Duke of Egypt looks like a monster. Why does he look like a monster? I have no clue. His design baffles me. If he was the villain I could understand it but he is hardly a side character. So why does he have pointy elf ears, upturn fangs and a general monster look. My guess is he was a left over design from another project and they just went with it. Because while his design is at least interesting it doesn’t fit in to the context of this movie or his “character” (he doesn’t have much one).

Fleur de Lys, Jetlag Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Fleur de Lys, Jetlag Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Fleur de Lys looks old. For some reason she has white hair and a receding hairline. She at least has a henin headdress (the pointy princess hats) so at least they got something right from the period. Her look is cold and austere which is in contrast to Esmeralda’s but Fleur de lys is suppose to look old? Why does this movie has some aversion to blond hair. Blond hair on her would have look worlds better.

Next Jetlag Article – Animation

Phoebus Face Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame

Phoebus Face

The last song in the Jetlag versionis called “Love is Everything.” The best thing about this song is that since it’s the ending song you don’t have to listen to it because it’s terrible.

The song lasts for 2 and half grueling minutes but after the first 5 seconds you’ll be bored enough to turn it off. However, if for some reason you leave it on be prepare for sappy lazy awfulness.

The song is about how Quasimodo is happy that Esmeralda is love with him because love is awesome. Love is so awesome in fact that it can and I quote “

Love can make a blind man see
Love can set a prisoner free

I’m sorry song but love can not repair vision and I think evidence is more responsible for freeing prisoners. But nice rhyme there, Free and See, Genius! Most of the other lyrics and rhyme scheme seem like the singer is making it up as he goes.

But my annoyance with this song goes even further than the stupid lazy lyrics and sappy nature of a Quasimodo spouting the “greatness of love” it’s the melody of this song that really gets to me. Just listen to it and tell if you think it’s familiar. It’s a Christmas Carol! They use “We Three Kings” for the bulk of the construction of the melody. What utter laziness. And why that song? Did they think no one would notice? Or did they think kids won’t know that song? Because I knew that song as child and it’s not that esoteric of a song. Or did they want their laziness to be recognized?

As for the visual, they’re just scene shots from the movie with static credits. But since the point of interest is being covered with credits there is not much to look. So like the rest of the song the visuals are lazy.

There is nothing good about this song, nothing! It’s just lazy and stupid. Just skip it.

Next Jetlag Article- Character Design

Esmeralda dancing Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda dancing Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda twirling, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda twirling, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The second song in the Jetlag version is called “Queen of my Heart.” This song is played over Quasimodo’s fantasy of Esmeralda. I suspect that the reason why the song is not sung by Quasimodo himself is either the song was written independently from the animation or they just didn’t want to bother with lip sync. But how is the song? Is it better than “Pity Not Quasimodo”? Well yeah, it’s better than “Pity Not Quasimodo” but it’s still a sappy and stupid song made worse by the visuals.

Esmeralda swaying, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda swaying, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Let’s start with some positives, because there are a few. First off, despite the visuals which are bad, the quality of animation (in parts) are the best in the film. They have clean lines and there is a decent flow to the movements, however that is also an issue that I will get into in bit.

Esmeralda dancing with Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda dancing with Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The song while it’s sappy, it’s also heartfelt and self-actualized. Unlike the Disney version where Quasimodo doesn’t really have a doubt that Esmeralda could love him, here he does and is afraid that she’ll leave or may not even be real. Also the song stresses her kindness as well as beauty but doesn’t elevate her to an Angel, it keeps her human.

Eye Zoom through Esmeralda's eye to Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Eye Zoom through Esmeralda’s eye to Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Those are the positives and now the negatives. First off when this song begins Quasimodo stares up in the flame of a candle and the camera zooms into it and the fantasy/song starts. Ummmmm, hmmmm what other Hunchback of Notre Dame song has a guy starring into a fire and fantasizes about Esmeralda? Hmmmm let me think………. Oh! I know, Hellfire, Frollo’s villain song from the Disney movie where he calls Esmeralda a witch, blames her for the lust he feels, and plots to kill her while damning her soul. Why are they ripping-off Hellfire with this sappy ballad for Quasimodo’s love of Esmeralda? It’s the total opposite tone of Hellfire. I guess the candles links Quasimodo and Esmerada as an editing transition but it a stupid choice. Having him stare into the moon would have been better and easier to animate since this movie is lazy with animation anyway.

Esmeralda prancing, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda prancing, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Which brings me to my next point, the animation in this song. Now I said that the animation in this song was the best in the movie which is true but too bad the animators knew this because they repeat animation over and over and over again. Despite the sweet tone of the song it gets comical. The repeat animation is clearly just to pad the animation out for 2:42 minutes.

Esmeralda and her tambourine, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda and her tambourine, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The dancing is also really awkward. All she really does is leap and spin around. She does so other moves like hits her tambourine against her breasts. What? I don’t get why she does this? She also at the end of the song she makes bats appear. Now I know they are supposed to be birds, which on its’ own makes no sense but they look like bats.

Esmeralda dancing with Phoebus, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda dancing with Phoebus, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

One more aspect of the visuals really bothers me. The way the song is presented as Quasimodo’s fantasy so why his fantasy about Esmeralda is her dancing with other men? I mean he doesn’t really know Phoebus and he doesn’t know about Gringoire, so how can he fantasize that Esmeralda dances with both of them? What is Quasimodo subconscious trying to tell him? Or are Phoebus and Gringoire a manifestation of Quasimodo’s fear that she will leave him? I’m going to say no, the movie it not that cerebral. I get why they are here from a story context but it makes no sense in the here because the song is Quasimodo’s fantasy.

Esmeralda dancing with Gringoire, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda dancing with Gringoire, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

So the visual are very problematic but how is the song? Pretty Bad. The predominant instrument is a cheesy electric piano. It’s really hard to get pass the utter cheapness of the electric piano here. As with the first song I’m not a fan of the singer’s thin, breathy, raspy voice. There is something about his voice that is sleep inducing and lifeless. And then there are the lyrics. They’re not terrible but there no good or special, they just meh.

Esmeralda spinning, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda spinning, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The result of the song is that it just stops the story right it it tracks for a lifeless, sappy, confusing song sequence. If it was good you can forgive it but it’s not good it’s boring. That is the most complementary thing I can say about the end result of this sequence is it was boring. I think a better singer, a better arrangement and better visuals that fit the song this sequence could have been good because it song fits Quasimodo character pretty well.

Esmeralda releases bats, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda releases bats, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Watch the video of this song here

Next Jetlag Article – The Ending Song “Love is Everything” {gags}

Ending of The Hunchback of Notre Dame,  Jetlag  picture image

Ending of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The songs in Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame make the songs in the Disney sequel look like the original Disney version. They’re bad, real bad, absolute awfulness.

In total there are three songs and they are completely shoehorned in movie. The only reason for the songs is that it’s a Jetlag formula to have three songs regardless or not if they fit into that movie. None of the characters sing them and they add nothing to the story hence they are worthless. If they were good songs you could forgive them being thrown in over the beginning, end credits and in a random part in the middle but no they are terrible and random. So let’s start with first song which is called “Pity not Quasimodo” which plays over the opening credits.

Right off the bat it starts with “La Marsellaise” (The National Anthem of France). You can’t throw a famous song like that in. It’s tacky. I guess they were establishing the setting but had there just been an accordion piece composed for the movie it would have been so much better. Sure, an accordion would be an anachronism but it’s not an National Anthem. We’re 7 seconds in and already I’m disgusted.

Quaismodo Jetlag The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quaismodo Jetlag The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The lyrics of the song begins with a several of questions that are meant to get the viewers to empathize with Quasimodo. The Questions are;

Have you ever felt out of place?
Have you ever felt like a stranger?
And your clothes were all wrong
And your voice was too loud

If you answered yes to these questions then song suggests that you know how a deformed, deaf, hunchback who has to live apart from society, is a subject of ridicule and was abandon at birth must feel. Really song? Having inappropriate clothes and a loud voice does not often ostracized a person from society.

Esmeralda gives Quasimodo a kiss Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda gives Quasimodo a kiss

However, you’re not supposed to pity Quasimodo because he has big heart and the song implies that girl named Esmeralda falls in love with him. 45 seconds and the movie gives away the ending.

In terms of the music I can make out a few cords, a drum and electric piano but the mixing between the vocals and the accompaniment is bad. I can’t really make out if it’s bad or not. But I can tell it’s cheesy and cheap sounding. The vocals, oh the vocals. The guy singing has a thin, raspy, breathy voice. I don’t partially care for this style of voice but at least he can carry a tune and he also had crap to work with.

Notre Dame of Paris Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Notre Dame of Paris Jetlag

If you thought the song was uninteresting and lazy well then let’s look at the visuals. The visual are just sets. So we have Notre Dame, the pillory, the city and the dock and that’s it. It’s boring the most exciting thing in the opening is a flag blowing in the breeze. The animation budget was clearly not wasted here.

This introduction is failure. Aside the boring song and the visual that are lazy and boring there is no tone or mood to this. It lacks joy. Watching this opening makes me feel that this is going to be a boring movie. But wait, the movie is boring so I guess the this opening succeeded, Good job opening, you succeeded in giving me a nice 40 minute nap, Kudos.

Watch this song here or get you very own copy of the Jetlag Version Here

Next Jetlag Article: Song 2  Queen of my Heart

Esmeralda dancing Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda dancing Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Esmeralda Crying after Frollo stabs Phoebus Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Crying after Frollo stabs Phoebus Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame

The voice acting in the Jetlag version of the Hunchback  is delightfully bad. Most of the lines are delivered with all the passion of a elementary school play. Though make no mistake it does get hammy at some points, like when Esmeralda utters “No” after Phoebus gets stab. But for the most part it’s dull and passionless.

 

Jetlag Frollo and Garamel from The Smurf picture

Garamel from The Smurfs & Jetlag Frollo

 

Also the style of voice the actors use are laughable. Frollo sounds like Gargamel, the bad guy from the Smurfs (kind of looks like him too), Phoebus and Fleur de Lys have terrible fake french accents, and the Duke of Egypt sounds like a mix of Ganon from the Legend of Zelda cartoon and a Pirate at a bad Ren-Faire.

 

Gringoire tries to score a kiss Jetlag version Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gringoire tries to score a kiss

Maybe the voice actors were not trying but I kind of get the feeling that they tried to sound bad. Like they were just having fun and didn’t care that much it because the quality of the this product was fairly low anyway. I can’t say I blame them. The voice acting is probably the one aspect that delights in its badness.

 

Next Jetlag Article- The Songs, (Help Me)

Esmeralda dancing Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda dancing Jetlag Hunchback of Notre Dame