The episode starts with Madeline having a dream about various Hunchback imaginary, mainly bells and falling off a tightrope. At breakfast Madeline tells the other girls and Ms. Cavell about her not very interesting dream. Ms. Cavell tells Madeline she should be a writer and suggests that the girls should read books.
The girls then start reading books. It then shifts to Pepito, the boy next door who is the Spanish ambassador’s son. Pepito builds a mud castle while the little girls build a castle out of books and to make sure fits the rhyme it has a tower. Though somehow Pepito’s mud castle is more stable than the girls’ book one. Then for some reason Pepito’s pocket frog hops out and goes to the little girls house and knocks over their re-built castle……(Oh god we’re three minutes in and it’s insanely insipid …. someone help me please).
Madeline and Pepito in the mud
Anyway, Madeline takes the frog back to Pepito, as she knows it’s his frog (she apparently has good frog recognition?), Pepito apologizes and then the frog ruins his castle and the girls are mad there is mud on their “Magnificent clothes.” Now I know what you’re thinking, What does this dribble have to with The Hunchback? I don’t know either. Who wrote this prattle? I would like to say it gets better but it get much worse, get out while you can, save yourself.
The Children with Ludwig
Anyway, Pepito decides to sneak in to the girls‘ house and throws mud on the girls while they are reading. I think Pepito might have some issues. Anyway Ms. Cavell comes in and like more caregivers is upset by the mess and also by the lack of respect for the books. They then clean up the mess and go for a walk.
Ms. Cavell tells them that Paris is a great city for writers as everywhere they look inspires them. They then run into a writer named Ludwig at a cafe who is writing a children book. You see what they did there, because Ludwig is the name of the guy who wrote Madeline which is a children’s book… oh I can’t get over the sheer cleverness of that unless exchange …… (cries).
Ms. Cavell holding The Hunchback of Notre Dame
They continues on their walk till the come to a book kiosk-thing, where Ms. Cavell pulls up three random books. Which are “The Three Musketeers”, “The Stranger” and finally “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” which apparently is one of Ms. Cavell’s favorites. The episode decides that the 6 minutes of mud slicking and insipid trite cutesy-ness wasn’t torture enough because now they sing their token song…….I will get to the song later but let’s just say it makes any song from the Disney sequel look like Mozart.
Madeline, Pepito and her friends read Hunchback of Notre Dame
The next day all the children decided that they are going to put on a play of The Hunchback because Ms. Cavell likes it so well. (I can’t tell you how times they use that rhyme @@.) Pepito wants to play the hero like his hero Gerald Dippetty Doo always does (Oh kill me, a Gerald Depardieu joke @@). Madeline tells him that he will play Quasimodo who is very brave and very strong. Danielle (one of the little girls) also adds that Quasimodo gets the best lines……. ummmm, sweetie Quasimodo doesn’t. Pepito then thinks he is going to play a buff masculine hero. Oh Pepito, you dumbass. Pepito then runs of with book to start rehearsing.
As Pepito reads the book one of the little girls asks Madeline about the heroine. She tells them that the heroine is Esmeralda who is the only one who is nice to Quasimodo even though he is very ugly. Pepito then realizes that he isn’t going to play the buff manly hero. The girls then ask more questions like “does it have a happy ending.” I would say stupid little girls but seeing how many happy ending this story gets I’ll just roll my eyes.
Madeline as Phoebus
So it’s time for their play, oh goody-goody gumdrops (cringes). Madeline is playing Phoebus, Danielle is playing Esmeralda (which I was happy about), and Pepito is playing Qausimodo. But what is this? Pepito is missing, big obligatory French reaction AHHH.
Madeline as Phoebus and Pepito as Quasimodo
Madeline finds Pepito and he says doesn’t want to be in the play. (With 10 other little girls and no other major parts why didn’t one of the other girls step in as Quasimodo?) Anyway, Pepito doesn’t want to play the ugly character and fears that people will tease him. So him and Madeline switch parts. Why does Pepito have to be in the play?
The Madeline Crew at Notre Dame
The next day (my god this is taking forever), they go to Notre Dame for more inspiration. I guess the play went badly or did they ever put it on? Ms. Cavell explains that Notre Dame is awesome and while the little girls are impressed but jerk-face Pepito doesn’t care too much and asks what Notre Dame has to with the ugly Hunchback. Really Pepito, Really? I mean really? Ms. Cavell explains that Notre Dame was the inspiration for the book. She fails to mention that you know the book revolves around it!!!! Pepito then asks if they can go to the roof to which Ms. Cavell agrees. I smell lame hijinx ahead.
They all climb 380 steps and yes they waste animation on this. They get to the top and see gargoyles and this scares the little girls except Madeline (she’s the brave one, well she is the only one with any personality as far as I can tell). The rest of the girls run to Ms. Cavell and she tells the dimwit girls that the gargoyle ward off evil sprites.
Quasimodo captures Ms. Cavell
At the top Madeline and Pepito see a no entry sign but they don’t let that stop from their mission to look around, so they go on through. So Ms. Cavell goes on the roof to stop them just then Quasimodo yells “Sanctuary” swings down and grab Ms. Cavell! Wait What? What a Twist? Quasimodo actually going to a character in this? Maybe this will get interesting, oh wait, it’s Madeline, it won’t! Now I feel like an idiot.
Hunchback Movie Crew
As it turns out it was just part in a movie and the actor playing Quasimodo picked up the wrong girl. Why is Quasimodo picking up Esmeralda when she in Notre Dame and Why Esmeralda is dress like a nun? I don’t know (though Ms. Cavell is actually a nurse). Pepito thinks the actor’s voice sounds familiar and as it turns out it’s Gerald Dippetty Doo (words can not express what a stupid name that is).
Dippetty Doo (Oh Good God I’m going to have to type that out) asks Ms. Cavell how he can make it up for grabbing her and the girls says that they way he can make it up to Ms. Cavell is going to their stupid play. Do the little girls make all Ms. Cavell’s decisions? Maybe she wanted a fancy dinner or something? What inconsiderate little girls.
Madeline as Quasimodo and Danielle as Esmeralda
Anyway they perform the play and Dippetty Doo is in the front row, although to be fair there is only one row. So act one starts with Quasimodo saving Esmeralda and brings her cheese and then Phoebus come in to Notre Dame. Did anyone read the book? Or watch one the movies? Or anything? Who wrote this?
Pepito and Gerald Dippetty Doo
Dippetty Doo then comes back stage and says he liked Madeline and Danielle performance and when pressed says he liked Pepito’s mustache. Pepito, dejected, goes back to his mud castle. Dippetty Doo finds him and tells him he has a bad leg. He says to Pepito that it’s not what you look like that matters it is how you treat others and that is why he loves Quasimodo because he had a great heart. Dippetty Doo thinks Pepito would make a great Quasimodo. I’m not quite sure sure how he reached that conclusion.
Ms. Cavell gets META
So they redo the play with Pepito as Quasimodo and he does a great job (or so they tell us.) The next day (it just keeps going), Dippetty Doo returns and gives the girls more books (oh joy the promise of more mangled plays). The girls read and they the go to sleep. Ms. Cavell says that tomorrow she will read them the book that Ludwig wrote which is about 12 little girls who live in Paris…. OMG how META! Who could have seen that one coming, you just blew my mind stupid episode. Though this show makes me want to blow my mind.
Oh thank god, it’s over. Finally! 23 minutes is just too long
Next Time; Madeline’s Understanding of Hunchback
Pepito as Phoebus, Madeline and the Hunchback