The Return of Jafar picture image

The Return of Jafar

The Return of Jafar was the first direct to video sequel of Disney’s and it’s not bad, it’s not great but’s it’s not bad. It teeters on being fairly good.

Iago and Jasmine,  The Return of Jafar  picture image

Iago and Jasmine

As the sad truth is with Disney sequels is they are in no way half as good as the movies they are continuing. The animations and songs are not up to par with original. So I won’t harp too much on those factors unless I must. With this one, I don’t need to. The songs are ok and animation really could be so much worse. I really mean it’s bad but I have seen worse.

Arabian Nights,  The Return of Jafar  picture image

Arabian Nights

Return of Jafar has two missions as a “movie”, outside of making a little cash, the first one is the elimination of Jafar’s life. He is one of the few villains in renaissance period of Disney that was not killed in the first movie.

The second reason and the stronger impetus for this movie, is to kick-off the Aladdin TV series. Return of Jafar feels like a three episode pilot you can even see where if  the acts were episodes as they end every 23 minutes (At minute 23, 46 and 69, there is a lovely fade to black at each part). Even the opening song from the show, Arabian Nights, is the Return of Jafar version and not the original movie version.

Iago, The Return of Jafar  picture image

Iago

To add interest for the TV show, Aladdin needed a foil. Someone who was in friendly opposition to Aladdin’s do-gooder-ness. This role was ideal for Iago, Jafar’s minion parrot in the original. So Return of Jafar was Iago’s arc. It’s how he switches sides. Iago breaks free of Jafar tries to get in with the good guys but is threaten when Jafar gets out of the lamp and then Iago has to struggle between sides and decides to side with team good guys. So this movie is Iago’s story.

This was a risk as Iago was a very minor character but Disney has a little bit of a thing with redeeming former lesser badies. But Iago as a character is interesting. It’s not a rehashing of Aladdin, it’s own thing. And as story it’s a fairly classic one, the redemption tale, which was a smart move.

Iago and Jafar, The Return of Jafar  picture image

Iago and Jafar

Then there is Jafar, our titular character, Now I think Jafar was a big dumb stupid-head in the first movie. I mean, he was really stupid. Like Grade-A Dum-Dum. The guy spends years searching for a lamp so he can wish to be the Sultan but he has a snake staff with mind-control capabilities that works on the fucking sultan and he was in charge of the guards. A easier coup-de-tat, there could no be. So dumb.

He is still dumb in this one but he seems to be enjoying himself and badness in this movie more which makes him more enjoyable.  Enjoyable but dumb much like Abis Mal, whom I enjoy. Abis Mal is how you should use Jason Alexander Disney. Fucking gargoyles. I also love Abis Mal’s name ^^. Oh the puns names in the Aladdin show…. I should mention that I liked the Aladdin show.

Jasmine, Genie, Aladdin and Abu, The Return of Jafar picture image

Jasmine, Genie, Aladdin and Abu

Besides Iago and the bad guys, the good guys don’t do that much in this movie. The Genie is annoying, Aladdin helps redeem Iago but doesn’t too much and the others are there.

Hmmm, I wonder if Jasmine would have had more to do if this movie came out after the Princess Line was established? Though despite Genie’s annoying-ness, he does offer the information on the genie rules. Which two are important, one is that Jafar can’t kill people and if his lamp is destroyed he will be destroyed so long as he is not freed. This brings me to a big issue I have with movie.

Genie-form Jafar, The Return of Jafar picture image

Genie-form Jafar, The Return of Jafar

At the end of the movie, Jafar has his final confrontation with Aladdin and he divides the Earth and exposes hot molten lava. Where did the lava come from? Did he conjure it or did he really cut the Earth that far down? I mean to get to lava you have go thousands of miles into the Earth. It didn’t look very deep in the movie so I’m going with that he conjured it with his Genie magics.

Now if Jafar can’t kill anyone because it’s a Genie rule, does that mean the lava wouldn’t have killed anyone but could melt this metal lamp? I’m so confused. If Jafar trapped Aladdin in a box and hurled it into the Mariana Trench would Aladdin live through the lack of air and the pressure? Can he not physically kill anyone but set-up a demise or does his magic not have lethal potential? Because the lava would be his magic as well as the box in my terrible example, so would it impede his revenge? Answer me Movie! Who wrote this? I need an answers from someone! Hmmmm, 11 people are credited with the writing for this movie.

I know it was mentioned in the first movie but I thought it wasn’t something a genie couldn’t do but something someone couldn’t wish for. Looking at Disney wiki…….. (gags), Jafar can cause death indirectly. He can insight people to murder or use the environment. But the lava was his magic and therefore I don’t think it could have killed people. Can he push someone off a roof…. I mean there it’s fall that kills.

Ahhh, this is hurting to think about. But it’s not something little, this is climax and sort of the point of it all. If he teleported the lava could it still kill? I mean he had to use magic and if his magic can’t kill that would mean things influenced by said magic would not have the killing potential? (@@ Mind Implosion)

Jafar trapping Genie in an orb with a Spider lock, The Return of Jafar picture image

Jafar trapping Genie in an orb with a Spider lock

Anyway I’m off-track, that lava thing hurts my brain. I have another issue with Jafar, why spiders as his motif? What a happen to snakes? He still has his snake staff for cry-sake. So why in this movie he’s like Spider Fan-boy. Never got that one. Wait, can he still use this snake staff to control people? Can he command someone to kill? Why didn’t he just have someone do that? I can’t seem to let this go….

Jafar and Abis Mal, The Return of Jafar picture image

Jafar and Abis Mal

The Return of Jafar as a lot issues but it’s decent fairly story all around. As the Disney sequels go it one of the not bad ones. It’s not abysmal. Ha, Puns!

This is a very interesting short view of Disney’s Hunchback by Charity Bishop. It is done from the religious symbolism perspective. In the review she  draws parallels between the characters and Bible, like Quasimodo to Moses and Frollo to Satan.  Her correlation between Notre Dame and God and how the characters interact with  Notre Dame  represents how they interact with God.  It is a very interesting review that is well thought out and entertaining.

 

Mad Monster Party picture image

Mad Monster Party

Mad Monster Party was made by Rankin/Bass production a.k.a the people who made Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as well as several other holiday stop-motion movies. Mad Monster Party came out in 1967 and was the fourth film they made.

Quasimodo Mad Monster Party picture image

Quasimodo Mad Monster Party

Now I’m not going to review the whole movie but the basic plot goes like this; Baron Boris Von Frankenstein is planning to retire and invites a slew of monsters (famous movie monsters) to his island to name his successor. There are lots of corny jokes and songs. It’s a cult classic and there is even a Monster convention held in North Carolina that is called “Mad Monster Party” click here for info.

Quasimodo (The Hunchback) Mad Monster Party picture image

Quasimodo (The Hunchback) Mad Monster Party

Now as you have probably guessed one of the monsters present at the Mad Monster Party is none other that our darling of Paris, Quasimodo or as he is known in this film as The Hunchback. So how does this film represent him? Ummmm he’s there….? Quasimodo does a few things like rings the bells (classic trait), carries the mummy’s tomb around, dances, sleeps and participants in the mob at the end. However with a few exceptions most of the monsters in this movie don’t do much more than that. He provides more of a monster-atmosphere than an impact on the plot.

So I’m not holding it against the film for using Quasimodo in this fashion besides in the scope of monsters, Quasimodo isn’t a monster he a deformed hero. Although I would fault the movie that Quasimodo didn’t actually speak any words of dialogue. Not sure if this reference to the Silent Chaney version or that he is deaf. My guess would be a nod to the silent version as deaf people can speak and Quasimodo lost his hearing at the age of 14* so he knows how to speak.

Quasimodo (Hunchback) Mad Monster Party picture image

Quasimodo (Hunchback) Mad Monster Party

So Quasimodo is a non-entity of a character but how does he look? He looks like Quasimodo should look. He has a clear hunch, his smaller eye looks like it really does impair his vision, snub nose, etc. He looks recognizable as Quasimodo unlike his portrayal Hotel Transylvania. He also moves the way you would except Quaismodo to move which is no small feat considering this is a stop-motion puppet. The only thing is why does Quasimodo have pink hair? Did they think we would confuse him for Francesca the hot red hair?

Francesca Mad Monster Party picture image

Francesca, Mad Monster Party

Because I don’t think the audience would have. I really can’t think of why they went with pink over red but I guess that was the filmmakers’ grand vision.

The Hunchback's credit Mad Monster Party image picture

The Hunchback’s credit Mad Monster Party

All in all, Mad Monster Party is a fun little romp and I’m glad Quasimodo does get a credited role but still I find it vexing that he’s lump with Monsters, traditional or not it’s affront to his character but at least for the film running length you can forget that.

* (book 4 chapter 3 Immanis Pecoris Custos, Imanior Ipse )

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney

Is the highly regarded 1923 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame a good version and a good movie? I think it’s an admirable version but I don’t think it’s a  good movie.

 

Quasimodo (Lon Chaney), Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller) and Gudule (Gladya Brockwell) Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 picture image

Quasimodo (Lon Chaney), Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller) and Gudule (Gladya Brockwell) Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923

It’s an admirable version because it’s one of the few versions where we see a somewhat moody Quasimodo. Quasimodo has a edge to him in the book and this version showcases that aspect. It also has an Esmeralda who is winsome and innocent. She is  not really concerned for blight of the gyspy  but she does has a does have a concern for social justice but not to the same extent that the Disney version or the 1939 version have.  But despite her more care-free attitude she is still likable. I also appreciate that they tried to do something with Esmeralda’s mother even if it was very little.   I also enjoy the Clopin in this version.

 

Jehan Frollo (Brandon Hurst) Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 picture image

Jehan Frollo (Brandon Hurst) Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923

 

I don’t find it a great version because the characters lack any depth or complexity they  had in the book especially with depiction of Frollo. Frollo in the book is fueled by sexual impulse but he  had had an internal conflict that made him interesting.  This Frollo, who  is more charateristically Jehan than Claude with the Esmeralda obsession tacked on, is just a old pervert who lacks any internal struggle. Since Frollo’s obession is core of story and fuels the plot  having Frollo who not interesting makes the story less interesting.

 

Esmeralda Rejecting Phoebus Hunchback of Notre Dame Patsy Ruth Miller 1923 picture Image

Esmeralda Rejecting Phoebus Hunchback of Notre Dame Patsy Ruth Miller 1923

So because the story lacks interest the film suffers. There is nothing to really to pull the viewer into the world and since the characters lack complexity and depth there is nothing to make us really care about the characters. But what really kills this movie is the pacing. The pacing of this movie is terrible, it’s slow and very boring. It just lacks any substance that the book has. I found watching this movie a chore.

 

Notre Dame de Paris set from the 1923 version of Hunchback picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Set from the 1923 version of Hunchback

This movie gets a pass for being good for a few reasons. Number one it launched Lon Chaney’s career as one of the most famous actors of the silent era. Number two the production values. The production was well done. Number three, the movie was a big deal in 1923. Back in the 20’s movies were created quickly and were made to make a quick buck. The 1923 version was created with care and it did pave the for bigger movies.  But despite these reasons it’s not a very enjoyable to sit through.

 

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Next -Conclusion

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Paw is a reviewer for musicals on That Guy with the Glasses.  The show is called Music Movies. Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been on the Dartboard (his method of selection) for a while and he finally got to it so let’s take a look at his review.

Paw reviewing Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Paw reviewing Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame

Right off bat Paw calls into question what Disney was thinking in making the movie. He then  makes a joke about how much architecture is a theme in the book. I think that he is poking fun at the chapter in Hunchback that goes through long description of Notre Dame but that chapter is nothing compare to the long chapter that just about Paris.

 

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame pitcure image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Review-wise Paw doesn’t really add anything new.  He loves Hellfire, Bells of Notre dame and the overall score. He hates the gargoyles and their song. So no surprises there. He also brings up the issue of tone.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

This  is the third review I have looked that remarks on the changing tone of the film. This  is making me question why I don’t have an issue with it. I mean if we look at the novel the scene where Phoebus gets stab a lot of humor leading up to it but judging this movie on it’s own merits I personally don’t see the big deal. I mean this movie isn’t really that dark and nor is the book. Yes, for a Disney movie, yes it is but Disney movies have anyways had shifting tones. Perhaps I’m desensitized to changing tones as result of years of watching anime and Bollywood movies where tones change often.

Janine Masse played Esmeralda in the Las Vegas cast picture image

Janine Masse as Esmeralda in the Las Vegas cast

My biggest issue with Paw’s review is the lack of fact-checking just to set up a few jokes. The first one he makes wasn’t for a joke set-up. He mentions that there have been two musical versions of Hunchback but only were performed in Europe. I’m guessing he means Notre Dame de Paris and Der Glockner von Notre Dame. However if he did mean those two or at least Notre Dame de Paris than he is wrong  about Notre Dame de Paris has only been performed in Europe. Notre Dame de Paris was performed in Las Vegas and Canada in 1999 a year before the London cast and two years before the Italian version.

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Another fact he didn’t check was claiming that Someday was meant to be an upbeat Pop song from its’ conception. This means that he didn’t look at the demo reel of Heidi Mollenhaur singing. Now I can forgive him not looking at this as it’s not in the film but I mean Disney taking a song from the film and making into a cheesy Pop song for the credits is nothing new but for him to make the assumption that Someday was conceived as a Pop song is an oversight.

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now it seems that he read the book at some point or at least read a summary but there one little quip he makes that bugs me. He said that at the point in the film during the first part of Out There i.e. Frollo’s part, that at the same point in the “book proper” Hugo was still describing Notre Dame. Well first since this scene doesn’t exist in the book that a stupid joke but let’s give this joke more a chance. Since he correlates this part to the “book proper” let’s do that too. Since this scene is before the Feast of Fool that would mean Hugo had to make his description of Notre Dame prior to that in order for Paw’s accretion to be correct. In the “book proper”  the core of the descriptions of Notre Dame occur after Feast of Fools. So this quip about the book’s preoccupation with architecture doesn’t work.

Paw reviewing Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Paw reviewing Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

I do give Paw credit, the review is entertaining and well-thought albeit his fact checking is not the greatest. I also give him props for counting how many times the Hellfire motif was used in the film. The correct answer is 14 times.

 

Click here to watch Paw’s review.

Today I’m going to review Youtube Reviewer LazerDude99 as he reviews  Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame mainly because they are at lot of problems with it. I’ll start with negatives and end with positives. (and just for the record, I know I’m not a perfect reviewer so take what I say with a grain of salt when I review reviews.)

 

LazerDude99 Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

LazerDude99 Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

My first problem is on the technical end. The Sound mixing is  not very good. His voice is too quiet while the film’s audio is too loud, the point of the review is to hear the review.   This could be a problem with compression or microphone. The visuals of the DVD is also not that crisp and washed out again this could be a problem with video compression.

 Painting of Esmeralda as she is being taking to the scaffolds with Sachette by Nicolas-Eustache Maurin

Painting of Esmeralda as she is being taking to the scaffolds with Sachette by Nicolas-Eustache Maurin

However my biggest problem with is review is the fact checking. He does admits that he didn’t know that story and got it wrong in the comments but if your going through the trouble of writing a review, recording it, ripping the DVD, editing the video taking 5 minutes to read wikipedia or just a summary  doesn’t seem like that big of a task. In the video he says that he thinks that Quasimodo kills Esmeralda in  jealous rage.  However he also didn’t know that Djali was original to Hugo or Clopin’s voice actor. Not knowing that Paul Kandel did Clopin’s voice won’t have been a problem if he hadn’t mention Kevin Kline voicing Phoebus. While mistakes are likely to happen just make sure that if you can Fact check, do it.

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

I also have problems with  the ascertain that he made about “Director losing his vision” . First there were two directors (Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise { Fact Checking). Now I can’t know what happened behind the scenes but I think they bought into that mindset that films are a collaborative process. Maybe it was too collaborative as there were 18 writers on Hunchback but it seem from the commentary that studio was behind the dark tones of the film and didn’t try to rain it in. (Now I’m making ascertain based on the commentary). I do know that they wanted to make Hunchback as mean to push CG animation and because they felt at it’s core that Hunchback had fairy tale archetypes.

 

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another problem was the discussion of  the Tone. Hunchback does have a lot of tones. It’s humorous and dark But is that actually bad in a film to be multi-toned? NoIdo not think so. I’ve watch a tons film/tv series that are multi-tone. Take a Bollywood movie, one minute you can have crying the next dancing. The trick to a multi-toned  film is good transitions from one tone to next i.e flow which Hunchback does have. It’s not like Hellfire goes to the gargoyles’ annoying antics to someone being fatally wounded to a silly song. It has good flow thou I do wish the “child-friendly” stuff was toned (no pun intended), the kids would have been fine. I also think Phoebus’ humor and the Old Heretic help to bridge the gap between the dark elements and kid-friendly stuff. As Phoebus is sarcastic and the old heretic is a running gag that reflect Frollo’s insane control.  Also I would point as dark as people say the book is it does have a lot of funny moments.

 

LazerDude99's Barney/Die Hard joke

LazerDude99's Barney/Die Hard joke

 

Also the jokes he makes are not that funny (at least to me). They feel really forced. The clip of the  pumpkin dropping on the car was too long it should have ended on impact or after the screams but it  felt forced joke. The Hellfire as camp song joke was forced too. Maybe if he had gone over the top with it (Green Screen) or sang to it to “Kumbaya” (cliche camp song) it might have been better. The Barney/Die Hard joke might have been funny but I couldn’t tell because I couldn’t make out the picture (making it bigger didn’t help). Admittedly he did this review a year ago and this is the only one I’ve watched so he might have learned from mistakes and these negative at mute points and not really need the repeating.

Ok, positives and these are things I agree with.

Xed Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame image picture

Xed out Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Gargoyles, yeah he hates them too. Does any out there like them? I mean I’m sure they are some people but rarely do I ever see a defense for them. I’d be curious to hear from gargoyle supporters

 

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

He likes the Old Heretic, he was may favorite gag in the film.

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame with Clopin Disney picture image

Frollo with Clopin Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

 He praises Frollo and hellfire. Everyone seems to but in this case everyones right. Frollo and Hellfire are the highlight the movie. He also enjoyed Phoebus and Clopin, and I can’t argue with that. Phoebus maybe a little too pefect but at least he’s amusing and I liked Clopin a lot.

 

Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo's Reveal Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

I do have to agree with him about Quasimodo is boring. Like Esmeralda, he is a little too perfect of a character. He’s not really flawed like he is in the book or in other adaptations.

LazerDude99's rating of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

LazerDude99's rating of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now I don’t watch many reviews on youtube but LazerDude 99 does seem to try to make a decent review of the movie that for the most part is well made. I mean video compression is a hard thing to master, camera/microphone can be expense. I just wished he had fact checked better, Quasimodo Killing Esmeralda is wrong on some many levels. And the jokes need to tighter and clearer because I feel that they fall flat. I suppose in the realm of the youtube reviewer his probably is good, I mean he did book effort into it and did back up his thoughts in an intelligent way.

Watch the Review for yourself by clicking  HERE