Esmeralda with Pierre and masked Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda with Pierre and masked Quasimodo

As I have said on the spectrum of Hunchback movies, The Secret of the Hunchback falls toward the bad side. It’s not the worst one but it’s far, far from the best.

What makes it not as bad as the Dingo version, which we’ll get to someday, or the Enchanted Tales version, which I try to forget about, is that this a Hunchback movie with  trite moral but it makes sense with the kid friendly subject matter. It’s also has way better animation than the Dingo version but that isn’t a lot.

The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo in Angel form

Don’t get me wrong, The Secret of the Hunchback is dumb, very dumb. It has the stupidest conclusion in a Hunchback movie ever. Quasimodo is a actual angel in disguise with his hunch hiding his wings. That is so stupid that I can’t even process that fully, even now. It’s like something a child wrote thinking they are deep.

 

The Secret of the Hunchback  has stupid songs, bad animation and weird out place humor, which make it different from other cheap knock-off Disney versions but it’s still dumb.

Quasimodo is just being Quasi The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo is just being Quasi

Next Version is going more off the cuff as it’s recent. Try and guess… it shouldn’t be hard.

Quasimodo is just being Quasi The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo is just being Quasi

So here we are again, discussing other low budget cash grab off Disney’s Hunchback that has character designs that are derivative to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as well Aladdin. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.

Frollo and Esmeralda's wedding The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo and Esmeralda’s wedding

Compared to the Enchanted Tales version, the character design in this version is marginally more preferable. At least with this version’s Quasimodo isn’t some sad pretty boy, he looks as Quasimodo should look even if his hunch is angel wings. The other characters look their parts except Frollo who as I have mention before on his character review looks like Gaston and Jafar’s love child. Gotta wonder if they read the book or at least watched the 1939 version, my guess is no to both.

Esmeralda with Pierre and masked Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda with Pierre and masked Quasimodo

Also the character design in this version as compared to Enchanted Tales looks more cartoon-y, as in they went for more humorous designs instead of trying to make the characters pretty, and failed. Given the humor and how the Enchanted Tales version is misguided and stupid, the  humorous goofy look is better but on the whole the designs are not good.

Frollo and his goon The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo and his goon

As far as the animation goes, there are Hunchback versions that at worse, so much worse, like hellishly worse and of course on the other end there is Disney movie.  The  Secret of the Hunchback looks more akin to a low-budget saturday morning cartoon. It’s fine giving the amount of money and effort they put in but no one is watching it for its art style.

Quasimodo and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Pierre

There is nothing special about The Secret of the Hunchback’s look and animation. It’s passable but only barley.

Esmeralda and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and Pierre

God bless this stupid movie for trying a love song but omg is this shit corny as fuck.

This is Gringoire, erm I mean Pierre and Esmeralda’s love-love song. They use phrases like “once upon a dream,”  “ I gave him my heart,” and other stuff hyper lame sentences.

I’m really surprised there wasn’t a lyrics that said “ You’re my forever girl,”  sure it’s a silly line from Avatar the Last Airbender (love that show) but it would have fit in with the rest of the dumb prose of this song.

Yeah it’s  stupid and the instrument use is dumb but the singer tried so C+.

Still better than the love song from The Thief and the Cobbler but not by much.

Frollo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo

I don’t know what to call this song, it’s basically Frollo stating who he is, what he wants and how godlike he is.  He wants simply everything, who can’t relate to that?

I really enjoy this song. It’s so hammy and over-the-top that is just an utter delight.  I think the voice actor/singer is REALLY having fun with this song. Frollo is just power hungry ego-manic and that makes for a good villain with a silly song.

This is song is far too short.

Props to the singer for saying Forte correctly, A+. Also I want to point out that all the singers sing very well  which is unlike the Jetlag version, that guy’s raspy voice still annoys me.

Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo,The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo,The Secret of the Hunchback

If you had known two things about Secret of the Hunchback going before now it would have been Quasimodo is an angel and the singing “Jazzy” Gargoyles. Clearly this is what inspired Josh Brolin with his failed “jazzy” Hunchback movie.

This song is sung by a Gargoyle in Quasimodo’s dream, so unlike Disney this movie makes it clear that the Gargoyles aren’t real except when they cry, confusion. The subject matter on this song is just what you think, Quasimodo is awesome, fuck looks. The Gargoyle uses phrases like “out of sight,” and “doo-wa” to get this point across.

My God is this song just out of left field in terms of style. It’s Jazzy with its “Doo-was” and electric piano and cello that they back-up gargoyles are playing. One could make the  argument that Disney’s Gargoyles did this but they were more consistent throughout their movie, here it’s like a weird WTF slap in the face.

It’s a harmless dumb song but my brain can’t really process the utter dumbness of Doo-was and sunglass wearing Gargoyles for a few minutes.

Also this song feels much longer than it is, I blame the Jazz-y-ness.

Esmeralda The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda

Ok, let’s be real, on the spectrum of songs that could be in a Hunchback movie  there is one end that is Disney and Notre Dame de Paris i.e good songs and then there are the songs on the level of the rapping dog from Titanic The legend goes on or what that shit was called or the shitty songs. The Secret of the Hunchback songs falls closer to the rapping dog end but it’s much better the songs from the Jetlag  version or Enchanted Tales.

The First song in this version is Esmeralda’s something more song and literally those are lyrics. This is unquestionably stupid, I mean they didn’t even try to hide the trope. She literally wants more than her current life offers. Though in her shallow naivety she just wants nice stuff and a cute boys  which feels very in line with book Esmeralda.

This overt song should bother me more but I like that the “Something more” is sing by one of the Goons who sings the line with regards to stealing more from people, which is cute. But it’s sung well and the music is fun. So sure it’s dumb but it’s sort of delightful and short.

Esmeralda with Pierre and masked Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda with Pierre and masked Quasimodo

Like as the case with MOST version of Hunchback aimed at kids the characters are overly-simplictic water down versions of the book characters mixed with touched of Disney. This version isn’t that much different except with regards to Frollo who is more of a copy of the Enchanted Tales version of Gaston. None of the characters are deep, they are just blandly nice, which makes them uninteresting.

Is it because these movies are for kids and kids don’t need as complex of characters? I don’t think that is true. While I think kids might have a higher level of torrence for bland nice character they still can gauge that they lack personalities. But the REAl reason why these are lack anything that makes the interesting save for the weird humor is this movie is a keep crash grab off of Disney  and bland characters are easier to create as no thought goes into being a nice person. One can’t just be nice.

Let’s just take any character from Moomins which is aimed at children too. All the characters are generally nice but they have other facets of their personality. Moomin is naive and adventure seeking, Little My is rude and Snork Maiden is vain. They all have flaws and that adds to the likable. Quasimodo’s only flaw is that he is ugly but aside from Frollo none of the other character have flaws, though Gringoire is delightfully bad a poetry.

So these character are boring version of the book characters/Disney. And yet they aren;r version of these character, Dingo and Enchated Tales are far worse.

Next Time we’re looking at the shitty songs

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo

The Priests a.k.a unnamed Archdeacon and brother Labas (not sure of spelling), are the only people who appear to work at Notre Dame and are Quasimodo’s care givers. This means that Quasimodo has two dads.

Both of them fulfill the role of Frollo’s parental/priest roles from the book, though why there are two of them, I couldn’t tell you. If I had to venture a guess I would say it was more for comedy. The Archdeacon is more the less the straight-man to Lebas, though the aren’t exactly funny, except for the scene where Frollo is threatening the church for shinies. Other than that there was no need for Brother Lebas.

They aren’t wholly nice as they don’t give in to Frollo and the Archdeacon saves himself when he is arrested. For their roles they are fine, they are not the annoying and they don’t get in the way despite Brother Lebas being a superfluous character.

 

 

Esmeralda and friends The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and friends

Instead of having a Clopin character or even a desginated Court of Miracles, The Secret of the Hunchback with have three thieves/entertainers that Esmeralda hangs out with and whom she doesn’t seem to care. First we have the leader, who doesn’t have a name, a dumb fat one who is named Andre and the other one. Basically they steal and get into Lord Frollo’s gang. Frollo has them do his dirty work like kidnap Quasimodo and then has them pose as the Archdeacon.

As Far as personalities go, they are goofy and not to nice. They like stealing and work under Frollo do to him threatening them and Esmeralda. But they don’t have any sense of a moral compass, so they don’t mind doing Frollo’s work.

They do add a little bit to Esmeralda’s character, as she doesn’t like all the stealing but we don’t know how or why Esmeralda fell in with them, so it doesn’t REALLY all that much. Really these character are more for silly bad comic relief like Frollo’s other minion, who is really a Le Fou Rip-off.

Next Time – The Priests

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo

 

Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image picture image

Pierre

Pierre or as he more commonly known in Hunchback, Gringoire, has a lot of diversity in terms of the roles he can plays in Hunchback adaptations. He can be comic relief, the hero that saves Esmeralda or just the story teller. He is a bit like Phoebus whereas he can easily be a hero or a villain pending on the movie. Secret of the Hunchback use of Gringoire or Pierre isn’t that different but combines him as comic relief and hero. Also a you MIGHT have noticed, there is no Phoebus character and typically if Phoebus isn’t in the movie or has a tiny role, Gringoire is the hero.

Esmeralda and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and Pierre

For Gringoire to be the hero in a Hunchback movie he has to be Esmeralda’s love interest, which he is version. However his bad poetry in his first sense makes a comic relief. He also doesn’t do all that much to save the day, Quasimodo does most of the “work” i.e swings down and stops a wedding but Pierre helps and does “rescue” Esmeralda from Frollo once after the pillory scene. So he fit nicely into his two roles.

Quasimodo and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Pierre

Now, that being said how is as a character and how does he stack up next to his book counterpart? As far as he is in this version, he’s a nice guy, that’s pretty much it. He’s nice to Quasimodo and is his pal. This doesn’t make him compelling or interesting but his bad poetry at least made him enjoyable, so gets a pass from him. He also isn’t that much like he is in the book. In the book Gringoire was a cowardly whiner who still wasn’t that great a writer, so they got one thing right about him. But to be fair, getting Gringoire’s characterization right isn’t the most important thing about adapting this story.

Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Pierre

Also I just want to add that Pierre is a Protestant in this version. Which was for the sake of a joke.

Esmeralda and friends The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and friends

 

 

Next Time  The Goons Esmeralda travels with