Demi Moore image picture

Demi Moore

Demi Moore voice Esmeralda in the Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

-Her first job was a bill collector.

-She “won” Worst Actress of 1997 for her performances in the films The Juror (1996) and Striptease (1996), then again the next year she “won” Worst Actress for her role in G.I. Jane (1997). She has been nominated six times. Though could technically be seven as in 1996 she got a nomination for two movies. And also in 1996, Disney’s Hunchback came out,which poked fun at her being in Striptease.

-Hired three cameramen to videotape the birth of her first child.

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Dance picture image

Esmeralda’s Dance Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Bonus round- In the commentary of Disney’s Hunchback the directors  said they wanted Esmeralda to sound like “she’s been around” which is why Moore was cast.

 

Sir Cedric Hardwicke picture image

Sir Cedric Hardwicke

Sir Cedric Hardwicke played Frollo in the 1939 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

-In 1934 Sir Cedric Hardwicke was knighted, but King George V was hard-of-hearing so he missed heard his name and dubbed him Sir Cedric Pickwick

-He played King Edward IV of England in Richard III (1955) while his son Edward Hardwicke played Lord Stanley in Richard III (1995). Also it’s worth noting, that Edward Hardwicke was in the Scarlett Letter (1995) alongside Demi Moore who voiced Esmeralda in the Disney version of Hunchback.

-His favorite screen role was playing Mr Brink in On Borrowed Time  (1939).

Frollo stares at Esmeralda's chest for 15 seconds (Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Maureen O'Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo stares at Esmeralda’s chest for 15 seconds, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Maureen O’Hara, 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Bonus round-  Hardwicke played a doctor in Sentimental Journey (1946) alongside Maureen O’Hara. He said this about the movie “I did nothing but look at the handsome bosom of Maureen O’Hara and listen to the murmuring of her heart through a stethoscope.” He also famously looked at her bosom in Hunchback.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQBAVC1tdjk&spfreload=10

Ok a few things, first off I really like the costume. I like Esmeralda is blues but you can see the Disney inspiration but it doesn’t feel tacky or cheap, it feels right.

Second, I want to thank the person who gave this song back to Esmeralda. In the German version they made this song a duet with Quasimodo, which sure that is was quiet lovely but she didn’t get any other solo and even Phoebus got a solo number and he didn’t even sing in Disney version despite the fact that Kevin Kline can sing (he sings in my new favorite song Electric Love,*) not that really makes a different as Demi Moore didn’t sing for Esmeralda either.

And finally speaking of Esmeralda’s singing, I really like Ciara Renee’s voice for the role. She has a similar voice to Heidi Mollenhauer which is in turn similar to Demi Moore. A voice which has dark, almost smokey tone but with a lot of warmth.

I also think it’s interesting that Frollo is taking the Archdeacon role here which is similar to Frollo from 1982 and 1939 version. Not sure it because of this influenced by the  movies or not just interesting.

Anyway what do you think?

(I might talk about this show more if I ever do posts on other works by Hunchback actors  ^_~)

Oh and Kevin Kline is going to be in the new Beauty and Beast movie as Maurice, Mind-Blown

Typically when I do hypothetical casting posts it’s because I think a specific actor or actress would be a good choice for a certain character in the Hunchback Notre Dame. This post however is different. It’s the opposite.

Megan Fox picture image

Megan Fox

Megan Fox, for whatever reason, is for some people an ideal choice for Esmeralda. Now I’m not going to criticize those people. Instead I’m going make a little bit of a generalization. The people who think Fox should play Esmeralda are looking at the character from the Disney perspective; that she is a strong, independent, sexually-aware women. While I guess Fox “embodies” those traits let’s not forget that she isn’t know for her acting prowess.

Fox’s major function in the media is to be lusted after. The truth is Fox isn’t a decent actress. I’m not a great fan of Demi Moore but she can act circles around Fox, I mean she was great in Ghost. But more than that, Moore has a tenderness which did come through in her Esmeralda. Fox doesn’t seem to have anything that makes her a compelling actress outside her physical appearance.

Megan Fox image picture

Megan Fox

 

Depending on how the movie chooses to depict Esmeralda, it’s not difficult role to play. It would be harder if a movie made her like she is the in book since it would take a charismatic actress to make her likable and sympathetic. But the movies goes with the easier approach that she is  kind, strong-willed, independent, and sexy. Even if it’s an easy  role that doesn’t mean that a movie can cast someone solely on looks. There needs to be some charm to actress and not just an overly sexualized lady who poses in front of camera and spout off a lines.

 

Megan Fox picture image

Megan Fox

 

So being that Fox is for some people an ideal Esmeralda  and she stared with Josh Brolin in Jonah Hex I feel compelled to voice my opinion on her playing Esmeralda; No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No!!!

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

God Help The Outcasts is a very different Disney heroine song. Many of the Female Disney Characters sing about wanting something for themselves. While Esmeralda is singing about wanting something that is not for her. She is being  selfless which furthers elevates her into the mature sector.

 

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The song is simple, it’s Esmeralda praying for the welfare of her people. This humble and selfless prayer is shown in contrast to the other parishioners who pray for selfish things like wealth, fame and love. This scene is pretty much lifted from the 1939 version albeit with some differences but the overall scene and content is the same.

 

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Unlike in the 1939 version, during the course of the song Esmeralda walks through the sanctuary of Notre Dame. It’s the only time in the Hunchback of Notre Dame where we get to see the interior of  Notre Dame other than the bell tower. While it’s nice to see the sanctuary portion of Notre Dame there are more than a few things wrong with how Notre Dame is presented. I’ll go more in depth on that later for now let’s get into the reviewing the  song’s content.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame singing "God Help the Outcast" picture image

Esmeralda singing “God Help the Outcast” Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The song musically is nice and is pleasant. It’s one of two ballads that made it into the film. It’s the prettiest song in the movie and it’s sung well by Heidi Mollenhauer. However there is an air of  condescension with this song. As Esmeralda is trying to sound humble she is saying some really condescending lines. She asks for nothing because she is lucky and better off then most of her people and if God doesn’t help no one will help them.  She also reminds Gods that everyone is “children of God” and that Mary should relate to her because she thinks Mary was once an outcast like her. This another fault with the song, she’s in Notre Dame de Paris, in any Notre Dame, Mary is the figure of reverence. However she starts praying to Mary and then instantly switchs to God. Maybe it’s her “outcast” “pagan” ways that she would do this flippantly  but my guess is God is more dramatic and fits song meters better,  Even though Mary embodies compassion. Then again Frollo prays to Mary to burn Esmeralda, so what is the movie trying to say about Mary? I mean everyone seems to be trying to get out of Notre Dame.

 

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

There is also all her “I” statements that are kind of off putting. Her lines are “I ask for nothing, I can get by, but I know so many less lucky than I”  these lyrics just seem to reek with “I’m better than you” mentality.

Esmeralda looking at the Virgin Mary Maureen O'Hara 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda looking at the Virgin Mary, Maureen O’Hara 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

In the  spectrum of the “Esmeralda’s Prayer”  which isn’t in the book,  God Help the Outcast is the worst. Beside this song there are two other prayers, the fore-mention 1939 version  and Ave Maria Paien from Notre Dame de Paris. In the 1939 version, Esmeralda (Maureen O’Hara) asks “The mother of God” to help her people, she says that Mary can take all that she has but Esmeralda presents Mary with a Method; she asks to speak to the King as he is a authority figure and can help her and her people, which he does as the end.  In the 1939 version, Esmeralda  is sincere and humble, and as she not insulting anyone by saying she’s better off. In Ave Maria Paien (The Pagan Ave Maria) Esmeralda is (pending on which version your listening to) asking for a few things, protection from the fools who are in control and the joining of all people. The essence of the song is she wants Ave Maria on her side. Is it humble and selfless?  Not really, she does come off as humble and sincere though. Disney Esmeralda is sincere but she seems to have a defeatist attitude, only god can help and no one else can, she’s powerless to do anything.  Maybe Esmeralda should have ask God to make Frollo tolerant. At least that would have been proactive.

 

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The problem with God Help the Outcasts isn’t the music or the singing, it’s the content. While it’s great that Esmeralda is mature and is capable of praying selflessly but in the course of the song she’s pretty much insulting her people, and due to juxtaposition of the her prayer with other parishioners she is making them look bad. So she can’t be selfless and humble without bring others down?

Next Song – Heaven’s Light (I have a little bit  more on God Help the Cast, so stay tuned)

Quasimodo's figurines from "Heaven's Light" Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo’s figurines from “Heaven’s Light”

Ah, the voice acting in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Some of it’s great, some it is just ok and some of the casting is off, which seems to weaken the believability of the characters. This is more or less in the order of rank, as I see it or hear it.. yeah.. I know lame joke.

 

Tony Jay picture image

Tony Jay

The highlight of the voices in the movie is Tony Jay’s rendition of Judge Claude Frollo. Jay’s cold sounding baritone mixed with his british accent makes for the perfect bad guy voice. He gives Frollo’s voice an air calm control that at any second could explode into fevered anger. Also his voice is seductive, you can believe this guy is a charmer and yet he speaks with command and authority. Jay’s voice helps make Frollo a more interesting character.

Jay had been a veteran Disney voice actor and voice actor in general. He’s been in a number of Disney related films and television shows as well many other non disney films, television and recordings of broadway shows.  On his IMDB page he has 150 credits but I think he most known for Frollo mainly because Frollo is a horrible person and his voice accentuates brilliantly.

Tony Jay  was  nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting.

 

Paul Kandel picture image

Paul Kandel

Paul Kandel voiced Clopin and is a Broadway performer. He’s probably the best singer in the film (the crescendo at the end of Bells of Notre Dame gets me every single time) and that’s probably why he ended up with the most songs in the movie. In fact Clopin sings more than he actually speaks. Kandel gives Clopin a sense of fun and whimsy but he also gives him a flair for the dramatics which is a boon for the introductory scene since it’s not funny.

 

 

David Ogden Stiers picture image

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers voiced the Archdeacon. Stiers like Jay is a veteran voice actor and has been in many major Disney movies. He’s also primarily a  television actor. Stiers runs the gambit of tones  with the Archdeacon’s voice; tenderness, command, authority, concern and a little amusement (the Archdeacon sounded a little amused when he thinking about Esmeralda’s merry chase). Just because the Archdeacon is by all account a glorified extra Stiers’ voice helps makes the character more interesting.

 

 

Kevin Kline picture image

Kevin Kline

Kevin Kline voiced Phoebus. Kline does well as Phoebus but I think he falls short of Jay and Kandel because I mean really, Phoebus isn’t a hard role to play. Phoebus has a dry wit but so Kline, I mean Kline is practically playing himself.  I give Kline credit, he made Phoebus funnier than probably was originally intended which makes him more interesting as character. Because without the humor would Phoebus have been memorable? My guess is no.  Kline is also partly responsible for Achilles’ name. He insistent that horse have a name, so they gave the Phoebus’ horse a name at Kline’s insistent.

 

Fun Fact about Kline’s process – to get into the character of playing a knight, Kline held a sword in hand during recording sessions. He even ruined some recordings because he would hit the microphone (accidently, I’m sure.)

 

 

Jason Alexander picture image

Jason Alexander

Jason Alexander voiced Hugo. As much as I dislike the gargoyles, I think the voice acting is fine. Jason Alexander is best known as George Costanza on Seinfeld. George is uptight and neurotic, the total opposite of Hugo. Hugo is fun-loving and laid back. I think Alexander does very well in the role. But again, is a fun-loving partier a demanding role?  No, not really.

 

 

Charles Kimbrough picture image

Charles Kimbrough

Charles Kimbrough voiced Victor.  Kimbrough  has been in many types of media; film, TV and voice acting. Kimbrough does well enough as the prim, more serious-minded Victor, but it’s hard to lay out Victor’s personality compare to Hugo and Laverne. So it’s hard to identify how well Kimbrough did as Victor.

 

 

 

Mary Wickes picture image

Mary Wickes

Mary Wickes voiced Laverne. Later in Wickes’ career she played cranky old ladies. Two of the movies I remember her in were Little Women (Aunt March) and Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus), both characters are tell-it-like-it-is, cranky old ladies much like Laverne. So while she does well in the role she definitely playing her type of role.

 

 

 

Jane Withers picture image

Jane Withers

I want to mention Jane Withers briefly. Mary Wickes died as the film was being recorded and so Jane Withers stepped in to finish the recording and took over the role of Laverne. There are some lines where Wickes started and Withers finished, which is testament to Withers; acting to able to sound almost identical to Wickes.

 

 

 

Tom Hulce picture image

Tom Hulce

Tom Hulce voiced of Quasimodo. Tom Hulce is most known for his role in Amadeus Mozart. I do not find any fault with Hulce’s acting, I think he does a good job giving Quasimodo tenderness, gentleness and a bit of pitiable emo-ness. I also think Hulce does well exhibiting both Quasimodo’s natural disposition and in contrast to his attitude when he’s with Frollo.  So Why is Hulce’s performance second to the last on this Blog post? Well that is because I wonder what the directors were smoking in making  Quasimodo a school boy that’s gentle and sweet. Quasimodo is suppose to be gentle but only to Esmeralda. He’s not suppose have a school boy. I can understand why Disney did this and I understand why Hulce’s voice is good for this type of role but just because I can understand it doesn’t mean I have to condone it. Honestly they made Quasimodo into a Disney Princess. Hulce has a clear voice which is a commonality to the Disney Princess trope. Think about, Quasimodo is a Disney princess, he just a male and not very pretty.

 

Demi Moore image picture

Demi Moore

Demi Moore voiced of Esmeralda.  Like Quasimodo, I think casting was way off. I get that they wanted something different. The directors liked Moore’s husky and rough tone of voice and they liked that she also had a tenderness to it, but Moore ages the character. It’s weird looking at the concept art, how youthful Esmeralda started and how mature she looks/acts in the movie. I understand that the decision to cast Moore was intentional and as part the process of animation is that Esmeralda took on Moore’s looks and mannerism but I don’t think the pay off was good in the long run. I think Esmeralda is too much like Moore and effectively Moore was playing herself  (or at the most her type-cast role) so she didn’t exactly have to exert her acting prowess. Also I think Moore got the role due to sex appeal and popularity. And point Deductions for being the only one of the cast not able to sing her character’s song, though if can’t sing than she can’t sing, but they could have just had Heidi Mollenhauer do the role in it enitety, she is an singer/actress after all. They fact they they didn’t just mean that Moore was cast for her popularity and appeal.

 

Shout Outs/Kudos to:

Gary Trousdale picture image

Gary Trousdale

 

 

-Shout out/Kudos to Gary Trousdale voice of Djali (that not a bleat) and the Old Heretic.

 

 

Corey Burton picture

Corey Burton

Bill Fagerbakke picture image

Bill Fagerbakke

 

 

 

 

 

-Shout out/Kudos to Corey Burton and Bill Fagerbakke, Brutish and Oafish Guards these two made those characters hilarious.

 

 

Agree or Disagree, I’d love to know your opinions

 

Next Time- Going to Start Looking  Music/Songs,  starting off with beginning “The Bells of Notre Dame”

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Esmeralda is the most divergent character in the Disney version from the book in both looks and personality. I already talked about her personality, now let’s look at her looks.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame dancing

 

 

The Disney Esmeralda looks 100% Romani (Gypsy). She has a darker complexion, dark hair, and light green eyes (with no glint). Her eyes also do not change color pending on how much light is in the space, which kind of makes them look witchy.  She keeps her hair pulled back and the way she does it, it creates a big poof. This poof makes her look older. When her hair is down she looks younger. Her hair also has a slight curl. Though in the middle of the epic running away from Frollo, her hair looks straight but that could just  be inconsistencies in animation or the wind, take your pick. But it does look straight.

 

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda complimenting Quaismodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Her age is very vague. Most of the Disney characters have a rough age range or they just say how old they are like Ariel and Jasmine. With this shift in Disney heroines being somewhat more independent and less dreamy, they appear to be older than the typical “Disney princess” (except Tiana, I would say she is like a compromise between the archetypal Princess and the confident independent heroine of the late nineties). The question is how old is Disney’s Esmeralda. With the age inflation that Disney implements, I’d say she most likely 22 at the youngest, which is old for a Disney heroine. The long and short of it is, Esmeralda is meant to be older like “she’s been around.” This is not my phasing, watch the commentary, it’s the scene where Esmeralda is helping Quasimodo from the pillory. To listen to the commentary, The DVD

 

19th Century Illustration of Esmeralda with Djali

19th Century Illustration of Esmeralda with Djali

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Dance picture Image

Esmeralda’s Dance Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Against the original novel by Victor Hugo, Esmeralda’s looks are very different. Esmeralda is never described in graphic detail but she’s described as very beautiful frequently by many characters. Disney Esmeralda is meant to be beautiful certainly (what Disney main female character isn’t?) but she is never called beautiful in the movie. The closest mention to her looks is Clopin saying she’s “The Finest Girl is France.”

Esmeralda Illustration Image picture

19th century Illustration of Esmeralda

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Dance picture image

Esmeralda’s Dance Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda in the book is not 100% Romani (Gypsy). Her mother is a French women and while her Father could have been a Gypsy, it is never actually mentioned who was her father. Esmeralda has a golden skin tone, black hair and black eyes. Part of Esmeralda’s charm in the book is her innocence and her total unawareness of her own beauty. Disney Esmeralda is the complete and utter opposite; she knows her appeal, exploits it and given that quote by the director Kirk Wise that I mention earlier, I’m not sure how innocent is in the movie. (I still wonder if the production actually read the book or just confused it with other Hunchback films) So it safe to say that Disney did not use Hugo for even  a basis of Esmeralda’s design.

 

Concept Art for Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Concept Art for Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Concept Art for Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Concept Art for Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Concept Art for Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Concept Art for Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the concept art, Esmeralda started off looking more youthful and somehow along the way she lost  the youthful look. My guess the vocal inspiration turned the tables on the character design. Alas Demi’s Moore doesn’t sound youthful, at least not when the film was recording the voices. For More Concept Art of Hunchback

 

 

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda giving Frollo a peck on the nose Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

It’s actually not Disney’s fault that Esmeralda’s looks/acts sexy whereas Hugo’s Esmeralda  did not. The fault lies in the film history of Hunchback movies. Esmeralda has long been depicted as sexy or at least no stranger to  feminine charms. Esmeralda has also been depicted by actresses who are more known for their sex appeal over acting prowess. Such actresses have been Stacia Napierkowska, Theda Bara, Gina Lollobrigida and Salma Hayak. Also Disney models their characters after the voice actor playing them, so with the choice of Demi Moore it was  inevitable that Disney Esmeralda was going to be sexy and follow the line of sexy Esmeraldas.

In a featurette of the movie, Moore said she could see herself in Esmeralda’s animation. While Disney took their cues from the 1939 version, I think Esmeralda’s look was based somewhat on Gina Lollobrigida’s Esmeralda  as well as Demi Moore (maybe, I can’t really tell, I haven’t seen a ton of Moore’s films discern her mannerism and/or acting style in Esmeralda’s animation.)

Demi Moore image picture

Demi Moore

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image red dress

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 image picture

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Time Phoebus

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame


If Achilles gets one of the most concentrated  laughs in the movie, then Djali gets more laugh spend out through the movie.

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali about to enjoy a feast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali is Esmeralda’s pet goat. Djali helps her make money, and reminds of her not to leave money when she about to run off. Part of Djali’s function is to be Esmeralda’s double. In the book this meant that Djali was dainty, pretty, and talented. Djali had gilted hooves and horn and was white. In the Disney movie  Djali is grayish white with black hooves and has an earring. The earring is meant to link Djali and Esmeralda. Like the book, I think Disney’s Djali is also a double for Esmeralda. In DVD commentary, they discussed that the reason why they cast Demi Moore as Esmeralda is because they wanted the heroine to have a rougher quality  to the the voice, that sounded like (and I’m quoting this from commentary, I’m not making this up) like “she had been around”. Not saying that I think Djali has been “around” but Djali is not the dainty, delicate goat she is in the book. So I think Disney’s version fits Esmeralda’s aesthetic more in this movie.

Djali flips Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali flips Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Djali glaring Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali glaring at Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali glaring at Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Djali glaring at Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Djali also has another functions than being Esmeralda’s better half. Djali is her security system. Djali is distrustful of anyone Esmeralda meets (Phoebus and Quasimodo included). Djali also bleats when someone  is approaching them (Frollo or guards).

Djali Warning Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali warning Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali alarm Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali alarm Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DJali as a old man Dinsey Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

DJali as a old man Dinsey Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Djali also aids Esmeralda in her old beggar disguise. This enable her to go undetective by Frollo and the stupid guards he employs.

 

 

 

 

Djali also kicks ass in a fight.

Djali ready to attack  Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali ready to attack Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali in gut Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali in gut Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali kicking butt Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali kicking butt Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali don't mess with the goat Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Djali blechs Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali blechs Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

So what makes Djali a great chacater? Djali provides levity without hindering the movie (like Achilles). Djali reacts to things in the movie and does not inject the movie with randomness to try to make a joke like the Gargoyles. This is starting to remind me of the south park episode “Cartoon Wars”. But it’s true the Gargoyles have the same type of humor as “Family Guy”.

 

 

Another aspect of Djali that adds to his(her) charm is that Djali is incapable of Bullshit. All of Djali emotions and thoughs are always showed on  his (her) face.

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali's reaction to Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali reactiom to Phoebus' name Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali glaring at Esmeralda for falling for Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali isn't a fan of heights Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali didn't enjoy the ride Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali arrested Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali started off in the Dinsey movie as a minor character but do to the animation done on Djali by Ron Husband (Commentary, got love them) the executives demanded more Djali and Djali got  double the screen time.

 

 

 

 

Hugo and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali’s gender is neblous. Djali is called a “him” throughout the movie and Hugo has a thing for Djali  (Hugo being gay is a sensitive issue with Disney). My guess is this is a case of male pronoun default. Djali’s gender mattered in the book because Hugo(author) wanted to  communicate that Djali is Esmeralda’s double, so Djali is a definite girl. In the Disney’s version, it doesn’t really matter so the default male pronouns are used.

 

Next time – a little bit more on Achilles and Djali (there is something more alike about these two)

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali and Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Achilles and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Achilles and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Next Character: Esmeralda; The Heroine

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame dancing

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda is a gypsy dancer who is the subject of the three male main characters’ affections. She’s very beautiful and sensual. In this version Esmeralda is 100% Romani. She has a dark complexion (darker than Jasmine), thick black hair and emerald green eyes (attributive to her name). She wears a white chemise blouse that off shoulder, a blue corset with thin gold stripes, a purple skirt with a darker purple kercheif

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame red dress image picture

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Dancing

worn at the hip with coin trim. She wears some gold jewelry; bracelets, an anklet and one gold hoop. She were a pink scarf in her hair to keep her hair back. She has a second outfit, that is used as an formal dance costume. It’s red with purple flutter sleeves and a purple sash at the waist. In addition to her normal jewelry she where a bindi and a crown.

 

 

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda is a very different type of Disney Heroine, she’s  mature and not a dreaming of new life. She deals with her lot in life and gets by the best she can. To make a income she dances.She also dabbles in fortune telling. She is also in the company or her goat Djali. Djali acts are her security system, warning her of danger and trying to protect her from would be harm. In the Disney version, Djali doesn’t get her into in trouble like in book. Infact Djali helps her get out of trouble by helping her deguise as an old begger man.

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda demanding Justice Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda’s main motivation is social justice for mainly her own people but also for those on the outskirts of the social order (i.e. Quasimodo). It’s in this way she is the opposition of Frollo and she hates  him and defies him every chance she gets. Prior to her defiance she teased/mocked him with her flirtatious dancing during the festival of fools.  She also wary of those in power positions. That’s why she didn’t take a shining to Phoebus at first, but his persistent charm and wit won her over (plus saving an innocent family that almost cost him his life didn’t hurt much either).

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda dealing with soldiers Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame red dress picture image costume

Esmeralda mocks Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Speaking of Phoebus and Esmeralda here is a little point I would like to make. A few people feel that it was shallow of Esmeralda to choose Phoebus over Quasimodo. In movies, couples are usually established early, you can usually tell whose going to end up together. As a I mention in another post Esmeralda and Phoebus only have one scene without either Frollo or Quasimodo and that is where they are both introduced, meaning that their relationship was established before either of them met Frollo or Quasimodo. Also I can’t see Esmeralda and Quaismodo being anything but friends. She treats Quasimodo with kindness and politeness  and comes off like an older family member; she really does treat him with kid gloves. There is no  passion unlike  Esmeralda and Phoebus. The creators wanted a romance  between Esmeralda and Phoebus and  that what the movie worked towards.

Esmeralda, Phoebus, and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo accepts Esmeralda and Phoebus as a couple Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Djali having a little fun Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

As far of Esmeralda’s personality, she’s kind, she has a dry wit and she’s loyal to her friends. She is  very resourceful, for example Phoebus owns his life to her make-shift sling shot that saved him from decapitation. She also has a bit of mischievous streak. During the chase after she frees Quasimodo she looks like she is legitimately having fun avoiding arrest while raising some hell.  She also uses her feminine charms to get what she wants. She uses it to earn money from dancing but she also gives Quasimodo a peak on the check to get him to allow her to visit him. She is very physically fit; she dances, very agile in a fight (or chase), she can swim underwater, hold her breath long enough to get Phoebus out of his armor and pull up in record time. She also has seems to have some sway in the Court of Miracles as she can stop executions

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda exerting some power Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

and order the people to leave. She also can seem to refer people to the Court, not sure if that map/cryptic instructions she gave Quasimodo are standrad issue in the Court of  Miracles or if she is some high rank there. Not only that but the other Gypsies wouldn’t devalue her location, meaning either they’re loyal to their fellow gypsies or she is respected. She also seems to have a close relationship to Clopin who like in the book is leader in the Court of Miracles. She performs with him and he not put off with her meddling in the hanging of Quaismodo and Phoebus, which Clopin seem to be enjoying. It seems to me that she must hold some power amongst her people or the Court of Miracle is egalitarian.

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame singing "God Help the Outcast" picture image

Esmeralda singing “God Help the Outcast” Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda is not a dynamic character. She remains  consistent throughout the movie; she’s mature, self-confident and kind at the beginning and she remains that way thoughout the end. The only aspect about that changes is her feelings towards Phoebus. In defense of static characters, Esmeralda is not a dynamic character in the book either and Disney doesn’t do dynamic characters very often.

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame grope picture image

Frollo gropes Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda avoiding Frollo’s hunt Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo arresting Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda is not a typical heroine, the scarps she gets into are serious. She’s almost arrested, assaulted in a church, threaten, hunted down by a control-freak mad man, almost burned, nearly dies of asphyxiation and then chased with a six foot sword a top a massive edifice. Makes other Disney heroine’s tribulations look like a child’s play. All she really did to get into all that trouble was being a Gypsy and a defing a powerful public offical; she stayed in trouble because of her beauty and sex appeal.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image stake

Esmeralda on the stake Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo thinking Esmeralda has died Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo being threaten Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

I admit it was refreshing to see a different type of heroine when I first saw the movie in 1996 and it’s great that  Disney ventured outside the profitable typical Disney heroine. If Hunchback had come out before this shift in heroine  Esmeralda could have easily fit into the Disney princess line. Now if your thinking “Esmeralda’s not a princess” well I would say neither is Mulan but let me explain some minor points. The Disney Princess brand isn’t actually about the characters being princesses  it’s about how their movies did with girls in a certain age demographics, hence why Esmeralda isn’t in the line up already.  But if Esmeralda behaved more like Ariel, Belle, or Jasmine (dreamer wanting more) she may have done better with young girls, though it’s hard to say. I suppose the creators thought Quasimodo fit  dreamer model better than Esmeralda and she would do better as an agent of Quasimodo’s liberation from being a focused shut-in. But another point worth mentioning is Esmeralda in the book fits the Disney princess mold very well and she was very well regarded in the Court of Miracles. So making like a princess wouldn’t have been a stretch and she does dream of a different life with regards to Phoebus. I wonder if Disney regrets this since the Disney Princess line was establish in 2001.

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus leaving Notre Dame

 

 

Next Character –Phoebus

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Today is Quasimodo Sunday ( Low Sunday… First Sunday after Easter)

So since Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame is character driven let’s look at the main characters.

Quasimodo Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Quasimodo

First let’s start with the titular character Quasimodo (Tom Hulce). Quasimodo is depicted as caring, gentle, kind, shy and dreaming of something beyond his sheltered life (classic Disney Princess erm hero). At first all he wants is to spend one day among the people of Paris and sings about it ala Part of that World type song. When someone shows him kindness he answerx with loyalty. He does has a bit of an emo-side. Later in the film he hopes for love but that doesn’t come to fruition but he is happy that Phoebus and Esmeralda have each other and that is enough for him at the end of the film.

 

Judge Claude Frollo Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Judge Claude Frollo

The next important character is Frollo (Tony Jay). Frollo is a hypocritical judge who HATES gypsies, He regards them as the reason why Paris is going to hell in hand-basket. He sees no harm in killing people especially ugly babies if he views in the best interest of “justice”. He also has a pious streak, which he quite proud of.  During the course of the movie he develops an unhealthy obsession with Esmeralda where he uses tons of public funds to barrack her in Notre Dame and when she escapes he set Paris ablaze and then blames it other people because hey he just doing his job (it’s a good thing King Louis IX is not a main character or somebody would have been fired).

 

Esmeralda Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Esmeralda

Djali Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Djali

Esmeralda (Demi Moore), the beautiful Gypsy dancer, who is often referred to as girl but she comes off as older than Quasimodo who is 20. She is kind and has a fierce sense of justice and loyalty. She knows a wide assortment of parlor tricks that she can use in a pinch. She also can read palms though she is is a dancer by trade. Esmeralda is always accompanied by her pet Goat Djali. Djali turn offs include heights, ugly faces and hangings. Turn ons include dancing, money, and eating wood cravings.

 

 

Phoebus and Achilles Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Phoebus and Achilles

Phoebus (Kevin Kline), another attractive character, Phoebus has been called back from the wars by Frollo to protect Paris from the Gypsies; an assignment he takes with major annoyance and a grain of salt. He has a dry wit and is a flirt but he also has a high sense of morality and won’t kill people just because crazy old Frollo says so. He also has a horse named Achilles who enjoys heeling and sitting on people he doesn’t care for.

 

Clopin Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Clopin

Clopin (Paul Kandal) , the leader of the Court of Miracle and the story teller. He is an extrovert who loves to have a good time whether it’s entertaining small children, all of Paris at the festival of fools  or hanging trespassers. Where Clopin is the party is.

 

Hugo Laverne, Victor Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Hugo Laverne, Victor

Gargoyles, the comic relief characters Victor (Charles Kimbrough), Hugo (Jason Alexander) and Laverne (Mary Wickes/Jane Withers). The three only come to life for Quasimodo and once for Djali. They have their distinctive personality, Victor is prim and calm, Hugo is loud and fun loving, and Laverne is old and tells it like it is. There loyal to their pal Quasimodo and to encourage him to follow his heart. But they’re annoying as all hell.

 

Archdeacon Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Archdeacon

Archdeacon (David Ogden Stiers), the kind, caring, gentle, wise Archdeacon of Notre Dame. As Archdeacon he has some authority over Frollo and Frollo while not happy is at least compliant. He the one who guilts or rather scares into taking care of Quasimodo.

 

Next Time more on the more characters of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame