Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Warren Clarke The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Warren Clarke as Quasimodo

Like the 1986 burbank version the 1977 follows the plot quite faithfully. Aside from the Sister Gudule plotline this version is the most accurate to the book.   There is no vault scene of Quasimodo lying down beside Esmeralda’s body instead there is a weird ending where Phoebus and Fleur de Lys’ wedding processional dances around Frollo’s fallen corpse with Esmeralda’s body hanging in the background. And Gringoire just laughs it off saying the he survive to tell the tale. BAD ENDING!

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977

But the ending is a symptom of a larger issue with the plot, sure it’s got in a lot of scenes from the book, like the scene where Frollo and Gringoire spirits Esmeralda out of Notre on the boat and Gringoire leaves her with Frollo, that scene is never don except slightly in the Jetlag version but to point the movie doesn’t elevate the scenes. The actors say their lines MAYBE  emote a little and that is it.   It’s like a very mechanical boring version of the book.

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame

The adherence to the book is it’s only selling point. There is nothing much this version has to offer but the plot. Aside from that there is no artistic vision, no mood, and no heart.  

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977

The poll is closed and the chosen version is the 1977 version. This maybe the last “big” movie version I have left to review till hopefully another movie version gets made (it’s long overdue at this point).

The 1977 version, like the 1982 and the 1997 version, was made as a TV movie and again like the 1982 version it was made from British TV. It was directed by Alan Cooke and the screenplay was writer by Robert Mueller.  It stared Warren Clarke as Quasimodo, Michelle Newell as Esmeralda and Kenneth Haigh as Frollo.

So why did it take me so long to get to this version? Was a saving it because it’s amazing? Or is it amazingly shitty? The answer is it either but I hate it! It’s so boring despite it being THE MOST ACCURATE ONE!

 

Side Note – This version is also dated as 1976 but  I’l just go with 1977.

Oona Chaplin

Oona Chaplin

This suggestion is off a list from http://fuckyeahnotredamedeparis.tumblr.com as part of an ideal casting. Oona Chaplin is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin and  his 4th wife actress Oona O’Neill. Her mother is Geraldine Chaplin, another prolific actress and Patricio Castilla. Her family is full of actors and performers.

Oona Chaplin as Talia, Game of Thrones picture image

Oona Chaplin as Talia, Game of Thrones

Chaplin is most known for her role on HBO’s Game of Thrones as Talisa, a show only character. Talisa is a noble lady from Volantis turned wartime  medicine women turned Queen in the North who is killed at a wedding. Pre-season three, I thought she was a spy for the Lannisters as she did know a lot about Westeros and it would have merged the show with the book but no she was just  kick-ass strong women character.

 

Oona Chaplin as Zilpha Geary, Taboo picture image

Oona Chaplin as Zilpha Geary, Taboo

 Chaplin is a competent enough actress, not amazing but no means bad. She was decent as Talisa but she is better as Zilpha in Taboo. She is also going to appear in James Cameron’s Avatar universe so look forward to that.  

 

Oona Chaplin

Oona Chaplin

However being of Spanish descent does offer an intriguing aspect to Esmeralda that Chaplin could weave into Esmeralda’s characterization. Though Esmeralda in the book wasn’t Spanish, she did travel to Spain as a small child. It would be interesting to see an Esmeralda that had her unique speech  patterns that are a amalgamation of youth traveling around Europe.  That would be a new facet to a film adaptation of Esmeralda.  

 

Oona Chaplin

Oona Chaplin

I doubt Chaplin would be cast as a naive Esmeralda and probably would play the role closer to Hayek or the Disney characterization but it would interesting if they did make her that type of Esmeralda but kept her book backstory intact. It would be a decent merger of films and the book and would make the character still different.

 

Oona Chaplin

Oona Chaplin

Not sure if I need to say this but Chaplin has the look of Book Esmeralda. She has the dark eyes and hair that Hugo passingly described. She also has olive skin which Esmeralda has but as the result of traveling around Europe.  She does have a more angular face that I personally wouldn’t have envision for Esmeralda but it’s not a count against her especially of they didn’t go with the the type of Esmeralda that is more confident with her sexuality.

 

Oona Chaplin

Oona Chaplin

Oona Chaplin could play a very interesting version of Esmeralda giving the direction of the movie but what do you think? Do you see Oona Chaplin playing Esmeralda?

4th of July Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Happy 4th of July

This is a re-post but the message is still the same, Happy 4th of July even if you’re not an American you can still have a Happy 4th of July since it’s just a date ^_~.

I need to work on my photoshop skills.

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Unlike the other characters we have looked at so far, Phoebus’ depiction is a bit different from the book. In all honesty he isn’t like his book persona but instead he resembles how Phoebus was adapted in the 1956 French movie. I’m willing to bet that the movie took its cues from the ballet, that is if this version of ballet is the same as first ballet from 1844 and not a version of the ballet created after 1956, I have now confused myself.  If I had to guess I would still say this characterization of Phoebus is from the 1844 ballet.

 Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

So how is this ballet Phoebus like 1956 Phoebus? For starts this Phoebus does seem to genuinely like Esmeralda as evident by the scarf. Though not in either the book or the 1956, Fleur de Lys gives Phoebus a scarf which he give to Esmeralda.When Esmeralda learn of Fleur de Lys, she  sadly tries to give it back to Phoebus and motions for her to keep it.  Basically the scarf is a symbol for  love. One of the real tragedies is that Phoebus goes back to Fleur after Esmeralda is sentenced to death. In the 1956 version it seems like a defeatist move that he couldn’t be with Esmeralda, not sure what his motive is the ballet but it’s probably the same thing.  He can’t be with the one he loves so he settles.

Phoebus & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Phoebus & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

There isn’t much more to this Phoebus, he just a dashing romantic knight, they kept it nice and simple.        

These are Notre Dame de Paris Style Dolls made using Divine Dolls Dark Mage Creator.

Esmeralda

Notre Dame de Paris Style Esmeralda composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Style Esmeralda composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator

Fleur de Lys

Notre Dame de Paris Style Fleur de Lys composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Style Fleur de Lys composed using Divine Doll Dark Mage Creator

Personally I liked the idea of the costume concept more than the show’s actually costumes. I do like that the newest version updated the costumes but I think they could be tweaked and reimagined a bit more. Notre Dame de Paris was never Phantom, I don’t think people are going to feel betrayed if the costumes are not the some from production to production.

I do wonder how different the show would be with different more time-appropriate costumes. Like Fleur de Lys in ornate gowns and the like. Or Esmeralda in maybe brightly colored pattern fabrics that have a hint of belly dancing to them.

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Quite honestly I’m not sure how to address the analysis of characters as they are depicted in a ballet. Sure, there IS a characterization being portrayed but it’s not deep or as nuanced as something like Enchanted Tales or the Dingo versions, I’m totally kidding. The characters in this ballet have to be simpler than their book counterparts because of the nature of the medium. However since I have more or less groove to these reviews, I have to look at the characters so starting off with the real titular character, La Esmeralda.

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

 

Actually this version of Esmeralda is on point. She comes off very sweet, childish, has romantic notions and is innocent. She has all of Esmeralda’s best book traits. She doesn’t pout, doesn’t seems shallow or foolish, seriously what person would prefer wilted flowers because the vase of was prettier than fresh flowers is a clay pot? That’s not a scene you ever see adapted.

Esmeralda & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Fleur de Lys, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

I’ll admit it’s been awhile since I have re-read the book so you guys can correct me if I’m wrong, since I’m wrong a lot, but I think there was a part where Esmeralda was trying to rationalize Phoebus’ relationship with Fleur de Lys as not romantic. I bring that up here because Esmeralda doesn’t do that. She sees Fleur de Lys with Phoebus and gets very depressed even though she is supposed to be performing for them, ballets seem to have lot of meta moments like that.

 

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

 

There isn’t that much to say that is negative about this depiction since it’s all of Esmeralda’s more positive attributes and it done very simply and straightforward. She’s youthful, kind and pretty  yet tragic no wonder this story has such staying power as ballet.   

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Alexandra Timofeeva as Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda Bellet, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Just a side note, I really enjoy Esmeralda walking on pointe around the stage, I can only guess this is a difficult move but the way they convey it to express a certain vulnerability is very lovely.  

Esmeralda composed by Angelique DuFleur using Diving Doll Dark Mage Creator picture image

Esmeralda composed by Angelique DuFleur using Diving Doll Dark Mage Creator

This was created by Angelique DuFleur using Dark Mage Creator at Divine Doll. She took inspiration from both the Disney movie and Victor Hugo. You can really see the inspiration and it’s a really great representation of Esmeralda. Not all the Paper Doll games allow for such a close likeness.

The Dark Mage Creator is also fun to use. I managed to create some Notre Dame de Paris inspired ones.

Sofia Carson picture image

Sofia Carson

Let’s travel back to July 2016, a better time,  Disney Star, Sofia Carson, expressed a desire to play Esmeralda. Well to be specific she said that she thought “Esmeralda would be a beautiful role to play.” She also did a recording of Someday in Spanish. So let’s explore this more casting option.  You can see the interview here.

Since she very clearly was suggesting playing a Live-Action Disney Esmeralda we’re just going to consider that version of the character.    

Sofia Carson picture image

Sofia Carson

Let’s start with Carson’s look. Carson is of Spanish descent, more specifically Columbian.  She still rather young and I’m still not sure how old Esmeralda was supposed to given Disney’s age inflation but let’s just say she is in a good range.  She does have the darker features one would expect from Disney’s Esmeralda and contact lenses could give Carson that emerald eye color. One thing that somewhat could work against Carson is that she does have a very youthful somewhat cute look. Just looking at Carson I don’t see her as sultry. Beautiful yes, alluring no. Could she act alluring?

Sofia Carson as Evie, Descendants picture image

Sofia Carson as Evie, Descendants

I will be frank I have only seen clips of Carson’s acting. Carson hasn’t really escaped that Disney style of acting. She is best known for playing Evie in Descendants. Evie is the Snow White’s Evil Queen’s daughter. I wouldn’t know how to judge someone’s acting skills in that or any made for TV movie Disney TV makes. It’s a very specific style of acting. She could be a great actress or not. Can’t say. I would venture to say she might be good pending on the director. Can’t honestly say I can  gauge her acting skills.

Sofia Carson picture image

Sofia Carson

Sofia Carson would not be my first, second to even third pick for Esmeralda but given that she seems to loves and respects the character  she could pull it off and make a beautiful Esmeralda.  
But what do you guys think?  Do you think Carson would make a good Esmeralda?

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

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’m not strictly speaking in the interest of my own personal enjoyment or in the sense that it would give me more context but with the political and social climate in America, Hollywood or Disney really should get a new version into production.

 

Esmeralda (Maureen O'Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Maureen O’Hara)

 

America right now is politically divided on many, many issues  and  a big one is the issue of immigration and refugees. In some ways it’s a complex issue mainly on the bureaucracy end  but on the side of basic human decency and the fact that America is an immigrant nation  it’s pretty simple. So how does this tie into making a Hunchback movie and the necessity of one?

Esmeralda Illustration Image picture

19th century Illustration of Esmeralda

I truly can not speak to the historical aspect of the Romani in Paris in the 15th century but the book makes it sound like Paris was a Sanctuary city. This means in a sense you could look at Esmeralda as a refugee or at the very least she is an immigrant of sorts. This is only case in versions where she is a Romani and not following the book, which is fine. I suppose they could split the different and make her half French and half Romani or Spanish since Esmeralda’s father is a complete unknown. The only hint the book offers, that I can find, is Esmeralda’s father could have been a thief that left her mother before she learned she was pregnant. Then again this information is narrated by a secondary character, so it unknown how reliable this account is.

    

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

In any case the two major American versions that have Esmeralda as a Romani depicts her as an advocate for both her people and the “downtrodden” which aside from being her a good female role-model in these two versions, her being an advocate  great aspect to showcase to a film going population.

 

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

Also unlike some other movies that cast people regardless of their race, Hunchback should be a little more set in character’s cultural backgrounds. I heard when Rogue One was coming out there was a call to boycott the movie because of the diversity the cast, same for Star Wars The Force Awakens, which is dumb.   With Hunchback their cultural backgrounds inform the characters so aside from Esmeralda and in many cases Clopin, the rest of the cast are white Europeans which could help ease some people into the movie, especially people who wanted to boycott an iconic Space Fantasy movie series.

 

Gigi Radics picture image

Gigi Radics

This means the casting of Esmeralda become extremely important. I should preface that in a perfect world, anyone could play Esmeralda but we don’t and if a movie is going to characterized Esmeralda a very specific ethnic group even though the book did not, then the movie needs to cast accordingly. This is why the casting of Gigi Radics, a Hungarian singer of Romani descent would be a masterstroke of casting. Whether or not she is available or willing to play the role is a different question.  They could always cast an unknown Romani actress to take the part.  Casting an Indian or Pakistani, or Arab actress is not quite as authentic but it a step in the right direction.

 

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

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

A new Hunchback  movie today who help shed some light on the current situation in America and recontextualize to people who may not think it about as much and ignore the news. It might even help  people who have little exposure to immigrants and refugees  put a human face on the issue instead of short sound bite.