In all seriousness Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame really only has the basic premise of the original novel. All the characters differ in attitudes and backstorys. The way the story unfolds and comes to its conclusion is different because of the characters.

The biggest difference is the Characters;

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

 

In making Frollo a judge and not a priest we loss his turmoil which makes Frollo an interesting and complex character. I really don’t care as much about his lust and obsession for Esmeralda just because he hate Gypsies. Also in the book, his obsession occurs slowly. He sees her and is instantly taken by her youthful beauty. After that he begins stalking her and by kidnapping her he forces the the plot to take action. In the Disney movie, Quasimodo doesn’t have the some loyalty and Frollo abuses him by telling him he’s a monster and keeps him locked in the tower. In the book Frollo did no such thing and Quasimodo could leave  Notre Dame if he wished.

 

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo in the Disney movie is very much like Ariel. He wants to live with the normal people. He is very naive, kind and gentle. In the book, Quasimodo is kind and loyal  to those who have been kind to him  i.e Frollo and Esmeralda. However, Quasimodo is also angry and doesn’t really like people. He would never want to leave Notre Dame as Notre Dame is his universe. He loves Notre Dame so much that he is very much  a part of it and his lovers are bells. The relationship between Quasimodo and Notre Dame is destroyed in the Disney version as Notre Dame is not so much a sanctuary but a prison. Also in the movie Disney he briefly mentions the bell but you don’t get the sense that he loves the bells. I also don’t see this Quasimodo killing Frollo in fit of rage or lying down next to Esmeralda to die.

 

 

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Dance picture image

Esmeralda’s Dance Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Esmeralda is the polar opposition between Disney movie and the book. In the book she is at least part French and is young, beautiful, naive, shallow, childish and kind of dumb. In the Disney movie, while she is beautiful, she has none of the other traits, though the youth is debatable.  She is confident and is in control of her sexual appeal. In the Disney version she is a full Gypsy and we are never given any sense of her backstory. In the book she was unaware of her beauty and she lacks any worldliness. This naivety is what gets her into trouble in the book and ultimately is what kills her and not a passion for social justice.

 

 

 

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Phoebus in the book is a jerk who is kind of dumb and just wants to sleep with pretty girls. Also he is two-timing cheat, who despite being engaged he tries sleeps with every good-looking girl he can.  In the Disney version is he is noble, moral and likes to crack bad jokes.  Not like book Phoebus at all.

 

 

Clopin Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Clopin in the book in the leader of the Court of Miracles, not the Gypsies. The Leader of the Gypsy in the book was the Duke of Egypt. Typically, the leader of the Court of Miracles and the Leader of the Gypsy get fused into one which is  Clopin. That’s a minor issue. Compared to Frollo, Quasimodo, Esmeralda and Phoebus; Disney Clopin’s differences are not so bad. He tells stories like Gringoiore (a character in book) and is the leader of the Court of Miracles; he’s two characters in one, or three.

 

 

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Djali in the Disney movie is a pretty minor character who doesn’t do anything other than add some charm and humor. In the book however Djali is pretty essential to the plot. Djali is the prime evidence for why Esmeralda is convicted of being a witch. Goats were considered to be representational of the devil and the tricks innocence tricks Djali performed like spelling and telling the time were thought to be the work of witchcraft by the judges in the book. Of course, since the plot veers so far the book it doesn’t really matter. Djali’s main function in the movie is a cute sidekick who sells toys to children.

 

The Gargoyles do not count, they’re not in the book.

 

Xed Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame image picture

 Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

It really does seems like someone early in production took the cliff notes of Hugo’s book, throw them into a blender, strained, added water and poured out the Disney Plot. Then that  got re-written by those people who didn’t read. And the differences in the characters in proof that.

 

Next time – Minor Differences,

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now we come to the Demo reel of Someday. If Someday had been chosen over “God help the Outcast” the animation would have looked have followed this. It’s pretty the some as “God Help the Outcast” and it’s sung by Heidi Mollenhaur.

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the story goes that Alan Menken wrote “God Help the Outcast” for the “Esmeralda Prayer” sequence. The director felt that they wanted a song with more energy for this part because they felt Outcast was to quiet. Menken then wrote “Someday”  which is a bigger number. However untimely the Directors felt it was too big a  number to be sung in Notre Dame of Paris and they went with “God help the Outcast”. Now if you read my review of “God help the Outcast” you’d know I have some problems with song as I find to be on the condescending side. It bothers me that Directors opted for Outcast over Someday by claiming it was more humble. Example what more humble  saying your at loss words or trying to relate to Mary? I find Someday far humbler.

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

It also bothers me that they claimed “Someday” was too big for Notre Dame. In “God Help the Outcast” Parishioner sing loudly and Esmeralda does belt a little bit towards the end of “God Help the Outcast”. So why was “God Help the Outcast” chosen over “Someday”? The reason I think is untimely “God Help the Outcast” reflects Quasimodo more. Esmeralda maybe singing about Gypsies but the song heavy eludes back to Quasimodo. And this film never wants you to forget Quasimodo, ever. In “Someday” she says the phase “Out There” but other than that Quasimodo is really reflected back. So since the film can’t seem to go 5 minutes without Quasimodo the songs is about Outcasts and not the world as a whole.

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

A Picture from the demo reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame image picture

A Picture from the demo reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should they have gone with “Someday” over “God help the Outcast” for Esmeralda’s Prayer? Hard to say, while I like Someday better “God help the Outcast” has more Drama and tension to it plus it refers back to the source material; The 1939 version of Hunchback of Notre Dame, so if nothing else Film Buffs can better catch Disney ripping off another movie which what Disney loves to do.

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Time – Let’s look at the songs that time forgot; The Deleted Songs of Hunchback of Notre Dame    

Esmeralda  As Long as there's Moon Demo Reel Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda As Long as there's Moon Demo Reel Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hellfire is Heaven’s Light’s  foil in every possible way. Heaven’s Light is a sweet hopeful ballad with some subtle humor in the visualization but Hellfire is an intense villain song that has a breaks down into insanity.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda as a fire demon dancing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Damee picture image

Esmeralda as a fire demon dancing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hellfire is a villain song, but it’s not just any villain song, it’s “THE” villain song. Many people consider it the best and one of the darkest  Disney villain songs. So what makes this song so good and dark?

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda as a fire demon dancing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Damepicture image

Esmeralda as a fire demon dancing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The song starts with Frollo singing to Notre Dame both  figuratively and actually ( The building and the Virgin). He claims that he’s purer than the common people and still as pure as he is, he can’t understand his obsession for Esmeralda and why she is invading his mind. For Frollo this lust is not in conflict with ethics or his own deep religious convictions; it’s all about pride and fearing losing control within himself.  You can see him visually losing of control: he starts calm and become more and more crazy  as the song progresses.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Frollo there are two ways to resolve his problem, either Esmerlada must die or she must be his. Hellfire has a very similar vibe to Frollo in the book. Victor Hugo’s Frollo was very proud of his purity. But much like Disney Frollo Hugo’s Frollo felt that Esmeralda was sent by hell to take him away. Unlike Disney Frollo, Hugo’s Frollo is more of a stalker who is hopelessly seeking out Esmeralda. He doesn’t really want her to die but doesn’t want her to be with anyway else. Disney’s Frollo is more black and white, either she is his or she dies, he only going to ask once.  Frollo in Hellfire does have a twinge of gray (which you’ll never seen again), he asks for God to have mercy on both him and Esmeralda. If as he knows he’s wrong but he won’t do anything about it because he too far gone. The Latin chanted “Mea Culpa” (Through my fault) also drives that point too.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame pitcure image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo and an illusion of Esmeralda during Hellfire

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s an odd Disney Villain song as Frollo isn’t revealing in his evilness or what his brilliant evil plans are, he is simply singing out his desperation which ultimately gets worse. Unlike other songs, Frollo is not singing to anyone, usually a villain is rubbing something in the hero’s face, being a demagogue, or exposing their master plan of evil to minions. Frollo is singing to himself. It reminds me of La Monture. In the original staging in Notre Dame de Paris, where Fleur de Lys (Phoebus’ fiancee) is singing about her desperation for Esmeralda to be hanged. In the original staging, she singing to her shadow. In singing alone Frollo’s feelings come off more intense, power, and frantic while he sings to the fireplace while seeing illusions and the becomes engulfed in specters.

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The song is perfectly sung by Tony Jay, he showcases control and then goes intense. The Latin chanting  is  great mood enhancer. The music is intense and the Hellfire melody makes up a lot of the Hunchback of Notre Dame’s score. The Music was inspired by Mozart’s Requiem Mass which completes the dark presentation of the song.

Frollo at the end Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo at the end Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The music, the singing, the lyrics, and visuals  with the intensity, insanity, sexuality, and  religious overtones  create a great piece of moviedom.  I wish Disney would explore their darker side more, because when they do it’s better than some of their more saccharine fair. I mean Disney enjoys going dark, it’s part of their history (Night of Bald Mountain). So Disney embrace the darkness more often! Please…

 

Next Time- A Guy Like you

Victor, Hugo and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Victor, Hugo and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

So as I was working on my God Help the Outcast I noticed things that didn’t fit into song content so I’m posting them now. (Beware I run off on a bit of a tangent)

 

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

Quasimodo listening to Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo watching to Esmeralda during God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo watching to Esmeralda during God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I once agian suspect that the Disney Production team didn’t read the book (well maybe a few did), I say this because in the book Quasimodo is deaf but here in the Disney movie Quasimodo has such a amazing hearing. He can hear a soft ballad in the sanctuary all the way in the bell tower. I don’t think it was necessary to have Quasimodo listening in on Esmeralda. They did it to include Quaismodo since he had not been in the movie for 5 whole minutes. I mean it also worked to get Esmeralda and Quasimodo to reunite and  to give them a chance to bond but they couldn’t have thought up another way.

 

 

Frollo's Female Doppelganger singing a line in God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo’s Female Doppelganger singing a line in God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Judge Claude Frollo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lady who asks for love. Frollo’s twin sister? Could be. Frollo has no back story so he could have a sister. My guess is since they look so much a like and look to be the some age, they’re twins. What else is Frollo hiding in his past? I want back stories, Disney. It’s interesting to learn what pushes a character to doing less than wholesome things. Like;

Ursula Disney The Little Mermaid picture image

Ursula Disney The Little Mermaid

Why was Ursula exiled? Many speculate that Ursula is Triton  sister but  maybe Triton pulled a  coup d’état and stole the kingdom from the octopus people. That makes sense but it would make Triton look bad. Really Disney don’t say that Urusala once lived in the palace and was exiled if your  not going to into why she was exiled.

 

 

Gaston Disney Beauty and the Beast picture image

Gaston Disney Beauty and the Beast

 

Why did Gaston like Belle? I mean sure she’s pretty and Gaston is a shallow idiot but she didn’t feed his ego and that’s what he needs. He is governed by outward appearances, but where did this superficiality come from? His upbringing?

 

 

 

Jafar Disney Aladdin picture image

Jafar Disney Aladdin

Why was Jafar so stupid? He sent years searching for the Cave of Wonders so he could get the lamp so he get three wishes and the when that plans fails his bird tells him to marry the princess. However, Jafar had military control over the city-state and a  mind control ring. My goodness, is Jafar one stupid idiot, it would have taken his less time and energy to pull a coup d’état and I’m sure the people of  Agrabah wouldn’t have notice a shift in power. The Sultan seems more interested in  toys than his people. My guess is Jafar was drop repeatedly as a baby and that him more than a little dense.

 

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture imageBut Frollo had a job, control and perhaps an deep emotional  connection with a women who prays for love. I have to wonder if Frollo is so tightly wound and his sister wants love, what was their family dynamic like growing up? Assuming that she is his sister, but she looks too much like Frollo for  it be coincidental where as the rest of crowds look generic.

 

Who do you think that lady in Notre Dame is? Think she could be important or just some extra that looks like Frollo and nothing more? Opinions, Thoughts, Anything!

 

Another Round of Find the Differences! There are Nine.

 Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Differences Picture

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Differences

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo gropes Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Topsy Turvy follows in the path of the big show stopping music numbers of Disney. Other songs like this included (but not limited to) Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid), Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast) and A Friend Like Me ( Aladdin). Unlike these, Topsy Turvy is not a show stopper, it doesn’t stop the movie for the sake of a spectacle, but instead  Topsy Turvy propels the plot forward.

 

Clopin during the Feast of Fools Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin during the Feast of Fools Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

There is a lot that happens within the course of the song with regards to story telling. The festive starts and Quasimodo gets caught in the swing of it, Quasimodo meets Esmeralda, Esmeralda dances getting the attention of Quasimodo, Phoebus and Frollo, the King of Fools contest starts, and Quasimodo is crown the king.  There so much that happens that the song is broken up into four part essentually. These parts are well connected and the last portation with Quasimodo as the King of Fools features a keynote change to denote the ending of the song.

Clopin Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

Clopin Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback Notre Dame

Quasimodo Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Dance picture image

Esmeralda's Dance Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as the song is concerned it’s fun. It’s very celbratory, the lyrics are clever and Paul Kandel does well singing it. It’s the only Disney song to use a word meaning prostitutes. The line “Join the bums and theives and strumpets,” a strumpets is an old fashion word for a prostitute or a harlot. Kind of intresting that the only Dinsey song to use a word for prostitute would also feature a pole dance.

 

Reversal Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Reversal Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo reacting to the craziness Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo reacting to the craziness Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Topsy Turvy CG Crowd Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Topsy Turvy CG Crowd Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The visuals help make this song memorable. There lots of  reversals to help keep the momentum going and the fun up. This visually also give Quasimodo something to react to and since he is seeing all this craziness for the first time, Quasimodo acts as the audience in this song.  There is a cast of thousand. The crowds were made using CG and at the time were a feat but the crowd in movie hasn’t aged well.

 

Clopin Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback Notre Dame image picture

Clopin Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback Notre Dame

The song has several reference that harken back to Victor Hugo’s Novel. First the lyrics mention the date a being January 6, which is the day the Feast of Fools took place on. Of course the movie doesn’t seem to take place in winter, then again it could just be unseasonably warm.

 

 

 

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Dance picture Image

Esmeralda's Dance Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Another Reference is Clopin referring to Esmeralda as “La Esmeralda”. Esmeralda in the book is very often referenced to with the article “La.”

 

 

 

 

Shock the Priest Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Shock the Priest Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

The last reference and probably the most interesting. Is on the line “shock the priest” Clopin is holding a Frollo puppet. This is a clear reference to Frollo being a priest in the book.

 

 

 

Quasimodo as the King of Fools Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo as the King of Fools Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The song itself is fine, it big and fun but it’s not my favorite. I would position this song in the middle of the ranking  however I can understand why many would like it, it’s a fun song that adds to the movie and alludes to the book very appropriately.

 

Next Song – God Help the Outcast

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

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

http://youtu.be/7DCALg2levk

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

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out There is for all intended purposes is a solo but its prelude is duet between Frollo and Quasimodo. Frollo sings about how awful the world is as a means for controlling Quasimodo. When Frollo departs the scene, the mood of the song changes into  Quasimodo singing about a yearning to venture beyond the tower and go flocking with the normal people.

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Ariel Disney The Little Mermaid picture image

Ariel Disney The Little Mermaid

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no good way to say it, Out There is a knock off of “Part of your World” from the Little Mermaid.  Lots of Disney characters sing this “wanting more” type of song but Out There and Part of that World express the some thought. And it’s interesting that they both point to a direction; up for Ariel and down for Quasimodo and they both mention a desire for the sun and to be with “the people”. They also kind of look alike, red hair and they both wear green.

 

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

So how is the song on a music level? Got say, the song it’s self is pretty typical Disney fare. It’s one of the typical songs you’ll hear in a Disney movie, the dreamer’s song. It’s usually the main character singing about wanting something more. This song is just Quasimodo singing about even if just one day he wants to apart of the people. The music is fine, it’s nice and symphomatic. The lyrics are very repetitive: he wants to be to live a day with the regular people, I get. Quasimodo does come off naive to think that just because people live “out there” this qualifies them as normal and he also insinuates that it’s a gift for them to be normal despite the whole issue with gypsies who have to live in catacombs to avoid Frollo’s genocide tendencies.

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The singing is where this song fails for me. Hulce’s vibrato  has too much of a wobble for me. I think this fast vibrato is meant to give Quasimodo an innocence and naivety but it too much wobble. The wobbly vibrato ruins Hulce’s performance for me and do think he a decent enough singer otherwise.

 

 

 

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo singing "Out There" Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo singing "Out There" Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part of the song in the movie is the visuals. I remember the first time I saw it, the part where Quasimodo slid down the buttress was my favorite visual, I thought it looked fun, of course as a kid I thought it was a water slide and not a support structure.  I really enjoy Quasimodo interacting with the Notre Dame, he may be dreaming on being on terra firma but Notre Dame is like his private playground.

 

Belle, Carpet, Pumbaa Disney Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King

Belle, Carpet, and Pumbaa

Frollo in the Square during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo in the Square during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Satellite Dish during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Satellite Dish during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a few things that appear in the song that many viewers don’t seem to notice. The first are cameos, which people do notice. The Cameos are Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Pumba (The Lion King) and Carpet (Aladdin). Two other things, is Frollo can be seen in the square as Quasimodo is looking down and a satillite dish can be seen on a house in the bird’s view of Paris or La Cite in this case.

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

So the song is by no means in the top tier of the songs in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it by no means is it the worst. It’s just a VERY typical formulaic Disney song.

 

Next Time –Topsy Turvy

Clopin during the Feast of Fools Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin during the Feast of Fools Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Clopin Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin with puppet during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Bells of Notre Dame is the opening to the movie. Click Here to get The Bells Of Notre Dame

http://youtu.be/Tv4W0VkoUfM

The Opening Shot of  Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Opening Shot of Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame

Paris Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Paris during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Clopin Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bells of Notre Dame starts off like The 1939  version, very appropriately with Bells  and Latin choir  (unlike the 1939 version). The bells grow in intensity till the title screen goes away and the opening scene starts and  the melody of the  refrain from Hellfire is heard. From this you get a major sense of drama before you see a single person. Then tone turns gentle and quite, then intense, then more intense. This song is like a roller coaster.

 

Clopin with Puppet bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin with Puppet during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo's Mother Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo's Mother Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bells of Notre Dame does a few things for the movie, it introduces three main character, showcases Notre Dame’s importance as the setting of the film and explains the relationship between Quasimodo and Frollo. Disney had a bit of the problem with nature of Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo isn’t the colossal jerk he is in the Book. He takes Quasimodo in after being moved by empathy for him, not by getting scared by a Statue and the Archdeacon because he murder an innocent women in front of the most important spiritual centers in France and fears hell that takes the baby of his victim as an act of contrition. But Disney villains are never ones for charitable act so Frollo is co-forced into  looking after Quasimodo. The Bells of Notre Dame also presents the viewers with the moral of the story, “what makes a monster and what makes a man”.

 

Frollo chases Quasimodo's mother during The Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo chases Quasimodo's mother during The Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo's Mother Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo's Mother Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Murder of Quasimodo's Mother Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Murder of Quasimodo's Mother Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Song also sets up the tone of the movie. Disney boosts that Hunchback is their darkest film, and yes it is, but it is after all a Disney film and there is a lot of “humor” in it. The Bells of Notre Dame present both facets, the humor, light-hearted Disney Flair and the darker aspects. The dark aspect are easy to see, the backstory, Frollo kills a women, tries to kill a baby and saddled into raising it. The humor comes from Clopin regaling the children with his puppet (love the Clopin Puppet). But even Clopin here is delighting in the dark dramatics of the story.

 

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame seeing Quasimodo for the 1st time Disney picture image

Frollo seeing Quasimodo for the 1st time Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Well Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Well Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Archdeacon Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Archdeacon Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

But is the song itself successful? Yes, yes it. I would so that it’s one of the best song in the movie right up there with Hellfire. It’s dramatic,  epic, and grand. Unlike Hellfire which has a benefits of being more  focused, Bells of Notre Dame has to fulfill it’s purpose and  has a lot of ground to cover musically. It’s starts with a Latin choir, goes into a more gentle tone and the gets  darker as the Gypsies are introduced along with Frollo, The Choir returns but more intense as Frollo  chases Quasimodo’s mother. There are so many vignettes in this song that it could have been a mess but it’s handle musically very well and the music intensifies the dramatics of the action.

Frollo in fear for his soul Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo in fear for his soul during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Sees all Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Notre Dame Sees all Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo and Baby Quasimodo bells Disney Hunch back of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Baby Quasimodo during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunch back of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally this wasn’t even going to be a song, it was going to be spoken dialogue. I’m glad they made it into a song because it’s one of the better songs in the movie. It was the perfect way for the movie to start. Your given a tone, setting, characters, motivation, drama, and some light humor. I would say it’s one the best Disney’s openings. Seriously, Clopin’s crescendo at the end is amazing, it’s probably the single greatest bit of singing in the movie, maybe even Disney History.

Clopin Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

A Puppet of Quasimodo bells Disney Hunchback of notre dame picture image

A Puppet of Quasimodo during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of notre dame

Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Time – Part of that World,  oh wait, I mean Out There.

Quasimodo singing "Out There" Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo singing "Out There" Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I just want to take a moment and get this out there.

Tim Burton picture image

Tim Burton

Quasimodo Rescues Esmeralda Illustration picture image

Quasimodo Rescues Esmeralda Illustration

Josh Brolin  picture image

Josh Brolin

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few months ago it was announced that Tim Burton was rumored to be directing a new adaptaion of  The Hunchback of Notre Dame slated for 2013 and attach to this is actor Josh Brolin of such movies as Jonah Hex and  True Grit as Quasimodo. I was reading some of comments people left on the websites that announced this and mostly they were discussing how Johnny Depp was not playing the leading character in a Tim Burton movie. Unusual? Yes but does this mean that Johnny Depp will not be in the film?

Johnny Depp image picture

Johnny Depp

My guess he will. Let’s face it Quasimodo not exactly a Depp role, sure he played Ed Scissorhand but I can’t envision Depp as Quasimodo. However I could see him as Gringoire.    Gringoire is a poet and sometimes he used as a story-teller (as he more less is the voice for the writer) and more often than not he has been paired up with Esmeralda. I would predict that Johnny Depp will play Gringoire, I can see him as Frollo or Phoebus, however he could play Clopin. For Depp to Play Clopin it would depend of the direction of the film. Clopin is not actually a gypsy in the book but in the film Clopin takes on all of the leaders of the Court of Miracles, so sometimes he’s a Gypsy and sometimes he’s not. However I could see him as Clopin or Gringoire. Though I would lean towards Gringoire.

Helena Bonham Carter picture image

Helena Bonham Carter

As for Helena Bonham Carter (another staple in a Burton movies), there is a lack of females in Hunchback of Notre Dame and it’s up to the film’s direction if they’ll have more than just Esmeralda. I wouldn’t cast Carter as Esmeralda or Fleur de Lys ( if Fleur de Lys is in this adaptation). Pending on film direction I would cast her as Sister Gudule, Esmeralda’s mother. However if the film doesn’t go for Esmeralda’s back story which I’ve only ever seen twice in adaptations, Carter will have some cameo of some sort maybe La Falourdel (the women who house Phoebus rents a room from in order to seduce Esmeralda).  In case I would predict her to be in the film is some capacity.

I hope they get someone who is more akin to Esmeralda in the book; someone who is not overtly sexy and  youthful, that would be refreshing to see.

Anyway these are all rumors and predictions, but I would love to hear what you think on this upcoming movie.

 

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”