Before you can understand the pain of the other Burbank version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you need to experience the pain. So you can either suffer through the forty some odd minutes of hell or just read this plot summary.   I’m sure more thought and effort were used to write this post than went into making the movie.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

The story starts mind-numbingly on Year’s Eve 1599, a mere 117 later than the book for no real reason. Actually I got ahead of my self the movie actually starts with a wizard introducing this “wizard’s tale.” I can’t fathom what was being smoked at the studio when that idea was proposed and then accepted.

So, everything is going great in France as fake accent French people stroll about and pad out the 40+ minute runtime with weird animation and laugher.  Esmeralda is shown awkwardly twirling around when she approaches Frollo. Frollo rejects giving her money for her dancing by putting up his palms. On his palms is a birthmark which scares Esmeralda as she says it’s “the mark of evil.”  You know kind of what Esmeralda said in the 1939 version but instead of being something in lines of his hand it’s a big purple evil face, have fun with that and remember to put that on his hand animation team. Anyway Esmeralda walks off and Frollo doesn’t seem to like her.

Quasimodo crowned King of Clowns Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo crowned King of Clowns

Cut to Frollo chilling with King Henry IV, and to the version’s credit they got the proper monarch of France correct just not the correct year of the actual book, I mean to be fair it’s not like the first paragraph of the book or anything, it’s in the second, it’s very hard to miss… Moving on Frollo tells the king that he think Esmeralda is evil and Henry tells him to stop being narrow-minded and muses the Frollo probably still thinks the earth is still flat, which Frollo says it is. Hmm, this is reminding me a lot of the 1939 version…. Henry then gives Esmeralda a coin  just like in the 1939 version, hmm I’m saying that a lot, WEIRD!

Esmeralda then spots an eye looking at her, you know like another version, I’m noticing a bit of a pattern here. Anyway it’s Quasimodo and his dove friends, Quasimodo have doves that follow him around, at least it’s original. The town people chase after Quasimodo and make him dance for their amusement and then name him Kind of the Clowns and for some reason the crown of “King of Clowns” is not a jester hat but a wreath of laurels. WHY?   Frollo then reveals that he is the guardian of Quasimodo and how dare Quasimodo make a fool of Frollo in public again Again? What was the first time?. Less than ten minutes in and I’m so numb, hypothermia take me away.

Esmeralda the tries to go to the King to ask him for help for her people but the guard wants to arrest her because she is a gypsy and she runs away to Notre Dame. The Priest saves her and takes her in and introduces himself as Padre Jean-Paul. Why Spanish? I don’t get that, someone fill me in on why a Priest at Notre Dame de Paris would call him self “Padre?”  Cut to Frollo talking to some important looking guy demanding Quasimodo be whipped for going out in public, to which the important looking guy says no. Then it’s happy New Year and they have fireworks amidst tons of repeat animation and then everyone just leave because who parties all night for a new century, it’s bedtime.

Esmeralda meets Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda meets Phoebus

Padre Jean-Paul then teaches Esmeralda how to pray because the 1939 version did it.  However Frollo comes in and yells that she can’t pray and then says she a witch who steals men’s heart and drives them mad. Literally it’s been two hours since Frollo first saw Esmeralda and he is already obsessed with destroying her. This Frollo makes book Frollo sane.  Esmeralda then goes upstairs and sees Quasimodo and takes off running. Quasimodo pursues her because he want her to know he is her friend. Phoebus then saves Esmeralda and sends Quasimodo to the Bastille. Phoebus and Esmeralda share a moment, he is not a smug jerk in this version.

Just like in the 1939 version, Frollo orders all the Gypsy women by round up so he can find Esmeralda but she gives the guards the slip. Meanwhile, Quasimodo is found guilty and Frollo makes a plea that Esmeralda is a witch and should be punished. Quasimodo is in the stocks begging for water. While that is happening Padre Jean-Paul explains to Esmeralda that Quasimodo is the nicest person and wouldn’t have hurt her. Esmeralda then gives him water but runs off as a guard approaches.

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda's face Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda’s face

The King holds a masked party and Esmeralda shows up to dance to see Phoebus, even though there is a warrant out for her and she knows it. Phoebus and Esmeralda dance and confess their love for each other but then Frollo ruins the party by arresting her.

At her trail she declared a menace to society because she just so darn pretty that poor men just can help themselves with her around and sentence her to death.While is jail, Phoebus tells he is trying to arrange an appeal for her but he also has a plan to save her which is the same plan that Gringoire used in the 1939 version which was printing pamphlets.  However the night before her execution Quasimodo breaks her out of jail with the help of his dove pals.  As Esmeralda and Quasimodo seek into Notre Dame, Frollo confesses to Padre Jean-Paul that Esmeralda is not a witch and he is in love with her and the padre says he can’t forgive Frollo if he does come clean. Frollo then finds out that she has escaped with Quasimodo help.

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus

Now it’s the seventh of January, seven days! All this in seven days? Anyway Phoebus is getting the people on Esmeralda’s side and now know that she escaped jail. Phoebus, the Padre and Frollo all gather at the King’s to discuss Esmeralda. The Kings likes Phoebus’ approach but admits her can’t do anything without evidence. The Padre says Esmeralda is falsely accused then guilts Frollo to admit his lies which he does and the king pardons her. Frollo then rushes to Notre Dame to kill her. Frollo awkwardly attacks Quasimodo and then Quasimodo uses the bells to knock Frollo down the bell tower. Esmeralda and Phoebus reunite, people cheer, End of movie.

 

 

 

It’s October so that means a four scary casting options.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Ahhh, Gerard Butler we met again. For those of you who live under a rock in a deep cave, Gerard Butler was in the 2004 film version of the Phantom of the Opera musical as the Phantom. The Phantom’s character is kind of like the combination of Quasimodo and Frollo as he is deformed but very much motivated by sex and a wrapped sense of what love is, though Phantom has an arc and learns and Frollo doesn’t. Anyway so Butler was criminally mis-casted as the Phantom and now let’s muse him being cast as Frollo.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Butler isn’t that bad of an actor, there are worst people, Butler just picks bad movies so if he were in any version of Hunchback it would mark it as a bad movie. More than that, Butler is completely wrong in type for Frollo. Frollo is meant to have a older austere look and is considered ugly by shallow Esmeralda. However that is the in book, the movies are different so we can’t wholly dismiss Butler’s look. Bulter actually has a similar look to the 1956 Frollo, Alain Cuny. Also, think about it and I mean REALLY think about it, is there any movie version were Esmeralda is scared of Frollo and calls him ugly? If there is one, I can’t think recall it. Esmeralda in the book is aware of Frollo and is scared of him because he is mean to her but in the movie versions she isn unaware of Frollo. One reason for this is that most of the versions show Frollo’s first look at her and it’s not in a flashback or recounted to the audience, so Esmeralda doesn’t know about Frollo and it’s not till the point of attack that is she made aware of him and how awful he is to her. Him being ugly isn’t even that much of a big deal within the movies, all he needs to be is against Esmeralda for her not to like him and this can be done with him being a priest fighting and then giving in to his lust or being a jerk to Esmeralda’s people.

Gerard Butler as The Phantom, The Phantom of the Opera picture image

Gerard Butler as The Phantom

If it sounds like I’m condoning Butler being cast as Frollo, I’m not, I’m merely illustrating a the discrepancy between the book and movies because there is another issue with Butler, his acting. I did say he wasn’t a bad actor but he doesn’t range. Butler is not capable of playing Frollo. He probably would just yell most of his lines and make rugged poses. Any sense of Frollo’s inner conflict of being godly vs his lust would be throw out the window for some hammy loud lines.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Butler playing Frollo would be a mess and I would also say that if Butler were cast as Frollo it probably wouldn’t even be the worst part of the movie, and that is the scary part . Also I don’t another handsome Frollo.

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

Frollo in book is a repressed guy who has no experience dealing with women. As a devote man of god and science he value his purity and prides himself as being above the rest. His madness come out of his devotion. This can be said for Frollo in Quasimodo d’El Paris though in this movie Frollo is Bat-shit crazy. He is insane.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo

What he does is murder women and turns there bodies in to gargoyle to adorn the church. He thinks these women are unhappy and this makes them happy.  He is not delusional he actually believes this is what his mission is, he even has an impressive and comedically over-the-top murder rig lair. This could be the plot of some dark gritty movie and not a comedic Hunchback movie.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo

However given that this is a comedy Frollo is comedic. He really does embody the weird, and I mean weird comedic tone of the movie which is a cross of understated and over-the-top. You would this those styles don’t go together but oddly they do. I do want to discuss the humor more but three parts that illustrate this duality of humor are Frollo wishing Quasimodo Happy Birthday. He says Party time with a big gesture and a monotone expression, when he preaching the “Lord” message to the prostitutes, and when Quasimodo buries Frollo in the sand with only his head sticking out, actually the whole of the trip to beach should count.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Richard Berry as Frollo

Howver the bigger question is how is Frollo at being Frollo. A point in this version of Frollo’s favor is that this is the only version where his and Quasimodo is closer to what it was more like in the book and by that I mean they like each other. So many version Frollo seems to hardly even like Quasimodo. In this version, Frollo likes Quasimodo nearly to obsession. He kisses hims calls him his baby, teaches him, builds up Quasimodo’s deadliness to protect him, busts him out of jail and he is totally ok with Quasimodo killing him. Like it’s nothing at all.

Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda & Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda & Richard Berry as Frollo

Speaking of obsession, I do feel like Frollo’s obsession with Esmeralda is more of an after-thought. I mean he is already murdering women, he already has an outlet for his repression of sexual desires.  He does seem to like Esmeralda more and even want her to join him in his quest of murdering women. At this point Frollo says verbatium lines from the books. The lines are from ‘the tomb or my bed’ speech he gives her. While I do like it when Frollo gets to say his book lines, they felt rather forced, I don’t believe this Frollo would say these things or even believe those word, they felt out of character. Also another weird out of character mark for Frollo is his name. Yes it’s Frollo but his first name is Serge and not Claude. Why?

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d’El Paris

There is another aspect of this Frollo that is worth noting, he has a lot of weird phallic imagery associated with him. First of his middle finger. Frollo gives the finger  A LOT during this movie. Mostly the finger is a “Fuck you” but in Ancient times is was symbol for intercourse. Frollo is not JUST  giving the finger to people, his middle finger is also concealing a blade, another bit of phallic imagery. It does end there however, Frollo also has a pet eel. Other than more phallic imagery I don’t know what this means.

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

As he stands to book Frollo, this Frollo falls short especially with regard to his all-consuming lust for Esmeralda. It never really felt like it was a super big issue for him. In fact he really goes after Esmeralda because he wants to get Quasimodo out of jail and it was  revenge on her parents angle. So the lust really isn’t there as much as it could have been or should have been. In the scope of the movie hover his comedic insanity is fun to watch even though he is a mass murder.

Richard Berry as Frollo Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo

I do have to give Richard Berry props for keeping both his middle finger very straight and up nearly the entire movie.

 

 

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus Hunchback of Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus

On the whole, I like the costumes. There is a lot of good textures and colors that match the spirit of the Disney movie but elevates them to the stage. In particular, I really like  Esmeralda’s main costume and Phoebus’ costume. While I don’t they are accurate to the actual historical times they don’t really have to be. Though I did look up Burgundian fashion/armor and Phoebus might not be too far off, but really it does matter. Esmeralda has a very good re-imaginaing of her Disney look. I find it a bit curious that her hip scarf is devore, which is a velvet that have treated so that fibers are burned away resulting in a pretty pattern. Kind of like this. I find it curious because I have longed suspected that Esmeralda’s original Notre Dame de Paris costume was done with a similar technique so is it an homage or coincidence? I think it’s a coincidence but I like to think it’s an homage.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Her other costumes  are fine too, though I get shade of Ariel’s seashell bra with her red dress in the bodice. Not a criticism, it just something I noticed.

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills Hunchback of Notre Dame, Picture image

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills

However there are aspects of the costume and make-up are I find to be lacking.

Let’s start with Frollo. Poor Frollo, I have not been kind to this version of him. First off Frollo gets like two costume changes.  The black outfit he wears at the start before he takes his vows and during the curtain call. His other costume is his vestments which is his principle costume. He does also wear a black cloak when he goes to the bar. There isn’t so much as issue with his costume as  does fit with his character and profession but they could have done more. His vestment is white with a black stole with a red lining and that is fine but they should made different stoles that cover more of the pure white robe as he  falls deeper into lust because his lust was hardly ever communicated in his acting. Frollo is so cool in this version with minor bits of it here and there because the songs had the lines in the lyrics. Making his costume get a blacker as the show went on would have been a great little visual clue to his psyche as his lust consumes him.

 

Michael Arden as Quasimodo performing Made of Stone Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo performing Made of Stone

 

Kind of a similar issue I had with costumes functioning oddly  was the congregation removing their cowls during Made of Stone. The idea was that that they were aspects of Quasimodo’s mind as well as personified in stone but because they actors  are both the statues and people as other points in the show, taking off the cowl reads more of a costume change and they are going for the stones that are Quasmodo imaginary friends to regular towns people. I would have had them pull up the hoods of the cowls to hid their face i.e. losing the humanity Quasimodo gave them and fading into the darkness as soulless statues of stone. Not throwing off the cowl entirely.     (sorry for the bad picture)

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hey speaking of Quasimodo, his make-up. I have so many issues with his make-up. I get what they were doing, they wanted to drive the point of what makes a monster and what makes a man by having the actor literally transform into Quasimodo on stage. This is a gimmick and it serves to make it seem like the audience wouldn’t get the point and ultimetly making the Disney movie more mature and taking it audience more seriously.

Also this is not a great transformation, the actor applies like two lines of face paint to his face and that is his facial deformity. Honesty, I don’t have a issue with making the make-up minimal and having the actor do more of the work to convey Quasimodo’s deformity, that is what Notre Dame de Paris did and they had a much more minimal of a  style and they still be more lines on Quasimodo’s face, making that make-up more elaborate. Also it’s not super impressive from a stagecraft perceptive to have a grand set and lines for make-up for a character that is supposed to have facial deformity. Maybe had they added a little bit more to that real time transformation, like an eye protusion prothetic it would have been a little more impressive.  Der Glockner’s make-up wasn’t anything amazing and yet it looks like the Phantom of the Opera comparatively but that wasn’t the point they wanted to be minimal, (or save on the make-up budget.)

The issue of “minimalism” is something that will get discussed in the  next post but it seems like there is a solid disconnect of the make-up, the costumes and the sets. For the most part the sets and the costume go together fine. They are not what would considered overly grand and elaborate  but they  richly colored and textured but the make-up is minimal? It’s just weird especially for a character who is known for a facial deformity? That is like making the Phantom of the Opera’s deformirt look like a sunburn, oh wait they did that.

It was a decent thought for Quasimodo’s make-up but it was misguided and lacking in execution. It’s like they needed to pick a style and commit, not have aspects of the production to be one style and other aspects be another.

 

And remember you can still vote in the poll, so tell your friends.

What should be the next version?

  • Quasimodo d'el Paris (53%, 9 Votes)
  • The Dingo Version (35%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (PLEASE say what it is in the comments) (12%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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This is far too silly. Video by Rin.

I got this idea from http://www.thelovecraftsman.com. Where they replaced all the adjectives with the word Spooky. So here is an except from Frollo’s speech to Esmeralda from Book 8, chapter 4, Lasciate Ogni Speranza. And because it’s still pretty long there is a spoiler tag. Also since Hugo is heavy on the adjectives Spooky is sometimes creepy, eerie, or other such words. Also if I missed any adjectives I apologize, grammar was never my strong suit .

“Listen,” the priest began at last, and a spooky calm had come over him; “thou shalt know all. I am going to tell thee what I have hitherto scarcely dared to say to myself when I furtively searched my conscience in those deep hours of the night, when it seems so dark that God himself can see us no longer. Listen. Before I saw thee, girl, I was spooky.”
“And I,” she faintly murmured.
“Do not interrupt me— Yes, I was spooky , or at least judged myself to be so. I was spooky—my soul was filled with spooky light. No head was lifted so high, so spooky as mine. Priests consulted me upon chastity, ecclesiastics upon doctrine. Yes, learning was all in all to me—it was a sister, and a sister sufficed me. Not but what, in time, other thoughts came to me. More than once my flesh stirred at the passing of some female form. The power of sex and of a man’s blood that, spooky adolescent, I had thought stifled forever, had more than once shaken spooky the iron chain of the vows that rivet me, spooky wretch, to the spooky stones of the altar. But fasting, prayer, study, the mortifications of the cloister again restored the empire of the soul over the body. Also I spookily avoided women. Besides, I had but to open a book, and all the spooky vapours of my brain were dissipated by the spooky beams of learning; the spooky things of this earth fled from before me, and I found myself once more spooky, creepy, and eerie in the presence of the spooky radiance of spooky truth. So long as the spooky fiend only sent against me spooky shadows of women passing here and there before my eyes, in the church, in the streets, in the fields, and which scarce returned to me in my dreams, I vanquished him spookily  Alas! if it stayed not with me, the fault lies with God, who made not man and the demon of equal strength. Listen. One day——”

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Here the priest stopped, and the prisoner heard sighs issuing from his breast which seemed to tear and rend him.

He resumed. “One day I was leaning at the window of my cell. What book was I reading? Oh, all is confusion in my mind—I was reading. The window overlooked a spooky square. I heard a sound of a tambourine and of music. Vexed at being thus disturbed in my meditation, I looked into the square. What I saw, there were others who saw it too, and yet it was no spectacle meet for mortal eyes. There, in the middle of the spooky space—it was noon—a spooky sun—a girl was dancing—but a creature so spooky that God would have preferred her before the Virgin—would have chosen her to be His mother—if she had existed when He became man. Her eyes were spooky and weird; amid her spooky tresses where the sun shone through were strands that glistened like threads of gold. Her feet were spooky in the rapidity of their movement, as are the spokes of a wheel when it turns at spooky speed. Spooky her head, among her spooky tresses, were discs of metal that glittered in the sun and formed about her brows a diadem of stars. Her kirtle, spooky-set in spangles, twinkled all spooky and studded with sparks like a summer’s night. Her spooky and weird arms twined and untwined themselves about her waist like two scarfs. Her form was of spooky beauty. Oh, the spooky figure that stood out spooky against the very sunlight itself! Alas, girl, it was thou! Astounded, intoxicated, enchanted, I suffered myself to gaze upon thee. I watched thee long till suddenly I trembled with horror—I felt that Fate was laying hold on me.”

Gasping for breath, the priest ceased speaking for a moment, then he went on:

“Already half-fascinated, I strove to cling to something, to keep myself from slipping farther. I recalled the snares which Satan had already laid for me. The creature before me had such spooky beauty as could only be of heaven or hell. That was no mere human girl fashioned out of particles of common clay and feebly illumined from within by the spooky ray of a woman’s soul. It was an angel!—but of spookiness—of flame, not of light. At the same moment of thinking thus, I saw near thee a goat—a beast of the witches’ Sabbath, that looked at me and grinned. The midday sun gilded its horns with fire. ’Twas then I caught sight of the devil’s snare, and I no longer doubted that thou camest from hell, and that thou wast sent from thence for my perdition. I believed it.”

The priest looked the prisoner in the face and added Spookily:

“And I believe so still. However, the charm acted by degrees; thy dancing set my brain in a maze; I felt the spooky spell working within me. All that should have kept awake fell asleep in my soul, and like those who perish in the snow, I found pleasure in yielding to that slumber.

All at once thou didst begin to sing. What could I do, spooky wretch that I was? Thy song was more spooky still than thy dance. I tried to flee. Impossible. I was nailed, I was rooted to the spot. I felt as if the stone floor had risen and engulfed me to the knees. I was forced to remain to the end. My feet were ice, my head was on fire. At length thou didst, mayhap, take pity on me—thou didst cease to sing—didst disappear. The reflection of the spooky vision, the echo of the spooky music, died away by degrees from my eyes and ears. Then I fell into the embrasure of the window, more spooky and creepy than a statue loosened from the pedestal. The vesper bell awoke me. I rose—I fled; but alas! there was something within me fallen to arise no more—something had come upon me from which I could not flee.”

Again he paused and then resumed: “Yes, from that day onward there was within me a man I did not know. I had recourse to all my remedies—the cloister, the altar, labour, books. Spooky folly! Oh, how hollow does science sound when a head full of passion strikes against it in despair! Knowest thou, girl, what it was that now came between me and my books? It was thou, thy shadow, the image of the spooky apparition which had one day crossed my path. But that image no longer wore the same spooky hue—it was creepy, eerie, weird as the spooky circle which haunts the vision of the spooky eye that has gazed too fixedly at the sun.

“Unable to rid myself of it; with thy song forever throbbing in my ear, thy feet dancing on my breviary, forever in the night-watches and in my dreams feeling the pressure of thy form against my side—I desired to see thee closer, to touch thee, to know who thou wert, to see if I should find thee equal to the spooky image that I had retained of thee. In any case, I hoped that a new impression would efface the former one, for it had become insupportable. I sought thee out, I saw thee again. Woe is me! When I had seen thee twice, I longed to see thee a thousand times, to gaze at thee forever.

“After that—how stop short on that spooky incline?—after that my soul was no longer my own. The other end of the thread which the demon had woven about my wings was fastened to his cloven foot. I became vagrant and wandering like thyself—I waited for thee under porches—I spied thee out at the corners of streets—I watched thee from the top of my tower. Each evening I returned more charmed, more despairing, more bewitched, more lost than before.

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Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

Michael McElHatton plays Roose Bolton on Game of Thrones  and since its Sixth season is starting up agian and it has a plethora of awesome actors I thought let’s cast from that pool. To be honest I was between picking McElhatton or Stephen Dilane who played Stannis but picked McElhatton first because of reasons but mostly I just thought of him first.

Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

 

So why would McElHatton make a good Frollo? Well he’s got the right look. He has an austre yet elegant look and has some good angle going on in his face.

Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

Second, his speaking voice, it’s amazing. It’s very cool yet smooth. If a movie ever did Frollo’s monolouge, his voice would be ideal for just saying those lines. And if not can he just do a Hunchback of Notre Dame audio book?

Michael McElHatton as Roose Bolton in Game of Thrones picture image

Michael McElHatton as Roose Bolton in Game of Thrones

Aside from Game of Thrones, McElHatton hasn’t done much film work (though GoT is a TV show). He mostly does TV, shorts and Voice work BUT the acting he has done on Game of Thrones is very good. Roose Bolton is a horrible person and he captures Roose’s cold and calculating persona perfectly. Frollo and Roose don’t have much in common of an acting front but it’s clear that McElHatton has the acting to pull off Frollo.

Michael McElHatton picture image

Michael McElHatton

What do you think?  Would Michael McElHatton make a good Frollo?

Game of Thrones Hype.

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills Hunchback of Notre Dame, Picture image

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills

Heaven’s Light – There isn’t much to say on this version of the song. Arden performs it very well and is a better singer that Hulce in the movie. Though I would say, at least in the cast album, it seems like Arden is fighting the impulse to sing in that broadway nasal style, which doesn’t work with the soft, light quality of stye song. Not saying he doesn’t capture the song because he does.  Anyway solid version of the song and the last note Arden holds is lovely.  I can understand if people prefer Arden’s version to the movie version, he puts passion into it and not that school boy crush of the movie.

Hellfire –  The Disney movie’s Hellfire is a hard act to replicate as it one of the highlights of the movie and is one of best songs in the Disney Pantheon. I would say the musical should have made this song more of its own instead of trying to emulate the movie. In stage show they did, to a point, I mean they striped it down to just Frollo and a red lighting effect but the song is just Hellfire with Patrick Page singing instead of Tony Jay. Jay’s version is just so perfect that this version feels lukewarm at its hottest. No disrespect to Page, he is a great singer but much like Norbert Lamla in the German version of the musical, he is channeling too much of Tony Jay.  Though to be fair, people want  Hellfire and that is what the musical gave them. It’s a damn if they don’t and damn if they do since the animation and Tony Jay made Hellfire.

However there is another issue with Hellfire in this version that bridges the movie and the book. In the Disney movie, Frollo is a more in touch with his anger and how it relates to his control over the city, so it makes sense that his lust is channeled through his anger IE Hellfire. In the book, Frollo valves his purity as means to keeping his control over himself and his lust is channeled out through self-loathing till it explodes with stabbing Phoebus.

As it is in the  musical there is a disconnect between Frollo’s personality and Hellfire. Yes, he does get mad when Esmeralda calls him out on the way he looks at her but then he goes out searching for her and his part in Tavern Song sounds more desperate than mad which makes Hellfire seem more out of place in the scheme of things.  I think the idea is that Hellfire at first showcases his desperation for control and he gets more consumed as the song goes on. Though in the book Frollo wasn’t that mad that Esmeralda was dragging him off to Hell, he rather welcome it, sure it made him go crazy to the point where he wanted to kill her but he was more mad that she going to give her virginity to someone who didn’t deserve her and that she didn’t want him. I don’t think book Frollo would sing this song. I will say that it’s a tough task merging Book Frollo with Disney Frollo since they are very different from each other but the causality of it seems to be Hellfire.

Or this could all be my head and I’m seeing an issue that isn’t there, or I didn’t explain my point very well. Both are possible. As it stand this a very tepid version of the song though the chorus is great.

 

 

One thing before I start the songs, I will discuss the La Jolla performance a little when I’m done with the album because the scene prior to this was so much of a combo of the 1939 version and the Disney version plus the scene after Top of the World is such a massive change from the movie that I have to talk about the show itself even if the show was changed from the La Jolla version and the Papermill version.  Also there are one two songs this week for dramatic reasons like Heaven’s Light and Hellfire are meant as a set.

Ciara Renee and Micheal Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee and Micheal Arden in the La Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Top of the World – This song is from the original German version. It’s a very nice little song about viewing things from a different preceptive and Quasimodo and Esmeralda bonding. In the German version, the Gargoyles sing the part where the Chrous of Quasismodo’s imaginary nameless pals sing. There is a fundamental difference between this version and the German version, this version is a lot slower paced and seems more serious. The German version had a more upbeat, faster and light take on this song. This could because the Gargoyles were the comic relief and this version has distanced itself from the silliness of the movie to be more serious like the book. Though the book did have some funny parts.

I mean the song is pretty enough but I do prefer the German version even with the Gargoyles.

Tavern Song (Thai Mol Piyas) – This song is another original song to this musical and can I just say in listening to the album first I was very confused of how this song came after Top of the World but it makes some sense with the show. Anyway this song takes place at the Pomme d’Eve* which is from the book where Esmeralda and Phoebus have their meeting which Frollo ruined with his stabbing Phoebus. Instead of all that it just seems like Frollo was stalking her   for a few months**,  hears her in bar dancing and flirting, in the show she kisses Phoebus, and Frollo gets more hot and bothered than he already was.

This song is very fun. It has a very distinct sound from the rest of the songs (so far) though Frollo’s part is sounds more like Out There rather the Sanctuary leitmotif, which is ironic since he is looking inside a buidling.

Oddly I really like the whisper singing of this song.  It’s a fun upbeat songs, I really enjoyed it.

One Source said that Thai Mol Piyas it means “And we Drink wine” in Romani.

 

Side of Note – This is the 130oth Blog Post!

*Correction, Pomme d’Eve was not where Esmeralda and Phoesbus met. They met at a Falourdel’s. Pomme d’Ever is a a better name though.

**Frollo first saw Esmeralda on January 6th and the song mentions “Winter is dying” which means it has to be mid March at the earliest. But also this is a very subtle nod to the book. In Book 7 Chapter 4 of the novel, Hugo makes mention of the date, March 29th. And this chapter occurs about the time of the Pomme d’Eve scene.  So kudos Musical.

 

So many side notes on this post.

Sam the Eagle & Janice, ABC's Muppets picture image

Sam the Eagle & Janice, ABC’s The Muppets

I love the Muppets, I can’t say I have seen everything they have done but I did watch the new series on ABC The Muppets. It’s sort of a mixed of there old Muppet show mixed with 30 Rock. One thing that I noticed was Sam the Eagle crushed on Janice. Sam the Eagle is uptight and Janice is a free-spirted hippie new age gal.

Now you look at these two and tell me don’t get Frollo and Esmeralda vibes. Sam the Eagle even has a tonsure and Janice has a tan. Sam the Eagle stalks her a little bit and in the Christmas episode waits by the mistletoe from her, he doesn’t get it but he gets a peck later in the episode. I will say that Sam does have more game than Frollo and Janice is nicer to Sam than Esmeralda is to Frollo.

I just loves seeing this type of pairing in the show. They NEED to a Hunchback or Notre Dame de Paris skit with these two.