Medieval Romani Women like Esmeralda have been long depicted as wearing specific clothing. Long flowing colorful skirts, corsets, low-cut chemise blouse and lots of jewelry. But is this accurate? Did medieval Romani dress this way?  Please keep in my I’m not expert on any of this.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda exerting some power Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

To be fair the Romani were a very uncommon subject of medieval art. Art back then was  for the most part was commercial, an artist was hired to paint someone’s portrait so there is a lack of Romani in traditional art history works. And painting is largely how people glean what people in Medieval times wore.

However, there are three works that depict Romani women that even though  they are from the Renaissance gives a slight hint as to what Romani women could have worn and very well what a girl like Esmeralda could have wore.

The Fortune Teller by Caravaggio picture image

The Fortune Teller by Caravaggio

Let’s start with Caravaggio’s Fortune Teller. There is actually two versions of this painting done a year a part. This one is the second version from 1595. In both paintings the women is dress the same.  The Fortune teller in this is identified as a Romani. She is wearing a  high neckline chemise that has a slit in it with a embroidered neckline that ties closed. She also wears a sari-like garment. It has a red broader and ties at the shoulder. Romani are said to have migrated out of India so a sari would make sense that they could have wore this. She also wears a turban-like headdress

The Fortune Teller by Vouet picture image

The Fortune Teller by Vouet

The depiction by Vouet  is similar to Caravaggio but is different. The Romani girl in this wears the sari-like garment but her chemise blouse is lower cut and she seems to wearing corset-like garment. Her sari also has a red boarder and ties at the shoulder. She is not wearing a headdress. This painting was made in response to Caravaggio, so Voulet could have just copied the clothing.

Fortune teller by Boulogne picture image

Fortune teller by Boulogne

Then there Boulogne’s take on Caravaggio’s Romani theme. In this one the Romani girl is still a fortune teller and is wearing a veil like headdress. The headdress is akin to Gina Lollobrigda’s costume in the 1956 version. She doesn’t seem to be wearing a sari either but instead she is wearing an overdress. This also makes sense that a Romani would wear clothing that is more European is style as they were often gifted clothing for their fortune telling.

One thing you might notice is the lack of Jewelry. None of these paintings have the hoop earrings, the coins or anything that fits the cliche look. The pervasive  look for the “Gypsy” is an 1800 century one or even just a myth.

Not that I think film version would ever go this route for Esmeralda’s costume, costume designers seem to hate historical accuracy (I‘m looking at you Colleen Atwood for your designs in Memoirs of a Geisha and what you said in the featurette) but I can’t help but think how different Esmeralda’s dancing would be if she was in the Sari-garment.   And how different she would be perceived. Her low cut blouse and defined waist of a corset couldn’t carry the sensualness, it would all have to be on the actress.

Get Michelangelo Caravaggio (The fortune teller) Art Poster Print

Looking up Gypsy costumes on Amazon yields a lot different costume results.You get Belly-dancing, bar wenches, pirates, fortune tellers, stuff label as Gypsy and even a costume of the 300 Queen. Basically a standard Halloween Gypsy costume has a few core elements; bright colors, hip scarfs, corset, texture/patterns and gold elements. More often than not these costumes are in the “sexy” variety of costumes. Of Course, most pre-made Halloween costumes for women are “sexy.”

These Costumes are some of the Gypsy/Fortune Teller variety available on Amazon.

 

Gypsy Princess Adult Plus Costume picture image

Gypsy Princess Adult Plus Costume

 

 

Gypsy Princess Adult Plus Costume

Disney color scheme, seems to be very inspired by the Disney costume to-boot.

 

 

 

 

In Character Costumes, LLC Fortune Teller Dress picture image

In Character Costumes, LLC Fortune Teller Dress

 

 

In Character Costumes, LLC Fortune Teller Dress

Lots of texture and pattens that go quite nice together. Could easily be a pirate costume as well.

 

 

 

 

 

California Costumes Women's Mystic Gypsy Costume picture image

California Costumes Women’s Mystic Gypsy Costume

 

 

California Costumes Women’s Mystic Gypsy Costume

The boots kill me in this picture, it’s like a costume The Nanny would have wore.

 

 

 

 

 

InCharacter Costumes Good Fortune picture image

InCharacter Costumes Good Fortune

 

 

Elite Sexy Good Fortune Teller Gypsy Costume

Las Vegas version of a Gypsy/FortuneTeller. It’s silly  with the lace, confetti-dot, satin and faux velvet but I don’t hate it.

 

 

 

 

Leg Avenue Women's 3 Piece Crystal Ball Gypsy Peasant Dress With Puff Sleeves picture image

Leg Avenue Women’s 3 Piece Crystal Ball Gypsy Peasant Dress With Puff Sleeves

 

 

Leg Avenue Women’s 3 Piece Crystal Ball Gypsy Peasant Dress With Puff Sleeves…

The Ruffle tier skirt is a reminds me a skating costume but considering there have been a few notable Notre Dame de Paris skating performances that may not be too out-of-the-box

 

 

 

 

In Character Costumes, LLC Women's Gypsy Costume picture image

In Character Costumes, LLC Women’s Gypsy Costume

 

 

In Character Costumes, LLC Women’s Gypsy Costume

Very quintessential Halloween Gypsy Costume even though it goes with the stereotypical vest and not the corset.

 

 

 

 

 

Leg Avenue Women's Seductive Gypsy Costume picture image

Leg Avenue Women’s Seductive Gypsy Costume

 

 

Leg Avenue Women’s Seductive Gypsy Costume

Overly Sexy with Disney color scheme, I find the “corset” a little silly.

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies Sexy Shimmery Fortune Teller picture image

Ladies Sexy Shimmery Fortune Teller

 

 

Ladies Sexy Shimmery Fortune Teller

The way the skirt hangs this costume reminds me of a Gothic Lolita costume.

This very is special Halloween Horro-scope custody of the song Hellfire.

It is the gypsy girl, The witch who sent this flame

So beware of  girls dressed in Gypsy costumes or Witch Costume they will either steal you candy or will compel you to give them more candy

 

Click the letter to make it red when you have found a word, Enjoy.

N P A R I S G G O M F
O H U N C H B A C K L
T O G R I N G O I R E
R E A B D T A O G N U
E B I G A L A C Q I R
D U E G N R I L A J D
A S S N C U D O E G E
M R M D E U R P Y Y L
E M E M L O D I F P Y
C N R B K L I N R S S
E R A E E E D H O Y P
R D L L A D O A L A M
L D D L N G N D L I C
Q U A S I M O D O H G

Words to Find:

Bells
Clopin
Dance
Djali
Esmeralda
FleurdeLys
Frollo
Goat

Gringoire
Gypsy
Hunchback
NotreDame
Paris
Phoebus
Quasimodo

This Word Search generated with the Artistic Network Word Search Generator.

As Esmeralda been adapted for different versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, she has wore red a lot.

Esmeralda & Phoebus Illustartion picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus Illustartion

The first couple adaptations La Esmeralda (the opera and the Ballet)  her costumes has red details.

Costume design for La Esmeralda Opera 1831 picture image

Costume design for La Esmeralda Opera 1831

 

In 1839, Belgium Painter, Antoine Wiertz depicted her in all red.

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wiertz

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wiertz

In 1870 ballerina, Adelina Patti, is depicted in a costume with a red skirt. The Ballets runs the gambit of colors from blue to green to pink though red seems to be the popular color choice.

Adelina Patti as Esmeralda 1870 picture image

Adelina Patti as Esmeralda 1870

 

Paloma Herrera as La Esmeralda Ballet picture image

Paloma Herrera as La Esmeralda Ballet

La Esmeralda Ballet picture image

La Esmeralda Ballet

La Esmeralda Ballet with Phoebus picture image

La Esmeralda Ballet with Phoebus

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not till we get to the movies that we see red surfacing as the dominate color for her. The 1923 movie has at least two instances of a colorized posters one is yellow and purple and the other has red details.

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Poster picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1939 despite Walter Plunkett’s design being mostly blue with red details and a red vest the coloration of her dress on a poster is all red.

Walter Plunkett design Costume for Esmeralda 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Plunkett’s costume design for Esmeralda 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though to be fair there are a few posters  where she wears green and blue, but there is more red.

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939 Poster picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939 Poster

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Movie poster for 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 1956 version Esmeralda wears all red for most of the movie.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

But I find it curious that she wears yellow at her ill-fated meeting with Phoebus over red.

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1996 Disney version Esmeralda wears red during her dance performance but for most part she wears purple.  I do have to wonder if Anne-Marie Bardwell had something to do with Esmeralda wearing purple throughout the movie as she was  credited in Character Design/ Visual Development and one of the animators on Esmeralda.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image red dress

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Dancing

Though she wears red/dark pink in Der Glockner von Notre Dame the German musical.

 

Esmeralda dancing Der Glöckner von Notre Dame Picture Image

Esmeralda Dancing Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

 

In Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda wears green but there is one red dress that was wore  for advertising for the London cast and the 2001 French cast. This dress is only wore once on stage in the Russian version during her meeting with Phoebus. And even in the 2010/2011 concerts Helene Segara wore red to sing the musical.

Tina Arena As Esmeralda in the Promotional Red Dress Notre Dame de Paris 2000 London Castpicture image

Tina Arena As Esmeralda in the Promotional Red Dress Notre Dame de Paris 2000 London Cast

Helene Segara performing Bohemienne at Bercy Concert picture image

Helene Segara performing Bohemienne at Bercy Concert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently in the new illustration novel by Benjamin Lacombe and the  Graphic Novel by Robin Recht and Jean Bastide, Esmeralda wears red.

Esmeralda by Benjamin Lacombe Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda by Benjamin Lacombe Notre Dame de Paris

Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris Graphic Novel by Robin Recht and Jean Bastide picture image

Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris Graphic Novel by Robin Recht and Jean Bastide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you look at all these instances, why is red her default color? Is it because green is too obvious for her given that her name means Emerald and red is opposite color to green making it the non-obvious choice? Seems a rather simplistic design notion for a costume, especially when one thinks that the color red is in total opposition to her as character.

Esmeralda Statuette by Armani picture image

Esmeralda Statuette by Armani

 

The color red typically is associated in Western cultural with  passion, desire, love and sexuality. Esmeralda’s personality is lighthearted, innocent, naive and modest. She doesn’t seem the type character to outwardly express her sexuality because even though she inspires desire in others, she herself is unaware of it.

Red is also in opposition of Esmeralda’s allegorical role as the Virgin Mary who traditionally wears either wears blue or turquoise.

Red also seems to age Esmeralda, her main point of interest in the novel is her youth, blue and green are more youthful colors but red comes off as mature.

Finally in the Romani culture, red is a color of ill omen as it’s associated with Blood (The Lure of the Gypsy Culture ) Though maybe the costume is meant her to  be ironic like she is subconsciously giving her in to tragic fate, though she lives more often than she dies and I don’t think the costume designers are that clever or that cerebral.

Shirel as Esmeralda in the Red with Laurent Ban as Phoesbus Notre Dame de Paris 2001 French Cast picture image

Shirel as Esmeralda in the Red with Laurent Ban as Phoesbus Notre Dame de Paris 2001 French Cast

 

However, maybe this whole matter is quite simple, does Esmeralda wear red in the book?
In the book there are  only a few instances where her clothing is described. When Gringoire first sees her, she is wearing a golden bodice (Book 2 chapter 3 Kisses for Blows) Frollo mentions that she wears blue when he first saw her dance (Book 8 chapter 4 Lasciate Ogni Speranza) and of course she wears white in the later part of the story when she condemn to die and brought into Notre Dame.

I think there maybe an instance of her wearing a multicolored skirt but I can’t find the instance in the book and her necklace that contains her baby shoe is stung with red seed beads,  other that she does not wear red. So why is she in red since red is in total opposition to her as character and there is no precedence for it in the novel.

Auguste Couder's Painting of Frollo stabbing Phoebus picture image

Auguste Couder’s Painting of Frollo stabbing Phoebus

If Esmeralda doesn’t wear in the book and it’s a color that is against every aspect of her character why does red seem to be the color of choice for her.

One reason I think is red is an easy color choice to make for when a character is suppose to stand out and be thought as desirable. There might be another level, Esmeralda is a Gypsy, this gives her an sense of exoticism and one popular style of art in the 19th century was Orientalism. Orientalism in art meant depicted exotic sense from place that were exotic to Europeans. The paintings use a lot of rich colors and a lot of red especially for women.

Une Beaute Prientale by Paul de la Boulaye picture image

Une Beaute Prientale by Paul de la Boulaye

 

So her being in red could mean that the costume designers are saying Esmeralda is an exotic beauty who is sexual desirable even though Victor Hugo meant for Esmeralda to work against the stereotype, why else would he have Gringoire said this to Frollo about her;

I certainly  consider it a great rarity to find such nun-like prudery fiercely maintained in the midst of those gipsy girls, who are so easily tamed” (Book 7, chapter 2). Esmeralda’s purity is part of her allure and to have her wearing red more less bastardizes the point of  her character

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Painting of Esmeralda and Djali by Wilhelm Marstrand

Red is just the wrong color for Esmeralda as a character and is it far too over done to be her dominant color anymore, details are fine but it’s too much red  but in over 170 years worth of adaptations it has become a boring cliche. I think this  is a cliche that need to at very least ebb. Costume designers of newer Hunchback adaptions if you read this please consider using different colors and if you must use red make it details or at the very least  try a different tone it doesn’t always have to fire engine red.

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda mocks Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image red dress

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Today’s question is “How does Esmeralda have green eyes?” I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Esmeralda in question is Disney Esmeralda, since she’s the only one with green eyes.

Also a Disclaimer, I have read the book, many many times. In the Book, Esmeralda has Black eyes. This question is about Disney Esmeralda, the book does not enter into this question except with regards to her name with her name.

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Djail Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Since this question is “How” which means “by what means” and since she is a cartoon this question is very simple; it’s green ink. But allow me to make yet another massive assumption, this question is actually a “why” question meaning “what reason for.”  So let’s answer this new question, Why does Disney’s Esmeralda have green eyes?

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I think the reason was to link the character to the name. In the book Esmeralda got her name because of an amulet she wears which is a pouch that has a paste emerald on it. It’s worth mentioning that Esmeralda in the book is rarely called “Esmeralda” it’s either “La Esmeralda” or something linked to her being a gypsy or a dancer. So the name is a title in someway. Now the in the disney movie, Esmeralda is a proper name and was given to her based on her eye color.

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

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now let’s ask one more question, is it possible for Esmeralda to even have this eye color. Well yes and no. No is the sense that this shade of green is not a natural eye color but it’s a Disney film so to hell with logic and the law of nature. And yes, given that the Romani (Gypsies) came out of Northern India, it’s possible, albeit quite rare. After all some of India’s top actresses have green or blue eyes like Rani Mukherjee (Golden- green) and Aiswariya Rai (blue).*

Rani Mukherjee posingpicture image

Rani Mukherjee posing

Aishwarya Rai umrao jaan Blue eye

Aishwarya Rai as Umrao Jaan

I mean without getting to a whole anthropological, genealogical, and tracking human migration patterns over the centuries discussion, let’s just say that this type of color is possible for a Romani and therefore it’s not impossible for Esmeralda. Though it inaccurate to the book where she has dark brown eyes but creative license and what not.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda reaching out to Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

Please Note – This answer was not meant to be 100% serious, so relax. It was more about ink color and character design than about Genes and Hereditary patterns.

*Movie Recommendations with Rani Mukherjee and Aiswariya Rai (I’m a Bollywood fan ^_^)
Rani Mukherjee- Black, Paheli,Dil Bole Hadippa
Aiswariya Rai- Devdas , Umrao Jaan, Jodhaa Akbar
This movie has both actress through Rai is just a cameo. But It’s a funny movie.
Bunty Aur Babli

Sarousch Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Sarousch Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

To be fair any villain when compare in direct opposition to Frollo  is going to look weak and lack luster, so Saroush being in a sequel of Hunchback didn’t stand a chance. The only way he would had avoided negative comparison was if his deeds were far more despicable than Frollo’s which means he would have had to kill many cute things but since this film is about Quasimodo getting a girlfriend that was not going to happen.

 

 

Sarousch Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Sarousch Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Circus Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Circus Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Saroush magically zap balls to Zephyr HUnchback Sequel Disney 2 II picture image

Saroush magically zap balls to Zephyr Hunchback II Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being in a direct to DVD sequel, Saroush was doom from the start, I mean no one takes those movies seriously, No One! Saroush is a Gypsy circus master who wants to be rich. To get rich he steals from his patrons but he has his sights on La Fidèle. It’s curious though, Saroush has exotic animals in his circus which includes but not limited to three elephants, two giraffes, and a zebra. Any of those animals  would have worth more than the Bell. He also seems to employ some magic tricks that look more like magic than illusions, ex the transporting balls into the crowd. Not sure how that one could be explained but it seems that would have been a boon to his stealing. So he’s greedy and dumb.

 

Saroush fawns over Himself Hunchback of Notre Dame II Sequel 2 DIsney picture image

Saroush fawns over Himself Hunchback of Notre Dame II DIsney

Sarousch in his griddle Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Sarousch in his griddle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Sarousch being arrested Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Sarousch being arrested Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beside being a “criminal mastermind” he is VERY vain. He has pictures of himself in his cart that can change to mirrors, so he can see himself. He also wears a corset (griddle) and a hair piece. Not sure if this is only for comedy or if they is some under lying commentary on a youth obsessed culture? No it’s just for shits and giggles and to make him look stupid when he gets his comeuppance at the end seeing him all fat, bald and old (actually there is some commentary on youth obsession). Actually my guess is Saroush’s vanity harkens back to Quasimodo and how awesome he is even if he’s ugly. Remember the first rule of a Hunchback cartoon for kids, drive the “ it doesn’t  matter what you look like” moral over the edge. To reiterate Saroush is greedy, dumb, and vain yet ugly.

 

Saroush Hunchback of Notre Dame II Sequel 2 DIsney  picture image

Saroush Hunchback of Notre Dame II DIsney

Phoebus and Sarousch Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Phoebus and Sarousch Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Sarousch kidnapping Zephyr Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Sarousch kidnapping Zephyr Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saroush is also ruthless. When he gets idea in his head he will do anything to achieve those means even someone has to get hurt. He also blackmails and uses guilt to get what he wants. He sets up Madeline to be arrested by telling Phoebus that she wanted the bell just as a distraction. He then also kidnapped Phoesbus’ son Zephyr and threaten  the boy to ensure his get away.  Saroush is greedy, dumb, vain yet ugly and an Asshole.

 

Saroush  sees La Fidèle Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Saroush sees La Fidèle Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

Now in the scope of villain, being greedy, dumb, vain yet ugly and an Asshole isn’t bad, but Saroush’s non sequitur about referring to things as lovely, his nicknames for Madeline (trinket, Eclair, Bonbon, and other anachronistic treats of the 19th century), and his reference to his underwear make him  comic and not scary or menacing as a  villain. But what chance did he have  of being a Villain whose main objective is to steal a jewel encrusted bell on the inside.

 

 

Sarousch autographs a ball for Zephyr Sequel Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney picture image

Sarousch autographs a ball for Zephyr Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

That being said I kind of enjoy his stupid antics and he’s voiced by Michael McKean who played Mr. Green in Clue and I love that movie (it was my childhood). However Saroush is a lousy villain but at least he’s entertaining.

 

 

 

Next the Personality Deficient Fruit of Phoebus’ Loins Plot Device umm Zephyr

Zephyr Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney Sequel 2 picture image

Zephyr Hunchback of Notre Dame II Disney

 

 

Where do you begin to discuss  the differences between Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame and Victor Hugo’s original novel Notre Dame de Paris? I guess it easier to discuss the similarities. They both take place in Paris, there is a hunchback who is the bell ringer of Notre Dame and a pretty gypsy girl and the main characters are attractive to her. She has a goat and is dancers. There names are the same (Quasimodo, Claude Frollo, Esmeralda, Djali, Phoebus, and Clopin) and  that’s pretty much it.

Good Night everybody.

Cast Poster of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Cast Poster of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hunchback of Notre Dame Character Illustration by Francois Joseph Aime De Lemud

Hunchback of Notre Dame Character Illustration by Francois Joseph Aime De Lemud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Seriously next time we’ll go through the major differences.

Click here to buy the Disney Movie Poster

 

Next Character: Esmeralda; The Heroine

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame dancing

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame red dress image picture

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Dancing

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

 

 

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda demanding Justice Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda dealing with soldiers Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

Esmeralda mocks Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

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

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

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

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

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

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda exerting some power Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame grope picture image

Frollo gropes Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda avoiding Frollo’s hunt Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo arresting Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image stake

Esmeralda on the stake Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo thinking Esmeralda has died Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo being threaten Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

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

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

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus leaving Notre Dame

 

 

Next Character –Phoebus

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Next up the Villain: Frollo

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Judge Claude Frollo

Frollo is Quasimodo’s counterpoint and the Villain of the movie. Frollo is a bit different from other Disney villains. Many of the villains are trying to get more power (Ursula, Jafar, Scar etc), Frollo already has Power, he is the High Justice of Paris. His motivation keeping control and he is fueled by hate. He thinks he’s better than everyone else from a moral stand point and if he judges it as amoral than he thinks he is in the right, from killing an innocent women, to trying to kill a baby, burning Paris or attempted genocide.

 

Disney Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Judge Claude Frollo

Disney villains generally have two looks to them, elegant and slim or fat yet still elegant. Frollo is of the elegant, slim and tall variety. Looking at the concept art you can see parallels between Disney’s Frollo and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. He dresses like noble but

Concept Art for Frollo disney Hunchabck of notre dame picture image

Concept Art for Frollo

we’re given no back story other than his relationship with Quasimodo so we have no where he comes from. In the musical Der Glökner von Notre Dame ( German musical by Alan Menkan based on the Disney movie) Frollo was a priest prior to becoming the high Justice, which makes  his pious-bent makes a little more sense, but you don’t go from a priest to High Justice. At least in 1939 version his piousness was the result of having a Brother who was the Archdeacon. With Disney Frollo there is no hint or reason given for a morally-corrupt pious Judge. You can make guesses as to  what the reason is for Frollo’s behavior but Disney films have never been a venue for giving out much character development of their villains. Character Development might prompt sympathy. My Guess would be being pious and acting moral helps Frollo maintain his hold over the Parisians.

 

Frollo and Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Qausimodo

Frollo is very conniving and manipulative. He raises Quasimodo out of guilt for killing Quasimodo’s mother in front of Notre Dame  but he keeps him locked away in Notre Dame. I can’t quite figure out his logic for keeping Quasimodo in Notre Dame (other than the almighty plot and source material told him to), I mean Frollo lives in a jail. Anyway Frollo also raises Quasimodo with the hope that Quasimodo will be useful to him in some capacity. It’s hard to know if Frollo actually likes Quasimodo or he simply likes the dynamics of their Master/slave:Father/son relationship. My guess is Frollo all about Power and keeping power and Quasimodo serves as a consistent reminder of his hold over Paris and when Quasimodo proved too willful for him he tried to kill him.

Frollo and Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo trying to control Quasimodo

Frollo and Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo trying to kill Quasimodo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Esmeralda giving Frollo a Kiss

In direct opposition to Frollo’s control is Esmeralda. Esmeralda is everything that Frollo hates, she’s a free-spirited Gypsy who dances and lives outside the social order that he controls.  Frollo first notices her when she danced a very sensual dance and kissed him on the nose. The dance, while getting his attention wasn’t the factor to make him obsessives towards her, it was her defying him in support of Quasimodo who was being tortured by the crowd. Esmeralda uses some parlor tricks that Frollo misconstrues as witchcraft (another of Frollo’s turn off) and after a merry chase she gives him the slip

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame groping Esmeralda picture image

Frollo groping Esmeralda

and  goes into Notre Dame. Frollo’s obsession for her intensify to the point where he has to over come her, at this point by arresting her. Frollo tries to arrest her in Notre Dame but due sanctuary, she is protected. It’s at this point Frollo loses control and gropes her, and sniffs her hair, and thus the lust begins.  As he can’t arrest her, he blocks her in Notre Dame stationing guards at every door of the cathedral. Frollo then sings about how his losing control is the fault  of Esmeralda and not his (Hellfire). At this point arresting Esmeralda is not enough, he needs to be in possession of her or she mustn’t exists.  It’s

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire picture image

Frollo and an illusion of Esmeralda during Hellfire

during this song where he  learns that once again that Esmeralda has given him the slip.  Frollo then goes on a spree of burning Paris, trying to bribe other Gypsies for Esmeralda’s whereabouts and then arresting them for not being helpful.  Frollo  manipulates Quasimodo to learn the

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame with Esmeralda picture image

Frollo’s ultimatum to Esmeralda

location of the Court of Miracles. This is where Esmeralda is when Frollo attacks and arrests everyone there. As Esmeralda is tied to the stake and about to be burn, Frollo gives Esmeralda his final ultimatum, (him or Flame). Ultimately, like all Disney  movies there is a climax that ends with the villain’s death, like many Disney movies, Frollo is not killed or subdue by the hero, he’s actually about to kill Esmeralda and Quasimodo but the gargoyle he is standing on breaks and Frollo falls to his death. So the real hero of the story is Notre Dame.

Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame death picture  image

Frollo’s Death

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire

So in the history Disney of Villains, Frollo is one of the favorite. Nostalgia Critic and Nostalgia Chick from the immensely popular website Thatguywiththeglasses.com, ranked Frollo as one of the best villains after The Chernabog from Fanastia and Mola Ram from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, respectively. As far as Disney Villains go, he’s guilty of some of the most heinous acts. Within the first two minutes of his introduction, he kills

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Kicking Quasimodo's mother Disney picture image

Frollo killing Quasimodo’s Mother

a women and tries to kill a baby, he shows no remorse for

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Well Disney picture image

Frollo attempting to drown baby Quasimodo

these acts, in fact he justifies them; the women ran, he just followed (he must have thought the kick was an act of God) and he justifies almost killing a baby because it’s ugly (ok he thinks it’s a monster, hey Frollo you’re no great beauty either).  What makes Frollo more compelling as a Villain is his control and power and the fact that he thinks he both righteous and pure.

Next Time – Esmeralda
Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame red dress costume picture image

Esmeralda