François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 1

The third member of the gang of pals triumvirate is François. François is Esmeralda’s twin brother. He is quite different from Esmeralda and Quasimodo as he is cowardly and egotistical. This means his ego can override his cowardice when properly manipulated and his twin sister can absolutely play him like a fiddle. But don’t worry, Esmeralda manipulates her brother for only good.   

Le Poète des Fous

François and some thieves, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 7, The Court of Miracles
François and some thieves, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 7

François is very often the butt of the jokes. Typically the jokes involve his very bad poetry, falling down, or some sort of embarrassing scrape. Speaking of his poetry, it is very bad. His poems are so bad that it often used to drive people away.

François naturally doesn’t think his poetry is bad, everyone else is just doesn’t understand great works of high art. It’s often a red flag if someone claims to like François’ poetry. This is either because they are a bad guy or trying to use François for some ulterior motive. This tactic absolutely works because of François’ pesky ego.  

Lovely is the Love of François’ Lovey Love Poetry

François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 4,
François reciting his genius work with a harp

Admittedly his poetry was funny in the beginning of the show but wore thin after a few episodes.

François also has no other talents. He can not sing, play an instrument, draw etc. This is because Quasimodo and Esmeralda are good at things. But at least he thinks he is good at stuff, so he has confidence and that is at least something.     

Unlike Quasimodo and Esmeralda, François is a flirt. Some girls seem into it and some are not. François being a flirt is presented as an off-shoot of him being a “poet.” Wooing ladies with his sonnets, in his mind, adds to his mystique. Also at one point, Quasimodo tells his that he is a handsome guy, so the consensus in this world is that François is attractive. Which explains why at least one lady is alright with the bad poetry.

Basically François is the foil to Esmeralda and Quasimodo as well comedic relief. However he does display some measured behaviors. For example, when he learns the truth of his origins, he’s very accepting of it which played against Esmeralda’s reaction. Though a few episodes later, he was all in when he learned that his ancestor was the founder of Knights Templars. So maybe not the lesson about found family and family being more than bloodline was a moot point to François. Though the whole thing feed his ego so it does track for his character.    

François from the Novel?

François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 1
Esmeralda & François

François is technically a new character for The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo. According to IMDB, François was based on the character François Villon in The Beloved Rogue (1927) as they are both poets. That could be true but there is a character in the Hugo’s novel that is a poet, works closely with Esmeralda and whom is considered more like a brother to her and that would be poet Pierre Gringoire. It’s more likely that François was based on Gringoire. Even the last syllable of their names sound a little similar. But why they changed his name is a puzzler.  Maybe they just prefer free men to rocks.    

Also given that François is a handsome flirt, which Gingoire is not, it could that the show threw is a dash a Phoebus into his character. Phoebus is not a character in this show nor does he get a name drop of any kind. But that is a “quasi-baked” theory. 

Warrior Poet François?

François is not as agile as Quasimodo nor does he have a magical item like Esmeralda. He can be helpful in a fight but he is more an assist than the VIP, which is always Quasimodo. It’s a shame they didn’t weaponize his poetry otherwise they would have been unstoppable.

François is a Genius; You just don’t get his Art!

François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 1

François is mostly a bumbling buffoon. He does come off as good natured and has some moments to shine but mostly he is there for comedic effect. And donkeys are his worst critics.

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

Every year the Reveals perform at the historical Sanders Theater at Harvard University. Their shows are to celebrate the winter season with traditional songs and dance. For the 2023 season, the show is the based on The Feast of Fools. Their write-up even calls it “Topsy-Tursy.” Because you know why.

The Reveals’ music has long been a part of my holiday season for a very long time so I’m overjoyed to know they are taking inspiration from The Feast of Fool for their new show.

And if you can’t make the Journey to to olde Harvard, they offer virtual performances.

No News News

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

I get Google Alerts on Hunchback New and day I got Speculation Over Live-Action ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ Resurfaces With Latest Release. It was about a post from Reddit in which there was excitement around an Esmeralda doll. This lead people to think the doll was ushering a Live-Action remake. The Doll is not new as it came out in 2021

12 Inch Disney Esmeralda
12 Inch Disney Esmeralda

It’s a nice enough Doll, I like wood hair brush. There is one thing minor piece of Live-Action non-news news that I recently happened upon. or I just missed it.

A Tweet from Josh Gad on June 21st 2023 about the Hunchback Live Action Remake
A Tweet from Josh Gad on June 21st 2023

To mark the anniversary of Hunchback’s release, Gad retweeted (are they still called that) Menken’s tweet. Gad even included a pun from the movie.

What does this mean?

Only Gad truly knows what it means. The reports of the project being in limbo were from May and this is from June. Either Gad is alluding to it happening one day with grit and determination or it more of dream at this point.

It’s important to keep in mind that the project hasn’t been officially cancelled and the speculation is that Iger just doesn’t like it. One can wildly speculate as to why Iger dislikes it and can’t be swayed? And I might after Wish comes out, I have a theory.

But It’s also important to keep in mind that Iger’s contact ends in 2026 and there are rumors of a hostile take over of the company. So who knows what is up inside the company? The only reason to really cancel any of the “remakes” would be fatigue. That being said Hunchback MIGHT be one the few IPs that would/could benefit from a live-action remake over more recent ones.

Only time will tell if their live-action plans will come to fruition to be “out there among the millers and weavers and their wives.”

Esmeralda, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1

Esmeralda in The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo is very similar to Quasimodo’s characterization. She is smart, kind, loyal, charitable, athletic, creative and has a sense of humor.

Unlike Quasimodo, Esmeralda is a hot-head who will rush into situations. She is the most assertive one of the main characters. However despite being the most brash one of the group she considers herself “the happiest of people.”

Esmeralda and Others

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 10
Esmeralda gives Quasimodo a little hug

Like all other Esmeraldas, she is very pretty but unlike most Esmeraldas she’s never singled-out for being super attractive. She never captures the attentions of this particular Frollo as he is not into her in the slightest. This Frollo has other motivations.

When Esmeralda first sees Quasimodo, she forms an instant affection for the shy hunchback. Their relationship is very innocence and wholesome. Had the show gone on longer their relationship might have evolved into something more romantic. However she likes his shyness and calls him “dear friend.” It is clear that the show was all for this pairing, as it is the only pairing.

In contrast to other versions, this Esmeralda has a twin brother, named François. François is similar to Gringoire from the novel as François is also a “poet.” This is different from other adaptations and yet the novel does sort-of support this take. After Esmeralda saves Gringoire in the novel, she makes it very clear that they will not be lovers but would have a more sibling-like relationship.

The decision to make Esmeralda and François siblings could have been less about book and more to prevent a love triangle. François and Esmeralda being siblings means the young audience will not root against any flirtations between Quasimodo and Esmeralda. There is at least one episode that Esmeralda has a bit of an admirer which gives Quasimodo some insecurities. Esmeralda does not reciprocate this admirer and it is never mentioned again. 

Her Backstory

Esmeralda, François & Angelica, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
Esmeralda, François & Angelica

This version also fixes Esmeralda’s backstory from the book so it that it’s free of negative stereotypes but still akin to the novel. Esmeralda and her brother are raised by their grandmother, Angelica, who took them in after their parents died. However this is only part of the story. Esmeralda and François believed that Angelica was a blood-relation and thus they were fully member of the nomads however that is not the case.

They were raised by Angelica after their parents died in a forest fire. Their parents placed them in basket on a river with Djali to look after them. So yes they were taken in by the nomads but no they were not stolen. Esmeralda takes this news really hard because she really believe that bloodline matters. The tension is resolved by the end of the episode and Esmeralda learns her lesson.  

A Girl of Action

Esmeralda, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 3

In addition to all the magical adventures, saving France and thwarting Frollo’s evil plans, Esmeralda does dance and does train Djali. These are things she enjoys but she is rarely called “dancing girl” and there only few instances of Djali showing off her training. Esmeralda does fall prey to being a damsel in distress on occasion as typically getting into trouble for acting on her own.  Despite that she is useful throughout the “adventures” especially with her other talent.    

A Girl of Magic…?

Esmeralda's Magical Locket, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 16
Esmeralda’s Magical Locket

Of the three main characters in The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Esmeralda is the only one who can actually use magic. This is a complete departure from other Esmeraldas who are accused of witchcraft but are only guilty of having a smart goat or parlor tricks.

The outliner would be Melody from Enchanted Tales who is has the godlike power to bring instruments to life. The Magical Adventures Esmeralda is not as godlike as she can only create powerful illusions using her locket. While the illusions are tangible, they are temporary.  So technically, yes she is the most bewitching Esmeralda on the the technicality that the other character has a different name.   

Esmeralda, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1

This Esmeraldas has a good balance between of the late 90s conventions and her characterization from the novel. She is pragmatic, somewhat dreamy, yet can stick up for herself, help in a fight and is delightfully charming. Plus Djali!

It’s the culmination of the Spooky Season, Halloween.

The characters of the Magical Adventures of Quasimodo wear a lot of disguises. Heck, in episode eight they have a Halloween-like festival. What are they all wearing this year for “Witches Eve???”

Whose Costume would Win Best Costume?

Quasimodo as Aladdin…maybe?

Quasimodo in costume with Azarof, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
Quasimodo in costume with Azarof

Not really sure what Quasimodo is dressed up here. The fez makes it look like an Aladdin costume. It’s defiantly a look though.

Esmeralda as a Frightful Old Lady

Esmeralda as an Old Lady,The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 24
Esmeralda as an Old Lady

This is the first time that a Quasimodo calls an Esmeralda “ugly.” However that means it’s a convincing costume.

Frollo as The Reaper

Frollo looking Scary, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
Frollo looking Scary

Classic Frollo! If wasn’t for the scythe this could have been a Phantom of the opera costume.

François as a Spooky Ghost

Spooky Ghost François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 22 The Oracle
Spooky Ghost François

François even has a lighting effect.

Dennis as a Delightful Bird

Dennis as a Bird,The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
Dennis as a Bird

A cockatiel maybe?

The King as a Strutting Peacock

The King as a Peacock, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
The King as a Peacock

Seems correct for a King to be a Peacock.

Happy Halloween!!!!!

I enjoy reading Tarot cards, not very skilled at it but it can be interesting sometimes. So for fun I recently asked my tried-and-true rider-waite deck about the status of the Disney Live-Action Hunchback Remake and here’s what I got;

Tarot card reading for the Disney Live-Action Movie. 7 of Cups, 5 of Wands, 2 of Pentacles, & The Page of Wands
A Tarot card reading for the Disney Live-Action Movie.

Got the 7 of cups, the 5 of wands in reversed, the 2 of pentacles and the page of wands. I know some readers like to use the top card and the bottom deck card also which were The Fool the top on the deck and the Knight of Wands on the bottom.

The Current State of the Live Action Hunchback Flick as is Known

At present the status of the Live-action is in limbo. There are rumors that CEO Bob Iger doesn’t like the original movie, as well as Josh Gad and Alan Menken suggesting that the creatives are at odds with higher ups. That is all speculation but still the only recent news was the production is in limbo.

What does this Reading Mean???

I like to use Bibby Tarot as a reference as well as my own intuition. Again this is just for fun.

The first card is the 7 of cups which about illusions, wishful thinking and opportunities. Which might fit with creative teams’ desires to make this version in the first place.

The second is the 5 of wands in reversed. This card in this alignment is about inner conflict, conflict avoidance, or tension release. Perhaps there is more conflict amongst creatives than either Gad or Menken alluded to in interviews. Perhaps there is a lot of creative differences in conjunction with the studio “powers that be.”

The third card is the 2 of Pentacles. This card speaks of multiple priorities, time management, prioritization, adaptability. I tend to read this card a balancing act as in a push and push. Perhaps this also speaks to the forces acting on this project, as in what they creatives want and what the studio wants. In some capacity they want a good movie that makes money and maybe wins awards. But the sides can not agree.

And finally the Page of Wands. This card has connotations with inspiration, ideas, discovery, limitless potential, free spirit. This could mean that they are retooling ideas for the film. Or that they are moving on to new ideas/projects.

An Interesting reading to say the least. Though given the state of the Disney company and all the drama surrounding the Snow White version might have dodged a bullet.

Also there is a Disney Villains Tarot Deck that looks super fun. Cruella is The Chariot, which is just chef’s kiss.

The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo version of the titular hunchback is quite likely the most well-adjusted iteration of the character. He starts out being too afraid to go outside but he gets over that quickly when Esmeralda is in trouble in the first episode.   

His Award-Winning Personality…

Quasimodo: The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo: Episode 3: The Carnival of Fools

Aside from the hunch, Quasimodo is quite a catch. He is smart, kind, loyal and charitable. Add in that he is athletic and creative in both art and problem solving. But what about a sense of humor and kind to animals? Of Course! 

The Magical Adventures version of Quasimodo is not as musically inclined as some of his other counterparts. However massive bells cathedral bells are hard to play. He just needs some practice which is he willing to do, so he’s humble too.

He is also well-versed in the act of patience but can be impulsive. When he is impulsive it is out of necessity. As in something he needs is getting away like a scroll or a messenger pigeon.  So he is flexible.  

His Goals…

Esmeralda, Quasimodo & François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 19, A Song of the Heart
Esmeralda, Quasimodo & François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 19, A Song of the Heart

This Quasimodo is also family-oriented. He on an on-going search for his super awesome alchemist parents. Quasimodo’s parents are also members of the nobility and for some ladies find that super appealing.

This one of three versions of character to have “noble” origins. The other versions that see Quasimodo coming from wealth are the 1999 Quasimodo del Paris, The Enchanted Tales version and that 2023 medieval farce movie.

If you want to stretch the text of the novel, this backstory is not too far off but is is a stretch. Quasimodo is Frollo’s ward and Frollo is a member of the petty nobility with a small fief and an alchemist.    

His Love Life…?

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 10
Esmeralda give Quasimodo a little hug

Quasimodo is sort of in a semi-commitment relationship with his best friend, Esmeralda. They are just friends but they flirt a fair amount and genuinely care for each other. In fact it’s Esmeralda who makes the first interested overtones to Quasimodo.

They are still young and it’s a younger kid’s show so they maintain friendship between them but had the show had more episodes, I think they would have started a more a romantic yet wholesome relationship. A given episode could center on them going on a date but either a Frollo plan or François mucks it up somehow. Or some eclipse happens that endangers France with magical shenanigans that plague the world. Again this not the only version to have Quasimodo have an actual romantic relationship with Esmeralda. The other versions are Quasimodo del Paris, The Enchanted Tales version, and 1986 Jetlag version.    


Is he Perfect? You Bet!

Quasimodo drawing a Map, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 13
Quasimodo drawing a Map

Aside from Quasimodo’s psychical deformity he is pretty much without major fault. Throughout the show the hunch doesn’t really pose much of an issue. He is shy in the beginning of the show but after he makes some friends, saves the king and freed from his abuser, he is no longer shy. Quasimodo doesn’t have much in the way of hang ups or insecurities. His hunch is only a minor issue when he is rejected from the army but he just shows up and proves how capable he is to the captain and that solves the problem. 

Making Quasimodo nearly perfect is a tactic to get the young audience to like him and want to watch his magical adventures. Ergo he doesn’t need to be heartbreaking or super compelling. This version of Quasimodo just needs to be fun, likable and maybe make a silly quip every once in a while.

I’ve have been watching “ I’m Just Ken” song from the Barbie movie a lot lately. Mostly for catharsis but the song is great and the scene is so much fun.

“I’m Just Ken” is a great example of a musical sequence that prioritizes emotion over technicals or “singing pretty.” Ryan Gosling is a competent singer but he is more focused on the feelings of the song rather than diction or other vocal techniques.

So now I want a movie musical with Ryan Gosling, Ewan McGregor and Adam Driver. All three are actors who can sing well enough but they also can tap into the emotions of a song. McGregor performance in Roxanne in Moulin Rouge is utterly heart-breaking. Adam Driver should be in more movies. He did sing in Marriage Story which again was more about the emotion than the technicals.

A Hunchback Musical?

Since this a hunchback niche blog, let’s just consider a Hunchback movie musical, which hasn’t happen in a live-action version yet.

Casting these actors for a musical Hunchback musical version is tricky because any of them could play Quasimodo, Frollo or Phoebus. Based on ages & vibe Gosling casted as Phoebus, Driver as Quasimodo and McGregor as Frollo. But you could switch the casting and might still work, like Driver as Frollo could work.

As long this musical movie is melodramatic with a lush production design and well-crafted songs and orchestration. I’d rather see a musical developed for a movie rather than adaptation of a stage show but also I doubt these three will ever be in a film together let alone a musical, it hardly matters.

I know there are other actors out there who are good singers that could fit the bill. Honestly Gosling, McGregor and Driver were the first ones I thought of for this musing.

So you want to fit in with all the Barbie costumes this Halloween but still want to have a costume related to Hunchback?

That is a very unique and super niche problem. To be a fair a pink Esmeralda look COULD work very well. There is also the fact that Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quasimodo were all given the doll treatment.

But which character from a version of Hunchback of Notre Dame has that stereotypical Barbie look? Who is blonde and wears pink? The Answer is….

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris
Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris’ Fleur de Lys . Fleur de Lys’ costume in this version is relatively simple, especially the design from 1998-2015. It’s consists of a pink sleeveless dress with darker pink dye marks and some sparse crystal details. The length is a dealer’s choice as you can make it mid-calf to floor length. Also low-high (or high-low) hemlines are fine as they are used in some productions. Though if you want, you can go shorter. If you already have a sleeveless pink dress, or gown, in your closet go for that one but if you don’t have a pink dress on-hand here are some options.

Dress Options

This one has some crystal details already. Though the crystals are optional but they are still fun.

For a slightly sexy look go for something like this:

Try to avoid dresses with boho styles as that doesn’t fit Fleur de Lys. Think classic or even glam looks.

On to Shoes

For shoes any type of heel can work so long as it’s pink. This is a “Think Pink” costume. To be honest as long as the shoe is pink go for it. Maybe not a sneakers though.

The Hair

In Notre Dame de Paris, Fleur de Lys is typically blonde. Her as a blonde is a foil to Esmeralda. Some productions however opted to have Fleur de Lys use their natural hair colors. However in those productions the Fleur de Lys had straighten and Esmeralda has wavy hair. So if you don’t not want to wear a wig or dye your hair at least straighten it. You can also add flowers or crystal into your hairstyle.


If you’re feeling bold you can add abstract dark pink paint detail with fabric paint and add crystals. Also in the original production Fleur de Lys wore a crystal bracelet. It’s very delicate looking and not made from beads.

If you would rather just go more book-accurate Fleur de Lys costume you can, just make it 15th century style princess and try to get a hennin headpiece.

I was so sad when I got the email back in April that Netflix was discontinuing the red envelopes. I still had the service for many reasons. So it’s bittersweet now that it’s over.

Around the time of Netflix’s announcement, I was getting DVDs of a show. I had to get the discs from Netflix because the show was removed from HBO’s (Max) online catalogue. Oddly I had an impulse to to watch it back in 2020 but due to very personal issues I didn’t feel like mentally I could handle watching the show then because I saw one weird/violent clip from season 2 and deemed it too much for me then but not in December 2022 when I was ready but it was taken off the site. Not sure why I’m being cagey about which show, it’s obvious. And to make it more obvious I only watched the first two seasons……

So basically around early summer I tried to rent the backlog of DVDs that had on my queue that had been sitting there for years. There wasn’t that many but I’m sad to say I didn’t get to all them I missed out on four movies but two are easy enough for me to stream, at least for now.

So here are my very brief thoughts on the last 6 DVDs (roughly) I got from Netflix. I’m not including one that is for another post, or the final DVD since I got that as one intended to keep or the single bonus disc I got which oddly I added super last minute. I am grateful that I even got a bonus disc since I saw on reddit that many people didn’t but I was hoping for more.

The Movies I watched…

Let me know if you have seen any of these titles…

The Sea is Watching – The was screenplay was based one written by Akira Kurosawa before he died. It’s a Japanese romance drama about two prostitutes who work at a brothel by the sea. Both ladies have very different attitudes and hopes about men and relationships. I did not love this movie but the ending did have some gorgeous and nearly poetic imagery so that is a plus.

Persepolis – A friend of mine recommended this one to me. It the movie is based on graphic novel. I really could beat myself up for not watching this one sooner because I loved this movie. The animation is stunning and the story is poignant and bittersweet.    

Cleopatra (1934) – I watched this for costume reasons since Cleopatra’s costume in movie are so fabulously Art Deco. The story is pretty simplistic but the production is over-the-top and very theatrical.  

The Well-Digger’s Daughter – This one was recommended via a comment I received in 2022. This movie shocked me. I have seen quite a few French movies set during WWI and I have never seen one that has a happy ending. I enjoyed this movie but I was ready for this movie to be depressing or at best have a bittersweet ending and it did not. 

Princess Raccoon – Also known as Operetta Tanuki Goten. I can’t even recall how this movie got on my list. It was a type of movie that would have added randomly like decade ago though. But how did current me like it? This movie is beyond weird but very delightfully weird. It’s a very surreal musical with very symbolic approach to its visual style. It’s like an inscrutable dream. I throughly enjoyed it. I might just have a soft spot for overly theatrical stylized movies….. screw verisimilitude. I kid, verisimilitude has its place in cinema.

Ram-Leela I used to enjoy Bollywood movies but the last few I tried to watch I quit mid-way through and Ram-Leela was no exception. I vastly disliked it. Listen, we all have a finite amount of time on this blue marble hurtling through space, so do not waste that time on movies that you do not even slightly enjoy. And owing to that one truth I turned off this movie and got it away from me. It was empowering! 

Farewell sweet red envelopes. I will miss getting them and then ignoring them for months.