I’m going to preface by stating that I did watch the first episode of The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo years before I reviewed it properly. My initial impression was it that the show wasn’t great but wasn’t awful. This show didn’t impress any strong emotions or opinions for me. It was alright and just a weird mixture of the concept of have classic literary figures going on weird and magical adventures aimed at children but that is the end of its level of interest. Really I found it an average to middling children show of its time that had Victor Hugo’s characters*.
And now, having watched all the episodes, that it pretty much still the case. For me, it’s fine. It doesn’t make me angry the way 2023’s Quasi or the Dingo production did but nor is a feat of story-telling or artistry. If you were to think of basic premise for a Saturday morning cartoon show that was made in the 90s, a group of friends going on magical adventures with a wizard villain that they have to thwart would be a leading contender. The fact that show uses Quasimodo and Esmeralda with a sorcerer Frollo makes it a little more note-worthy. Still it’s an average cartoon show.
However I do un-ironically love Doris, the pink Gargoyle from a single episode. Maybe it’s a weird affinity I have for pink dinosaurs and pink dragon-like creatures. I do love her, she made me feel something as well as the other dinosaurs from the episodes. So totally worth it.
The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo very much the epitome of a “Saturday morning cartoon show.” Not super deep in its content but instead invokes a sense of “fun” using classical literary characters going on the titular magical adventures.
A Lingering Question
Was The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo a knock-off production? Does it only exist to ride on the coattails of the Disney version?
Given the studios other works, that there is a credit in the opening for “original idea and Graphic design,” a villain was named Yensid, which is Disney spelled backwards, I would say no, it’s not. The timing makes it seems that way but there are no other works from the studios involved in the production that mirror Disney other movies**. is Not sure how both versions came out the same time, I do have a wild speculative theory. Or maybe the idea between was in response to the Disney movie.
In a Nutshell
If you grew up with this show you’ll probably still like it but as a standalone cartoon it’s middling to fine. As a Hunchback version it’s a weird version but it’s definitely a take on the characters and the setting and not so much the plot.
Some Bonus Stuff that I want to Mention
- I feel like an idiot for not catching this sooner; Quasimodo’s family name is de Bernasac which had to been inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac
- It took me way too long to realize who the cloaked figure was cover art. It’s Robert, the Abomination, from a single episode.
- They made dolls and for some reason Esmeralda was packaged with Dennis and Frollo with Dragon. I’m not sure if there were dolls of Quasimodo with François
*There is a 2007 children anime based around Cosette from Les Miserables. She did not go on magical adventures though.
**To be fair, I’m not sure about Arès studios since I couldn’t find a record of their works but looking at the other studios this show is an outliner in works that were similar to Disney animated films.Follow thehunchblog