I haven’t seen Hotel Transylvania yet so feel free to call me out on anything I get wrong. I had mentioned in another post that Quasimodo was a chef which parodies his being French rather than his role as a monster because let’s face it, Quasimodo is not a monster, he’s deformed, not a monster. Calling him a monster was just a marketing gimmick by Universal Studios. Remember Lon Chaney’s first big role was Quasimodo and was Universal’s first major film. The 1923 version started the monster trend. Putting Quasimodo in the league with Dracula, Frankenstein, and werewolves is moronic. I’m really surprised that the Phantom wasn’t shoehorned in the movie. Oh wait, a cave is shaped like the Phantom’s face so he was. Kudos movie.
However my annoyance with the movie’s representation of Quasimodo goes a step further, Quasimodo is an antagonist. What? Huh? Quasimodo is a bad guy? Well that’s certainly a new spin on the character. I mean he did throw someone off a building in a fit of rage but is that enough to turn him into more are less a villain? Consider that Quasimodo is hardly ever depicted as anything but a kind soul. But wait there is more.
Quasimodo has a side-kick rat named…. wait for it……..Esmeralda. What? Esmeralda is a rat? What? The Beautiful and Graceful Esmeralda is a rat? I can’t process this. So let me get this right Hotel Transylvania, Quasimodo is a chef and has a rat? Maybe she is a pretty rat? Oh, I get it, they’ re knocking-off of Ratatouille. So Quasimodo wasn’t funny enough on his own merits so Sony Pictures had to reference a Pixar movie all while knocking-off classic monster movies? Or maybe because the writers had no idea how to included Quasimodo in the movie but they had to as The Hunchback started the Monster movie trend so they just made him the chef. And since there is nothing in Quasimodo’s characterization in this representation of him in this film they named the rat Esneralda to link him to movie even though it makes no sense to call the rat Esmeralda. He also has Gargoyle minions which is a reference to the Disney movie.
One more thing, why is Quasimodo’s last name in this move “Wilson”? Why not give him some goofy French name, would have made more sense that “Wilson”. Or maybe there referencing something, that seems to film’s raison d’etre. I mean even the title is reference to the song Hotel California, because they both have the word “Hotel” and end in “nia.” It’s supposed to clever or something.
This isn’t Quasimodo and there isn’t enough of him to be a proper reference to any version of Quasimodo. It’s pretty clear that the writers knew of Quasimodo from the Chaney version and the Disney version but not enough to make a decent connection to the character’s legacy.
I have since writing the post seen the movie, you can read that post HEREFollow thehunchblog
Hi. I agree with every thing Dempcey said. I just got my HT tattoo and found this article looking for pictures of Esmerelda (the mouse) for the next one. Quasi goes in the middle of the bracelet. I must have seen the movie a hundred times, and I still laugh at all of the Quasimodo scenes. I haven’t read the book or anything, but I am under the impression that irreverent as they may be, the changes in the character are just funny. I have no idea why he is a chef, but I am guessing he needed a job. It takes a while to realize that he is still just as fantastic of a climber, and I just get tickled when he turns all sadistic chef and wollops the hench gargoyles. He is obsequious to Dracula but grumpy at every one else. I would not go so far as to say he is shown in the “same league” as The big time monsters either, you will notice he is the chef, not invited to the party. Cool article, thanks.
My husband and I are both Romani (or “Gypsy”). My grandparents suffered through the Holocaust. His made it to America before the war. Many of our relatives died. We took the kids to watch “Hotel Transylvania,” and were sad to see Esmeralda – a famous Romani (or “Gypsy”) character who to me, and to others I am sure, represents the suffering of our Romani people – portrayed as a mouse. I thought of my grandparents, who often told me that the Nazis referred to our people as mice, rats, vermin etc. I just don’t understand why Adam Sandler would do this. My kids enjoyed the movie. I did not.
As she is my favorite character I will correct you in that Esmeralda is not a rat, but a mouse.
You are correct Quasimodo is not a monster however, he was referred to as one and made an outcast by “humans”. The invisible man is not a “monster” either, he is a man that is invisible.
If you haven’t seen the movie I am having a hard time with your picking it apart for there is a strong moral message in the story. It’s not about the “monsters”, it’s about irrational fear, bigotry, racism and as Jonathan says “That’s kinda racist.”
Hope you watch it and enjoy =)
Yes but how isn’t the invisible man a monster? He doesn’t start out as one but he quickly turns into a psychopathic killer. I think that counts for something.
I told you: If you want to watch an animated movie about a bunch of classic movie “monsters”(including Quasimodo) congregating together, watch the Rankin Bass “classic,” Mad Monster Party! It’s not particularly good–there’s a REASON that it’s not a classic like “Rudolph”–but it’s entertaining enough, and at least Quasimodo is RECOGNIZABLE. He’s deformed. He’s strong. He’s a redhead. He’s a bellringer who lives in Notre Dame. You know, all those things Quasimodo is SUPPOSED to be. He doesn’t really talk or do anything interesting, but he gets plenty of screen time and has a decent character design. (Jack Davis did the character designs and I love Jack Davis.)