The songs in Jetlag version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame make the songs in the Disney sequel look like the original Disney version. They’re bad, real bad, absolute awfulness.
In total there are three songs and they are completely shoehorned in movie. The only reason for the songs is that it’s a Jetlag formula to have three songs regardless or not if they fit into that movie. None of the characters sing them and they add nothing to the story hence they are worthless. If they were good songs you could forgive them being thrown in over the beginning, end credits and in a random part in the middle but no they are terrible and random. So let’s start with first song which is called “Pity not Quasimodo” which plays over the opening credits.
Right off the bat it starts with “La Marsellaise” (The National Anthem of France). You can’t throw a famous song like that in. It’s tacky. I guess they were establishing the setting but had there just been an accordion piece composed for the movie it would have been so much better. Sure, an accordion would be an anachronism but it’s not an National Anthem. We’re 7 seconds in and already I’m disgusted.
The lyrics of the song begins with a several of questions that are meant to get the viewers to empathize with Quasimodo. The Questions are;
Have you ever felt out of place?
Have you ever felt like a stranger?
And your clothes were all wrong
And your voice was too loud
If you answered yes to these questions then song suggests that you know how a deformed, deaf, hunchback who has to live apart from society, is a subject of ridicule and was abandon at birth must feel. Really song? Having inappropriate clothes and a loud voice does not often ostracized a person from society.
However, you’re not supposed to pity Quasimodo because he has big heart and the song implies that girl named Esmeralda falls in love with him. 45 seconds and the movie gives away the ending.
In terms of the music I can make out a few cords, a drum and electric piano but the mixing between the vocals and the accompaniment is bad. I can’t really make out if it’s bad or not. But I can tell it’s cheesy and cheap sounding. The vocals, oh the vocals. The guy singing has a thin, raspy, breathy voice. I don’t partially care for this style of voice but at least he can carry a tune and he also had crap to work with.
If you thought the song was uninteresting and lazy well then let’s look at the visuals. The visual are just sets. So we have Notre Dame, the pillory, the city and the dock and that’s it. It’s boring the most exciting thing in the opening is a flag blowing in the breeze. The animation budget was clearly not wasted here.
This introduction is failure. Aside the boring song and the visual that are lazy and boring there is no tone or mood to this. It lacks joy. Watching this opening makes me feel that this is going to be a boring movie. But wait, the movie is boring so I guess the this opening succeeded, Good job opening, you succeeded in giving me a nice 40 minute nap, Kudos.
Next Jetlag Article: Song 2 Queen of my HeartFollow thehunchblog