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!

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