I hope it’s a better year.
While I personally do not understand the unique artistry of Petit’s choreography, as someone who doesn’t understand ballet, I do think that there was a lot of passion and love put into all aspects of this version. In that sense it was a breath of fresh air amongst some of the other versions of hunchback.
While the characters and story were simplified for the medium, they were more than made up for in the other areas such as the choreography, costumes, musical score and the sets.
All around Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris is a really great adaptation and ballet in general.
Since I said that Maurice Jarre’s score for Roland Petit’s Ballet reminded me of video game music I thought why not just share 10 or so Video Game OSTs that I like. This is not best of list or in any order.
It also gives me the chance to learn more about wordpress’s new editor which I don’t love but I’m just not used to yet.
So there will be a track from each game via youtube. Learning the youtube block which wasn’t hard.
Final Fantasy 6 – This game was a pioneer in video game music and OH boy is it amazing! The main theme a.k.a Terra theme is goose-bump inducing. I love it.
Final Fantasy 7 – This game has some legendary tracks in it like One winged angel, Aerith’s theme and its main theme. The main theme has a dark tone mixed with hopefulness that is an amazing blend. When I played this game I often just found myself standing still to listen to it since it’s the music you hear on the world map. I miss the days of world maps.
I don’t know if I have to gush about One Winged Angel but Frollo would like it. (There would be a weird blog post idea, Music Hunchback characters would like)
Final Fantasy 9 – I recall playing one scene three times through just because I loved the music so much even if meant watching a long unskippable scene with music I hated, worth it!. There are too many tracks I love from this game. I pretty much love all of it.
The track above is the opening and one of the game’s core music leitmotifs.
Final Fantasy 10 – When I was taking piano lessons the only reason I performed at a recital was because I got to play the opening track from this game, To Zanarkand. There are other tracks I love but that opening is so great.
Chrono Trigger – It’s Chrono Trigger, it’s one of the best but Kingdom of Zeal’s music is life.
Chrono Cross – This game was weird and not as good as Chrono Trigger but the music was awesome.
Secret of Mana – My friend and I once tried to do a duet to What the Forest Taught me. She was on the flute and I was on the piano. We never got too far with it because I wasn’t used to playing in time with someone else but it was fun.
I find the music in this game mostly really happy and relaxing.
Dragon Quest 8 – It’s the only one I have played from this franchise. Not sure I can site track I love but I love the music as you run around cities or in the field. Just on the whole I like the music in this game.
Diddy Kong Quest – I love this game. It was a fun challenging platform game. I liked the music for the scary roller coaster, the hot head hop, the ice level and among others.
Mario Bros – Classic though I love the main theme from the third game but yeah classic iconic video game music.
Little Big Planet 1 and 2 – I don’t recall the music from 3 very much. Not all the of the music for these games were original to game but someone had great taste picking the music.
The sets of the ballet were designed by French film and theater director René Allio.
Like so many of the other past productions of Notre dame de Paris, Allio took the more symbolic representation of the cathedral. You know it’s Notre Dame you’re looking at but it’s not an accurate depiction. It’s depicted as brown with details in paint messy looking lines. It looks like a fresco trying to look like stained glass. Like Notre Dame broke into piece and clumsy put back together. Which is apt as that was Hugo description of Quasimodo.
Other than the Notre Dame de Paris edifice set, the other set that is most noteworthy is the bell tower. At the start of the second act, Quasimodo climbs down the set as the bell rings.
While you’re not always going to play attention to the sets they work for the ballet’s mood, tone and add to its overall very unique style.
The Esmeralda image was created using the Heroine Creator from Azalea Dolls.
For this year I thought I would share something sort of special. A few years I wrote some Christmas Hunchback fanfics that I was vain enough to try and sell, which was a dumb idea. So this year I thought of sharing one. This one is sort of Charlie Brown meets the Grinch meets Book Frollo.
So here is the Frollo Christmas Fanfic that the world didn’t need but exists anyway and has had for years….Enjoy
Frollo’s Christmas Tree Plan
Rated PG maybe (no smut very wholesome)
On an unseasonably warm day in December, Frollo, the archdeacon of Notre Dame, was in his cell, high in the towers of the Cathedral. He couldn’t work as she, the beautiful Gypsy, Esmeralda, danced in the square below. She tantalized him with her unearthly beauty and graceful movements.
For the past few weeks, he had not seen her as the bitter cold forced her to take shelter away for his gaze. Today the pleasant weather let her dance her seductive dance before him. Her absence had made his obsession swell as he watched with fascination. His feet were frozen to the floor as she whirled around on her bright colorful carpet in the winter sunlight.
When her charming dance was over someone walked up to her bearing a strange conifer. Frollo was instantly jealous of this person who would dare to walk so close her. He must hear what they were saying. Even though Frollo was high up in the towers, he put his hand to ear and heard her say in her sweet voice, “I love Christmas trees!”
I just watched the Neo Yokio Christmas special and it was great but then again I really enjoy Neo Yokio. It was almost on this list but I thought better of if since I just watched it two days ago but I’m going to watch it next year. So because the internet likes list here is a of 10 Christmas Episode/Specials that I just like.
Full Disclaimer I wouldn’t call myself a grinch but I have marginal excitement around the holidays. It’s been worse this year so I’m just meh towards it. But these Christmas special hold a special place in my cold icy heart.
These are is no order or maybe they are….
- Difficult People Season 1 Episode 8, Difficult Christmas. Difficult people is one of my favorite shows. I love the song about how bitterness ay Christmas is basic and they scene where Julie is annoyiong rich ladies as she regale them with a documentary she watched as she wraps their presents.
- Muppet Family Christmas – This is my gold Standard for a Christmas Special
- Moomins Season 1 episode 36, Christmas is Coming – I love that they thought Christmas was a big scary monster that had to appease with a decorated tree, presents and a dinner. They are not wrong.
- Arrested Development Season 1 Episode 7 In God we Trust and Season 2 Episode 6, Afternoon Delight – I couldn’t decide between the two, so I didn’t. I love the Living Art pageant and the blotched office party.
- Any Mr Hanky Episode of South Park – Even though I don’t watch South Park anymore I still like these episodes. Woodland Critter Christmas still creeps me out.
- 30 Rock, Season 5 Episode 10, Christmas Attack Zone – Christmas Revenge does bring people together.
- Futurama’s take on Santa – I think I respect this idea more that I love watch some of the episode but an devil Santa robot that bring people together is great.
- Road to Avonlea, Happy Christmas Miss King – This one is just so nostalgic for me. I miss that show.
- Ab Fab Season 3 Episode 2 Happy New Year and Season 4 Episode 8 Cold Turkey – I love Patsy’ sister. I also was misremembering Happy Year as a Christmas episode because of the whole family meal plotline and Patsy’ sister but maybe it counts?
- Downton Abbey The First Christmas Special – The first Christmas special they did was lovely. The Second one ruined Christmas. Anyway the final scene of the first Christmas episode which capped off season 2, was just so wonderful. Still one my favorite scene from the series.
The Music of Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris was composed by Maurice Jarre. Jarre is famous for composing the music of Lawrence of Arabia, Dr Zhivago and Passage to India. If you noticed a patterned, you will have noticed that those are all films.
This Ballet’s music plays like a film score. Which is really instresting since it’s a film score that is played live.
On the whole I enjoy the music. It reminded me of video game music. I could see myself running through a dungeon in a JRPG game listing to some of this score. It really reminded me of Dragon Quest music, which is compliment. I really love video game OSTs a lot.
This music fits on the emotional beats of the story and the music showcase the character’s personality. For instance I love that Esmeralda’s introductory solo’s music is both mysterious yet playful. However there music doesn’t really stand out on their own against the ballet performance. That may not be a bad thing though, a film score is supposed to work in tandem with the visuals, they are not meant to overshadow them.
I also think there is not a stand out piece from the score but that could be a case that this music is not part of collective music landscape, outside of this ballet this music has never been referenced or sampled.
If you listen to the music you can hear little bits that sound like the Lawrence of Arabia’s theme. I can really hear it in the pas de deux between Esmeralda and Quasimodo in the second act.
So while there is not a particular memorable piece of music in the score the music is fine. Weirdly the piece of music from this ballet that has been stuck in my head as been the music that plays when Esmeralda and Quasimodo are set upon by the thugs/court of miracles. I also enjoy the fugue-like music for Frollo’s introduction.
My first reaction was one of utter confusion, like I had no idea how to respond. You can look at this link to see the costume. https://ew.com/movies/2018/12/19/aladdin-first-look-ew-cover-story/
I’m just going to discuss Jasmine’s and Aladdin’s costumes. The costumes were designed by Michael Wilkinson. He has designed costumes for Sucker Punch, Twilight Breaking Dawn parts 1 & 2, 300 and American Hustle and Batman V Superman.
These costumes are bad. They don’t read as for a major movie with a budget. They look more in keeping with a Disney on Ice show. Let’s just take about the lack of midriffs. I didn’t think I would miss such a element but the way Jasmine’s costume is cover with a flesh tone fabric over her midriff looks weird. Like she was in an ice show and needed to keep warm or if the actress was extremely modest. Or were they trying to go for a meld of cultural/historical authenticity? Because it would be weird for Disney to start now, with Jasmine’s midriff as a point of contention. It’s just a weird choice. I don’t get it and I hate it.
Also all the details is just more on more with just more. When it’s that much it starts to look cheap. Removing a few details would have help Jasmine’s costume. Like that gold thing down her bodice. What is that? Or the other gold edging on her bodice. Or those circle details that are on the nude part. I hate it.
Her jewelry is also so bad looking. I’m not even sure what the basis for the design was because it wasn’t Jasmine’s jewelry or existed jewelry from the Middle East or even India. It looks really modern to me. Like the got this from a Walmart and made a crown to match. I hate it.
Then there’s Aladdin’s costume and oh boy what is going on here? He’s in a pinstripe shirt with red vest. With striped pants and shoes. Also his pants have a little button at the cuff. What? Why? At least he has his fez. If he didn’t have his red fez I wouldn’t have know it was him. No scratch that, if it wasn’t for the fact that they said it was Aladdin I couldn’t have known it was the same character.
Maybe this is Aladdin’s costume later in the movie, after he meets the Genie and he gets a new outfit and shoes. I don’t know but hate it.
I will say that I don’t hate the textures of the fabrics, which is a weird thing to say but they look nice.
The costumes in Once Upon a Time for these characters were so much better. These one are just confused and tacky. I hate them.
It is bad that I hope maybe they will look better in the context of the movie? I mean they could. Here’s Hoping.
The costumes of the ballet are just so fascinating. First of there are no tutus in this production everything is very streamline and mod which fits the era. Though It was a little early for the trend of mod but we will get to that.
The first area of interest is the use of colors and the lack of colors. The principal roles mostly wear neutrals. Quasimodo wears brown, Frollo wears black, Esmeralda wears white with black details in first act and purple in the second and Phoebus wears white with a touch of blue. The corps de ballet are the one who wears the colors. So the principal dancers do stand out.
Yves St Laurent, the fashion designer, designed the costume and said that he was inspired by stained glass windows and also Mondrian. Mondrian was a dutch modernist painter from the early 20th century and was part of the De Stijl movement.
What I find really fascinating is around 1965 Yves St Laurent did a collection that was inspired by Mondrian which really shaped the fashion of the late 60’s. So did his work on Notre Dame de Paris inspired that collection or was it a case of it all just happening at the same time? In an interview Yves St Laurent did site Mondrian as an inspiration for Phoebus’ costume. So did the ballet have an impact on late 1960’s fashion as it help inspired Yves St Laurent? Maybe.
Also I should point out that Yves St Laurent also said that Quasimodo’s costume was inspired by frescos. So everything was inspired by cathedral elements which is perfection.
Getting back to the costumes Esmeralda and Phoebus’ their costumes have a extra layer that is pulled off to imply nudity during their tryst which is very interesting and surprising. I do love it when costumes are interactive and part of the narrative, like Cinderella’s transforming dress in Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella or even when Christine Daae gets her big skirt put on during Think of me in Phantom.
One aspect that I find slightly puzzling is while I don’t mind Esmeralda in white at the start of the Ballet, as it’s the conscious decision to put the principles in neutral, I don’t get why she wears dark purple in the second act. In a pure sense of the novel Esmeralda wears white while she in Notre Dame but here it’s purple. It’s a pretty shade but the decision is weird. If I were to venture guess I would say that the reason is very simple as that dark purple color is a very prominent color in the stained glass windows especially the South Rose window. Plus Esmeralda does not need to stand out as much as the corps de ballet has less to do with the second act. So maybe it’s not such a weird decision.
All in all the costumes are very in keeping with a 1960’s point of view and burgeoning styles of the later parts of the decade. However I love that Yves St Laurent went for his inspiration and combine it with the modern aesthetic of the time to create a real look for this ballet that is wholly unique.
Also is you look up Yves St Laurent you get a pair of earring that fit Esmeralda perfectly. Perfect for Disneybounding if you got the funds.
A while ago I did a list of non-Christmas Christmas movie list on Hubpages and I thought let’s do that again but here with different movies. So you can check out the other list HERE which is a bit more in step with other lists like this. Do look at it, it’s all I want for Christmas.
So here are eight other movies that are less commonly on other people’s lists. No shade to other lists on other sites. These movies have a winter setting or have a scene at Christmas and they have a familial tone.
Many films have the winter-y or snowy setting and a familial tones like Fanaa or Star Wars but I would not call those non-christmas Christmas movies, even though Star Wars movies have been coming out around Christmas (except Solo) so there is that added touch but all the same there not among the list.
So here are eight movies. I’m going try to avoid spoilers. These are ranked in no order.
Manon de Sources – I think I have talked about this movie a little bit before. But towards the end of the film there are some scenes at Christmas, at least one scene at Christmas. However would say the the family angle some more into play here. Also if you want to want this movie you must watch Jean de Florette first because Manon des Source is the second part. But I highly recommend this movie.
Lady and the Tramp – This movie has a Christmas bookend as it starts and end at Christmas. But I don’t think I have to say too much about this one, it being a Disney classic however I will say that this film does have a strong message of family.
Beauty and the Beast – This one might just be superfluously here but I don’t care, it’s snowy and magical, so It counts.
Anastasia – Again you have snow imagery and a strong message of family togetherness. Plus Once Upon a December could be played in a Holiday rotation and wouldn’t feel out of place.
Tokyo Godfathers – I wouldn’t say that this was my favorite Satoshi Kon movie, (that would be Paprika.) It is one those movies that is a Christmas movie but it seldom makes any of the list, so it’s here.
The film is set on Christmas eve and is the story about three homeless people finding a baby. It has a non-traditional take on family.
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence- I haven’t seen this movie is quite a long time and I don’t really remember it super well but I recall liking it. So this a war-time Drama starting David Bowie as a POW. The last scene of this movie takes place at Christmas.
City of Lost Children – I reviewed this movie not too long ago. It has some Christmas imagery and it weird but there is also the family connection as the main character tries to save his brother, the weird family the mad scientist makes and the orphans. It has all the making of a Christmas classic oddly enough.
Dr Zhivago – I will admit I haven’t seen this movie but I have always wanted to but the run-time is intimidating. Then again I have seen Lawrence of of Arabia which is longer so that is on me, one day. Anyway like most of the movies listed here this one again is about family and has a pivotal scene set at Christmas.
Do you have a favorite non-Christmas movie? If so what is it? One of my favorites is on my Hubpages list . Can you guess it???Follow thehunchblog