Esmeralda from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image
Esmeralda from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame

I have been obsessed lately with Jenny Nicholson’s video on Pandora- The World of Avatar at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. Also she drops a Hunchback reference, so if you haven’t seen that video, go see it. I have seen it multiple times and it’s and it’s like an hour long and I have no attention span.

In Jenny’s video she talks about the history of Animal Kingdom and how there was supposed to a medieval fantasy section called Beastly Kingdom as the concept of the park was explore animals of the present, past and myth but they ran out of money and went for the Dinosaur part. Long story short, after Disney lost out on Harry Potter to Universal, the management of Disney went for another cultural significant movie franchise experience that was insanely immersive, so they went with Avatar, not the Airbender one, the Dances with Wolves in space.

Unlike Harry Potter or Star Wars, the buzz and staying power of Avatar haven’t held up over time so it’s odd that Disney just went for this concept but the land looks really cool and does speak to the fantasy element and conservation angle. But it also of speaks to Disney’s influencing power. It maybe a generalization but kids haven’t seen the movie, it was rated PG-13, came out nearly a decade ago and is really only good in an imax setting but Disney went for it and kids can now adopt Banshee puppets for $65 dollars a pop, $90 if you include the perch. FYI I think the Banshee puppets are cute.

It really fascinates me that Disney pushed so hard on this project and yet a lot of their own properties get ignored within the parks, like Hunchback. So I have been on a slight deep drive into Disney parks, learning what I can about them, mostly via Youtube videos since I have no plans as right now to go to any of the parks.

First let’s talk about the Characters, the Face characters, though I guess Frollo and Quasimodo are not technically Face Characters but all I mean is characters that you meet. The Question is can you even see/meet/greet any of Hunchback Characters at any of the Disney parks worldwide?

According to  Fill my Passport, you can but not a Disney Land or Disney World. This information is a bit old as it’s from 2017.

According to Fill my Passport Quasimodo makes extremely  rare appearance at Disneyland Paris. Esmeralda can often see at Tokyo Disney and once in a while at Disneyland Paris. Frollo can be see at Halloween at Tokyo Disney. He used at appear at Disney USA parks during Halloween but not so much now. Clopin can be see at Disneyland Paris. And Phoebus doesn’t show up anymore. Fill my Passport as talks about other rare Disney characters in the Disney park so do check out that blog.

However videos from a year ago show a rare meet and greet with Esmeralda and Clopin. It seemed to have occurred at DVC Moonlight Magic Special Event during after hours in the Magic Kingdom, in early 2018.


Here is a meet and greet with Phoebus from 3 years ago at the France pavilion at Epcot.

Hunchback characters meet and greets seem to be extremely rare these days so if you see a hunchback character walking around try to see them, if you like that experience.

Happy New Year 2019  picture image
Happy New Year 2019

Happy 2019!
I hope it’s a better year.

Quasimodo and Esmeralda in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Quasimodo and Esmeralda in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet

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.

Sets from Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Sets from Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris

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.

Sets from Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Sets from Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris

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.

Sets from Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Robert Bolle as Quasimodo

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.

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas 2018 picture image
Merry Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas!
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!”

read the rest of the fanfic…
Kaz Kaan Neo Yokio, Pink Christmas picture image
Kaz Kaan Neo Yokio, Pink Christmas

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.
Paul Connelly, Conductor for the 2013 performance of Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris. picture image
Paul Connelly, Conductor for the 2013 performance of Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris.

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.

Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet

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.  

Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris

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.    

Orchestra pit practice the music for Roland Petit's Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Orchestra pit practice the music for Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris

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.  

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo

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.  

Quasimodo and Esmeralda with thugs in  Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Quasimodo and Esmeralda with thugs in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet

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. 

Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris

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.

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda, Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo and Mick Zeni as Frollo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris 2013 picture image
Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda, Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo and Mick Zeni as Frollo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris 2013

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’s design for Phoebus

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.

Quasimodo in Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris

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.  

Phoebus and Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Phoebus and Esmeralda  in Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris

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.        

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo

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.

Quasimodo and Esmeralda in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Quasimodo and Esmeralda in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet

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.