Episode 1: Evil Unmasked
The first episode of The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, sees our boy, Quasimodo, meeting Esmeralda and her brother François for the first time. Right off the bat, François is the Gringoire character. Not sure why he was not given the name Pierre but there you have it. He’s François.
Esmeralda and François are performers but they do engage in some more devious methods of money making. Mostly Djali tears at on-lookers coin purses and François tells the person who then gives him a reward for his honesty. Only bad guys would actually steal.
François is also a delightfully bad poet, I loved his poem. Seriously, it made me laugh.
Esmeralda is performing when she spots Quasimodo who is atop Notre Dame. They take an instant liking to each other. Quasimodo in this version is sixteen years old and he seems to function more as cleaner of the cathedral and not so much as the bell ringer.
Esmeralda and Quasimodo cross paths properly when he saves her from being arrested. But why is she being arrested? For performing without a license, which is just a form of exhortation as Esmeralda explains.
So Quasimodo helps her but gets arrested himself. Esmeralda and François along with Djali bust him out of prison, using a combination of skills in their skill set.
While that is going on there is a plot to kill the King. Oh No! Frollo, who is a magician and does something at Notre Dame, has hired a guard to recruit a thug who is in prison to carry out an assination plot during a masked ball. It’s while Quasimodo is in jail that he overhears the plan and then enlists Esmeralda and François to help.
The crew of new pals thwart the thug but then Frollo decides to do the deed himself because gosh darn does he want to rule France. Again Quasimodo thwarts the plan using Frollo’s dog, Azarof, to sniff him out. Frollo is caught with a dagger and gets away after he brings gargoyles to life and flies away. Because this Frollo can and does that.
This episode showcases Quasimodo, Esmeralda and François’ ingenuity as they very effortlessly solve the conflict. It also shows us that Frollo is truly evil as he is mean to his dog.
Also it is weird to see the King so nice. That is a new interaction for Louis XI.
Episode 2: Frollo’s Revenge
Or Frollo Strikes Back! No, one calls it that.
This episode is about Frollo’s retaliation for getting banished to the spooky underground tunnels after his coup failed. Far be it for me apply lines of successions on a children’s story but even if Frollo did murder Louis XI, he would not have been crowned but Frollo despite being a magician is none too smart. Or blinded by ambition.
Qusimodo learns about his backstory from Dennis, the archdeacon. His parents were super noble nobles and alchemists who were very close to learning how to make gold from lead. They were doing this to help the poor.
Dennis gives Quasimodo a medallion which is most likely his family crest, which is an eagle holding a snake. Interestingly enough the symbolism of the eagle for a family crest is “Emblematic of fortitude and magnanimity of mind.*” And the snake is “Emblematic of wisdom & medicine.*” Not sure if this was intentional or not since eagles and snakes are common but it does showcase Quasimodo bravery and intelligence as well as his parents for being more or less scientists. The snake symbol has ties to Hermes who has connections to alchemy.
As this is happening, Esmeralda, François, Djali and their adopted Grandmother Angelica are leaving Paris along with the other nomads at noon. This bums Quasimodo out but he convinces them to meet him in the square to say a proper good-bye. This is when Frollo strikes using his dog to steal Quasimodo’s medallion to lure him underground in the aforementioned spooky-ooky tunnels.
Once down there Frollo turns rats into human-size guards, complete with helmets and swords. This is bad news for Quasimodo because he hates rats.
Esmeralda figures out something is wrong when Quasimodo doesn’t show up and she and François help out. She manages to halt the rat by giving them the cheese she had bought earlier.
In the end Frollo summons a green whirlpool looking vortex thing. Quasimodo is hanging on to Frollo who is begging Quasmodo not to let go because though he was mean to him in the past it was for Quasimodo’s own good. Remember Frollo used to do something at Notre Dame and watch Quasimodo grow up. Quaismodo doesn’t drop him if only to get this medallion back. Frollo then rages but then leaves by magical means.
Also in the end, Angelica takes a supervisor cleaning job at Notre Dame which means Esmeralda and François can stay in Paris. Hooray!
Frollo tells Quasimodo that his parents were not nobles which is a departure from the novel. As Frollo’s parents were low ranking nobles, petty nobles, who had a small fief of twenty-one houses according to book four chapter two of the novel. If you want to get really specific it’s the estate of Tirechappe.
And it’s Quasimodo who is descended from nobles. Which is a departure from the novel but there is magic in this version so let’s just not hold it against the book too much.
Also this version of Frollo seems more like Aladdin’s Jafar than either the book or Disney’s Gaston which was the case in two other off-Disney versions of Hunchback.
- this info comes from Heraldry and Crests
Just a quick note – I’ve been watching this show on Amazon and episodes two and three were flopped for some reason so this second episode is listed as three on Amazon.Follow thehunchblog