It’s the culmination of the Spooky Season, Halloween.

The characters of the Magical Adventures of Quasimodo wear a lot of disguises. Heck, in episode eight they have a Halloween-like festival. What are they all wearing this year for “Witches Eve???”

Whose Costume would Win Best Costume?

Quasimodo as Aladdin…maybe?

Quasimodo in costume with Azarof, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
Quasimodo in costume with Azarof

Not really sure what Quasimodo is dressed up here. The fez makes it look like an Aladdin costume. It’s defiantly a look though.

Esmeralda as a Frightful Old Lady

Esmeralda as an Old Lady,The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 24
Esmeralda as an Old Lady

This is the first time that a Quasimodo calls an Esmeralda “ugly.” However that means it’s a convincing costume.

Frollo as The Reaper

Frollo looking Scary, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
Frollo looking Scary

Classic Frollo! If wasn’t for the scythe this could have been a Phantom of the opera costume.

François as a Spooky Ghost

Spooky Ghost François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 22 The Oracle
Spooky Ghost François

François even has a lighting effect.

Dennis as a Delightful Bird

Dennis as a Bird,The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
Dennis as a Bird

A cockatiel maybe?

The King as a Strutting Peacock

The King as a Peacock, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 1
The King as a Peacock

Seems correct for a King to be a Peacock.

Happy Halloween!!!!!

I enjoy reading Tarot cards, not very skilled at it but it can be interesting sometimes. So for fun I recently asked my tried-and-true rider-waite deck about the status of the Disney Live-Action Hunchback Remake and here’s what I got;

Tarot card reading for the Disney Live-Action Movie. 7 of Cups, 5 of Wands, 2 of Pentacles, & The Page of Wands
A Tarot card reading for the Disney Live-Action Movie.

Got the 7 of cups, the 5 of wands in reversed, the 2 of pentacles and the page of wands. I know some readers like to use the top card and the bottom deck card also which were The Fool the top on the deck and the Knight of Wands on the bottom.

The Current State of the Live Action Hunchback Flick as is Known

At present the status of the Live-action is in limbo. There are rumors that CEO Bob Iger doesn’t like the original movie, as well as Josh Gad and Alan Menken suggesting that the creatives are at odds with higher ups. That is all speculation but still the only recent news was the production is in limbo.

What does this Reading Mean???

I like to use Bibby Tarot as a reference as well as my own intuition. Again this is just for fun.

The first card is the 7 of cups which about illusions, wishful thinking and opportunities. Which might fit with creative teams’ desires to make this version in the first place.

The second is the 5 of wands in reversed. This card in this alignment is about inner conflict, conflict avoidance, or tension release. Perhaps there is more conflict amongst creatives than either Gad or Menken alluded to in interviews. Perhaps there is a lot of creative differences in conjunction with the studio “powers that be.”

The third card is the 2 of Pentacles. This card speaks of multiple priorities, time management, prioritization, adaptability. I tend to read this card a balancing act as in a push and push. Perhaps this also speaks to the forces acting on this project, as in what they creatives want and what the studio wants. In some capacity they want a good movie that makes money and maybe wins awards. But the sides can not agree.

And finally the Page of Wands. This card has connotations with inspiration, ideas, discovery, limitless potential, free spirit. This could mean that they are retooling ideas for the film. Or that they are moving on to new ideas/projects.

An Interesting reading to say the least. Though given the state of the Disney company and all the drama surrounding the Snow White version might have dodged a bullet.

Also there is a Disney Villains Tarot Deck that looks super fun. Cruella is The Chariot, which is just chef’s kiss.

The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo version of the titular hunchback is quite likely the most well-adjusted iteration of the character. He starts out being too afraid to go outside but he gets over that quickly when Esmeralda is in trouble in the first episode.   

His Award-Winning Personality…

Quasimodo: The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo: Episode 3: The Carnival of Fools
Quasimodo

Aside from the hunch, Quasimodo is quite a catch. He is smart, kind, loyal and charitable. Add in that he is athletic and creative in both art and problem solving. But what about a sense of humor and kind to animals? Of Course! 

The Magical Adventures version of Quasimodo is not as musically inclined as some of his other counterparts. However massive bells cathedral bells are hard to play. He just needs some practice which is he willing to do, so he’s humble too.

He is also well-versed in the act of patience but can be impulsive. When he is impulsive it is out of necessity. As in something he needs is getting away like a scroll or a messenger pigeon.  So he is flexible.  

His Goals…

Esmeralda, Quasimodo & François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 19, A Song of the Heart
Esmeralda, Quasimodo & François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 19, A Song of the Heart

This Quasimodo is also family-oriented. He on an on-going search for his super awesome alchemist parents. Quasimodo’s parents are also members of the nobility and for some ladies find that super appealing.

This one of three versions of character to have “noble” origins. The other versions that see Quasimodo coming from wealth are the 1999 Quasimodo del Paris, The Enchanted Tales version and that 2023 medieval farce movie.

If you want to stretch the text of the novel, this backstory is not too far off but is is a stretch. Quasimodo is Frollo’s ward and Frollo is a member of the petty nobility with a small fief and an alchemist.    

His Love Life…?

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 10
Esmeralda give Quasimodo a little hug

Quasimodo is sort of in a semi-commitment relationship with his best friend, Esmeralda. They are just friends but they flirt a fair amount and genuinely care for each other. In fact it’s Esmeralda who makes the first interested overtones to Quasimodo.

They are still young and it’s a younger kid’s show so they maintain friendship between them but had the show had more episodes, I think they would have started a more a romantic yet wholesome relationship. A given episode could center on them going on a date but either a Frollo plan or François mucks it up somehow. Or some eclipse happens that endangers France with magical shenanigans that plague the world. Again this not the only version to have Quasimodo have an actual romantic relationship with Esmeralda. The other versions are Quasimodo del Paris, The Enchanted Tales version, and 1986 Jetlag version.    

   

Is he Perfect? You Bet!

Quasimodo drawing a Map, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 13
Quasimodo drawing a Map

Aside from Quasimodo’s psychical deformity he is pretty much without major fault. Throughout the show the hunch doesn’t really pose much of an issue. He is shy in the beginning of the show but after he makes some friends, saves the king and freed from his abuser, he is no longer shy. Quasimodo doesn’t have much in the way of hang ups or insecurities. His hunch is only a minor issue when he is rejected from the army but he just shows up and proves how capable he is to the captain and that solves the problem. 

Making Quasimodo nearly perfect is a tactic to get the young audience to like him and want to watch his magical adventures. Ergo he doesn’t need to be heartbreaking or super compelling. This version of Quasimodo just needs to be fun, likable and maybe make a silly quip every once in a while.

I’ve have been watching “ I’m Just Ken” song from the Barbie movie a lot lately. Mostly for catharsis but the song is great and the scene is so much fun.

“I’m Just Ken” is a great example of a musical sequence that prioritizes emotion over technicals or “singing pretty.” Ryan Gosling is a competent singer but he is more focused on the feelings of the song rather than diction or other vocal techniques.

So now I want a movie musical with Ryan Gosling, Ewan McGregor and Adam Driver. All three are actors who can sing well enough but they also can tap into the emotions of a song. McGregor performance in Roxanne in Moulin Rouge is utterly heart-breaking. Adam Driver should be in more movies. He did sing in Marriage Story which again was more about the emotion than the technicals.

A Hunchback Musical?

Since this a hunchback niche blog, let’s just consider a Hunchback movie musical, which hasn’t happen in a live-action version yet.

Casting these actors for a musical Hunchback musical version is tricky because any of them could play Quasimodo, Frollo or Phoebus. Based on ages & vibe Gosling casted as Phoebus, Driver as Quasimodo and McGregor as Frollo. But you could switch the casting and might still work, like Driver as Frollo could work.

As long this musical movie is melodramatic with a lush production design and well-crafted songs and orchestration. I’d rather see a musical developed for a movie rather than adaptation of a stage show but also I doubt these three will ever be in a film together let alone a musical, it hardly matters.

I know there are other actors out there who are good singers that could fit the bill. Honestly Gosling, McGregor and Driver were the first ones I thought of for this musing.

So you want to fit in with all the Barbie costumes this Halloween but still want to have a costume related to Hunchback?

That is a very unique and super niche problem. To be a fair a pink Esmeralda look COULD work very well. There is also the fact that Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quasimodo were all given the doll treatment.

But which character from a version of Hunchback of Notre Dame has that stereotypical Barbie look? Who is blonde and wears pink? The Answer is….

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris
Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris’ Fleur de Lys . Fleur de Lys’ costume in this version is relatively simple, especially the design from 1998-2015. It’s consists of a pink sleeveless dress with darker pink dye marks and some sparse crystal details. The length is a dealer’s choice as you can make it mid-calf to floor length. Also low-high (or high-low) hemlines are fine as they are used in some productions. Though if you want, you can go shorter. If you already have a sleeveless pink dress, or gown, in your closet go for that one but if you don’t have a pink dress on-hand here are some options.

Dress Options

This one has some crystal details already. Though the crystals are optional but they are still fun.

For a slightly sexy look go for something like this:

Try to avoid dresses with boho styles as that doesn’t fit Fleur de Lys. Think classic or even glam looks.

On to Shoes

For shoes any type of heel can work so long as it’s pink. This is a “Think Pink” costume. To be honest as long as the shoe is pink go for it. Maybe not a sneakers though.

The Hair

In Notre Dame de Paris, Fleur de Lys is typically blonde. Her as a blonde is a foil to Esmeralda. Some productions however opted to have Fleur de Lys use their natural hair colors. However in those productions the Fleur de Lys had straighten and Esmeralda has wavy hair. So if you don’t not want to wear a wig or dye your hair at least straighten it. You can also add flowers or crystal into your hairstyle.

Details

If you’re feeling bold you can add abstract dark pink paint detail with fabric paint and add crystals. Also in the original production Fleur de Lys wore a crystal bracelet. It’s very delicate looking and not made from beads.

If you would rather just go more book-accurate Fleur de Lys costume you can, just make it 15th century style princess and try to get a hennin headpiece.

I was so sad when I got the email back in April that Netflix was discontinuing the red envelopes. I still had the service for many reasons. So it’s bittersweet now that it’s over.

Around the time of Netflix’s announcement, I was getting DVDs of a show. I had to get the discs from Netflix because the show was removed from HBO’s (Max) online catalogue. Oddly I had an impulse to to watch it back in 2020 but due to very personal issues I didn’t feel like mentally I could handle watching the show then because I saw one weird/violent clip from season 2 and deemed it too much for me then but not in December 2022 when I was ready but it was taken off the site. Not sure why I’m being cagey about which show, it’s obvious. And to make it more obvious I only watched the first two seasons……

So basically around early summer I tried to rent the backlog of DVDs that had on my queue that had been sitting there for years. There wasn’t that many but I’m sad to say I didn’t get to all them I missed out on four movies but two are easy enough for me to stream, at least for now.

So here are my very brief thoughts on the last 6 DVDs (roughly) I got from Netflix. I’m not including one that is for another post, or the final DVD since I got that as one intended to keep or the single bonus disc I got which oddly I added super last minute. I am grateful that I even got a bonus disc since I saw on reddit that many people didn’t but I was hoping for more.

The Movies I watched…

Let me know if you have seen any of these titles…

The Sea is Watching – The was screenplay was based one written by Akira Kurosawa before he died. It’s a Japanese romance drama about two prostitutes who work at a brothel by the sea. Both ladies have very different attitudes and hopes about men and relationships. I did not love this movie but the ending did have some gorgeous and nearly poetic imagery so that is a plus.

Persepolis – A friend of mine recommended this one to me. It the movie is based on graphic novel. I really could beat myself up for not watching this one sooner because I loved this movie. The animation is stunning and the story is poignant and bittersweet.    

Cleopatra (1934) – I watched this for costume reasons since Cleopatra’s costume in movie are so fabulously Art Deco. The story is pretty simplistic but the production is over-the-top and very theatrical.  

The Well-Digger’s Daughter – This one was recommended via a comment I received in 2022. This movie shocked me. I have seen quite a few French movies set during WWI and I have never seen one that has a happy ending. I enjoyed this movie but I was ready for this movie to be depressing or at best have a bittersweet ending and it did not. 

Princess Raccoon – Also known as Operetta Tanuki Goten. I can’t even recall how this movie got on my list. It was a type of movie that would have added randomly like decade ago though. But how did current me like it? This movie is beyond weird but very delightfully weird. It’s a very surreal musical with very symbolic approach to its visual style. It’s like an inscrutable dream. I throughly enjoyed it. I might just have a soft spot for overly theatrical stylized movies….. screw verisimilitude. I kid, verisimilitude has its place in cinema.

Ram-Leela I used to enjoy Bollywood movies but the last few I tried to watch I quit mid-way through and Ram-Leela was no exception. I vastly disliked it. Listen, we all have a finite amount of time on this blue marble hurtling through space, so do not waste that time on movies that you do not even slightly enjoy. And owing to that one truth I turned off this movie and got it away from me. It was empowering! 

Farewell sweet red envelopes. I will miss getting them and then ignoring them for months.

It’s The Spooky Season.

Disney’s Esmeralda’s costume is a great Halloween costume idea. This is because it is super recognizable and made up for easy to get pieces, some of which you may already have in your closet.

But Disney’s Esmeralda has another costume, well technically she has three but no one going to wear her white prisoner costume plus who would recognize that one? I’m talking about her Red Festival of Fool look. Which also highly memorable.

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Dance picture image
Esmeralda’s Dance Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

This one is a little hard to DIY. You might be to be a little more crafty with either sewing and/or with a hot glue gun. Never doubt a hot gun glue, they are great in a pinch. But let’s see what one can buy readily for this costume.

What you’ll need for this Costume:

Since you’re going to need Sheer purple fabric for the flutter sleeves and gold trim, let’s start with those.

The Sleeves

Between you and me, the purple of the sleeves is more of a magenta and you can just use a scarf instead of getting fabric. Also this means you can have a finished edge if you use the hem. Also note if you’re going for it Esmeralda’s sleeves have slit up the center.

Now for the Trim

Esmeralda’s trim in the movie is flat but you can go in other directions since there are a lot of gold trim option out there (pun always intended). So one option is more screen accurate and the other is a little more fun.

Can’t help it, I align with Tamatoa’s aesthetic.

Now for Dress options

This one is a good base. It a bit shorter than the film but just add sheer purple fabric and gold trim and you’re nearly there.

This one will need a skirt but the neckline is a good start. Much like the first option sheer purple fabric and gold trim are need.

Another method is getting a body suit skirt combo. This because the costume is super fitted in the bodice so a body suit makes sense.

Skirt Options

For the skirt opted for a dancing skirt for maximum twirling opportunities. Havin a skirt with movement is your friend here

The Sheer Hip Scarf

Wrapped around her hips, Esmeralda wears a long sheer purple. If you’re feeling enterprising you can make one, basically just make a long rectangle. If you feeling less enterprising get a sarong.

Though it’s not a hip scarf it should be long enough at 70inch.

Now I know this is a curtain but if it’s good enough for Maria and Giselle, it’s good enough for me!

2nd option for this is if your feeling like going an extra mile you could paint stars, moon and suns on it and create the scarf she leaves with Frollo.

Now for the Jewelry.

Most of the jewelry she wears are from her other costume so you can click here for options for her hoop earring, cuff, bracelets and anklet however the tiara is a bit trickier.

One option would be to get a plain gold headband and wear it across your forehead. You could also fashion it from the gold trim and some Velcro or a hook and eye.

This simple tiara has great potent for her costume and someone let a review that said it worked perfectly for their Esmeralda costume! So there ya go. You can get epoxy sculpt to add to this one if you’re going for more screen accuracy.

However if you’re as hung up on being accurate you could also just get red and gold tiara to get the impression of the look. A Tiara like this one.

Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Good Luck! And have fun this Halloween!

It’s been a while since I have offered new Merch for my Zazzle store.

The idea behind these designs was inspired by “movie monsters” and Quasimodo dressing up like them for Halloween. It is meant to be cute and silly. There is are Zombie, a Mummy and Dracula/Vampire designs.

Quasimodo as a Zombie

Quasimodo as a Mummy

(the hieroglyphs phonetically spell “Quasimodo” (at least I hope they do) and the irony of latin being depicted in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs is not totally lost on me)

Quasimodo as Dracula or a Vampire

Bonus Vampire Socks

Lastly not for Halloween but a new Keychain using Esmeralda’s color scheme.

Quasimodo ringing a Bell The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 19, A Song of the Heart
Quasimodo ringing a Bell The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 19, A Song of the Heart

When I first heard of The Magical of the Adventures of Quasimodo, I thought the usage of the word “magical” was metaphoric. Like the adventures were going to be “charming” or “delightful.” Maybe there is a touch of whimsy but it’s was grounded since the book is grounded and the concept of “magic” is tantamount to madness and injustice but no, that is not the case. There is magic in this show in multiple forms in most every episode. And that is just how it is.

Now this show came out right on the heels of the Disney’s Hunchback being released, about a month prior, so was this show in the works as fantasy show and got reworked to fit a Hunchback-esque theme in order to capitalize off of the Disney movie or did start off a knock-off and became something else or maybe it was a coincidence? I have no idea however because it’s a weird hybrid of fantasy that is inspired by Hugo’s novel this makes the show its own unique thing. It’s strange to be sure but it’s memorable and odd.

Mind you it is very flawed and for a very specific age and time period. Not that it’s not enjoyable in parts but it’s a product of its day and age. It’s very debatable whether this show is good or not.

Frollo, Quasimodo, Esmeralda, François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 4, The Star Master
Frollo, Quasimodo, Esmeralda, François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 4, The Star Master

So is there a plot and is the plot anything like the book? Kinda and no, not at all. The plot of the book does not feature in this version. There are shades of it but it’s manifests as being representational of the characters. Quasimodo is the bell-ringer at Notre Dame in Paris. He develops feelings for Esmeralda who is a nomad dancer & goat trainer. At the start Frollo and a Priest, Dennis, are Quasimodo’s care-takers. Frollo’s lust leads to him becoming a criminal but his lust is for power and wealth instead of a beautiful woman. The setting and time period reference the book but aside from Notre Dame acting more as a boarding school with an impressive library it functionally is not the same, it exists in name only.

So does this loose take on the novel have any plot? While the episodes are episodic there is a narrative through-line, a through-line that is muddle because the order of airing. Basically most episodes feature Frollo and magical shenanigans as he tries and fails to conquer the world or France or tries to gain wealth either through magic or alchemy, sometimes both. And kudos for this show going hard on the alchemy angle because it mentioned in the book but it’s a major facet here. Alchemy also factors into the plot because of the other through-line which is Quasimodo’s quest to find his parents.

Quasimodo and Djali The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 12
Quasimodo & Djali The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 12 The Choice

In the second episode we learn of Quasimodo’s origins, that he is really the son of nobles who were alchemists who also supposedly died in a fire. This fire is what led to Quasimodo getting separated from his parents as a baby. From there he was left at Notre Dame by his nursemaid. Quasimodo’s birth name is Jacques. However it’s later revealed that they might be alive and are in hiding so Quasimodo sets out to learn more about them and maybe their location in hopes of reuniting with them because they are awesome.

However by the 12th episode Quasimodo learns that a couple matching his parents’ description is about to leave France for England. Quasimodo is forced to make a choice between his parents and Esmeralda and François who are in danger.

This feels more like a conclusion to his quest as it about Quasimodo’s wants vs needs. As a coming-age story this makes sense since Quasimodo wanted to reunite with his long-lost parents but he needs to be a grown up and saves his beloved friends. I think this was the production’s intent but due to the demographics skewing younger it was switched around since this narrative ending doesn’t work as well for younger children (6-8 year olds). It would work better for older children (10-12 year olds) but this show feels a little too young for that range. So whether the episode order was intentional or not there was still a hope for Quasimodo to reunite with parents again even though narratively with the episode order it doesn’t make sense.

However a plot through-line for a late 90s kids show was something that wasn’t often seen in Western cartoon productions. Typically plots in this style of show would be a two-episode arc or reoccurring characters or gags not a on-going quest or goal. So even the little it gives is commendable.

Again this show is hopelessly flawed and can be annoyingly juvenile but it did try to do its own thing and does have a unique charm.

I was reading Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom when I noticed a weird line:

Passage from Leigh Bardugo's Crooked Kingdom that reads like a hunchback reference.
An Homage???

Now to anyone else this wouldn’t ring any “bells” but I see what you did there. It’s an oddly worded description. A guess is that this passage was originally evocative of Hugo’s character much like Martin did in A Feast for Crows. I think this particular line got edited but the framing is still present enough. There are multiple other ways to convey the imagery without linking the words “humped,” “back” with “cathedral” together.

Still it a fun little homage if true.