Episode 7: The Court of Miracles

François and some thieves, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 7, The Court of Miracles
François and some thieves, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 7

Props to the show for the Hunchback reference. It’s always appreciated. 

This episode is a François focused episode, Oh joy of joys…

See no one likes François poetry except a group of mean thieves who get inFrançois good graces by praising his poetry. They only do this so they can rob Notre Dame. GASP!  Also in this alternative time-line the Magna Carta is at Notre Dame. 

The most important thing that the thieves steal is a book of the King’s memoirs which holds state secrets which means the state of France is in jeopardy. So at the near 15 minute mark Frollo’s villain senses tingle and he gets in on the plot.  Oh Cartoonishly Evil Magician Frollo-type you never cease to disappoint. Never. 

Frollo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 7, The Court of Miracles
Frollo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 7

Anyway the book is retrieved and brought back to Notre Dame and François learns his lesson. Not a lesson in writing decent poetry but trusting people who praise you for nefarious reasons.  

A highlight of this episode was as François was returning the book to the office, Quasimodo does a swivel chair reveal this BUT since the show knows that swivel chairs were not a thing there is a chair scraping across the floor sound effect. It just made me smile. 

Also here is a handy formula for how an average episode goes,  Thieves + Frollo + France or the World in danger x Dennis. François’ bad poetry x Quasimodo is super awesome = An Average Episode of The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo

All in all not a fan of this episode but maybe François is better in smaller doses.

Episode 8: Witches’ Eve

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in costumes, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 8, Witches Eve
Esmeralda & Quasimodo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 8

It’s Halloween. It’s pretty much Halloween and if you thought we would get some spooky magical adventures for this episode well then you’re a bigger Fool than the King/Pope of Fools. 

No, this episode is a backstory episode on Quasimodo and his super awesome noble parents who could be alive. GASP! And that is not all, Quasimodo’s real name is Jacques.  

You see at the Witches Eve party, The gang of pals meet a nice lady named Maria, who was Quasimodo’s nurse maid and is the one who saved him from his home burning down. She also left him at Notre Dame  but DIDN’T stick around to tell Dennis his real name or lineage out right. But then the plot wouldn’t happen so we can’t blame her for logic. So it’s fine. It’s fine. This is fine.   

She also tells Quasimodo that his parents could be still alive living amongst peasants. So then it’s a race between Frollo and Quasimodo and pals to get to the maybe awesome de Bernisacs. They alas get away. 

Also Esmeralda is proving really violent. Like she jumps on a guy’s back and later threatens him with a frying pan. No shade, it just an interesting new take on the character. Though Disney’s Esmeralda had her moments.    

And an important takeaway from this episode, Horses don’t like bad poetry. They just don’t. So always run a poem by a horse to assess a poem’s quality.  

While a spooky magical fun times episode would have been great, a backstory is not bad since the quest for Quasimodo origins and parents seems to be the running plot thread of the show. But did they have to lump it with medieval halloween time? It could have been that Art Festival they were planning back in episode 7 or some other festival that they always seems to be having that Dennis is somehow always in charge of organizing. We could have had it all.  

Esmeralda, François and Quasimodo in costumes, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 8, Witches Eve
Esmeralda, François & Quasimodo in costumes, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 8

Speaking of spooky fun times, as I watched this episode during the spooky season which is complete coincidence, I thought it would be fun to assign Hunchback costumes to the Magical Quasimodo versions of the characters;

Quasimodo is clearly Phoebus,

Esmeralda is Fleur de Lys

and François is Gringoire 

Episode 5: A Trip to Italy

Quasimodo and his new friend The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 5

I’m starting to feel like I’m in some altered state watching The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo. Like, it looks like Hunchback they say it’s hunchback but it’s just not. I don’t know what this is.  I don’t hate it but it’s weird.

Quasimodo and his pals find a carrier pigeon with a damaged message that mentions “world dominion” and a drawing of a war machine. Quasimodo then tells Dennis who tells the King. Frollo’s  plot senses go off alerting him that he needs to be a villain for this episode and snoops on Quasimodo. Frollo overhears the plot of the episode and decides he wants the war machine for reason and enlists a shape shifting witch named  Camilleon to assist. Frollo saved her from the gallows which is our novel/hunchback reference of the episode. There is also a discussion of repairing Notre Dame with limestone so I guess we get two.  Frollo needs Camilleon to get close to Quasimodo to learn what he knows about the war machine, its location and who made it. She fails but she does gain animosity towards Esmeralda and asks Frollo to get rid of her.

So a clue points the crew go to Vinci, a small Italian village, and you can guess who made the war machine at this point. It’s a small young boy who gets bullied for being different because he invents stuff and paints. I do really wonder who this painter inventor person from the town of Vinci could be, it’s a real puzzler. Also one could go off more on being a historical grump  but I’ll let it go aside for one thing later. 

Quasimodo and the boy instantly bond. Turns out the war machine message was just a big olde misunderstanding, the boy would never take over the world, only a bad guy would ever try to do that. And then Frollo shows up and there are dangerous shenanigans. Camilleon tries to kill Esmeralda and François with the classic using magic to redirect a river to destroy a tower with them on a top, what a cliche. And for whatever reason Camilleon leaves early. Villain 101 states that you must make sure the deed is done. Quasimodo then uses the boy’s flying wings to save his friends. And it’s the secret of the Hunchback all over again.

Also Frollo tries to steal the war machine but it falls apart. Classic Frollo.

And before the gang of pals leave they learn the name of the boy and it’s exactly who you think it is. It’s boy Leonardo da Vinci.           

I don’t want to be THAT person, I really don’t but Leonardo da Vinci would have been 30 in 1482…   

Cartoonishly Evil Magician Frollo-type continues to be an utter delight  so all is forgiven for now. I also just love that Frollo just knows when to involve himself. 

Episode 6: The Invisible Thieves

The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 6

This episode has our gang of pals  going with Angelica to Avignon because it’s to bring your awesome person to the Traveler’s camp day party thing. Basically Quasimodo is awesome and don’t you EVER forget that! Angelica is then accused of stealing the family jewels from the Duke. GASP! She has 2 days to return the jewels or she will be exiled and imprisoned for life. What? How does that work?  I’m confused. Oh well the point is bad punishment.

The crew tries to help and while they find a clue at the scene of the crime they speed up the clock to midnight for her exile to go into effect. GASP!  They then find the thief real quick. It’s a creepy puppeteer who is using the jewels on the puppets for decoration. Why? Who knows. He’s a creepy weirdo.  Also he has some kind of magic but it’s not explained in the slightest or even how he used the puppets to steal the jewels. Anyway everything works out and Duke begrudgingly apologizes to Angelica for his accusation. Hooray!

It took me a second to figure out why I didn’t like this episode even on the same level as the other episodes thus far. And the reason is no Frollo and creepy puppets but mostly no Frollo. Frollo’s brand of “evil” is too delightful. Though his name could be Bob and the effect would be the same.

Quasimodo says the “Bells of Notre Dame” which is a cute and nice reference to something related to the source material but this episode is in Avignon for some reason. Avignon is almost 700km away from Paris. That is 430 miles to people who don’t know the metric system, like me. So either screw geography which is fine OR Quasimodo has supernatural hearing, a departure from the novel to say the least. Or he thinks every Church with bells is Notre Dame.  THOUGH to be fair and we must be fair, there is a cathedral in Avignon called  Avignon Cathedral  or Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d’Avignon, so maybe that is what he refers to. Though grumpy-me really doubts it. Pox on me for being unfair to a weird children’s show from the 90s.  It’s suppose to be fun and I’m ruining it with no fun logic. That is why I need Cartoonishly Evil Magician Frollo-type to distract me.

I do like how this show goes out its way to kidnap a character and/or take a character out of the action for a second. In this episode’s case Esmeralda trips and hurts her ankle and François gets stuck in the puppeteer’s creepy wagon and needs Quasimodo’s help.    

Quasimodo bridal carrying François makes up for it for things slightly but not enough either. 

Frollo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 5

Episode 3: The Carnival of Fools

Quasimodo, Esmeralda and François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 3

Feast, Festival, Carnival it’s all the same thing in the end. What is different is the contest in question. But let’s put a pin in that for the moment.

 So The Carnival of Fools is being prepped by our gang of pals, Quasimodo, Esmeralda and François. The King drops by and is most pleased with their work. But the question comes up of who will judge the contest? What is the contest? The ugliest face of Paris like in  the book and most of the adaptations? No, that is too mean spirited. This  contest is that the best performer will win the chance to perform for the King. And of course the gang of pals are judges, mostly be the asked.  

Enter The Jester, who is a super honest looking sort of gentleman, right? He is also a magician like Frollo who he seems to be in league with.  So he enters the contest and wows Quasimodo, who has been taking his role as a judge super seriously.    

However it turns out the Jester wants to steal the King’s crown which Frollo also wants. The actual crown with the jewels. Not sure why Frollo would want that aside from wanting to rule, maybe he thinks whomever has the shiny is King. Or he just wants to play dress up. 

Anyway Esmeralda figures out the Jester’s plot using a sixth ability she has. She also has some illusion based magic that comes from her locket which was more detailed this episode. The Jester however ties her in a chest before his performance for the king so she can’t tell anyone.  

Esmeralda then busts out of the trunk she is being held in and informs the crowd as the Jester makes his getaway but he is followed by Quasimodo 

But before Quasimodo can catch him, Frollo runs into the Jester and takes the crown and the Jester gets away.  Quasimodo vows to the king that he will get the crown jewels back because Quasimodo blames himself for the whole thing. Esmeralda sends François to follow while she sees her contact in the streets, not sure what that means. 

Quasimodo’s search leads him down to the spooky underground tunnels which houses something that looks like a sea turtle. Which is rather random but also delightful. However Quasimodo and François get caught by Frollo, who does display a lot of self knowledge, he knows he is a “fabulously good magician and a truly evil man.”  I appreciate that he knows who is and perfectly content with himself. He is not a complex villain with moral ambiguity, then again for the times and genre wise this would have been very rare.

Frollo then demands that Quasimodo and François entertain him and then transform François into a cat because cats are entertaining the internet is proof of that.  

So while Azarof chases François distracting Frollo, Quasimodo and the Jester form a plan.  The plan goes great as they get the crown back. Eventually Esmeralda comes for them with the help of cat François and Quasimodo secures possession of the crown from the Jester, who does his best Gollum impression when he thinks the crown fell out while they were running.

With the help of Dennis and books of magic at Notre Dame, they revert François back to a stinky human. Darn he could have been a cat.


This episode has a moral about trust and openness. One shouldn’t distrust people because of a bad experience. One’s openness and willingness to trust may be the very thing to save your life. And while that is not the worst moral I can’t get over magical books at Notre Dame. Sure whatever, in this version Notre Dame seems more like Hogwarts than a religious site. Though I guess it would be more like Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, since the setting is France. Then again I’m not the  biggest fan of Harry Potter.    

 Episode 4: The Star Master

Frollo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 4

This episode of The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo is a bit weird.

As Quasimodo, Esmeralda and François enjoy a nice outing they notice a lot of very strange things occurring. Geese flying backwards in the sky, a critical donkey getting stuck in a tree and autumn just happening all at once.

Of course Dennis just so happens to know the answer instantly from a book. Very simply a star is about to fall to Earth which will bring the end of the world within 24 hours when the moon rises. And only our gang of pals can stop it by destroying the star. The star looks like a pink crystal. 

Meanwhile, The Oracle, a pal of Frollo, pops into Frollo’s underground layer, which is very tastefully decorated. The Oracle shows him the power of the star using a small fragment, which makes explosions. Frollo is very into this magical items and wants more. The Oracle agrees to bring him to the rest of it if they form a partnership, which Frollo agrees. Frollo then dubs himself  “The Star Master” and he wants to rule the world.  The Oracle is content to be Frollo’s top advisor.  

The gang of pals  set out to find the star and notice more weird stuff, like berries tasting like lemons and vine monsters trying to kill François. Then get captured by some thugs that Frollo and  The Oracle employ. They escape only to get captured again by Frollo’s stone gargoyle whose name is apparently Dragon, maybe? 

In the end Frollo allies leave him though he did doublecross The Oracle and the thugs peace out because of the Star’s chaos magic. He half-heartedly tries to recruit Quasimodo, Emeralda and François but  to no avail but the mere attempt was very endearing.  

Dennis and Angelica show up to help destroy the star by throwing into a volcano that magically appeared after the star fell. Everyone works to push the star up into the volcano and the volcano pushes the star back into orbit and the world is saved.   

A “Blind” Thug, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 4

The premise of this episode is very creative and quite high stakes for a Hunchback version. 

Aside from the names, and the concept of the village of thugs, this episode does not feel like it was inspired by any version of Hunchback. That is not inherently a bad thing but worth mentioning. For the most part this show has seemed somewhat grounded in the source material  up until this episode. 

The only real Hunchback-ish reference was a random man who was wearing glasses that was holding a sign reading “blind.”  Very Court of Miracles.  

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

Episode 1: Evil Unmasked 

Quasimodo and Esmeralda from The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode One, Evil Unmasked 
Quasimodo and Esmeralda from The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode One

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

Quasimodo and Dennis from The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode Two, Frollo's Revenge
Quasimodo and Dennis from The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode Two

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.  

Frollo's dog Azarof from The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode Two, Frollo's Revenge
Frollo’s dog Azarof from The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode Two

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.

The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo cover art picture iamge
The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Cover Art

Well the time has come to take up the mantle of reviewing a Hunchback version geared at children once again.

The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo has been long been requested. I watched the first episode maybe two years ago and I was ambivalent towards this version. I found it neither good nor awful. It was a children version that was clearly not for me, a grumpy person and perhaps at the time a super judgmental adult who reviews Hunchback versions on the internet.

Now that is possibly still true but I like to think I’ve soften over the years regarding my views on Hunchback versions. After all it has been nearly two years since I have reviewed a version. But now I’m reviewing this one. Not sure if my less “angry critic” approach will be make for entertaining internet content but oh well. C’est la vie.

So what is The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo before we get started?

Very simply, it’s a 26 episode Canadian children’s TV show that came out in May 1996. Same year as the Disney version.

Some very introductory differences are that Esmeralda has a brother, named François. Frollo is a magician and has a dog named Azarof. It seems according to wiki that he “plotted’ to kill the king of France. Though that could just be his thing throughout the show (spoiler it is). And Esmeralda and François have an adopted Grandmother called Angelica. I’m sure there are many more differences to be revealed.

A bit of house keeping. As of this moment I’m not sure what the the schedule for reviews will be nor do I know how many episodes will be covered in each post. The aim is more than one. I don’t know much right now. If you know Meyers-Briggs at all consider me a super P type right now.

So see you when we get to episode one.