Beauty and the Beast Something there picture image
Belle and the Beast

There is a lot of discourse around Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Two elements  that get addressed are the Beast’s age relative to his curse, I.E was he eleven when he was cursed or an adult and Belle’s desire for adventure in the great wide somewhere.

First lets consider the Beast’s age. Technically both readings are correct according supplemental media. In the 2017 version makes it clear from the word go that he was an adult BUT in the christmas mid-quel he was a kid, who was cursed on Christmas. So  both readings are correct in a way. 

But let’s just consider the 1991 movie and ignore the other movies. The first clue that points to his age at the time of the curse is the narrator saying that the enchanted rose would bloom until his 21st year.  And then Lumiere saying that they have been cursed for ten years. Which means he was eleven.  It’s kinda hard to ignore that. Unless you don’t like math, like me.

However maybe Lumiere was merely saying that for while the servants carried on with business as usual and it’s only been in the last ten years they gave up trying and the narrator’s line indicated that Beast was a beast for 20 years before the rose bloomed. Or maybe this movie has no real concept of time. It’s an enchanted castle after all. 

There are also a few other elements that sight that the Beast was an adult at the time of the curse or the enchantress was just really mean-sprited.  First there is the portrait which him as an adult. It’s hard to argue against that one. But maybe it was an enchanted portrait that aged with the Beast? Though if that was a thing in the curse it would have gotten mentioned in the narrative, I mean the mirror did. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. It’s was a portrait of the Beast as an adult human, that is not a child’s portrait. 

Then there is a Chip. How old is Chip? Because if Beast was cursed as child then Chip would have either been born a teacup or spent most of his life not knowing he was ever human. Seems cruel, you go through your whole life thinking you’re a talking teacup only to learn that you were once a human, a creature Chip would have never even seen before. Though Chip being in favor of breaking the curse indicates that he remembers being human. Though that would mean he been a child for about 20 years. 

Also there is whole aspect of aging within the castle. If Beast was an adult at the time of this curse that means no one was aging, which seems to be the case since Beast recognized everyone when they were cured.
I just want to point out Mid-quel ignores this, only the Beast ages no one else.

Then again you can just sight enchanted castle and maybe no one in the castle knows what year it is anymore or their ages.  

Belle Beauty and the Beast  picture image
Belle

Then there is Belle. Her line about wanting adventure gets thrown around but next line gets ignore. So she wants adventure but she needs someone who understand her.
Want vs Need is a pretty basic concept. So some people think Belle got the short end of the narrative stick because she didn’t get adventure in the great wide somewhere.  Which is the point, it’s what she wanted not what she needed. 

The bad part of this the 2017 version trying to fit this in with the book of teleportation. I suppose they could have made it more of thing but they just used it  to show how Belle’s mother died by illness. Adventure? A minor trip to Paris for backstory is the correction for Belle wanting adventure? 

What the 2017 version could have done is changed it so that enchantress was sneaky and curing the Beast required a quest but only Belle could figure out what the magical macguffins were to break the curse. So Beast and Belle would have gone minor adventures to learn and grow and bond and fall in love.  And in the end it’s still love that cures him. Then again that would have changed things too much and 2017 version was more concerned with fixing plot holes that didn’t really need fixing. But it made money so doesn’t really matter. 

In the scheme of things these elements don’t really matter, they do not change the overall enjoyment of the movie. So if you think Beast was child or adult at the time of his curse either reading of the text is fine. If you wanted Belle to have more adventure, can’t fault you for that either.   

Seeing as last week we got an announcement that Disney is remaking The Hunchback of Notre Dame as part of their live action remake movie trend, I thought it would be a good time to do a check on all the “new” versions of Hunchback that have been announced in recent memory.

Now in my tenure of running this blog, counting the new Disney/Josh Gad version there has been SIX “new” versions that have been announced and nothing has gotten made as of yet.

Josh Brolin picture image
Josh Brolin

The first one was the Josh Brolin version.
This was to be a “jazzy” version with Zhang Yimou slated to direct.  Now Brolin has been on and off with this one since like 2011. Back in May 2018 he said he was still trying with this version but a New York Times article back in June of 2018 used the word “was” in reference to Brolin’s Hunchback. But who knows? I’m not holding my breath for this version.  

Max Ryan picture image
Max Ryan

Then we have the Max Ryan version which was to be directed by Chuck Russell. This one I believe was announced in 2014 with the news of Russell directing being announced in 2015. I think had a 2018 release date.  But in so far nothing has come out about it. 

This version actually has a bit of a history since in was based on script from 2007 that had a cast mentioned with it. Most noticeably Monica Cruz as Esmeralda and John Rhys-Davies as Frollo. This is also the version with “Figment.”  Which I think for a while was on the IMBD page.    You can read more for a bit of a summary of that 2007 concept here.  Because it’s very weird
Anyway still no news on this version. 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame singing "God Help the Outcast" picture image
Esmeralda singing “God Help the Outcast” Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Then there is the lesser known Peter Cherin’s version. This was one was announced in 2015 as an Esmeralda POV movie. The idea was originally announced in 2013 a idea for Once Upon a Time. There has been no news of this version since 2015.   

Peter Dinklage Quasimodo picture image
Peter Dinklage

Then we have the  Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage  TV collab. This news was reported back in October 2017. So it’s still fairly new and there was a report back in May 2018  that mentioned the project.   So I assume it’s still in the works.

Idris Elba picture imahe
Idris Elba

Also back in May of 2018, Idris Elba announced he was going to take on a Hunchback version for Netflix. This was the most recent project till last week. Again not a big deal that we haven’t gotten any follow-ups yet, it’s still pretty new.  

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

That brings us to the Live-action remake with Josh Gad. I looked at Gad’s twitter and he has two posts (at the time I looked at his feed)  that hinted Hunchback. One of him reading the Disney version’s art book and one him outside of Notre Dame with text that said “the Bells bells bells” etc.

I do find a little interesting since Gad was already in a Live action Disney remake as Le Fou and he voices Olaf that maybe this version is a bit of a passion project. That Gad is the one who convinced Disney to do this and not the other way around. I could be wrong, I’m probably wrong. We will have to see.

So we have a race on our hands. Which Hunchback version will be the first to get released to a general audience? Or at least announces some casting news first?
Only time will tell.     

This is the exact reason I still have Google Alerts.

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image
Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney announced today that Hunchback is the next film in their roaster to get a live-action remake.  I have been waiting for this day for a long time.   

Here is what is know so far. Josh Gad is produce the film. Just a quick note back in late 2015 I did a post which discussed a fan casting that appeared in my google alerts and Josh Gad was their pick for Quasimodo
you can read it here

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

Now I couldn’t see this casting pick at the time but Gad is an actor so if he DOES follow suit like so many men who have played or have aspired to play Quasimodo to showcase their acting prowess and have a hand in the production, he might be fine in the role.
Just a note, he may not play Quasimodo but there is a trend that men spearheading Hunchback versions do so to play the  role, Gad may just want to produce, we will have to wait and see.

Another piece of information we have is they Tony- winning Playwright David Henry Hwang is writing the screenplay and the film will simply be called Hunchback. Like the 1997 version.

Hwang’s work include Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance of the Railroad. He also has worked on Aida, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Tarzan and M. Butterfly. 

It would seem that the  remake will take its cue from the 1996 movie and the book and not the stage production.    

Also this version will be a musical with Menken and Schwartz heading the music. So that is good.

What do you think? Are you over the Disney live-action remake trend? Are you excited? Are you afraid Disney is going to ruin it?
Thoughts and feelings welcome.

Source – https://www.cnet.com/news/hunchback-of-notre-dame-next-to-get-disney-remake-treatment/
Source – https://deadline.com/2019/01/hunchback-movie-disney-live-action-david-henry-hwang-josh-gad-alan-menken-stephen-schwartz-1202536031/

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.