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.

1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame Poster picture image
1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame Poster

100 years ago today the 1923 Lon Chaney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame premiered.

This movie launched the Universal Monster movies as well as was the first time a movie version mostly focused on Quasimodo and his actor. Prior film versions were focused on Esmeralda with notable actresses in the starring role.

This version is one of the more notable movie adaptions along side the Disney version and the 1939 Charles Laughton version.

I started watching this show like two years ago and finally I have watched the whole thing. The duration of how long it took me to watch the entirety of the show doesn’t really reflect the show. It’s weird and odd but it’s not the worst show ever.

Episode 25: The Guardians

Quasimodo & Doris the Gargoyle, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 25, The Guardians
Quasimodo & Doris the Gargoyle

Four year old me freaking loved this episode.

The gang of pals learns of a nature sanctuary from one of his parents’ books which the only book not written in code. 25 episodes into this show and we get the word “Sanctuary.”

As they talk about going Frollo appears at the door of the library and overhears them. I have too many questions about why Frollo is just walking into the Notre Dame library? But he is needed for the plot and we are too far from the spooky tunnel lair. If ONLY Dragon, Frollo’s stone flying gargoyle, could have overheard this it but OH well, Frollo is just walking around in broad daylight . I should say Frollo’s lair was mention in this episode BUT there are no caves/subterranean lairs instead we get so much more…..

On route Frollo swipes the book from Quasimodo and after tussling on Dragon they both fall off. Quasimodo is saved by a man with a freaking unicorn and brings him to the Hidden Valley Sanctuary.

There Quasimodo learns that his parents were the only people from the outside world to enter the valley and were good friends with the King. He also learns that they King’s nephew is power hungry. But the biggest thing that Quasimodo learns is that the valley is home to mythical creatures referred to as “Living Treasures.” So we have unicorns. dragons, Pegasi (Pegasus), a sauropod dinosaur and more!

Quasimodo warns the King about Frollo and the King assures him that Frollo will be dealt with. However the nephew overhears and promptly finds and teams up with Frollo so they can use the “Living Treasures” for war and conquest. Shenanigan ensues but with the help of Doris the Gargoyle and the lovely Gorgon the day is saved and Quasimodo is given his parents’ code book.

This episode felt a lot more like the earlier weirder episodes. Like the one when the star was falling and everything went crazy. Defiantly a creative episode. Minor weird nitpick, François’ voice changes a lot in this episode. Makes me think that it was an older episode that got pushed back for some reason. I only noticed because after episode 24 I rewatched clips of episode 2 and it was different cadence to his voice in that episode that in present in parts of this episode.

Another nitpick was that it was very much implied that Quasimodo’s parents did make a Philosopher’s Stone as they sent gold to the King which helped the valley care for the “Living Treasures.” It’s a little odd given the episode of them finding Flamel’s which was dangerous and the results were temporary. Not sure if the de Bernassac version is less dangerous and more effective than Flamel’s or since they were nobles maybe it was just normal gold but there implication was there that they created one.

Also one of the denizens of the valley was the one who craved the gargoyles of Notre Dame. When? They started going in 1240s as gutters. So what are we talking about here? Though Doris is beyond cute so who cares? I know as you know that this show is not meant to be factual accurate to dates by any means.

Plus there is a sauropod dinosaur! Now I love Doris, she’s best (along side Djali) and there are unicorns, dragons, weird gazelle things, Pegasus (Pegasi) and more but 4 years old me freaking LOVED dinosaurs heck cranky adult me loves dinosaurs. Especially Sauropods. So is this the best episode ever? YES! Yes it is! 110%

No Djali but Dinosaur and Doris made up for it. Doris is the best, tell your friends.

I mean it’s a weird episode for a show that is based on a 1830s novel with religious overtones and totes a depressing ending but kudos for the creativity. And I’d still say the star episode was way weirder.

Also also, Quasimodo misses his geometry test for this adventure, I just wanted to state that.

A Sauropod Dinosaur, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 25, The Guardians
A Sauropod Dinosaur!!!!!

Episode 26: The Secret of the Templars

Esmeralda, Dennis, Quasimodo and François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 26, The Secret of the Templars
Esmeralda, Dennis, Quasimodo and Grandmaster François

This is last episode and we are going out on François focused one with a moral. Up-side a lot of great Djali moments so I will forgive it.

François gets kidnap by some men in strange white costumes. In the effort to save him Good girl Djali head-butts one them and gains a clue, that Dennis identifies as being the symbol of “The Order of the Templars.” Then they get a note from François saying that he is happy and he is surrounded by people who love his poetry. This doesn’t track with Esmeralda as his poetry is known to clear the room, it’s his superpower.

They find Templars’ location immediately but not before getting trapped but Djali gets them out of because Djali is a good girl. Turns out François is now the Grandmaster of the Templars because he is the direct male descendant of the founder which also doesn’t track with Esmeralda, she doesn’t believe that, he just looks like him.

Anyway one the Knights wants the secret treasure which he thinks François knows the location of but François is a Jon Snow in this situation. Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Dennis are then locked up because of this guy. When they try to use François’ poetry as ploy to get the guards to leave so they can escape the guards claim to like the poetry but an encore proves too much and they peace-out. Quasimodo then comes up with another ploy to reveal the greedy knight and the templars give up their quest for the treasure.

François bemoans that he is no longer special because of a supposed bloodline and Esmeralda reminds him that it doesn’t matter because they are super happy people. Dennis then discovers a secret room filled with treasure which he rejects but is then rewarded with two gemstones by Templars ghosts so that he can help the sick and poor.

This episode is very reminiscent of episode 9 “Trapped” when the gang of pals get trapped in that booty-trapped orphanage but this was one more enjoyable probably because of Djali. It’s not the best episode it’s more of middle range. There is some weirdness around the plot because the Templars are using François to find the treasure but there a weird line from which made it seem that the knew where the treasure was located expect for the one greedy one but that was an isolated weird line, they didn’t know. And the ghosts wouldn’t have been happy anyway. Turns out the villager who warned Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Djali and Dennis that the place was haunted was right.

This was weird episode to end off the show. Nothing really happened and it was a smaller scale plot even for this show. François is kidnapped because he looks similar to the founder and might know where a treasure is but he doesn’t and that’s it plus ghosts. There is a moral about how greed is bad and wealth leads to jealousy and corruption. But these are the happiest and least selfish characters imaginable so they don’t need wealth, just each other.

If there were a regular episode it would be fine but as sort of ending it just is very underwhelming. Makes me rather curious if there were going to be more episodes planned or if the episode aired out of order. Both are likely.

Also IMDB’s only trivia for this show says that François was inspired by a John Barrymore movie The Beloved Rouge (1927) where he played a poet named François. Not sure if this is true, Pierre Gringoire is a character in the original novel, is a poet and Esmeralda considers their relationship to more like siblings than romantic. The building blocks were already there so this trivia is more confusing than illuminating, if true.

And now that the show is all watch we can review the show even more! And you hoped we were done!

Quasimodo & Djali, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 26, The Secret of the Templars
Quasimodo & Djali

Episode 23: The Treasure

Quasimodo with the Flamel Stained Glass Window, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 23, The Treasure
Quasimodo with the Flamel Stained Glass Window, Episode 23, The Treasure

The gang of pals and Dennis pay a visit to St Bernard University which is still being constructed after 30 years. Quasimodo’s childhood friend, Pierre now is over-seeing the project after his father, Henri stepped down following the stress of a weird shadow and vanishing items. The university has connections to Nicolas Flamel who is a legendary alchemist, synonymous with the Philosopher’s Stone. Basically Flamel hid a secret in the unfinished library stained glass window. There are no physical copies of the plan as Flamel forbade it and instead made Henri memorize the design.

Frollo kidnaps Henri and Esmeralda to get the a copy as well as leverage. Quasimodo figures out the secret of the window which is a map. Everyone converges on the Indiana Jones’s style subterranean tunnel because there is a cave/tunnel quota in this show. The booty-trapped tunnel is where the stone is kept BUT it’s very dangerous to those with greedy souls who just want gold thus there are coded warning everywhere. So Frollo turns to gold after touching it but it’s okay he will revert back normal BUT not before being lugged off to the Bastille BUT it’s okay Clopin helps him bust out. Nothing it REALLY resolved narratively and it’s back to the status quo.

This episode on the one hand is weird since we meet a childhood friend of Quasimodo’s which robs his connections with Esmeralda and François as well has this character being named Pierre. Pierre does mean “Rock” which makes a cute little reference to being architect but would have made more sense to have named François Pierre since he is the Pierre Gringoire stand-in. That is a nit-pick for a puzzling design.

Also given how late we are in the show it seems weird to have Frollo get out two set-backs that are resolved within a minute. He gets turned into a gold statue but it’s ok he will revert back and then he frees himself with out any fuss or even tension.

So all that is gained from this episode is the Philosopher’s Stone is dangerous with its Midas touch and is still where Flamel kept it. Though why would Flamel even want there to be a clue to the location of the stone if he didn’t want people finding it? It was in a libray window not exactly a private place. Also we could nitpick dates but is there really a point? Also what is the point of them finding the Philosopher’s Stone when Frollo has been searching for the recipe to create it this whole time? It’s muddled.

Then again there is so much in this episode that is good. For the standards of this show there is a very well-animated chase sequence. You can tell a real effort went put into that part. All the talk of alchemy and Philosopher’s Stone, which is a big part of this show, is part of the book. It’s not a vital part of the narrative it’s more for characterization but it’s great to see it at a forefront in a version.

Also it’s good to see a stained glass window used for knowledge acquisition. That was the point of them at this point in time; to educate the masses who couldn’t read, that was their function. So as weird as it was for this window to show a clue that Flamel didn’t want people to know, the concept goes back to something fundamental about architecture of that period and the novel or rather Hugo’s tangent in the novel. Whether the original markers of the show intended to be that specific to novel or not, it’s an appreciated point.

Also I appreciated when Clopin adjusted his eye patch to show it was just decorative, it was a good touch.

Counter-point though no Djali, I suppose we can’t have it all but Frollo did look so very happy with the stone until he wasn’t.

Frollo with the Philosopher's Stone, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 23, The Treasure
Frollo and the Philosopher’s Stone, Episode 23, The Treasure

Episode 24: A True G***y

Esmeralda & François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 24
Esmeralda & François eavesdropping

In the episode we get the backstory of Esmeralda and François. Which we already got way back in episode 2; Angelica adopted them after their parents died when they were babies. But I guess it was thought that she was their actual grandmother by blood and not adopted. The revelation is too much for Esmeralda and she starts acts out. Honestly I’m more shocked that Djali is over 16 years old(?)and that Esmeralda and François are full siblings, most likely twins and not actual nomads much like the novel without the cruel stereotype. I thought they were adoptive together but no they are the spitting images of their parents with Esmeralda looking like their mother and François looking like their father. Also François takes this news very well as it doesn’t phase him at all.

Most of this episode is strange. Esmeralda acts out when she learns she it NOT a true nomad. As she is processing this news the King of the Nomads gets kidnapped. Esmeralda won’t listen to protocol as she is not a true member and instead she sets off on her own to save the King in a disguise with Quasimodo and François following in behind also in disguises. After finding the King she is captured too. Turns out the King had been taken by his cousin, Kasimir, who is next in line to the throne as well as exiled. Kasimir has one his goons lie that the King was seen leaving France but Quasimodo unmasks Kasimir in front of the Nomad leaders. Kasimir then reveals that he has the King and Esmeralda tied up. Why? Why would he do this? Then again he is delusional like all villains.

For whatever reason François has Quasimodo challenge Kasimir to a battle of heart and fitness of leadership. If Quasimodo wins the King will be reinstated and Kasimir will go back into exile but if Kasimir wins the King and Esmeralda will be imprisoned forever. Possibly in a cave because Kasimir threaten imprisoning him in a cave, I guess saying the word hits that beloved cave quota. I wonder if this show was sponsored by a Cave Tourism Board?

Anyway the challenge is in three parts; making their way out a stone maze in an allotted amount of time, hand-to-hand combat and pulling a rattlesnake from a bag. Quasimodo wins 2-1 but Kasimir sets fire to the stake that the King and Esmeralda are tied too. I’m not sure why they had they even bothered with validity of challenge since the King was right there proving that Kasimir was lying, it was a whole confused thing. Maybe everyone is delusional?

Anyway… Esmeralda frees herself and the King with he power of her locket which conjures a dragon, that is a bit of head-scratcher. The King then proclaims that she and François and honorable and true nomads which wasn’t an issue till this episode. Also Esmeralda reconciles with her grandmother because family is more than blood, which is a great note to end off on, no fault there.

This episode is very much a mess. While I do appreciate that this show tried to make Esmeralda’s backstory like the book without being problematic the retread from episode 2 was a little weird. I also liked that the King character was a different character than Clopin because they are frequently merged, it a minor thing just a nice touch.

What I don’t get was any of the succession, Kasimir, the King, protocols and that challenge stuff. It seemed as far a plot-line goes very half-baked. Why would they build a permanent stone maze structure for this purpose? Or maybe it was just there? But they what do they do for this challenge if it’s not at this specific location? The King was right there in front of everyone so why would they even entertain the exiled heir ruling when they were against it when they thought the King had fled France?

None of it made sense and got in the way Esmeralda’s character dealing with an identity issue and feelings of being lied to by her family but that gets resolved with King just saying she is a nomad like she has been raised which the King allowed when she was adopted by Angelica. So either it should have been a bigger issue for her and the focus of episode or it shouldn’t an issue at all. It’s just messy.

Random pluses are Djali, always Djali, the goofy dragon that Esmeralda randomly conjures to save herself and the king, and François’ muppet-like voice, loved that.

Esmeralda saving herself and the King with a dragon, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 24
Esmeralda saving herself and the King with a magical dragon

Episode 21: The Eye of the Eagle

Quasimodo with half of the Scroll The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 21, The Eye of the Eagle
Quasimodo with half of the de Bernssac’s Scroll

After François didn’t feed Djali, she goes to the library for a snack. After assessing the damage, Dennis discovers a scroll of an old design for the facade of Notre Dame which depicts the likeliness of his awesome parents on the edifice. This leads to Quasimodo to find the stone depictions of his parents as well as hidden scroll behind them which is made of the highest quality paper ever because this takes forever to rip in half. This is because Frollo sends his Gargoyle, Dragon to steal the scroll tears in half. So Quasimodo has half and Frollo has the other half.

However the scroll pieces are blank which leads everyone to reach the same conclusion, invisible ink! Which leads both the gang of pals and Frollo to Esmeralda’s friend who is an expert on invisible ink, how very convenient for everyone. Anyway the message turns out to be a map. Quasimodo hopes it leads him to his parent’s location and Frollo hopes it will lead him to the Philosopher’s stone.

In the end it leads them to an old inn where his parents used to rent a secret room. Quasimodo finds a chest full of gold and because doesn’t need money, and he really doesn’t, he gives to the innkeeper who uses the money to renovate the inn.

The idea of this episode was fun; a competing scavenger hunt which highlights the characters’ wants as well as their differing approach to deductive reasoning.

The pay off though is a waste because we already know Quasimodo has awesome parents and he proven himself to be unselfish and we don’t really learn any new and there doesn’t seem to be a lesson or a moral. Also if I recall his parents might have gotten on a boat to England in an earlier episode, which was episode 12 “The Choice.” So the scroll which was left 15 years before would have had old information anyway about their location. It’s good that there is a narrative through-line in this show which is the quest for Quasimodo’s family, but the show seems to forget it or retread a lot or in this episode’s case pads it out. Then again other “more adult shows” do this too so it’s not really a big deal. Just pointing it out. Truthfully it’s less annoying than most shows with more ambitious, “grown-up,” and/or matures plots.

Frollo did have a humorous line “From Tiny Minds Come Tiny Answers” Inspiring. To be fair he was trying to read tiny text so he shrunk himself down to read it, which did work. Also Frollo falls down a lot in this episode because humor.

Other positives, Djali, always going to be Djali and François was less annoying because he wasn’t focused on too much. Plus Tortoise cameo and there was a cat. That’s something.

Also Also the whole map is the de Bernassac crest which is an eagle which is also a map of Paris so it’s a sort-of reference to the chapter “A Bird’s-Eye View of Paris,” a chapter that is very skippable. I still appreciate it though.

Frollo The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 21, The Eye of the Eagle
Frollo spies on the Gang of Pals

Episode 22: The Oracle

Esmeralda, Quasimodo & François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 22 The Oracle
A Frozen François with Quasimodo & Esmeralda

This episode starts with the Gang of Pals getting a message from Angelica who has been recovering from a cold in the Alps with Dennis’ cousin Maurice. However the message says that Maurice has been arrested and the village is in the gripes of some kind of danger. So the Gang of pals is off in their covered wagon to the rescue. On the way they stop by a spring that has some weird green substance it it, hmmm could this be part of the plot? You bet!

Arriving in the village they see that the villagers have spots on their faces and the leader is now The Oracle. Who predicts lightening will hit the village and it does! Hmmm, very curious …. he foretold it would happen and then it did!

The gang of pals soon learn that The Oracle put something in the water and that he is going to charge the villagers for the cure. Angelica tells Quasimodo that The Oracle is storing potions in a cave near the Spring. Oh Good just when I thought there wasn’t going to be a cave or spooky tunnels we get a cave for the Cave Quota.

In the cave Quasimodo learns the tricks of The Oracle like the lightening was made with tar and gun powder. Quasimodo uses similar tricks to undo The Oracle’s hold on the Villagers as well as giving everyone the universal cure-all that cures them. Thank goodness! And today’s lesson is education is the best cure for ignorance and superstition and to not believe everything you hear. How true, most of the time. Brainwashing and indocination is a thing but Children’s show, so it’s simplicifed.

The Oracle is a charlatan who poisoned a town as well as committed arson and he got off really light. I mean the villagers apologize for being duped which is what brings up moral about education being great which is a great moral but it was tacked on in the last second. Basically everyone finds out that The Oracle was a scammer and they escort him off in the background. Blink and you miss it, because I did and I had to rewatch that part to notice it. Also what are they going to do with him? Quasimodo collapsed the jail when they were busting out. So who knows what happen to him maybe he didn’t get off light.

Anyway doesn’t matter what does matter is this episode forced me to recall my time on the Oregon Trail, those poor oxen who drown, the Diphtheria, the failure of it all and I of course mean the computer game I was terrible at it, abysmal even. Also Quasimodo failed a little in this episode brought down by his own hubris. He failed to get the carrier pigeon with Angelica’s message and François is the one who gets it. Woo to Quasimodo. François later is paralyzed by some powder and complains about being thirsty, which is really Quasimodo’s thing. But in the end François is still the butt of many of a joke and Quasimodo is still the best, so again doesn’t matter.

So positives, Djali, always going to be Djali and there is a pigeon. But this episode is pretty good. I did like Quasimodo playing Sorcerer and that whole plan to discredit The Oracle. Though this show has already established magic as an actual practice independent and in conjunction with alchemy so it’s a little muddy that there is a scammer using potions to create skin spots, causing paralysis and growing hair and that science and knowledge is the fix to discrediting his wrong doing.

I’m overthinking this but what is The Oracle’s backstory because clearly he is smart and has great alchemist knowledge and this is best he can manage for himself? Poisoning the water supply to cause skin pigmentation with no other side effects and then charging for the cure? Which is a universal cure-all for all his potions. Who is this guy? But that is not the story and the lesson of the episode is knowledge is good and gullibility is bad. Still good lessons especially in today landscape.

Side Note – This episode was the second appearance of The Oracle. He first appears in the fourth episode “The Star Master” and is pal of Frollo’s. Didn’t remember him but good job show using an old character.

Sorcerer Quasimodo, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 22 The Oracle
Sorcerer Quasimodo

Episode 19: A Song of the Heart

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

The episode starts out with Quasimodo lamenting that he is not a master Bell-ringer as he can’t master a piece for the King’s coronation anniversary. Meanwhile down in Frollo’s lair he learns from Clopin of all characters that there is a sorcerer in the hills that can make things appear. Coincidentally, Esmeralda and François are heading up to the same hills to get something for their grandmother and they invite Quasimodo since he is the main character.

After arriving in the hills they hear pretty music and see an apparition of a lovely lady. The music is played on a carillon, which I had to look up because I didn’t know what it was…. so kudos to the show for that one but this invention is about 170 years too early but what even is time? Doesn’t matter.

So the gang of pals meet the very nice old hermit named Guy. Frollo starts causing trouble so the gang disguise the Guy’s hut with grass and then Frollo uses wild pigs to find them. While that is going on we learn of Guy’s backstory, who the apparition was and Quasimodo’s connection to Guy.

Frollo eventually gets the drop on them and forces Guy to play the his music (which is in a cave.) Frollo’s plan is seeing how the philosopher stone was made by his old employer Vivianne de Bernassac a.k.a Quasimodo’s mother. However Frollo insteads sees his own unhappy childhood and peaces out leaving Quasimodo to empathize with Frollo.

In the end Quasimodo invites Guy to play the bells for the King’s coronation anniversary but Guy says that he will help Quasimodo to master the musical piece.

Most of this episode is Frollo causing mischief because he can’t wait for the gang of pals to learn. This episode is just adds to Quasimodo’s backstory. The inclusion of Clopin was weird. Maybe he will be in more episodes going forward but there are only seven episodes left or maybe it was just a name drop nothing more. Positive parts: Djali, there was a lot of Djali this episode as well as wild boars who were cute and scary and a tortoise who didn’t like François’ poetry so very relatable.

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

Episode 20: The Music Master

Azarof, Frollo & Clopin The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Episode 20 The Music Master
Azarof sings to Frollo & Clopin

Yes, I spoke too soon about our old friend Clopin because he’s back! Clopin discovers he is in possession of “The Flute of Marrakesh” which gives the owner control over people. So Clopin sells it to Frollo after making Azarof sing “La Marseillaise” 310 years too early but again what is even time? It doesn’t matter.

So Frollo kicks his plan in to gear. His plan is get the King to abdicate and sign the throne other to him under the command of the flute. To do this he uses the power of the flute on François, the grandma to gain entry into into the reception for the King of Spain. which the Gang of Pals are all performing. Quasimodo and Esmeralda are doing a double trapeze act and François is doing something akin to poetry. Also part of the plan is Clopin, the Flute and “very convincing” bellydancing disguise.

However Esmeralda grows suspicious of François as he acts self-assured, not clumsy and turning down reciting his poetry to a pretty lady who did seem rather into him. A lot of the humor in this show is someone fall down.

They soon learn about the flute and Dennis finds the cure, which is playing the melody backwards. Naturally everything works out with Frollo’s plans being foiled again and the King of Spain loving the magic show.

This episode is very similar to the first episode mainly because it involved the action being at a party. It was a rather silly episode a little boring but silly. All in all very passable, circuitous but passable. I do like that these two episodes have a musical theme. It was fun. Not sure it was intentional but I appreciate it.