Out There is for all intended purposes is a solo but its prelude is duet between Frollo and Quasimodo. Frollo sings about how awful the world is as a means for controlling Quasimodo. When Frollo departs the scene, the mood of the song changes into Quasimodo singing about a yearning to venture beyond the tower and go flocking with the normal people.
There is no good way to say it, Out There is a knock off of “Part of your World” from the Little Mermaid. Lots of Disney characters sing this “wanting more” type of song but Out There and Part of that World express the some thought. And it’s interesting that they both point to a direction; up for Ariel and down for Quasimodo and they both mention a desire for the sun and to be with “the people”. They also kind of look alike, red hair and they both wear green.
So how is the song on a music level? Got say, the song it’s self is pretty typical Disney fare. It’s one of the typical songs you’ll hear in a Disney movie, the dreamer’s song. It’s usually the main character singing about wanting something more. This song is just Quasimodo singing about even if just one day he wants to apart of the people. The music is fine, it’s nice and symphomatic. The lyrics are very repetitive: he wants to be to live a day with the regular people, I get. Quasimodo does come off naive to think that just because people live “out there” this qualifies them as normal and he also insinuates that it’s a gift for them to be normal despite the whole issue with gypsies who have to live in catacombs to avoid Frollo’s genocide tendencies.
The singing is where this song fails for me. Hulce’s vibrato has too much of a wobble for me. I think this fast vibrato is meant to give Quasimodo an innocence and naivety but it too much wobble. The wobbly vibrato ruins Hulce’s performance for me and do think he a decent enough singer otherwise.
The best part of the song in the movie is the visuals. I remember the first time I saw it, the part where Quasimodo slid down the buttress was my favorite visual, I thought it looked fun, of course as a kid I thought it was a water slide and not a support structure. I really enjoy Quasimodo interacting with the Notre Dame, he may be dreaming on being on terra firma but Notre Dame is like his private playground.
There are a few things that appear in the song that many viewers don’t seem to notice. The first are cameos, which people do notice. The Cameos are Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Pumba (The Lion King) and Carpet (Aladdin). Two other things, is Frollo can be seen in the square as Quasimodo is looking down and a satillite dish can be seen on a house in the bird’s view of Paris or La Cite in this case.
So the song is by no means in the top tier of the songs in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it by no means is it the worst. It’s just a VERY typical formulaic Disney song.
Next Time –Topsy Turvy