All in all the Courage the Cowardly Dog Episode, The Hunchback of Nowhere is a nice hint at Quasimodo and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s not heavy handed and its appeal in its bizarre subtlety for the source material. It’s communicates Quasimodo as being a nice person without the whole beauty of the inside theme slapping you in the face repeatedly. The bell music is also very pretty and eerie at the same time which I appreciate.
If the Courage episode was subtle in their approach to the Hunchback let’s review another cartoon episode that was as subtle as ton of bricks with the theme of the Hunchback…….
Next Version – The Madeline Episode……… (this going to be painful isn’t?)Follow thehunchblog
The Hunchback of Nowhere has several big nods and several small nods to the original book and to the Disney movie.
The bigs one are handbells and the trapezes. Both are clever tweaks on the massive Cathedral bells and Quasimodo’s acrobatics. Though why are there trapezes in the Bagge’s barn, I have no idea. Another big one is at the climax of the episode, Eustace falls from the roof. This is a clear reference to Frollo falling from Notre Dame. So it would seem that the barn is playing Notre Dame in this episode.
The theory is made evident by a rose window in the barn. You can see it when Quasimodo is playing the bells when Courage finds him in the barn.
Then there is Quasimodo uttering the line “Out there.” This is defiantly a reference to the Disney movie where Quasimodo sings a song called “Out There” in which he hopes for a day in the normal world. In the episode Quasimodo says the line with hope and optimism.
The references are clear, playful and do not bog down the episode. They feel fairly natural within the brief time constraints of the episode though I confess the trapeze while cute is a bit of a stretch.
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The Hunchback, a.k.a Quasimodo, in the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode The Hunchback of Nowhere is presented as ugly but kind. Such a twist! But there is a few differences that this version gives to Quasimodo other than a kind yet ugly misfit.
In the Disney vein, he has red hair and wears green. He doesn’t have a wart protrusion over his eye instead his eye bulges out from the socket and curves upwards which is very cartoony. His other eye is big and purple. He has greenish skin, a huge nose and for some reason he has a scar. He is also rather lumpy which makes the hunch looks unified with the rest of his form.
Unlike every other single version of the hunchback, this is one is not haunting Notre Dame, instead he is looking for shelter. Not even companionship he just wants a place to spend the night not outside. Got to wonder why he’s not at Notre Dame?
But does the absence of Notre Dame makes this depiction not Quasimodo? No, even though he is never refereed to as Quasimodo and there is no Notre Dame as a signifier there are other things that signify him as Quasimodo. First, being kind hunchback is enough but the show does other things like he plays bells. A Kind Hunchback who plays bells, that pretty much says Quasimodo. He also swings on a trapeze in barn for some reason. So we have a kind hunchback that plays bells and swings on ropes, if that doesn’t “Hello, I’m Quasimodo” I don’t really know what would.
For a ten minute runtime he also a dynamic character. He goes from being quiet and letting people, mainly Eustace, make him feel bad to standing up to Eustace on Courages’ behalf.
Frankly, it’s a short and sweet version of Quasimodo. I like that this Quasimodo isn’t hung up on finding love or even lasting acceptances and friends. The popping eye, green skin and scar are weird stylistic choices to his design but they are not awful or distracting.
Next Time – Nods to the original SourceFollow thehunchblog
Seeing how this is the month of frights and ghoulish delights, I thought we would look at a true American horror depiction of Quasimodo. I course mean the season 1 episode 8 episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog entitled “The Hunchback of Nowhere.” Courage the Cowardly Dog, is an comedy horror cartoon that aired on Cartoon Network.
It’s about a dog named Courage who lives Eustace and Muriel Bagge, an elderly couple who in Nowhere. The show revolves around them getting into bizarre paranormal and supernatural misadventures. Courage is overly frighted, Eustace is mean and selfish and usually mocks Courage while Muriel is sweet and kind.
So let’s not waste this glorious month, let’s just drive into the plot now.
It’s starts on a dark and stormy night as an ugly Hunchback, i.e Quasimodo, looks for a place to stay but is continuously rejected because of his appearance. He reaches Courage’s house and Eustace, in his normal fashion, callously turns him away. Courage however feels for the lonely Hunchback. Eustace then orders Courage to fetch his raincoat which is in the barn. Courage ventures to the barn where he hears bells.
As it turns out, Quasimodo has taken refuge in the barn and has set up an array handbells. Courage and Quasimodo quickly become friends. Their merriment is interrupted when Eustace comes into the barn and demands his raincoat. Eustace then harasses and scares Courage with scary eyes. After Eustace leaves Quasimodo cheers Courage up with some impressive shadow puppets.
The next dog Courage invites Quasimodo into the house. Muriel is welcoming to a friend of Courage but when Eustace finds Quasimodo, he orders him to leave but is overruled by Muriel. Eustace proceeds to insult Quasimodo’s ugliness. Courage however feeds Quasimodo insults targeting Eustace’s baldness. Muriel then sends Eustace to eat in hen house since he being inhospitable to a guest.
Later, Eustace is demanding dinner and finds Muriel watching a handbell concert performed by Quasimodo and Courage on the roof of the barn. Eustace becomes enrages when he sees Quasimodo wearing his precious raincoat. Quasimodo takes it off and Eustace orders Quasimodo to leave. As Quasimodo leaves, Eustace calls Courage stupid and scares him with the scary eyes again. Quasimodo then stands up to Eustace and shows him the true face of ugliness, a mask of Eustace. Eustace becomes so terrified that he falls off the roof but is fine.
After the rain passes, Quasimodo decides to leave. Courage pulls out a handbell and Quasimodo pulls out a cathedral-size bell and then two have a laugh. Quasimodo thanks Courage and Muriel for their kindness and hope he find people like them out there.
Next time- Quasimodo’s DepictionFollow thehunchblog