Since this is the very last Tuesday of 2014, I thought I would do a mini look back and see what version was the best and which was the worst. This past year we have looked at like 3 versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The 1986 version, the Enchanted Tales version and the 1997 version. Technically we touched on the lost films back in January but since I can’t even pretend I watched them they don’t count toward reviews.
The worst version is without a doubt the Enchanted Tales version. A handsome Quasimodo and a terrible moral, yuck. But you know I could deal with the handsome Quasi and the perplexing moral if the animation and songs were decent and not a painful bowel movement but alas this version says fuck good anything. I will say that this versions was my favorite to tear a part because that is the only thing it has going for it. Also this version was technically the first hunchback version I got screen caps for back in October of 2010, two months before the blog launched. I actually have more pictures that I didn’t use.
Both versions have their strengths and weaknesses. If I were to judge solely on keeping to the book, I would say the 1986 version is better but if I going on what is debatably the more entertaining movie, I would say the 1997 version. It just so hard because both films’ flaws are so apparent that it’s hard to overlook them but I will say the 1997 version is marginal better.
I can’t wait for 2015! I hope to look at some famous/infamous versions.Follow thehunchblog
The Enchanted Tales version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame has got to be one the worst Hunchback versions there is. It’s full of bad technicals, annoying characters, terrible songs and the single worst moral I have ever seen in a children movie. A Handsome Quasimodo?! That should just not be. I’m not a purist, I just want the basics. If looks don’t matter why is he even drawn handsome. GAH!
I LOATHE this version.
Next Hunchback Version – The 1986 Australian Version… sigh…………. just sigh…..Follow thehunchblog
I briefly touched on the moral of the Enchanted Tales version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame when I looked at the plot of this poo-feast, you can read that post HERE, but the moral of this movie is so bad that it demands its own post.
Ok, the moral of this is “Looks don’t matter if people see you as pretty.” I’m not kidding, this the exchange between Melody and Quasimodo, this is the actual dialogue, this happened,
Melody: Are you alright? Oh, you look so handsome. You have beautiful eyes.
Quasimodo: Is that how you see me?
Melody: It is how you are.
Quaismoodo: Perhaps if you see me as handsome, than perhaps I am.
Quasimodo: Just perhaps, my looks really don’t matter anymore.
Melody: They don’t matter.
Basically the moral, as this movie spells it out, is looks don’t matter if you’re considered pretty. That is so awful. You have to be pre-approval by an outside gaze to have a sense of self-worth and confidence. Because Quasimodo only told off Jean-Claude, his little brother, when he was handsome. Oh, I hates this movie.
Now this moral shouldn’t be the stuff of children videos since people have to deal with this in their everyday lives. Kind of depressing, if you think about.
However, I get what they were trying to do, really. What Enchanted Tales was trying to do is show that inner beauty makes one beautiful. It’s through Quasimodo’s inner strength that transforms him into a handsome guy, you know like the story they were really trying to tell cough*Beauty and the Beast*cough. However, this moral fails to be communicate because of the lazy sloppy writing. That inner beauty thing doesn’t register at all.
Quasimodo pretty much says, My looks don’t matter if you think I’m pretty. I really can’t believe someone approved that during the writing process.
This moral is the stuff of satires, of parodies, of jokes not for a children’s movie. WORST MORAL EVER. Really, if were any worse it probably would be better.
At this point, if it wasn’t for the company who produced it, I would think this movie was a satire of the Hunchback, or at the very least of children movies in general, because that is the only way I can rationalize how this ass of version got made in the first place.
Pretty Quasimodo, gags
Next Time – Conclusion – I’m done!
For a movie that is only 40 minutes in length, The Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame feels so much longer. Is it because the animation, the characters, the songs, or the dialogue makes it feel 10X longer, well yeah all those this add up but the pacing of this is really bad in genreal. So bad, that it amps up all those factors to hand-banging affect on the viewer, that makes them beg for death before the 15 minute mark. And yet death will not come.
The first aspects the kill the pacing are the songs. You know how song, sometimes, in better movies, have a build-up and the can either progress the plot of tells us something about the characters, not here, not in the Enchanted tales version. Here, they say, No. It could have been a bold and artistic move but all the songs really do is pad-out the running-time.
The songs add about 10 minutes, they make up a 4th of this movie and yet they add nothing. The longest song, at about 3 minutes, is the last one that “Life will Arrive.” This song serve no purpose and if cut we would have lost nothing. It really just stops the story and towards the end of it no less.
The shortest song is “The Bells All Ring, which does advance Melody and Quasimodo’s relationship. How fucking stupid is that, the one song that sort of progresses the story is shortest and the longest halts the story. The other too also just stall the movie.
The animation also stalls things. When something repeats that much animation so unapologetically, you feel that time is being repeated over and over and over again, till a minute feels like ten minutes.
The pacing in The Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is so uneven, silted and just makes for an unpleasant viewing experience. This version is not fun, it’s clutter-fuck that drags on to forever and beyond.
Next Time – The very worst thing about this Version, The fucking moral
We have seen a lot of bad animation here on theHunchBlog. From the Disney sequel, to Jetlag, to even that episode of Madeline, we have seen some real examples of clunky, amateur animation but as far as awful, crapped-filled, poo animation goes, the Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame takes the cake.
The animation is so bad but what makes it bad? I will tell you one thing, re-watching this while trying to pay extra close attention to the animation made my brain literally melt out of my eyes and ears. My still being alive is no doubt some sort a cruel miracle.
Well the least offensive thing is the repeating animation. Repeating animation in it of itself isn’t the problem, many movies repeat animation, it’s money saving. The problem is the frequency and how blatant the repetitions are and this pile-of shit repeats animation like nobodies business.
Those kids doing the circle dance is repeated back and forth, back and forth a total of 3 times in the first minute alone. Oh, it gets repeated more but 3 times in the first minute that is just insane and it wasn’t that great of animation to start, it’s just random people with their backs to camera kicking in a dance circle.
They also steamboat willy a lot.
At roughly the 5:10 mark, Pierre and Frollo are on horses trying to find Melody and they repeat animation from earlier of Pierre and Frollo saying “no” to each other. Problem is Pierre is clearly on the ground and not on the horse during the repeating animation. Such pain!
As if that was bad, the movie start off with huge night/day confusion. Frollo and Pierre at talking and it’s supposed to be night out I think because Frollo says “after dark” but it’s daylight in the scene. Then it’s night as Melody dances but at one point the scene shifts to the accursed Dingbats and it fucking daytime and then night again. Hey movie, ever hear the word, consistently? No? Didn’t think so. Argh this movie
And then there is the lips sync. At point you kind of have to wonder, was this dubbed? Because it looks like it could have been. As at some points the animation doesn’t match the audio. Like for example the accordion is shown getting huffy but nothing is the dilouge would suggest reasons.
Even if the lip sync was originally for english Melody’s mouth disappearing for a frame is inexcusable because you might not have seen it but your brain did.
Their mouths also jerk around like crazy here.
Aside from just the overall crappiness of the execution with its repetitions and still frames and bad lip sync, the animation on the whole of the Enchanted Tales version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is down right insulting. It’s just down-right dumb looking and it make you dumber just looking at it. F-, 1/4 a star rating, 100 thumbs down.
Next Time – The Pacing, it also sucks!
The last song of the Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is weird and stupid.
This song comes out no where and adds nothing to the story. It comes right after the crappy moral about pretty people don’t have to worry about looks and after the song the characters don’t register the song at all. This song is just filler to meet the company’s four song quota. The sad part this song is the most energetic and musically interesting.
I can’t really make out the lyrics of the what they are singing but it’s some like “Life will Life will alive” or something. The song is about positivity and stuff. It doesn’t really work with what is happening in the narrative, I mean why should Quasimodo or Melody be bummed now, they’re pretty. (Edit- Thanks to Hulu, they are actually saying “Life will arrive.”)
Aside from the lyrics being unquestionably stupid, the visual are super stupid. Most of the visuals are just repeat animation from the first song and when they have no animation like people dancing or clouds they repeat it too. Really this song is better when you just listen it.
Really the best part of this song is the musical orchestration. Not kidding it’s pretty ok. It has a fun Spanish vibe. This just has a stronger enegry than they rest and it a shame it was wasted and a filler song that didn’t add anything or was even acknowledge by the story of the character.
With this song we have a good music and the rest is stupid.
Next Time – The Animation (gag)
At last we come to the third song in the Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and this one I consider the worst of the lot. Let just call this one “When the Magic in your Heart” or Melody’s Jailhouse uptempo easy listening shit.
This song is about being positive even when things look bad. The context for this song is Melody is in jail and sentenced to die the next day. The idea she would be positive and dancing around like a dummy just shows you have utterly vapid this movie is or she moved to the acceptance stage of death really quickly or she is just dumb. I think she’s just dumb.
The visuals are just confusion and insulting. Melody has shown that she can create life, like an overpower sith lord. So in this song she is shown giving inanimate objects a life force, just want to interject there is a lot of clutter in this jail cell. Melody makes bricks, iron bars, a broom and various other things dance around. However it is made clear at the end of the song that the dancing objects were just her imagination. Does this mean that instrumentals are imaginary? No because they interact with other people or is this whole movie a fevered dream of some insane person? You see in not explaining Melody’s powers made me ask the first time I was subjected to this movie why she didn’t just escape out the window since the bars were prancing around. Hate!
It not just the visuals that are awful the music and lyrics are abysmal, they make me want to cut my ears off. I have no critic on either points, they are that bad. Hate this.
The long and short of it is, I hate this song. Nothing is good about it. It a terrible song with crappy writing and shitty confusing visuals. Prolonged exposure to this song can cause f the pituitary gland to shut down, do not watch it.
Next Time Stupid Song #4
The second song in the Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame might be least awful. It has its issues but of all the songs it’s the least that toys with your sanity.
Let’s just call this song “The Bells all Ring.” It’s the love song of the movie as it sung by Melody and Quasimodo about love. This song comes out of no where, like whiplash. Quasimodo comments on her magic and BAM singing mice. That’s right, fucking singing mice, why? I have no earthly idea.
The song uses bell imagery to show that they hear music when the see or are with each other. Two things, they took the bell imagery too far as they sing about alarms clocks and telephones. Even if this movie has no idea the time period it’s set in, it is made to look medieval, alarm clocks and telephones should not be mentioned. Second, the idea that they are in love and hear music is sweet or would be if they they had more than 2 minutes of interaction with each other.
The music is cheesy but it’s cheesy song so it’s not so bad. There are some really nice bell sounds. The most cheesy it goes is the little twinkle sounds.
The lyrics with exception of the alarm and the telephone are ok. They are a little repeated and the ding dong ding lines are dumb but there are some good one. Like “When I’m looking at you it’s so sublime, I can feel the bells within me chime.” Yeah the lyrics are cheesy but given the other songs this movie, it’s is like a masterwork although the lyrics are mostly dumb.
Animation like the rest of the movie is bad. They repeat the mice choir and the lips sync is just cringe worthy.
Of all the songs, this is the only one that makes sense in a Hunchback movie. Sure, it’s a love song between Quasimodo and an Esmeralda-stand-in with bell imagery but fits in to the story. And it’s the only song that feels intentional and part of the narrative. Which is saying something as it comes out of nowhere.
Saying it’s the least awful song is not saying a lot, it’s still a bad song. This song is also played over the credit so the movie thinks it’s the best too.
Next Time; Stupid Song Number Three
If you think the instruments are the only annoying characters in the Enchanted Tales Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame then I want whatever you are smoking because the super side characters are pretty bad too. Though naturally, not as bad as the instruments but they are bad enough for me to give them a blog post to torture my already faltering sanity.
Pierre is Jean-Claude’s minion. Clearly his name comes from Gringoire’s name OR did they just pick the most generic French name in the world. Let’s just pretend that they DID take it from Gringoire’s name, it not that out there of a role choice. Gringoire was taught under Frollo, so I could see the relationship of him being a minion. Of all the characters, Pierre isn’t that annoying. He’s Jean-Claude minion but he’s good. He gets some fun banter with Jean-Claude and he gives exposition on Quasimodo’s backstory. If anything he worth being in the story.
The Ding Bats are really annoying but less so than though instruments. All they do is make puns, laugh at their own puns, complain and open the door to Notre Dame. That’s right, the door to Notre Dame is controlled by bats in the belfry. Whaaaaaaa? How do they do that? Hey Movie! Explain it to me movie? Are the part of Notre Dame? Do they have telekinesis? I’m not sure why I’m searching for answer in a movie that has a Violin bow that can’t talk but the violin can and the tambourine wears glasses. At least the Ding Bats are contained to Notre Dame, they don’t follow the main characters around. Small doses.
Melody’s Mother, Genevieve, is another character that isn’t in the movie that much but annoys me. She is a bit like Melody where nothing seems to ever bother her. She gets taken prisoner and put in a barn and she sings and dances with the animals. The idea is that her and Melody are so sickeningly positive that they just smile and think sunny thoughts. My inner emo is glaring at them. Genevieve also has a donkey named Francois.
The Baron, god dear lord, the Baron. The Baron is Jean-Claude’s father and Quasimodo’s step father. He eats a lot, that’s it. He is a fat ass that is all he does. He is a waste the paper and pigment that makes up his lame existent in this crappy children movie for kids who are on the verge of a nap.
Next Time – Stupid Song Number one