So in December 2011 Doug walker ( who plays the insanely Popular Internet Critic Character The Nostalgia Critic on That Guy With the Glasses) reviewed all the Disney Featured Films. And Since I have a Blog about the Hunchback of Notre Dame this gives me the right to do a review of a review, clique I know. So Here we go.
Esmeralda in the dungeon of La Tournelle. Illustration by Burdet
Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Louis Boulanger's Illustration of Frollo, Esmeralda and Sachette
The first I noticed that either Walker hasn’t read the book or it’s been a while. First thing he claims the book is “Dark and Twisted.” Now I could I be the twisted one but I don’t find the book that dark or twisted. I mean I guess since main all the characters die and it has a tormented Priest as a main character this qualifies it as “dark” but there are darker books in the world. And dare I say there is a lot of humor. Maybe it’s because it a French story that the darker element stick out and it if were Russian it would fit in. Maybe it’s because people are inclined to thinking the book is of the Gothic Style, which it is not it’s actually Romantic. Anyway the Book will have it’s time here but I disagree with Walker, it’s comparatively darker than some Books but Twisted: No.
Aimé de Lemud Illustration of Phoebus saving Esmeralda from Quasimodo
Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Esmeralda being Tortured
Another thing that made it clear he doesn’t recall the book is the mentioning of the crimes by Esmeralda and Quasimodo. He says that Quasimodo “accidently commits some sort of crime” and he claims that Esmeralda is not arrested for witchcraft. Quasimodo doesn’t accidently kidnapped Esmeralda, Frollo orders him to do it and he does no question. And Esmeralda 100% accused of witchcraft, there was a whole thing in the book where she accused of turning a coin in a dry leave and the tricks she taught Djali which are far more innocent than her trick in the Disney movie. Considering the Kidnapped attempt and Esmeralda’s trail are big portions of the plot I’m not going to let this generalization of Walker’s part go. But then again these scenes are not really in the Disney movie it’s a little forgivable.
Quasimodo as the King of Fools Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Illustration of Quasimodo as the Pope of Fools by Edouard de Beaumont 1844
Shock the Priest Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Another slight problem with his fact checking is the Feast of Fools, Walker calls it a celebrations of Gypsy but the Feast of Fools was a Festival which akin to April’s Fool. Also he brings up some confusion on the way the Gypsy are portrayed. I think that in his thinking the Feast of Fool tripped him up in this explanation but when he says that Esmeralda say that they’re not all thieves but then there is the Court of Miracle where they keep there stolen stuff. However this a problem of making the Court of Miracles in a Gypsy haven which is not in either the book or actuality. In the book the Court of Miracles is where beggars and thieves lives and some Gypsy live there as well including Esmeralda. In actuality the Court of Miracles is the slums.
Gargoyles A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Walker is a fan of this movie however like me he did hate the Gargoyles. He bring up an interesting point about the Gargoyles being Judgmental and berating each others one looks, which goes against the point of the movie. Walker admits that he could have given the film credit if they were imaginary. The thing is they were supposed to be, if you listen to the commentary that’s what they strived for but they just forgot and there are too many inconsistencies. The film tried they just failed to make that aspect come out.
Molten Lead over Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Frollo groping Esmeralda
Notre Dame of Paris Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Walker likes the look of the movie, how grand everything looks and the shear scope. He likes both Frollo and Quasimodo but really didn’t mention the other character except the Gargoyles. He did mention Esmeralda and Phoebus’ romance being boring. He like Hellfire and The Bells of Notre Dame. He like that the film tackles the issues of faith, Good, Evil, Heaven, Hell and Lust. Which if you’re going to do Hunchback of Notre Dame you need to handle the lust, I mean that drives the plot.
Frollo and Baby Quasimodo during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunch back of Notre Dame
Esmeralda as a fire demon dancing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Walker admits the film is clunky but on the whole he loves it. He can understand why it wasn’t a be hit and he admires it for the risks it took.
Djali licking Phoebus with Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney
The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo Court of Miracles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
The thing about it is if you’re a fan of Hugo’s book, you can still like it, I think you just have to accept it as a different story, which it is. I’ve commented enough on this version (6 months) but it’s not a bad movie for what it is: a children’s version of Hunchback of Notre Dame, it works, so I agree with Walker, just wished his fact checking had been better. (Though I’m not a big fan of Quasimodo)
Quasimodo reacting to the craziness Topsy Turvy Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame