Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Topsy Turvy Part 1–  Topsy Turvy  is broken up  into two parts to allow two songs to happen as a mean to introduce Phoebus and Esmeralda. Though technically Phoebus makes his first appearance in this song where we learn that last name of his. More on that soon.

The first 30 second is pretty much identical to the movie. However then Quasimodo sings a bit along with some new lyrics sung by the Chorus. His part has a slight reprise to Out There to it. Also the whole of Quasimodo part  feels very musical-y  and also rhyming Now with Now? You guys could have done better.

The Clopin’s a part start and it’s again it’s identical to the movie, though I do admit I prefer Paul Kandel’s sining. The song again shifts to Phoebus appearing in the crowd after The sixth of January line or “Januervy.” And he pretty much announces himself to everyone, Frollo and Jehan did the same thing In Bells so I guess it just a thing the musical does though I don’t really care for people narrating themselves, though the chorus joins in to tells us that “he has a haunted look in his eyes.”  Anyway this part leads in to the next song…

Rest and Recreation – This song was in the German version and now it’s back. It uses Phoebus’ march from the movie.  Much like in the movie Phoebus is back from the Front.   But you know I have to ask what war? What Front? Phoebus says that he has been gone four years and seems a bit shaken up from it as they  mention cannon fodder.  I’m no expert on European Wars but France wasn’t in wars in 1482. The wars that France was in that were the closest to 1482 were The War of Castilian Succession  of 1475 to 1479 and The Burgundian War of 1474 to 1477. It could be a simple matter that the musical doesn’t take place in 1482 except they say it did. Song mentions a siege and bodies in a trench which are probably more like hot words than actually referring to a war or battle. I can deal with unnamed War in the Disney movie but here it’s a harder pill to swallow since the musical is truing to be more like the book. I mean did the say which war it was in musical?  But this backstory takes me out of the song.

So back to the song. Phoebus also mentions that he’s on furlough but then he gets his new promotion as Captain of the Cathedral Guard. I’m going to real with you guys, that is the stupidest thing. I get what they are doing. Phoebus has to be Frollo’s minion for his character arc and Frollo is now a Priest so the tidiest way to handle this is to make Phoebus the Captain of the Cathedral Guard. BUT Cathedrals didn’t have private guards. This even goes against the book where the Sanity of the Church was respected, even Disney movie Frollo respected it.

Anyway  the I haven’t really discussed the song yet. Much like in German version Rest and Recreation tries to amalgamate book Phoebus with movie Phoebus. Book Phoebus was womanizer and movie Phoebus is nobel and gallant. Since Phoebus is described as having “a dashing manner and bold swagger” we know he got those personality down but the song gives us a reason why Phoebus wants the ladies, because he been away at the unnamed Fantasy war. Despite the war and Notre Dame guard the song is successful at give the blending of Phoebus’s characterization and setting up his character in this version.

Rhythm of the Tambourine – This song is Esmeralda’s introduction song which is also her dance number during the festival. It is also the first new song of this musical version. Judging from the lines Phoebus, Frollo and Quasimodo sing about “who is she” I’m going to guess Esmeralda and Quasimodo didn’t have their little moment where Quasimodo crashes into dressing room, but I could wrong, I’m probably wrong.

Rhythm of the Tambourine is very staccato which I would guess is for said tambourine but it does nothing for me. Also is just me or is this song reminiscent  of Carol of the Bells? Wonder if that was one purpose?   I do like her attitude on dance that it just for fun as she ask “What can it hurt?” Such delightful irony. We also get a Belle moment as like I said Phoebus, Frollo and Quasimodo sing about her. Frollo likens her to a devil, classic him. Phoebus and Quasimodo liken her to an angel but Phoebus goes on to say that she dances with Fire.

It’s decent song and clearly gets across Esmeralda’s love for dance which she REALLY didn’t have in the Disney movie as well as the guys views on her.

 

Frollo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo

I don’t know what to call this song, it’s basically Frollo stating who he is, what he wants and how godlike he is.  He wants simply everything, who can’t relate to that?

I really enjoy this song. It’s so hammy and over-the-top that is just an utter delight.  I think the voice actor/singer is REALLY having fun with this song. Frollo is just power hungry ego-manic and that makes for a good villain with a silly song.

This is song is far too short.

Props to the singer for saying Forte correctly, A+. Also I want to point out that all the singers sing very well  which is unlike the Jetlag version, that guy’s raspy voice still annoys me.

Esmeralda and friends The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and friends

Instead of having a Clopin character or even a desginated Court of Miracles, The Secret of the Hunchback with have three thieves/entertainers that Esmeralda hangs out with and whom she doesn’t seem to care. First we have the leader, who doesn’t have a name, a dumb fat one who is named Andre and the other one. Basically they steal and get into Lord Frollo’s gang. Frollo has them do his dirty work like kidnap Quasimodo and then has them pose as the Archdeacon.

As Far as personalities go, they are goofy and not to nice. They like stealing and work under Frollo do to him threatening them and Esmeralda. But they don’t have any sense of a moral compass, so they don’t mind doing Frollo’s work.

They do add a little bit to Esmeralda’s character, as she doesn’t like all the stealing but we don’t know how or why Esmeralda fell in with them, so it doesn’t REALLY all that much. Really these character are more for silly bad comic relief like Frollo’s other minion, who is really a Le Fou Rip-off.

Next Time – The Priests

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo

 

Frollo gave Quasimodo an ugly Christmas Sweater christmas 2015 picture image

Frollo gave Quasimodo an ugly Christmas Sweater

Frollo singing, The Secret of the Hunchback, picture image

Frollo singing, The Secret of the Hunchback

Most people say that this “Frollo” like Enchanted Tales in that he looks and acts more like Disney’s Gaston but I would disagree. I think he’s like if Gaston and Jafar a la Disney had a love child and dumped him in a stupid Knock-off discount version of Paris. I mean his face is Jafar, he has his nose, and the body and clothes are all Gaston. He even has a little stupid minion. This doesn’t make him a convincing Frollo adaptation.

Frollo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo

So let’s be clear with what we are dealing with here, in this “version” of Hunchback we have a knock-off version of a Gaston/Jafar hybrid named Frollo and not a knock-off version of Hunchback’s Frollo.

Frollo threatening the Archdeacon The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo threatening the Archdeacon

In this “version” Frollo is like a sheriff of Paris or something, which is funny because that is what the Enchanted Tales versions of Frollo was, so it’s like Knock-off inception here. Basically all this Frollo wants, his entire motivation is that he wants Notre Dame’s money. Or rather he wants to exhort money from the Church, which is in the book as The Court of Miracles wants to rob the church when they rescue Esmeralda but I don’t think the makers of this movie made that connection, I’m not even sure they have seen a copy of the book, let alone read it.

 Frollo and Esmeralda The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo and Esmeralda

Frollo also wants power even though he has it. He also likes Esmeralda and almost marries her for I don’t really know why he wants to do this. That means this Frollo is the CLOSEST Frollo ever got to book Frollo’s goal, but his love or lust or like-like or whatever it is that prompts this Frollo to want to marry Esmeralda doesn’t have any level of torment or anything that made book Frollo compelling, so there is literally nothing going on.  I have seen pieces of bread that are better versions of Frollo than this “version”

 Frollo and his little minion The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo and his little minion

Does this make him bad in the movie? No sadly, he probably the most entertaining character mainly because he just reveals in his insidiousness and that  makes him likable and relatable. Of Course him being the most entertaining of the characters speaks more to bore-feast of the rest of the characters than his level of being silly.

 

Next Time Pierre

Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image picture image

Pierre

Let us start off the character potion of the review with Quasimodo or the Hunchback in question.

Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo

First off this Quasimodo, like other Quasimodos, he talks to his pals the stone gargoyles.  However these Garagoyles don’t take back they sing back and cry. This begs the question Are they real or imaginary. The dream song part leads me to believe yes they are imaginary but the tears say no they are real. Or is Quasimodo is imaging they are crying for him but that seems a little too out there for this kind of movie.

Quasimodo and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Pierre

Also this Quasimodo follows the other versions of being solely nice. He has one cheeky remark on Gringoire’s poetry being so bad that it could hurt someone but that is it. Which is more snarky than any other versions but it wasn’t that mean, just for a laugh at Gringoire’s expense.  Still without that one minor throw away joke he would have been 100% bland nicety-nice. The line give a .3% edgy factor. Good job!

Quasimodo and Frollo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Frollo

Basic plot of Hunchback plot says that meany-face Frollo raises Quasimodo when Quasimodo is a young baby. This version forgoes this and he is raised by unnamed Archdeacon and a monk dude.

Other versions where Frollo is separte from his role as the Archdeacon still gives him a  relationship to Frollo for drama . Even the Enchanted Tales version gave Quasimodo and Frollo or whatever his named was in that crappy version, a connection of being brother. Oh Good God! I’m looking at the Enchanted Tales version as a positive, help me. So there is no real internal conflict for Quasimodo aside from being ugly aside from that is pretty chill and laid back.

Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo

Would I say this Quasimodo is boring? Yes, I would. Aside from that joke about Gringoire’s poetry and the being an angel, he was a weak Quasimodo. No pathos, no drama just a nice angel.  Also his deformity is paint by numbers. It’s all accounted for but not interesting really all I can say is that it looks like he has some major dark circles.  At least he REALLY likes the bells.

The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo in Angel form

Ok one more thing, in this version Quasimodo is an angel, so does that he born an angel and abandoned because of the ugliness? OR was always an angel and his being abandon part of a plan? Or was he never an angel and insane? I don’t know any option makes sense.

Next Time Esmeralda

Esmeralda The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda

 

To get ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Christmas the Hunchback characters are doing a secret santa.

Quasimodo picked Frollo and got him Opteka 650-2600mm High Definition Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras for Stalking Esmeralda better.

Esmeralda picked Clopin and got him Southpole Men’s Marled Full-Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt, so her can be fashionable and warm but it’s a shallow girt.

Frollo picked Fleur-de-Lys and got her a Selfie Stick, He doesn’t know her at all.

Ben Sherman Novelty Socks picture image

Ben Sherman Novelty Socks

Phoebus picked Quasimodo and got him Ben Sherman Novelty Socks, socks, not thoughtful at all.

Gringoire picked Master Florain and got him Plant Theatre Herb Garden Seed Kit , Gringoire thought he was being clever but I can’t see the deaf judge caring for it.

Clopin picked Sister Gudule and got her Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries Movie #15: Forbidden Zone, Clopin is being wicked with this one.

 

Outdoor Gargoyle statue picture image

Outdoor Gargoyle statue

Fleur-de-Lys picked Notre Dame de paris and got her Design Toscano Florentine Gargoyle Statue, Notre Dame could use a new cute statue.

Jean picked Djali and got her Caution Attack Goat Sign, gag gift

Sister Gudule picked Phoebus and got him 1 X Snowman Mug w/ Shovel Spoon – Christmas Decor, she know he liked a good drink but it’s super misguided

Djali picked Esmeralda and got her Quiddler, Djali likes words.

Notre Dame de Paris picked Gringoire and got him Une Nuit De Noel a Notre Dame De Paris CD, who wouldn’t ant a new Christmas CD

Master Florain picked Jean and got him Corkcicle Chillsner Beer Chiller, It’s useful but Jean won’t use it.

Frollo and his goon The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo and his goon

If I might generalize for a moment, most Disney Knock-off movies try to capture and fail to make their work as Disneyesque as they can. They do this the first the story, songs, and characters designs. But they lack the charm that Disney has in terms of likabilty and even humor.

Rotten Vegetable vendor The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Rotten Vegetable vendor

While Disney’s humor is very hit or miss The Secret of the Hunchback is very different and it isn’t really trying to be like Disney in the way the approach their silliness.

Bell guy getting bumped on the head The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Bell guy getting bumped on the head

The jokes and visual gags of The Secret of the Hunchback is one of the first thing that you notice about this version, even before the main characters are introduced you get the style of humor.

Andre in drag with some guy drooling over him The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Andre in drag with some guy drooling over him

The humor is more akin to that of Animanicas or saturday morning cartoon. It’s very tough and cheek. From the rotten vegetable vendor, from Quasimodo telling Pierre that someone could get hurt from his poems, to one the thieves dressing in drag and having an extra sexually attractive to him, to Frollo comparing Quasimodo to his first wife,  and lastly Pierre saying that he is a Protestant, which technically shouldn’t have been a joke but they treat it as one. There is more example and more slapstick, plus jazzy gargoyles.

Esmeralda and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and Pierre

This humor isn’t the Disney style. It’s  watered Looney tunes humor which makes this version weirdly interesting on that front. Without it would suck so much more but it does add to The Secret of the Hunchback’s over all dumbness.  It defiantly makes it stand out though from just another stupid insipid Disney knock-off.

Next Time Quasimodo

Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo

Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo

Unlike other versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame this one offers a reason for Quasimodo’s hunch and ties it into the moral. In this version Quasimodo is an actual angel and one not metaphorically. His hunch hides is angel wings. The moral of this version like all the kiddies version of this story is be nice to people even ugly ones. But in this one case they take a whole new step further because you should be nice to people because they could be angels and you do not want to get on an angel’s bad side.

The Archdeacon noticing something odd about Quasimodo's hunch The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

The Archdeacon noticing something odd about Quasimodo’s hunch

In the scope of Hunchback kids moral this is is REALLY stupid. It’s not as horrible as The Enchanted Tales version where it was looks don’t matter as long as someone thinks you’re pretty.  This one is just so strong handed that it makes you want to face palm yourself receptively.

Esmeralda and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and Pierre

But how does the rest of the movie hold up. Again it’s REALLY dumb and overly simplified. He do get some of the major basic that the story demands. First off Quasimodo lives in the safety of Notre Dame and loves the bells. Esmeralda dances which she seems to like just not the thievery of her companions. The Gringoire equivalent just simply called Pierre is bad at poetry, likes Esmeralda and is nice. Esmeralda gives Quasimodo water after he gets into some trouble that was not his fault.  Esmeralda gets into some trouble and Frollo is obessed with her. Quasimodo swings down from Notre Dame to save her albeit it’s inside Notre Dame and she is about to marry Frollo by force and not about to die… meh same difference.

Frollo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo

That is more less the basics that were left somewhat intact. Frollo is completely different though. Aside from having a little thing for Esmeralda he is now a Sheriff much like he is in Enchanted tales but here is just wants money more specially Notre Dame’s money and he use Quasimodo as leverage against the Archdeacon. So there is another split of Novel Frollo’s character as the obsessive pervert and the pious protector of Quasimodo, it been done so many times that who the fuck cares, just like everyone surviving the ending sans Frollo who here gets crushed by a Gargoyles, though he could have lived, it’s not really important.

Quasimodo is just being Quasi The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo is just being Quasi

By all counts this version is dumb. It’s not as insulting as Enchated tales as it does feel like a Hunchback versions and not a really misguided Beauty and the Beast with sprinkling of Hunchback thrown in knock-off Disney movie but it’s quite dumb for lack of anything else that is remotely deep or interesting.

Also does any one else think it’s weird that Frollo’s voice actor is the narrator?

Next Time The Humor

Rotten Vegetable vendor The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Rotten Vegetable vendor

Sigh…… I’m going to try to keep this short for my ever diminishing sanity. Also I may butcher some of the names because A: There is no cast list I can find and B; I don’t care.  Hooray for lack of effort.

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

The Archdeacon and Brother Labas with Baby Quasimodo

The movie opens with some narration about how Notre Dame in Paris is a safe haven for those who need it, in this case the people who are different. A pox on the ugly!  They we see someone leaving off a baby at Notre Dame. The baby is taken in by the archdeacon and one Brother Lebas. They raise the baby and make him the bell ringer because the baby made it clear he liked bells. They name him Quasimodo.

Frollo threatening the Archdeacon The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo threatening the Archdeacon

Flash forward year and Lord Frollo, the sheriff of Paris is trying to extort gold from Notre Dame for protection. The Archdeacon and Brother Lebas refuse and Frollo threatens them and Quasimodo.

Quasimodo and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Pierre

That day there is a Day of Fools and Quasimodo gets a mask and goes. There he meets a shitty poet named Pierre and Esmeralda. Esmeralda is a beautiful dancer who in leauge with Gyspies that steals why she entertains. She dancing with both Pierre and Quasimodo. Quasimodo face gets exposed during the dance and panic ensues. The Gypsies and Esmeralda are arrested for starting a riot. Pierre and Quasimodo the bond over how people aren’t what they appear to be and Esmeralda’s beauty.

Esmeralda The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda

The Gypsies and Esmeralda are brought to Frollo. Frollo takes a liking to Esmeralda. Frollo’s little minion has the idea to use the Gypsies to kidnap Quasimodo and he keeps Esmeralda to ensure their corporation.  The Gypsies decide to have the fat guy dress up as Esmeralda to lure Quasimodo to watch her dance.

The Archdeacon noticing something odd about Quasimodo's hunch The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

The Archdeacon noticing something odd about Quasimodo’s hunch

Quaismodo is then sentenced to being whipped. Esmeralda gives him some water which angers Frollo. Pierre helps Esmeralda escape. The archdeacon then notice something about Quasimodo’s injury.

Frollo and Esmeralda's wedding The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Frollo and Esmeralda’s wedding

That night  Esmeralda and Pierre pledge their love but return to Notre Dame to help Quasimodo once their they are caught by Frollo. Esmeralda is forced into marrying Frollo but Quasimod saves her. Frollo and Quasimodo fight and Quasimodo is thrown over the egde but holds on. Frollo is then crushed by a gargoyle statue. Quasimodo falls once he knows the Archdeacon, who had been arrest by Frollo is safe. Before Quasimodo hits the ground he unleashes his wings and falls off.

Plot review Next Time

The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo in Angel form