Who among us hasn’t watched a particular “Hunchback” scene and thought, “This is good, but it would be better with some cats? “- AnaykhOntheDoor

This got me thinking. Yeah, Hellfire is awesome but it could use a few cats.

 

Hellfire made even better with Cats, hunchback of Notre Dame disney

Hellfire made even better with Cats

There! Purrrr-fect

List of the Cats;

Prince John – Robin Hood
Nala & Simba- The Lion King
Oliver – Oliver and Company
Dinah & the Cheshire Cat- Alice in Wonderland
Sgt Tibbs – 101 Dalmatians
Tigger – Winnie the Pooh
Bagheera & Shere Khan – The Jungle Book
Lucifer – Cinderella
Duchess, Tom O’Malley, Marie,Berlioz and Toulouse – The Aristocats
Rufus – The Rescuers
Si & Am – Lady and the Tramp
Figaro- Pinocchio
Rajah- Aladdin

(masking whiskers is hell)

 

Question; Why did Esmeralda choose Phoebus?

This question get asked a lot and it’s directed to the Disney movie. A lot people resent Esmeralda for picking Phoebus after all Quasimodo did for her. They resent her despite the fact that movie tries very, very hard to convince the audience that Esmeralda and Phoebus are the perfect couple.

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

When a film tries to present a future couple to the audience it is always done at the start of the film by showing the couple interacting in someway. This is almost always the case unless it is important to the development of the character to break it off with the person the are supposed to be with. Titanic is a good example of this. In Disney’s Hunchback the only scene that does not have either Frollo or Quasimodo is when Esmeralda and Phoebus meet. Now this may seem trivial but remember that the movie’s theme is “what makes a monster and what makes man” and every scene but this one and most of their time in the church reinforces that theme.

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of notre dame image picture

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Next, Esmeralda and Phoebus have almost identical personalities. They’re both witty, friendly, selfless and very self righteous. Frollo is very self righteous and somewhat witty and Quasimodo is friendly and somewhat selfless, he kind of has to overcome some self pity first.

Quasimodo's figurines from "Heaven's Light" Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo’s figurines from “Heaven’s Light”

Another tactic the movie uses to try to get the audience of the couple’s side is the contrast of how Quasimodo, Frollo and Phoebus view Esmeralda. Frollo views Esmeralda as demon-witch sent from hell to ensnare him in hellish fire whereas Quasimodo views her a s heavenly-angel sent from high above to love him. These point of views are made crystal clear by their songs “Heaven’s Light” and “Hellfire.” Now Phoebus on the other hand doesn’t view her as an angel or demon, he views as a human and treats her as such.

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image hit in the face by Esmeralda

Phoebus being hit by Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

However the most conniving thing the movie does to try to showcase that Esmeralda belongs with Phoebus and not Quasimodo is how she interacts with them. With Quasimodo, she treats with a lot of kindness and compassion. Not to mention she treats him like a child. Esmeralda never expressed any romantic interest in him. The peck on the cheek was to convince him let her stay in his life because she was on the side of the outcasts. She liked him as a friend nothing more. With Phoebus, she was coquettish, witty, snarky, and romantic. All most all Disney couples start off snarky without each other, it’s a troupe.

Esmeralda, Phoebus, and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo accepts Esmeralda and Phoebus as a couple Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The inability to accept Esmeralda and Phoebus as a couple isn’t really do with how much Quasimodo helped Esmeralda because she helped him too it is more to do with acceptations and hopefully optimism. First, it is very rare that a protagonist doesn’t end up with the leading lady. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one the few Disney movies where this happens. And there is the fact that Quasimodo is an underdog and the audience wants him to succeed and get the girl but it was disheartening when he doesn’t even though Quasimodo accepted the relationship and was happy for them.
And if the protagonist is cool with this than the audience should acceptance it as well.

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus share the longest kiss in a Disney movie

Esmeralda twirling, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda twirling, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The second song in the Jetlag version is called “Queen of my Heart.” This song is played over Quasimodo’s fantasy of Esmeralda. I suspect that the reason why the song is not sung by Quasimodo himself is either the song was written independently from the animation or they just didn’t want to bother with lip sync. But how is the song? Is it better than “Pity Not Quasimodo”? Well yeah, it’s better than “Pity Not Quasimodo” but it’s still a sappy and stupid song made worse by the visuals.

Esmeralda swaying, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda swaying, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Let’s start with some positives, because there are a few. First off, despite the visuals which are bad, the quality of animation (in parts) are the best in the film. They have clean lines and there is a decent flow to the movements, however that is also an issue that I will get into in bit.

Esmeralda dancing with Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda dancing with Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The song while it’s sappy, it’s also heartfelt and self-actualized. Unlike the Disney version where Quasimodo doesn’t really have a doubt that Esmeralda could love him, here he does and is afraid that she’ll leave or may not even be real. Also the song stresses her kindness as well as beauty but doesn’t elevate her to an Angel, it keeps her human.

Eye Zoom through Esmeralda's eye to Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Eye Zoom through Esmeralda’s eye to Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Those are the positives and now the negatives. First off when this song begins Quasimodo stares up in the flame of a candle and the camera zooms into it and the fantasy/song starts. Ummmmm, hmmmm what other Hunchback of Notre Dame song has a guy starring into a fire and fantasizes about Esmeralda? Hmmmm let me think………. Oh! I know, Hellfire, Frollo’s villain song from the Disney movie where he calls Esmeralda a witch, blames her for the lust he feels, and plots to kill her while damning her soul. Why are they ripping-off Hellfire with this sappy ballad for Quasimodo’s love of Esmeralda? It’s the total opposite tone of Hellfire. I guess the candles links Quasimodo and Esmerada as an editing transition but it a stupid choice. Having him stare into the moon would have been better and easier to animate since this movie is lazy with animation anyway.

Esmeralda prancing, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda prancing, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Which brings me to my next point, the animation in this song. Now I said that the animation in this song was the best in the movie which is true but too bad the animators knew this because they repeat animation over and over and over again. Despite the sweet tone of the song it gets comical. The repeat animation is clearly just to pad the animation out for 2:42 minutes.

Esmeralda and her tambourine, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda and her tambourine, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The dancing is also really awkward. All she really does is leap and spin around. She does so other moves like hits her tambourine against her breasts. What? I don’t get why she does this? She also at the end of the song she makes bats appear. Now I know they are supposed to be birds, which on its’ own makes no sense but they look like bats.

Esmeralda dancing with Phoebus, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda dancing with Phoebus, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

One more aspect of the visuals really bothers me. The way the song is presented as Quasimodo’s fantasy so why his fantasy about Esmeralda is her dancing with other men? I mean he doesn’t really know Phoebus and he doesn’t know about Gringoire, so how can he fantasize that Esmeralda dances with both of them? What is Quasimodo subconscious trying to tell him? Or are Phoebus and Gringoire a manifestation of Quasimodo’s fear that she will leave him? I’m going to say no, the movie it not that cerebral. I get why they are here from a story context but it makes no sense in the here because the song is Quasimodo’s fantasy.

Esmeralda dancing with Gringoire, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda dancing with Gringoire, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

So the visual are very problematic but how is the song? Pretty Bad. The predominant instrument is a cheesy electric piano. It’s really hard to get pass the utter cheapness of the electric piano here. As with the first song I’m not a fan of the singer’s thin, breathy, raspy voice. There is something about his voice that is sleep inducing and lifeless. And then there are the lyrics. They’re not terrible but there no good or special, they just meh.

Esmeralda spinning, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda spinning, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

The result of the song is that it just stops the story right it it tracks for a lifeless, sappy, confusing song sequence. If it was good you can forgive it but it’s not good it’s boring. That is the most complementary thing I can say about the end result of this sequence is it was boring. I think a better singer, a better arrangement and better visuals that fit the song this sequence could have been good because it song fits Quasimodo character pretty well.

Esmeralda releases bats, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag picture image

Esmeralda releases bats, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

Watch the video of this song here

Next Jetlag Article – The Ending Song “Love is Everything” {gags}

Ending of The Hunchback of Notre Dame,  Jetlag  picture image

Ending of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jetlag

This very is special Halloween Horro-scope custody of the song Hellfire.

It is the gypsy girl, The witch who sent this flame

So beware of  girls dressed in Gypsy costumes or Witch Costume they will either steal you candy or will compel you to give them more candy

 

with translations

Video made by . It uses the 25th anniversary of Phantom
footage and clips from the first run of Love Never Dies . And of course the bestest song from the Disney version Hunchback, Hellfire .

Paw is a reviewer for musicals on That Guy with the Glasses.  The show is called Music Movies. Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been on the Dartboard (his method of selection) for a while and he finally got to it so let’s take a look at his review.

Paw reviewing Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Paw reviewing Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame

Right off bat Paw calls into question what Disney was thinking in making the movie. He then  makes a joke about how much architecture is a theme in the book. I think that he is poking fun at the chapter in Hunchback that goes through long description of Notre Dame but that chapter is nothing compare to the long chapter that just about Paris.

 

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame pitcure image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Review-wise Paw doesn’t really add anything new.  He loves Hellfire, Bells of Notre dame and the overall score. He hates the gargoyles and their song. So no surprises there. He also brings up the issue of tone.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

This  is the third review I have looked that remarks on the changing tone of the film. This  is making me question why I don’t have an issue with it. I mean if we look at the novel the scene where Phoebus gets stab a lot of humor leading up to it but judging this movie on it’s own merits I personally don’t see the big deal. I mean this movie isn’t really that dark and nor is the book. Yes, for a Disney movie, yes it is but Disney movies have anyways had shifting tones. Perhaps I’m desensitized to changing tones as result of years of watching anime and Bollywood movies where tones change often.

Janine Masse played Esmeralda in the Las Vegas cast picture image

Janine Masse as Esmeralda in the Las Vegas cast

My biggest issue with Paw’s review is the lack of fact-checking just to set up a few jokes. The first one he makes wasn’t for a joke set-up. He mentions that there have been two musical versions of Hunchback but only were performed in Europe. I’m guessing he means Notre Dame de Paris and Der Glockner von Notre Dame. However if he did mean those two or at least Notre Dame de Paris than he is wrong  about Notre Dame de Paris has only been performed in Europe. Notre Dame de Paris was performed in Las Vegas and Canada in 1999 a year before the London cast and two years before the Italian version.

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Demo Reel of Someday Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Another fact he didn’t check was claiming that Someday was meant to be an upbeat Pop song from its’ conception. This means that he didn’t look at the demo reel of Heidi Mollenhaur singing. Now I can forgive him not looking at this as it’s not in the film but I mean Disney taking a song from the film and making into a cheesy Pop song for the credits is nothing new but for him to make the assumption that Someday was conceived as a Pop song is an oversight.

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now it seems that he read the book at some point or at least read a summary but there one little quip he makes that bugs me. He said that at the point in the film during the first part of Out There i.e. Frollo’s part, that at the same point in the “book proper” Hugo was still describing Notre Dame. Well first since this scene doesn’t exist in the book that a stupid joke but let’s give this joke more a chance. Since he correlates this part to the “book proper” let’s do that too. Since this scene is before the Feast of Fool that would mean Hugo had to make his description of Notre Dame prior to that in order for Paw’s accretion to be correct. In the “book proper”  the core of the descriptions of Notre Dame occur after Feast of Fools. So this quip about the book’s preoccupation with architecture doesn’t work.

Paw reviewing Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Paw reviewing Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

I do give Paw credit, the review is entertaining and well-thought albeit his fact checking is not the greatest. I also give him props for counting how many times the Hellfire motif was used in the film. The correct answer is 14 times.

 

Click here to watch Paw’s review.

 

I don’t really enjoy the singing or the performance that much, Tony Jay is just infinitely cooler as Frollo (see I did a thing there). However I enjoy the lyric (here is another video with the French lyrics and translation) Then I had a thought, how cool would it be if Daniel Lavoie (Frollo in Notre Dame de Paris) sang a cover of Hellfire in either English or French? That would be sooo awesome ^^ Anyway enjoy “Infernal”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJCkYF7qQKY

As fan of Hellfire and the Phantom of the Opera this video fills me with joy. I also think that the Phantom is more like Frollo than Quasimodo but that is an article for another day.

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

I’d say that the songs  in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame are good. Sure there are some weak songs but they’re thoughtful and the either drive the plot forward or develop a character. However the music is not without problems.

 

Ann Christin Elverum as Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Ann Christin Elverum as Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

First off, I HATE, hate that Esmeralda doesn’t get a solo in this. With exception of the Archdeacon, Clopin and the gargoyles she the only character not get one. Now you maybe thinking “But Hunchblog  the majority of the characters in this didn’t have their own songs. ” Well that  is true but let’s face, each of the gargoyles couldn’t get their own song they’re a trio and as a trio they almost get a single song, Clopin may not a single song but he sings a lot as the narrator and the archdeacon is hardly  even a character so he doesn’t count. Beside the plot pretty much revolves around her you’d think she’d get one but her only big songs has Quasimodo in it. I mean in Notre Dame de Paris every character got one even Fleur de Lys (Phoebus’ Fiancee) got one (La monture) and she is seldom even in the adaptations. So that was a BIG negative.

 

Esmeralda and Antoine Der Glöckner von Notre Dame pictureimage

Esmeralda and Antoine Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

I also got bit tired of the gargoyles singing over people. I do think it was a great way to show that gargoyles are 100% in Quasimodo’s head but it’s gets a bit old after a while. I think the show kept putting the gargoyles in songs so that A Guy Like you wouldn’t feel out of place.  Another thing that gets old is hearing Draußen (Out There) over and over again. Anytime the play wants to reenforce Quasimodo to the audience Draußen is played. Admittedly this maybe unfair because Die Glocken Notre Dames is the most overused as in the play this how Clopin does most of his narrating but since I’ve been judging off the CD it’s Draußen that got old.

 

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame image picture

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

So yeah the songs are good for the most part but what I think really helps a lot of these songs is that singing quality is better. Though I’ve picked on Draußen in this review,   I much prefer it in this musical than in the Disney movie along with Ein Mann wie du (A Man like you). The singers are just much better  and that helps the enjoyment of the songs. Conversely, Hellfire suffers for this and it’s not because the is bad, I mean he put emotionally intensity into the next song Esmeralda, but maybe Hellfire is Tony Jay’s  and no one else compares. Esmeralda and Clopin are one the level though the cresendo at the end of Bell isn’t as powerful as Kendal but he does a great job otherwise.

 

Esmeralda and Clopin during Drunter Drüber" (Topsy Turvy) Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Clopin during Drunter Drüber” (Topsy Turvy) Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

The musical does make the recycled Disney movie songs feel like it’s own which is nice, you don’t feel like their just simply lifted from the movie and put in to a musical. And while I do prefer Notre Dame de Paris Der Glöckner von Notre Dame has wonderful music. Just wish Esmeralda got one song to herself.

 

Next Time – The Production; Sets

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame