I won’t pretend that I keep up with Kingdom Hearts but Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue recently came out and here some cut scenes from the Hunchback world. I’m not sure what 2.8 means, why is it not three? I’m sure there is a reason some weird Kingdom Hearts logic, I mean how can final chapter have a prologue, it’s nonsense, NONSENSE! Whatever Kingdom Hearts logic. Actually Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a remastered version of Kingdom Hearts; Dream Drop Distance with some new content. This would explain why IMBD listed some of the voices with “voice achieve.”

The voice actors for the Hunchback character are
Ari Ruben as Quasimodo
Corey Burton as Frollo
Renee Faia as Esmeralda
Phil LaMarr as Phoebus
Jason Alexander as Hugo
Charles Kimbrough as Victor
Patricia Lentz as Laverne
and there is no Clopin, Shame game Shame!

I would say that the voices are weird. They did try to get voices with a similar tone and pattern as the originals, so if feels a little off. It’s good voice acting off wise.

You know what is funny? Hayley Joel Osmond voices Sora but he also played Zephyr in the Hunchback sequel. Ergo Sora is Esmeralda’s son! Ok, no not really but that thought pattern was fun for like two seconds.

1997 Cinderella picture image

1997 Cinderella

When the 1997 version of Cinderella came out, it was like the shit at my school, granted I hated that school and pretty much everyone who went there with every single fiber of my being but I recalled liking it this big Budget Disney made for TV movie that was also a remake, geeze long sentence. This version is originally by Rogers and Hammerstein and was made for television as a star vehicle for Julie Andrews back in 1957 which was a live television special. It was also remade again in 1965 staring Lesley-Ann Warren.

This version was produced by the Late and Great Whitney Houston. Originally she was going to play Cinderella but deemed herself to old for the role and gave the role to Brandy. Brandy then insisted that Houston play the Fairy Godmother.

Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as The Fairy Godmother 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as The Fairy Godmother

So how does this version differ from every other version of Cinderella? Well Cinderella and the Prince, in disguise, meet and form an attraction prior to the ball. The Prince also has a name; Christopher Rupert Windermere Vladimir Carl Alexander Francois Reginald Lancelot Herman Gregory James, to be exact, geeze long name. Cinderella tells him that she would rather be treated with respect than being treated like a princess. They also bond over feeling trapped in their lives. It’s both refreshing and expected that they would bond over something like that. Let’s see what else? The stepmother isn’t a fan of love or dwelling in the past. Also they don’t seem so bad off. Cinderella also gives a decent reason for why she stays as she promised her father that the family would stay together. What else? The Godmother talks to Cinderella more, mainly about dreaming and impossibility and both encourages it and discourage it too, it’s a catchy song. Other than it’s pretty by the book version of Cinderella, though I do think this version of the Prince with his “impressive arrays of first names” (comment if you know that movie quote, you get two points), wouldn’t have just gone with the slipper fitting as evidence.

Brandy as Cinderella, Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher, Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina and Victor Garber as King Maximillian 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella, Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher, Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina and Victor Garber as King Maximillian

On the whole this version is okay, it’s not amazing but it not like bad. The cast can all sing well but then again there is the cast. This version has an odd distinction of having some interesting casting for instants a white king (Victor Garber) and a black queen (Whoopi Goldberg) have an Filipino son (Paolo Montalban) and you know that is great, why the fuck not? Most casting sucks anyway, I mean Megan Fox as April O’Neil, though I did see that movie recently, really she was just playing Megan Fox and that movie was just all kinds of dumb, but I digress .

Now people try to rational this casting because people are weird. Here are some of the reasons I have found online those I’m sure there are more,

#1, Adoption, that is the easy one
#2, Genetics, which is a weird one
#3, Fantasy world, which is a cop-out

Frankly, it’s hard area to wrap your head around. Ideally it should be the right person for the role. But naturally sometimes looks and families have to enter the equation for role though sadly sometimes that get tossed aside for many reasons and sometimes roles that should go to minorities (Looking at you Last Airbender as one of many, many movies ) don’t cast the right person for the role. Personally I respect this version for its casting and the cast did a good job with their roles.

Brandy as Cinderella with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva

However, I do think Brandy was a little weak. She was fine on the singing end of things but her speaking parts where a little lackluster but it wasn’t like that bad. I get the feeling she was trying to be nice, maybe she didn’t have much the work with? Everyone else is fine, Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jason Alexander are also a delight.

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva 1997 Cinderella picture image

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Natalie Desselle Reid and  Veanne Cox  as Stepsisters Minerva and Calliope

 

The technical are fine too. They costumes and sets are imaginative to say the least. It’s like they took the style of the early 90s and tried to make it Art Nouveau. The walls of Cinderella’s house and the castle the this odd geometric pattern that have this golden tone to them that reminds me of Klimt’s the Kiss. I kind of both like it and feel like it’s cheesy. The costumes fit this style, with lots of gold element in them with interesting shapes. Though I will point out the color of the ball is purple and blue tones which makes some lovely shots.

Brandy as Cinderella and Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella and Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher

I’m not sure if I should mention the songs. There were some add in but they are nice songs and they were sung well, then Whitney Houston and Bernadette Peters in the same musical, yay.

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva 1997 Cinderella picture image

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva

Is 1997 version of Cinderella the best Cinderella version? That is a matter of preference, if it your favorite, good for you. I thought it was okay at best but it didn’t make me want to tear my eyes out or lobotomized myself and that is good enough for me.

Victor, Hugo and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Victor, Hugo and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

 

After the intensity of Hellfire, the movie gets a little dark. Frollo goes on a tear extorting Gypsies, arresting people, attempting to kill people including Phoebus and burning a good portion of Paris. After these scenes the movie needs some levity, after all this is a children movie. The levity we’re given is A Guy Like You. I hate this song, there I said it, I hate a Guy like you.

 

Hugo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles and Quasimodo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles and Quasimodo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a Guy like you the gargoyles once again build Quasimodo expectations of  Esmeralda being love with him. They tell Quasimodo that since he’s special, she has to be in love with him.  What examples does the song give that  Quasimodo is special? Well he has “something more”, vague statement song. But the song is mainly focused on his looks. Sure there being positive about it but that’s all they can say about Quasimodo is that he looks special. It’s interesting, the movie’s moral is about looking beyond superficiality but this song really only talks about his looks not how amazing or kind or even talented he is.

 

Victor, Laverne and Quasimodo playing poker A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Victor, Laverne and Quasimodo playing poker A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles and Quasimodo at the barber shop A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles and Quasimodo at the barber shop A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles Victor, Hugo and Laverne, make an Amadeus reference Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles make an Amadeus reference Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The song has some good musicality, it’s sung well (though Jason Alexander can’t seem to pronounce Dieu), and it has some clever lyrics but it’s annoying. It tries to have that certain Disney magic but it just doesn’t. I’m little hard-press to categorize it to the Disney song scheme. I would say it’s a sidekick song but those numbers are usually fun and most of the time a show stopper.  A Guy like you stops the movie but not in a good way. After so much drama this just weak levity.

Laverne Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame image picture

Laverne Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo, Victor Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo, Victor Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

A Croissant A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

A Croissant A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is all the anachronism. I dislike the use of anachronism in this movie on the part of the gargoyles. It made sense with the Genie in Aladdin, he’s a supernatural magical entity with cosmic power. With the gargoyles they’re part of the architecture, how can know what poker is, hairspray, Mozart and grand pianos and the like. Here is a list of all the anachronism just from a A Guy like you ( if you know of more let me know, the links are pictures from the song)

Victor and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Victor and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

Victor singing A Guy Like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Victor singing A Guy Like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern playing cards, there were cards but not the playing card and the card here look too modern

– Paris as the city of Love (not in 15th century),

– Accordion music is used, it’s basic form for wasn’t created till 1822

– Cigar, Hugo smokes a sausage like cigar and Laverne is smoking  cigar at the poker table, your a decade too early for that. Victor and also wear visors.

Poker wasn’t invented till 1937

Barber shop is too modern

Hair spray, 1940s

Mozart 1756-1791, I get that it’s a reference to Tom Hulce as Mozart in Amadeus.

Croissant, 19th century

Grand Piano, well the Piano concept was it until the 17th century

Laverne wears a Feather Boa, Feather Boa were documented in 1820 but they could have been wore in the 17th century but in the 1480s nope

Victor wears a bow tie, Bow ties  flourished 18th century not in the 15th

Gargoyles A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles and Quasimodo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles and Quasimodo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously Disney thinks they can get alway with anachronisms when a character is magical but they can’t. The fact that you’re seeing less and less of this referential and  anachronism humor in their movies means I guess Disney learned it’s lesson but this type of humor wasn’t that funny to begin with. I’m sure the song was meant to be hilarious and/or witty but it’s neither. It’s the most light-heart song but it’s the weakest in the movie.

 

Next Time – Court of Miracles

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

Clopin, Phoebus,and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Ah, the voice acting in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Some of it’s great, some it is just ok and some of the casting is off, which seems to weaken the believability of the characters. This is more or less in the order of rank, as I see it or hear it.. yeah.. I know lame joke.

 

Tony Jay picture image

Tony Jay

The highlight of the voices in the movie is Tony Jay’s rendition of Judge Claude Frollo. Jay’s cold sounding baritone mixed with his british accent makes for the perfect bad guy voice. He gives Frollo’s voice an air calm control that at any second could explode into fevered anger. Also his voice is seductive, you can believe this guy is a charmer and yet he speaks with command and authority. Jay’s voice helps make Frollo a more interesting character.

Jay had been a veteran Disney voice actor and voice actor in general. He’s been in a number of Disney related films and television shows as well many other non disney films, television and recordings of broadway shows.  On his IMDB page he has 150 credits but I think he most known for Frollo mainly because Frollo is a horrible person and his voice accentuates brilliantly.

Tony Jay  was  nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting.

 

Paul Kandel picture image

Paul Kandel

Paul Kandel voiced Clopin and is a Broadway performer. He’s probably the best singer in the film (the crescendo at the end of Bells of Notre Dame gets me every single time) and that’s probably why he ended up with the most songs in the movie. In fact Clopin sings more than he actually speaks. Kandel gives Clopin a sense of fun and whimsy but he also gives him a flair for the dramatics which is a boon for the introductory scene since it’s not funny.

 

 

David Ogden Stiers picture image

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers voiced the Archdeacon. Stiers like Jay is a veteran voice actor and has been in many major Disney movies. He’s also primarily a  television actor. Stiers runs the gambit of tones  with the Archdeacon’s voice; tenderness, command, authority, concern and a little amusement (the Archdeacon sounded a little amused when he thinking about Esmeralda’s merry chase). Just because the Archdeacon is by all account a glorified extra Stiers’ voice helps makes the character more interesting.

 

 

Kevin Kline picture image

Kevin Kline

Kevin Kline voiced Phoebus. Kline does well as Phoebus but I think he falls short of Jay and Kandel because I mean really, Phoebus isn’t a hard role to play. Phoebus has a dry wit but so Kline, I mean Kline is practically playing himself.  I give Kline credit, he made Phoebus funnier than probably was originally intended which makes him more interesting as character. Because without the humor would Phoebus have been memorable? My guess is no.  Kline is also partly responsible for Achilles’ name. He insistent that horse have a name, so they gave the Phoebus’ horse a name at Kline’s insistent.

 

Fun Fact about Kline’s process – to get into the character of playing a knight, Kline held a sword in hand during recording sessions. He even ruined some recordings because he would hit the microphone (accidently, I’m sure.)

 

 

Jason Alexander picture image

Jason Alexander

Jason Alexander voiced Hugo. As much as I dislike the gargoyles, I think the voice acting is fine. Jason Alexander is best known as George Costanza on Seinfeld. George is uptight and neurotic, the total opposite of Hugo. Hugo is fun-loving and laid back. I think Alexander does very well in the role. But again, is a fun-loving partier a demanding role?  No, not really.

 

 

Charles Kimbrough picture image

Charles Kimbrough

Charles Kimbrough voiced Victor.  Kimbrough  has been in many types of media; film, TV and voice acting. Kimbrough does well enough as the prim, more serious-minded Victor, but it’s hard to lay out Victor’s personality compare to Hugo and Laverne. So it’s hard to identify how well Kimbrough did as Victor.

 

 

 

Mary Wickes picture image

Mary Wickes

Mary Wickes voiced Laverne. Later in Wickes’ career she played cranky old ladies. Two of the movies I remember her in were Little Women (Aunt March) and Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus), both characters are tell-it-like-it-is, cranky old ladies much like Laverne. So while she does well in the role she definitely playing her type of role.

 

 

 

Jane Withers picture image

Jane Withers

I want to mention Jane Withers briefly. Mary Wickes died as the film was being recorded and so Jane Withers stepped in to finish the recording and took over the role of Laverne. There are some lines where Wickes started and Withers finished, which is testament to Withers; acting to able to sound almost identical to Wickes.

 

 

 

Tom Hulce picture image

Tom Hulce

Tom Hulce voiced of Quasimodo. Tom Hulce is most known for his role in Amadeus Mozart. I do not find any fault with Hulce’s acting, I think he does a good job giving Quasimodo tenderness, gentleness and a bit of pitiable emo-ness. I also think Hulce does well exhibiting both Quasimodo’s natural disposition and in contrast to his attitude when he’s with Frollo.  So Why is Hulce’s performance second to the last on this Blog post? Well that is because I wonder what the directors were smoking in making  Quasimodo a school boy that’s gentle and sweet. Quasimodo is suppose to be gentle but only to Esmeralda. He’s not suppose have a school boy. I can understand why Disney did this and I understand why Hulce’s voice is good for this type of role but just because I can understand it doesn’t mean I have to condone it. Honestly they made Quasimodo into a Disney Princess. Hulce has a clear voice which is a commonality to the Disney Princess trope. Think about, Quasimodo is a Disney princess, he just a male and not very pretty.

 

Demi Moore image picture

Demi Moore

Demi Moore voiced of Esmeralda.  Like Quasimodo, I think casting was way off. I get that they wanted something different. The directors liked Moore’s husky and rough tone of voice and they liked that she also had a tenderness to it, but Moore ages the character. It’s weird looking at the concept art, how youthful Esmeralda started and how mature she looks/acts in the movie. I understand that the decision to cast Moore was intentional and as part the process of animation is that Esmeralda took on Moore’s looks and mannerism but I don’t think the pay off was good in the long run. I think Esmeralda is too much like Moore and effectively Moore was playing herself  (or at the most her type-cast role) so she didn’t exactly have to exert her acting prowess. Also I think Moore got the role due to sex appeal and popularity. And point Deductions for being the only one of the cast not able to sing her character’s song, though if can’t sing than she can’t sing, but they could have just had Heidi Mollenhauer do the role in it enitety, she is an singer/actress after all. They fact they they didn’t just mean that Moore was cast for her popularity and appeal.

 

Shout Outs/Kudos to:

Gary Trousdale picture image

Gary Trousdale

 

 

-Shout out/Kudos to Gary Trousdale voice of Djali (that not a bleat) and the Old Heretic.

 

 

Corey Burton picture

Corey Burton

Bill Fagerbakke picture image

Bill Fagerbakke

 

 

 

 

 

-Shout out/Kudos to Corey Burton and Bill Fagerbakke, Brutish and Oafish Guards these two made those characters hilarious.

 

 

Agree or Disagree, I’d love to know your opinions

 

Next Time- Going to Start Looking  Music/Songs,  starting off with beginning “The Bells of Notre Dame”

Frollo's nose is long and he wears a truss/dress Disney Hunhcback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo's nose is long and he wears a truss/dress Disney Hunhcback of Notre Dame

 

Hugo, Victor and Laverne are the agents of forced levity in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. They all have distinct personally and looks.

 

Hugo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo is the short and fat one. He has a pig nose, thin horns that point straight up, bat-like wings, hooves for hand, rounded teeth and animal-like ears. He also for some reason is the only one of the three gargoyles to have a belly button. Hugo is the most animal looking among the three. This is he is the crudest and I think Disney thinks that he’s the funniest, in the infantile sense so he has too look somewhat amusing or people are going to believe he’s the “funny” one.

 

 

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo in drag Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo plays poker Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo plays poker Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo draws Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo draws Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victor Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Victor Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor is the tallest  and largest of the three. He also the most muscular of the three. He’s the only one not to have horns, instead he has elf-like ears, large angel wings, an underbite, two fanged teeth and his hands are more like claws , almost human but a tad more beastly than human. His nose is stylized but almost human. His more human-like form is  indicative of his prissy-like, prime, introverted personality.

 

 

Victor singing A Guy Like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Victor singing A Guy Like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Victor Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Victor Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victor and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Victor and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

Laverne is the female of the group. She has the most human-like hands. Her face looks old and she has no teeth. She has cherub wings, fatter and short horns than Hugo and there’re wider. She also have like a crown like detail that frames her horns. Her ears and nose like the most human too except her nose is a bit bulbous.  Her no nonsense, tell it like it is personality is the reason why her features look more human than Victor and Hugo. The human-look enables Laverne to be take more seriously. I mean if she looked like Hugo, I doubt people who believe her “old women who tells it like it is” persona.

 

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gargoyle Concept Art Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyle Concept Art Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles Concept Art Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyles Concept Art Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyle Concept Art Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gargoyle Concept Art Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the concept art, the gargoyles went through a lot of revisions. But the gargoyles went through at lot of revisions as the film progress during the course of it’s animation.  It was originally convinced that these three gargoyles were the stone mason’s cast-off and they’re something of outcast which is why Quasimodo gravitated towards these three, if the imagination theory is true (which like so many other things in this movie is inconsistent in it’s execution).  The film never did played this angle. Also they were going to have tiny imperfections like a chip ear, but that was never realized either in the film.

 

Stains on Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Stains on Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Early in the production and this can be seen on the gargoyles in their  introductory scene, the gargoyles have stains on them from the elements. The studio had maps for each gargoyle in order to keep the stains consistently placed.  Then the idea was abandoned as the film progress.  Funny it’s it, they tried so hard to be consistent on a detail that few noticed and then abandoned it but they very inconsistent with the light in the characters eyes.

Next Time – The Looks of the Archdeacon

Archdeacon Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Archdeacon Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The Gargoyles – Victor, Hugo and Laverne.

The Gargoyles; Hugo Laverne, Victor Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

The Gargoyles; Hugo Laverne, Victor Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

The Gargoyles are the most annoying characters in this movie. They’re the comic relief but they fail at it (ok there are some funny bits but they’re few and very far between).

Hugo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo (voiced by Jason Alexander), the short piggish one, is a load mouth and the most annoying. He also has a thing for Djali.

Victor Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor (voiced Charles Kimbrough) is the tall prissy serious one. He is the least interesting.

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Laverne Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Laverne (voiced by Mary Wickes/ Jame Withers) is the old one who tells it like is. She is probably the most of tolerable of the gargoyles.

Victor and Hugo were named for Victor Hugo the author, the writers thought they were being clever and they  really wanted to prove they had read the book. Laverne was named after Laverne Andrews, one of The Andrew Sisters. They each have their own personalities and at least they balance each other out.

Hugo and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Laverne and the birds Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Laverne and the birds Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor, Hugo and Laverne at the end Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor, Hugo and Laverne at the end Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Theory goes that the  Gargoyles are aspects of Quasimodo’s imagination because he is a forced shut-in who is  desperate to be love. However the Director people who thought they were being all smart and junk by trying to deep and profound, forgot (actually they didn’t forget they’re just inconsistent) that Djali interacted with Hugo and they fought to defend Notre Dame.  Quasimodo’s main squeeze also saw the Gargoyles in the Sequel {shudders at the thought of the sequel shudders}. So let’s say that the directors are right and their theory  that the Gargoyles are imaginary holds water; does this mean Quasimodo imagines Djali seeing Hugo? Does his means when Quasimodo is crowned King of Fools he imagines the Gargoyles cheering him on?  Does he imagines the Gargoyles the throwing stuff off off Notre Dame and the soldiers getting hurt especially when Quasimodo is occupied? Does this mean that Quasimodo is the source the pop culture anachronisms? And if the Gargoyles are Quasimodo’s imagination does this mean that after Quasimodo made some real life friends and was accepted by the people the Gargoyles would cease to be? Because they’re still around in the {shudders} sequel {shudders}. If Quasimodo lives in his head this much does this mean Quasimodo in the book is more functional? Plus he must be contently winded from lugging three stone statues around the place, then again made that’s why he can lift up Phoebus in full armor one handed.  Personally I think that the Gargoyles are Pan’s Labyrinthesque beings; only those who are innocent and pure can see them, hence why Quasimodo and Djali can see them but they can some effect on the actual world.  Though in the German Musical, Der Glockner van Notre Dame, they are imaginary (and they have different names).

 

Victor, Hugo and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

Victor, Hugo and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

Victor, Hugo and Laverne draw pictures Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor, Hugo and Laverne draw pictures Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo in drag as Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo in drag as Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why are the sidekicks Gargoyles in the first place? Well the oh so smartie directors said in the commentary that Quasimodo speaks to the Gargoyles in the book. They also claim that Quasimodo has long conversations (plural) with the Gargoyles. Looking over the book, I found that he was fond of a ‘grotesque personages sculptured on the wall’, and to this he says “why wasn’t I made of stone like you” (book 9 chapter 4  Earthenware and Crystal). I’m not sure what version of the novel they read where Quasimodo had long conversations with Gargoyles (1939 version? In the 1939 version Quasimodo utters this line to a gargoyle).   If they were going to base a sidekick character off of objects that Quasimodo had a relationship with, it should have been the bells. They could’ve a sassy bell named Patti (Patti the Bell (Patti LaBelle) bad joke) that would have much better than the Gargoyles.

Hugo plays poker Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo plays poker Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

Victor and Laverne singing A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

Gargoyles Victor, Hugo and Laverne, make an Amadeus reference Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gargoyles make an Amadeus reference Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what do the Gargoyles do in the film? They’re Quasimodo’s friends and guardians. They make [try] funny quips. They also make pop culture references. Disney has a habit of doing this. They started with the Genie in Aladdin. With the Genie it makes a level of sense because Genies are a supernatural beings, but in Hunchback this doesn’t work as well. The Gargoyles are part of Notre Dame, so how can they have inferences to the future? I don’t care that they magically – they’re part of an ancient building, they should be funny without making stupid references, Djali doesn’t resort it. Plus if they’re in fact imaginary, this means Quasimodo is the one doing it, so it makes even less sense.  The only thing that the Gargoyles do well is they get Quasimodo off his ass and encourage him. But they also build Quasimodo’s expectations up too high. They convince him that Esmeralda is in love with him, which leads to some of Quasimodo’s emoness when she doesn’t reciprocate.

Victor and Laverne's drawing of Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor and Laverne's drawing of Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo draws Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo draws Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor, Hugo and Laverne trying to liberate Quasimodo in emo-mode Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Victor, Hugo and Laverne trying to liberate Quasimodo in emo-mode Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the point of the Gargoyles is to provide levity but they just distract from the movie. Disney boasts the Hunchback as being their darkest movie but the Gargoyles hinder it.  Plus the movie has some good levity already, Phoebus, Esmeralda, Clopin, Djali, Achilles, those stupid bumbling guards, the old heretic, the torturer guy etc, they all provide good comedy while keeping the flow of the movie and without making references. Disney really could have done better in the sidekick department for Quasimodo.

Speaking of Sidekicks next time – Achilles and Djali

Disney Djali eating wooden a figurine

Disney Djali eating wooden a figurine

Achilles and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Achilles and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Today is Quasimodo Sunday ( Low Sunday… First Sunday after Easter)

So since Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame is character driven let’s look at the main characters.

Quasimodo Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Quasimodo

First let’s start with the titular character Quasimodo (Tom Hulce). Quasimodo is depicted as caring, gentle, kind, shy and dreaming of something beyond his sheltered life (classic Disney Princess erm hero). At first all he wants is to spend one day among the people of Paris and sings about it ala Part of that World type song. When someone shows him kindness he answerx with loyalty. He does has a bit of an emo-side. Later in the film he hopes for love but that doesn’t come to fruition but he is happy that Phoebus and Esmeralda have each other and that is enough for him at the end of the film.

 

Judge Claude Frollo Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Judge Claude Frollo

The next important character is Frollo (Tony Jay). Frollo is a hypocritical judge who HATES gypsies, He regards them as the reason why Paris is going to hell in hand-basket. He sees no harm in killing people especially ugly babies if he views in the best interest of “justice”. He also has a pious streak, which he quite proud of.  During the course of the movie he develops an unhealthy obsession with Esmeralda where he uses tons of public funds to barrack her in Notre Dame and when she escapes he set Paris ablaze and then blames it other people because hey he just doing his job (it’s a good thing King Louis IX is not a main character or somebody would have been fired).

 

Esmeralda Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Esmeralda

Djali Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Djali

Esmeralda (Demi Moore), the beautiful Gypsy dancer, who is often referred to as girl but she comes off as older than Quasimodo who is 20. She is kind and has a fierce sense of justice and loyalty. She knows a wide assortment of parlor tricks that she can use in a pinch. She also can read palms though she is is a dancer by trade. Esmeralda is always accompanied by her pet Goat Djali. Djali turn offs include heights, ugly faces and hangings. Turn ons include dancing, money, and eating wood cravings.

 

 

Phoebus and Achilles Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Phoebus and Achilles

Phoebus (Kevin Kline), another attractive character, Phoebus has been called back from the wars by Frollo to protect Paris from the Gypsies; an assignment he takes with major annoyance and a grain of salt. He has a dry wit and is a flirt but he also has a high sense of morality and won’t kill people just because crazy old Frollo says so. He also has a horse named Achilles who enjoys heeling and sitting on people he doesn’t care for.

 

Clopin Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Clopin

Clopin (Paul Kandal) , the leader of the Court of Miracle and the story teller. He is an extrovert who loves to have a good time whether it’s entertaining small children, all of Paris at the festival of fools  or hanging trespassers. Where Clopin is the party is.

 

Hugo Laverne, Victor Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Hugo Laverne, Victor

Gargoyles, the comic relief characters Victor (Charles Kimbrough), Hugo (Jason Alexander) and Laverne (Mary Wickes/Jane Withers). The three only come to life for Quasimodo and once for Djali. They have their distinctive personality, Victor is prim and calm, Hugo is loud and fun loving, and Laverne is old and tells it like it is. There loyal to their pal Quasimodo and to encourage him to follow his heart. But they’re annoying as all hell.

 

Archdeacon Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Archdeacon

Archdeacon (David Ogden Stiers), the kind, caring, gentle, wise Archdeacon of Notre Dame. As Archdeacon he has some authority over Frollo and Frollo while not happy is at least compliant. He the one who guilts or rather scares into taking care of Quasimodo.

 

Next Time more on the more characters of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

Clopin Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Disney version starts off with Clopin (Paul Kandel) regaling small children with the tale of the mysterious bell ringer and how he came the position.  Though a song (The Bells of Notre Dame) and a flashback Clopin tells of a group of Gypsies entering Paris via the Seine, the notable Gypsy is a women with a child. After docking the Gypsies are caught by Judge Claude Frollo (Tony Jay). Frollo doesn’t care much for gypsies and orders their arrest but when he tries to take the baby from the women (he thinks it stolen goods) she runs toward Notre Dame. After the chase Frollo kills the women on the steps of Notre Dame and Frollo tries to drown the child who is deformed. Before Frollo can do it he’s stop by the Archdeacon (David Ogden Stiers) who guilts Frollo into taking care of child but Frollo  demands that the child must live in the bell-tower. Clopin then asks us to consider what the bells supposedly say “who is the monster and who is the man”

Frollo and Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Frollo and Quasimodo

After a lovely crescendo and the title screen featuring those crazy bells we’re introduced to Quasimodo (Tom Hulce) who is urging a baby bird to fly away as no one wants to be cooped up in Notre Dame forever. After the bird flies away Quasimodo’s gargoyles friends come to life. Victor (Charles Kimbrough), Hugo (Jason Alexander), and Laverne (Mary Wickes(and Jane Withers)). The three urge Quasimodo to go the Festival of Fools but Quasimodo says he forbidden to ever leave the cathedral by his master Frollo. After some a little encouragement he decides to go but Frollo shows up and tries to persuades him out of ever leaving because of his ugliness he’ll only meet with hate. Frollo does with via song (Out There). After Frollo is done singing and leaves Quasimodo takes over the song (Out There), and sings about  a desire to have one day out among normal people.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame dancing

The scene switches to Phoebus (Kevin Klein), Captain of the Guard, returning to Paris. He catches the eye of pretty Gypsy girl, Esmeralda (Demi Moore), dancing  for coins. After some other guards show up and accosted Esmeralda for stealing, Phoebus aids in her escape. Phoebus then makes the trouble-making, underling guards  guide him to  the Palace of Justice. He meets Frollo who explains that Paris must be rid of the Gypsies as they weaken the moral of the otherwise good Parisian and then they head out to the Festival of Fools.

 

Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Festival begins as a clocked Quasimodo swing down from Notre Dame and gets caught up in the festivity of the party as Clopin serves as the master of ceremonies  by singing Topsy Turvy . While Quasimodo is getting thrown about he crashes into a tent where Esmeralda is changing. She asks Quasimodo if he is injured and compliments his mask, Quasimodo is instantly smitten with her. Frollo, Phoebus, and guards arrive on the scene and Esmerlada dances  for crowd and gets the attention of Quasimodo, Frollo and Phoebus. After that the King of Fools contest starts, as the ugly masses came on to the stage, Esmeralda pulls Quasimodo up on stage. Once it is reveal that Quasimodo “mask” is really his face he is crowned king of fools, much to Frollo’s disapproval.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

After the song ends, the underling guards, throws a tomato at Quasimodo causing the crowd to pelt him with foodstuff and tie him down to the pillory. Phoebus wants to intervene but Frollo insists Quasimodo is learning a lesson. The barrage of food ceases when Esmeralda ascends the pillory, and apologizes to Quasimodo. Frollo orders her down and not to help. After a quip about justice and mistreat of people (especially her people) she free Quasimodo. Frollo orders her arrest and a merry chase ensues.

 

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame with Esmeralda Disney picture image

Frollo gropes Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

After Esmerlada gives everyone the sip, Quasimodo apologizes to Frollo and returns to Notre dame. Phoebus sees an old man wander into Notre Dame and follows. The old man is Esmerlada who has chosen Notre Dame as hiding place. She senses a presence behind her (Phoebus) and she engages him in combat. As she fights, he flirts, which after a bit works but Frollo interferes demanding her arrest. Phoebus claims she claim sanctuary and he can’t do anything. Frollo demand that she be dragged out side but the good-old Archdeacon commands that Frollo can’t do anything. As Phoebus and the other guards leave, Frollo hides and grabs Esmeralda from the back and says he’ll wait for her to leave and then continues to grope her. He leaves and Esmeralda learns that guards are position all around the cathedral. Esmeralda sings a prayer for not just her people but for all outcast (Good help the Outcast {sung by Heidi Mollenhauer). As she sings Quasimodo hears it and follow it. When the song ends Quasimodo is told off and flee back up to the bell tower, as he flees Esmeralda pursues.

 

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo singing Hellfore Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The two becomes friends and learn more about each and how Frollo can be wrong about people. Quasimodo then decide to help Esmeralda escape but climbing down the building. Esmeralda ask Quasimodo to comes with her to The Court of Miracles (the Gypsy haven), but he refuses and she gives him a woven band to help if he needs sanctuary. Quasimodo returns to the tower and his gargoyle tease him about having a girlfriend. He sings a song about his feelings for Esmeralda and hope for love (Heaven’s light). Meanwhile, Frollo is also singing about his lust and obsession for Esmeralda (Hellfire). During the course of the song he learns that Esmeralda has escaped.

 

Disney Phoebus Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image hit by arrow

Phoebus being hit by an arrow Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The next day,  Frollo has order the capture of Esmeralda. He uses force, bribes, and attempted manslaughter. Frollo tries to kill an entire family for harboring Gypsies, he orders Phoebus to burn the house where the family is trap but Phoebus refuses and sentence to death, but a disguised Esmeralda intervenes via rock. Phoebus gets away but is shoot by an arrow and falls into river. Esmeralda saves him.

 

 

Phoebus and Esmeralda Kiss Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus and Esmeralda Kiss Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Meanwhile, Frollo has set Paris ablaze. Quasimodo is worried about Esmeralda’s safety  but the Gargoyle assure him that she’s fine and she’ll return to Quasimodo and convinces him that she is in love with (A Guy like you). The song ends with Esmeralda entering the tower and asks Quasimodo to hide Phoebus. As Esmeralda tends to Phoebus‘ wound it became clear that she not into Quasimodo in the romantic sense. Quasimodo hears Frollo coming and Quasimodo tries to cover. Frollo reveals that he knows where the Court of Miracles is and is going to attack. Quasimodo and Phoebus set out to warn the Gypsies. Quasimodo relies that the woven band is a map and they find the Court of Miracles. The pair is ambush by Clopin (Court of Miracles), since the Court of Miracles doesn’t like uninvited guest they going to hang them, but Esmeralda stops them. Phoebus warns them about the attack but Frollo followed them and arrest everyone.

 

Quasimodo declares Sanctuary for Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo declares Sanctuary for Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre

As Frollo prepare to execute Esmeralda, he asks her to chose him or the fire, she choses the later and the pyre is set aflame.  Quasimodo then swings down from Notre Dame frees Esmeralda swing back up and yells sanctuary. Frollo the attacks Notre Dame and Quasimodo defends. Everyone get in on the battle, Phoebus, Clopin, the gargoyles, random extra and birds. Quasimodo uses molten lead but Frollo sneaks in.

 

 

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

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

Quasimodo tells Esmeralda to come see his victory but it seems like she dies of asphyxiation. Quasimodo cries as Frollo slips into the room and tries to kill him but Quasimodo fights back and Esmeralda regains consciences, and Frollo goes on murderous offense. After a bit of fight Frollo is about to win as Esmeralda clings to Quasimodo who is dangling over the edge of Notre Dame but Frollo support gives out and he falls to his death. Esmerlada strength gives out and Quasimodo falls but he caught by Phoebus. Quasimodo then gives the couple his blessing. Esmeralda and Phoebus emerge from the cathedral and are met with cheers. Esmeralda offers Quasimodo her hand and leads him outside where he is finally  accepted by the people. Clopin reprise “The Bells of Notre Dame” and asks us “what makes a monster and what makes a man”.

Next time – A Plot Review of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame