Frollo Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo Puppet

The stage show of  Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Disney Parks is like a high school production where the show has a high budget but the cast isn’t really that talented. Wait a second that’s pretty much what this is. Expect  they’re actually college students interning (slave labor) there for the summer. So what is the stage show about?  All  it is a rehashing of the movie. That’s it. I’m basing this review off these videos which you can watch it HERE.  (I’m sorry for the pictures)

 

Frollo interrupting the couple in Notre Dame a.k.a Not Grope Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo interrupting the couple a.k.a Not Grope

A Guy Like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

A Guy Like you

Frollo finding out Esmeralda escape a.k.a Not Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo finding out Esmeralda escape a.k.a Not Hellfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

But is the show bad? Yes, yes it. Everything that you love is gone, i.e Frollo. Well that’s not true Frollo is there and he gets line or two but there is not grope and no Hellfire basically what makes Frollo a character is gone. Frollo is just a plot point. Also they kept a guy like you over hellfire which seems like a big “Fuck-you” to audience.

 

Clopin's singnature pose Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture

Clopin's singnature pose

But how are the other actors? Umm, not so good. We’ll start with the best, Clopin at least he can sing well. Though he strikes the same pose and hand movements over and over.

Phoebus... that is all Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Phoebus... that is all

Quasimodo with a plastic model Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Quasimodo with a plastic model Esmeralda

The Gargoyles... they get more lines than Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

The Gargoyles... they get more lines than Frollo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phoebus is meh. Quasimodo is forgettable. The gargoyles are annoying.

 

Esmeralda from the Stage Show of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame at MGM Studios picture image

Esmeralda

And then there is Esmeralda. First off I  say this with out trying to be offensive but she sounds like she from a 30’s movies. Other than that her acting is weak and over-the-top and she’s not a great singer. I think she was cast for the splits she does during the dance.

Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show Esmeralda's Kneepad image picture

Esmeralda's Kneepad

And she wears knee pads during the dance which I found hilarious.

 

Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo he's too cool for this play

 

Frollo’s not even a character so he doesn’t count. But even still he’s WAY cooler even with no personality.

Djali as a Marionette Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show

Djali as a Marionette.... where can I get one?

So the setting and the plot were okay. The whole puppet thing for the backstory was weird and a little silly. I mean I get why the did, because it’s Clopin’s puppet show, but to see a big Frollo puppet was too funny for me. I have a bad habit of laughing at puppet play even when that are suppose to be serious. Also Djali as a marionette was unnecessary. Actually Djali was unnecessary and that pains me to say.

 

Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show Spire Turn during Out there picture

Spire Turn during Out there

Also I just want to mention that you know in “Out There” where the camera spins around Quasimodo while he’s on the spire yeah, they do that here except while the performer sings on a platform, two guys spin said platform around, it very silly and awkward.

 

More Puppets dolls Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

More Puppets erm I mean Dolls

Basically  the whole thing a very rushed feeling and it over superficial, I mean it’s a appropriate, given that it’s in a Disney park. It’s flash and no substance. It subtracts too much from the movie and if their intent was to take that film and make it even more “Kid Friendly” why not do an after-story or sequel. Frollo doesn’t do anything cool here so who cares if he’s in the show. It at least could have been more interesting than seeing a water-down version of a classic story that Disney already watered down.

 

Getting the Lead out Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Getting the Lead out

On the plus side, I liked the extras and the lead pouring was cool.

 

For the Music of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame I have decided to do a few songs at a time (with the two exceptions).  I’m also going to try to not compare the singers between the Disney Cast and the Original Berlin Cast and I’m going to try not to discusss staging too much.

Die Glocken Notre Dames

Frollo (Norbert Lamla) with Baby Quasimodo and the Archdeacon Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Frollo (Norbert Lamla) with Baby Quasimodo and the Archdeacon Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Die Glocken Notre Dames (The Bells of Notre Dame) is the show’s opening number and it is pretty much exactly the same as it is in the movie but there are some differences. First off, no Puppet. Yeah, I know tragic. Clopin appears as a beggar and not as a performer, so any humor that the Disney version had is gone. Giving us a a clear tone. Also Clopin is not telling the story of Quasimodo and Frollo to children he instead tells it to  the audience which makes him more clearly a narrator.

Another difference is Quasimodo’s mother talks back to Frollo. Now, I don’t speak much German and I don’t have access to a script (I looked and couldn’t find one so if you know what she saying or know of a script let me know) so I have no idea what she is saying, I could guess. Probably goes along the lines of something like this:

Frollo- Hey, you there what are you hiding?
Quasimodo’s Mother – Who me? It’s just my Baby 
Frollo – You Lie, give me what you are concealing, I wants it! 
Or something like that or I’m way off.

Another difference is there is some instruments. The difference can really be heard when the Archdeacon is singing. There is a Piano and a lower brass opposed to the original which seems to be woodwinds, bells and a high brass. Also the usage of bells at the end is different whereas the movie uses what sounds like low octave bells that play a few notes the musical opts for scales of higher octave bells and I swear I hear a xylophone in there.

Also the attitude of Frollo and Archdeacon are different. In the movie Frollo is cool  and calm and the Archdeacon has a sad yet kind of soft tone till he get firm about the eyes. In the stage show Frollo is flustered and Archdeacon is forceful from the get go.

 

Also a staging difference, there are videos that you can be see on youtube (if Youtube isn’t killed by SOPA and PIPA) that shows this number performed on stage and when Quasimodo’s Mother is push by Frollo she doesn’t die right away. As she is dying she reaches for Quasimodo. So I guess she died of blood loss and not of head trauma or a broken neck like the movie but I’m no doctor. Watch Video Here

 

Zuflucht

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Zuflucht  or Refuge is a song  that is extended from Frollo’s part of the movie  version of Out There. This song is where you learn that Frollo was a Priest  but he thought that Paris was sick and needed to be save and so he changed his career to a judge. Quasimodo still sings in it with the addition of the Gargoyles Antoine (Hugo), Charles (Victor) and Loni (Laverne). The Gargoyles here sing against Frollo and encourage Quasimodo to go out side to see the world for himself.

 

Musically the first part is the same as the movie, so where Out There starts properly (Quasimodo’s part) the music changes and the last part with Gargoyles is like a composite of the new movement and the old one and it works well. I actually like the gargoyles here, their harmony together and with Frollo is nice. The harmony is like the Angel and Devil on each shoulder troupe. And having the Gargoyle sing with Frollo solidifies the gargoyles as imaginary. The Gargoyles part makes it clear that they are not as cheerful or upbeat as their movie counterparts. There is a combination of hope and confusion in their lines, because as they sing about what the outside world is like they can’t complete their thoughts because as aspects of Quasimodo they too have no idea what the outside world is like.

 

Draußen

Quasimodo with the Gargoyles Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo with the Gargoyles Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

Draußen or Outside is exactly the same as the movie version of Out There with one wonderful difference; there is no more wobbly vibrato. Another than that there are no further differences I can ascertain.

Watch Video clip here

Next Time – Part 2 of the Music of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame with;

Tanz auf dem Seil (Dance on the Rope)
Ein bißchen Freude (A Bit of Joy)
Drunter drüber (Topsy Turvy)

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

 

Notre Dame of Paris Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Notre Dame of Paris Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I had said in my 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame review on setting, that movies shouldn’t take too much from Notre Dame’s structure as it’s changed a lot from it’s state from the time the story takes place to when Victor Hugo wrote the book to when Disney created the film.

Frollo and Notre Dame Bells Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo stares at Notre Dame during the Bells of Notre Dame FDisney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Satellite Dish during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Satellite Dish during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Disney makes  Notre Dame much taller than it actually is. It’s a flaw but it not something to rage over. It’s just kind of laughable large. Another flaw that can be over looked is the all the exterior sculptures on the Cathedral are shown as plain, natural-colored stone. At the time the story is set, they were polychromatic – painted in colors. Again  it can be overlooked because Notre Dame current look is so iconic that it would have looked strange to audience to have colors associated with the exterior. I can also overlook the square in front of Notre Dame also that wouldn’t have been there in 1400 but you can forgive.

The aspects of the depiction that I have a hard time overlooking is the how the sanctuary is depicted. In the scheme of Hunchback cartoons and movies it’s very accurate, there are some terrible representations of Notre Dame but the way it’s set up in the film is problematic. The Sanctuary is show once in the film during “God Help the Outcast

 

Quasimodo watching to Esmeralda during God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo watching to Esmeralda during God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at Notre Dame’s set up and structure Notre Dame seems both bigger and smaller. Esmeralda strolls though the layout a a very leisurely pace yet the Cathedral seems more expansive than it is. She also isn’t impeded by the structure. At about at the 2:00 minute mark of the song, Esmeralda is seen walking in the side aisles and to her left there are columns. Then in the very next shot, Esmeralda is against a Fresco, with no columns in the shot. Which means Esmeralda needed to veer to another side of the column but she did not. So I guess the columns magically go away for a better shot. Also if her head in level with the fresco how tall is she? Because her height is really inconsistent and she’s bare foot and those Frescos are pretty high off the ground. Then this could be inconsistency. But do make the inside of the Church not in proper proportion.

Check out this website to see what I mean;

 http://www.fromparis.com/virtual-tour-notre-dame/ click around to get a visual tour of Notre Dame

Quasimodo during Out There with anachronism Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There with anachronism Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

So getting back to what I said at the beginning of this about being careful not to copy Notre Dame in it current state to much is that after Victor Hugo wrote Notre Dame de Paris, the cathedral when though a massive changes. The statues that can be seen in Out There towards the end when Quasimodo talks “Ordinary Men” where add after the novel was written in 1831. Those statues are 12 apostles that adorned the spire. I don’t think I would mind this but Quasimodo motions to the statues as an examples of “ordinary men” The 12 Apostles are ordinary men Disney? Really? The fact the Disney used the statues as more than just Background but a visual aid is where I find fault.

Next Time – Major Differences between Disney and the Book

Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo's Reveal Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

Quasimodo Illustrtion Francois flameng

Illustration of Quasimodo

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Let’s us now concluded the musical portion of Hunchback with probably the strongest aspect of it; Alan Menken’s Score. The Hunchback of Notre Dame has one of the best score that Disney has ever produced. Menken was inspired by Mozart’s Requiem Mass and there a lot of dark tonalities to the Music  which in conclude Latin chanting which add    to the gothic nature of tone to the movie. When I say Gothic I referring to the building of Notre Dame and not the genre of the Victor Hugo’s book. The score also has a lot of Leitmotifs (referring to a recurring theme associated with a particular person, place, or idea.)

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame pitcure image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

Quasimodo = Out There, Frollo =Hellfire, Phoebus has this march that is heard a lot when ever he appears on the screen, and Esmeralda = God Help The Outcasts. Clopin doesn’t seem to get one because he is always singing. You can hear the song tune throughout the movie. Track 4 Humiliation has the tunes of Out There and  God help the Outcast.

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

 

So while the songs are pretty hit and miss, the score is strong. My Favorite track is defiantly Sanctuary!, it over the top and dramatic. Plus I’m a fan of Latin choir, it maybe a cliche but they really do make everything sound much more epic

 

Next time a slight Rant and Plea to Disney

Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame is Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Here is the original artwork for Quasimodo that proves that he was meant to be Ariel. This image is rare and very hard to find  but here it is,

Quasimodo as Ariel from the Little Mermaid Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo as Ariel from the Little Mermaid Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Ok I made this image, but you watch Out There and then watch Part of your World and tell there not for the most part idenitcal.  I mean these two characters are the same entity. Is it plagiarism if a company copies their own work? I suppose I could do the reverse of this image as well, Ariel’s head on Quasimodo, actually that’s not a bad idea stay tune for that one.

http://youtu.be/7DCALg2levk

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

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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

Frollo and Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out There is for all intended purposes is a solo but its prelude is duet between Frollo and Quasimodo. Frollo sings about how awful the world is as a means for controlling Quasimodo. When Frollo departs the scene, the mood of the song changes into  Quasimodo singing about a yearning to venture beyond the tower and go flocking with the normal people.

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Ariel Disney The Little Mermaid picture image

Ariel Disney The Little Mermaid

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no good way to say it, Out There is a knock off of “Part of your World” from the Little Mermaid.  Lots of Disney characters sing this “wanting more” type of song but Out There and Part of that World express the some thought. And it’s interesting that they both point to a direction; up for Ariel and down for Quasimodo and they both mention a desire for the sun and to be with “the people”. They also kind of look alike, red hair and they both wear green.

 

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

So how is the song on a music level? Got say, the song it’s self is pretty typical Disney fare. It’s one of the typical songs you’ll hear in a Disney movie, the dreamer’s song. It’s usually the main character singing about wanting something more. This song is just Quasimodo singing about even if just one day he wants to apart of the people. The music is fine, it’s nice and symphomatic. The lyrics are very repetitive: he wants to be to live a day with the regular people, I get. Quasimodo does come off naive to think that just because people live “out there” this qualifies them as normal and he also insinuates that it’s a gift for them to be normal despite the whole issue with gypsies who have to live in catacombs to avoid Frollo’s genocide tendencies.

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The singing is where this song fails for me. Hulce’s vibrato  has too much of a wobble for me. I think this fast vibrato is meant to give Quasimodo an innocence and naivety but it too much wobble. The wobbly vibrato ruins Hulce’s performance for me and do think he a decent enough singer otherwise.

 

 

 

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo singing "Out There" Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo singing "Out There" Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part of the song in the movie is the visuals. I remember the first time I saw it, the part where Quasimodo slid down the buttress was my favorite visual, I thought it looked fun, of course as a kid I thought it was a water slide and not a support structure.  I really enjoy Quasimodo interacting with the Notre Dame, he may be dreaming on being on terra firma but Notre Dame is like his private playground.

 

Belle, Carpet, Pumbaa Disney Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King

Belle, Carpet, and Pumbaa

Frollo in the Square during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo in the Square during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Satellite Dish during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Satellite Dish during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a few things that appear in the song that many viewers don’t seem to notice. The first are cameos, which people do notice. The Cameos are Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Pumba (The Lion King) and Carpet (Aladdin). Two other things, is Frollo can be seen in the square as Quasimodo is looking down and a satillite dish can be seen on a house in the bird’s view of Paris or La Cite in this case.

 

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

So the song is by no means in the top tier of the songs in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it by no means is it the worst. It’s just a VERY typical formulaic Disney song.

 

Next Time –Topsy Turvy

Clopin during the Feast of Fools Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin during the Feast of Fools Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame