Disclaimer- These are my opinions..

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

Over the years there has been a few new adaptations announcements about Hunchback movies/series in development with the most recent announcement being the next to release on April 20th 2023.

Aside from one version, all announcements centered around an actor leading the project with the expressed casting themselves as playing Quasimodo.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image
Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda

Now this isn’t new, Lon Chaney (1923) and Patrick Timsit (1999) both more or less lead their respective projects. It does seem inevitable that Josh Gad will play Quasimodo in 2024 Disney Live-Action version and Kevin Heffernan with Quasimodo in the Broken Lizard version, Quasi. But the question is, Is this really a bad thing?

Quasimodo is a unique role for actors. One has to combine physicality with pathos which is more or less the dream combination for many actors. And one does not have to be “Leading Man Handsome.” In fact it works to an actor’s advantage not to be “that type” for a certain believability. Just think of the most “handsome” or “hottest” actor you can think of. Can you really imagine them playing Quasimodo? Maybe you can and maybe can’t.

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

So take an actor like Josh Gad, he does not have many lead roles. He is most known for voicing Olaf in Frozen, a side-character. A memorable side-character from very well loved movie but still not a starring role. In that same vein he also played LeFou in the live action version of Beauty and the Beast.

Now this is just an opinion but given that Gad is producing both the 2024 Hunchback remake and the Beauty and the Beast series, which follows LeFou and Gaston, my guess that he trying to make opportunities for himself within the system. He has already played LeFou and a Hunchback remake was inevitable given the Disney film making landscape right now. Coupled with the allure of playing a role like Quasimodo which was more or less up for grabs given a chance. A chance that he may not have gotten had he not jump at producing the project outright.

So is it a bad thing for actors to create projects where they can cast themselves in the leading role? It defiantly speaks to a self-serving privilege BUT I don’t think it bad. Given that seven announced Hunchback projects that were actor-lead that have been announced since 2010 and only two of them have release dates, it doesn’t mean that said actor who leading the project will even get to play the role. The other projects may have fizzled out or be stuck in-development-hell.

So while Gad wasn’t high on my casting picks for Quasimodo he may bring an earnest to the role that the Disney animated version possessed.

Episode 9: Trapped

Quasimodo and Esmeralda with an orphan, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 9
Quasimodo and Esmeralda with an orphan, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 9

This episode is about orphans and a one-starred reviewed inn.  

While hanging out with some orphans, the landlord comes to collect the rent which the lady in charge doesn’t have, because of course she doesn’t. Quasimodo informs the landlord that the chest is on its way by the way of Dennis and François. However the gold is stolen when the duo stopped to rest at a shady inn.

So it’s up to our Gang of Pals to get the gold and save the orphans from certain eviction. And they have to get it back before a notorious highwayman can find it at the same inn. 

Turns out the cruel inn keeper, Rasperin (I think that is his name) took it and is mean to orphans  AND his inn is booty-trapped and that is not even the biggest problem with this place either. I mean at least the trap doors function which is more than you can say for the bridge to get to the inn. Anyway, it turns out the highwayman has some morals and would never steal from orphans. However the orphans crew trapped Esmeralda and François along with the highwayman in some hold that is flooding and the innkeeper tells the orphans to let them die.  Remember he is a real meany. 

The orphans team up with Quasimodo to save them and then they get the gold and leave their bad overlord who is mean and we hate him and now they can be orphans somewhere nicer, hooray. 

The gold is then used to build a nicer orphanage because the landlord was mean and greedy and we hate him too.

All in all not the best episode but then again my boy Cartoonishly Evil Magician Frollo-type wasn’t in it. There seems to be three main types of episodes in this show one is Frollo magical shenanigans, the second is Quasimodo’s family quest and finally the greedy types steal which hurts the innocent. There are some overlaps like in episode 7 when the thieves threatens France by threatening France/the King seems another thing this show likes to do to up the stakes. But the common thread in every single episode is that Quasimodo is awesome. This time he is awesome to orphans.   

I do appreciate the Lon Chaney reference, Dennis says the highwayman is a man of a thousand faces.  It something so I will take it.

Also I think Esmeralda like-likes Quasimodo. Is very cute.   

Quasimodo, Esmeralda, François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 10
Quasimodo, Esmeralda, François, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 10

Episode 10: Dragon Rock

Well, Cartoonishly Evil Magician Frollo-type is back. 

In this episode the Gang of Pals is doing some charity work for an impoverished village where Esmeralda used to live. Consequently, a guy from there named Carlos has a crush on her. When the gang gets there it seems that the village doesn’t need charity because of “The Generous one’ who lavishes gifts on the villagers and asks for nothing in return, yet.

Of course it’s Frollo who has a masterplan and part of it is to ensnare the village with stuff. Greed and being selfish is bad, that is the lesson of the day. 

So what is Frollo’s plan? His plan is to build a fortress that is hidden in the stony hills and arm it well enough to destroy all his enemies and to roll in gold from the royal treasury. However he is still at the groundbreaking stage so he needs his Mountain Smasher which is exactly what it sounds like. So he smashes the mountain causing water from an underground lake  to pour towards the village. 

Carlos learns that being a selfish underling is bad and helps the gang. They trick Frollo and get him to smash the mountain that causes the water to get redirected toward his lair. Frollo orders the water to stop but it doesn’t work. 

In the end the village uses the water for their farms thus solving their issues with being impoverished. 

Frollo is very confusing. He wants power and money and he wants  to get it through  strength of arms and yet he invented a machine better than dynamite.  A few episodes ago he had no issues with Da Vinci’s toy machine for this purpose but now he wants to get through a weird long game plan. Oh well, he does get some funny villain lines. 

It seems mean-spirited to make digs at all the weird little things so yeah they are there and shugs. I suppose cactuses in France and the superpowers of the Traveler’s horses and wagons are all part of the charm of the show.  

Also I kind of  wish Azarof’s name was Azaruff, bad joke sorry.

Frollo and Azarof, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 10
Frollo and Azarof, The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo Episode 10

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo


If I had to venture a guess, I’d say this version of Quasimodo is more in keeping with the Laughton version. Indeed this Quasimodo falls into the more sad, devoted thoughtful brand of  Quasimodo.

There is nothing in this characterization  that is morose or hateful to the masses but nothing that worships Notre Dame either. Instead it seems like this Quasimodo wants to be a normal person and is devoted to Esmeralda.

Not a major departure for the character but you rarely see a Quasimodo trying to stand straight and failing. 

All in all it’s a very safe approach to the character. Time tested and audience approved.  People like the emotional pathos of the tragic disfigured figure of Quasimodo  and this is the characterization the ballet offers. 

Cinema Sins' take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania picture image

Cinema Sins’ take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania

Though considering the totality of the movie it shouldn’t have been surprising that they messed up Quasimodo. I don’t even consider this a version of Hugo’s character.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Warren Clarke as Quasimodo 1977 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Warren Clarke as Quasimodo & Michelle Newell as Esmeralda

If you like the 1977 version, I understand. I get the appeal of it. As of now it is the most book accurate movie version that exists.  But being book accurate does not necessarily make for a good movie.

Accuracy to the source material can’t hide that this version is dull. From the sets, to the cinematography, to the depictions of the characters; everything is underwhelming.

Even when I first saw this movie is my early Hunchback obsession days, I thought this version was a Feast of Snores.

The good news is that I don’t think this version was out to be a seminal version. How could it be when they don’t even have even a model for Notre Dame?  Or any exterior sets. It was just a version made for TV with a limited budget. I don’t think the bar was terrible high on this version. They did the best they felt like with their resources and got out another version of Hunchback.    

Would I recommend you watch this? If you’re some weird Hunchback completionist, like I try to be, then yes but you might get bored like I do every single time I watch this version. And for the purposes of this review series that was a lot mostly because I forgot a lot of it even with repeat viewings.

Peter Dinklage Quasimodo picture image

Peter Dinklage


It’s been announce that Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage and Charles dance will produce a TV drama called Quasimodo based on The Hunchback. Now we have been burned before on Hunchback versions like with Brolin and that one from Esmeralda point of view and I don’t know what’s up with the Max Ryan version. There is also that universal monster cinematic universe and MAYBE. maybe a Disney live-action version is could maybe happen, maybe. However I’m excited and I hope this gets made.

Charles Dance picture image

Charles Dance

I do like the idea of Dinklage and Dance starring as Quasimodo and Frollo. Though they wouldn’t super idea to the roles as Quasimodo is liken to a giant and Frollo is mid-aged from a late renaissance point of view, still I think they could act the roles well pending on how the story is adapted.

Also Charles Dance was one my Hypothetical casting for Frollo and I still maintain that he would be a great Frollo. And oddly George R.R. Martin did allude to Quasimodo when Cersei refer to Tyrion in A Feast for Crows  “swing from a rope in the Sept of Baelor” and Dinklage plays Tyrion on the HBO show of Game of Thrones.  You can read that post here. So if they do take the roles it would be great casting.

You can read more of this story below;


Justin Timberlake picture image

Justin Timberlake

Recently I found this http://ideas.wikia.com/wiki/The_Hunchback_of_Notre_Dame_(Live-action_remake) which I consider a treaure trove of possibalities. For the record this is a hypothetical casting for a hypothetical live action Disney remake of Hunchback, it’s not real. So I thought it would be fun to go through these casting picks and see how these actors be in the roles.

Looking at the list the casting picks seem  pretty on point  but Justin Timberlake as Quasimodo stands out a little or a lot. I just can’t see this as a casting option but I tend to be wrong so let’s dive into this, shall we?

Justin Timberlake picture image

Justin Timberlake


Timberlake is most known as a singer. He was survivor  of the Great Boy Band Wars of the late 90’s as he was in the group called N’Sync. He managed to shake whatever personality he had in the group to be a solo artist (wasn’t a fan of the Boy Bands). His music has a slick cool vibe  and that vibe seems to get translated into his film roles.

Timberlake has been in quite a few movies  but he has never really been propelled into superstar status as an actor the same way he is as a singer. Could a role as Quasimodo be the catalyst for him to be a mega film star? Quasimodo does seem to be a sort of vanity role for actors as it’s very demanding both physically and emotionally, plus it’s scientifically proven that making attractive actors ugly means huge accolades, no wonder Josh Brolin and Max Ryan wanted to play Quasimodo.


Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, The Social Network picture image

Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, The Social Network


However this is Disney’s Quasimodo. Not saying that it wouldn’t be a challenge to play this role in a live-action version but Disney’s Quasimodo is more innocent and naive than other versions. So let’s just pretend for a second and make a GREAT big assumption and say that a live-action version would favor the musical version of the character. Is there much difference between the two versions? Not that much but Quasimodo in the musical seems a little more rougher and less sweet than he is the Disney movie.

Could Timberlake be convincing as Quasimodo? I can’ see it. I can see him singing the Quasimodo’s song but acting as a meek abused yet hopeful character, no. His roles  have a sleek and cool edge which Quasimodo doesn’t have at all.  Is it fair to base this on his past roles? Yes and no. Clearly he is suited to roles likes Sean Parker from The Social Network but that isn’t to say that couldn’t play Quasimodo. He could nail the part, anything is possiable in theory.


Justin Timberlake picture image

Justin Timberlake


As I said Quasimodo is one those coveted roles that most ambitious actors would LOVE to play so if Timberlake wanted to be considered a serious actor he could try and get the role but considering his filmography and his career as a singers I can’t see him playing Quasimodo.

Then again I could be very wrong. What do you guys think? Could Justin Timberlake play Quasimodo? Do you want him to play Quasimodo?

Quasimodo, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Quasimodo, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

In the realm of Quasimodo adaptations, this one opts for the sweet pathetic type. There is zero edge to him and that made him boring. Quasimodo in this version exists solely for the purpose of Esmeralda. He like-likes her, saves her and dies for her. While all that exists in the book Quasimodo doesn’t strictly die because of Esmeralda, he also dies because he killed Frollo. Adaptations forget that Quasimodo did love Frollo too and while he did kill Frollo for what he did to Esmeralda, he did so in a fit of rage. Honestly few versions really understand Quasimodo, they just see the pathos of his character but not his mind or half of his characterization.

Quasimodo as The Pope of Fools, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Quasimodo as The Pope of Fools, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

As it’s stands with this Ballet, Quasimodo doesn’t have a strong attachment to Frollo and there is no backstory. The lack of the backstory is not a huge issue as it’s ballet, it’s forgivable but there is somethings that unforgivable. Quasimodo doesn’t seem to care about Notre Dame, like the cathedral is barely in the ballet. Fleur de Lys’ parlour has more stage time that Notre Dame. That just seems wrong. Also the Pope of Fools part was shoe-horned in middle of the ballet for little reason. It didn’t even makes sense after the whole kidnap attempt scene to have the Pope of Fools. The point of which is to show Frollo’s powers over Quasimodo and the then how the relationship is damaged after Frollo leaves Quasimodo to suffer for his crime. It would have been better not to have the Pope of Fools scene than messing up the order and their relationship dynamic.   

Quasimodo & Frollo, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Quasimodo & Frollo, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

One could argue that this Esmeralda’s story and messing with the dynamic of Quasimodo and Frollo is inconsequential to the emotional impact for her tragedy but that is misguided. You can’t show Esmeralda’s place in Quasimodo’s heart without the juxtaposition of Frollo or even Notre Dame in Quasimodo’s world.   

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Quasimodo, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Quasimodo in this version just exists for Esmeralda. It’s akin more closely to Disney Quasimodo’s  schoolboy crush but in the guise of a tragic ballet.

Esmeralda Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image


I feel like I’m in some weird ring of hell. A Ring of Hell where my sole torture is rewatching this version of Hunchback. I can’t tell you in how many ways I just loathe this version and it’s not even in a logical, it’s visceral, it strikes me down to my core. I hate everything about this version and it hurts my soul in so many ways that I’m not sure I can quantify anymore why it’s a puke stain on the already dirty carpet of Hunchback version aimed at children. I think the main reason I can’t articulate why it’s terrible is because it has the same problems as every other  Disney knock-off versions, at this point it’s a case of “second verse same of the first.”  Everything is just the worst but you came here to read something that in some way resembles a review or you just click on a picture or you’re lost and have already clicked away but whatever the case the subject line has spoken and it’s not even trying to be clickbait so let’s get this over with.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo, Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996 picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo,

As is standard with these knock-off Disney direct to video movies the animation super low budget. The use of repeat animation for extras to pad out the run time is beyond annoying and I might not have minded it so much if the movie didn’t start that way. It takes nearly three minutes to get to Esmeralda awkwardly dancing about, three minutes of just nothing but random town’s people laughing and clapping on repeat.  In addition to animation being stilled, awkward and mostly on repeat  most of the shots are at flat angles.  There is nothing interesting or memorable about the way the shots are composed to even hold a remote sense of attention.


Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image


But again I’m not done, though I wish I was, this will never end. There is the color design of this thing. If you think I was joking about calling this movie being like puke you were wrong. The color this movie most likes to use is a weird dark yellow color that resembles vomit. They also use a  green that looks like another shade of puke. I’m not kidding this movie has an ugly and all-round unpleasant color palette. If they were trying I guess they were trying to make it warm but they failed, they failed hard.

Esmeralda meets Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda meets Phoebus

Then there is the character design. Can you believe I didn’t really touch in the character designs yet? Both Phoebus and Esmeralda are drawn to be the prettiest that the shitty animation will allow. This of course gives them no visual interest so being “beautiful” by this movie’s standard is a mute point. Though the best line in this movie is Frollo describing Esmeralda’s eyes as “shining brighter than the most beautiful stars in the night sky.”  Too bad they don’t.

Quasimodo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo with his doves

Quasimodo is your typical cute, nice, deformed design that you see over and over again. He is very bulbous and round making him “cute.” Which is like standard in character design round is good and angles are bad.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image


Speaking of angles there is Frollo. And he is yet another case of “second verse same as the first. Agian he looks like a mix of Disney Gaston and Jafar. Why? Who are they even coping at this point? This  is like the third Frollo to look like this? He doesn’t look like either Disney Frollo or the 1939 version.  Is this a case of parallel thought between three stupid Disney Knock-off versions, where they combined  two popular Disney villains or did this version copy Secret of the Hunchback of Enchanted Tales? Both options scream laziness.  Though to be fair this version did take Frollo’s design beyond merely combining Gaston and Jafar and instead cross that combination with a fish.   


Esmeralda Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image


This version is just entirely forgettable with its abysmal animation, boring flat angles, cringe-inducing color palette and lazy character design.  The only thing I can recall about this movie is how forgettable this version is and that is why I have to rewatch it thus prolonging the torture of the ring of hell I now occupy.

Instead of trying to find items that reflect Hunchback characters’ style like I have done in the past, like watches one from three years ago, this year I’m going to feature one cool Hunchback  item from Amazon.

This year is a Quasimodo phone case.

Quasimodo Phone Case picture image

Quasimodo Phone Case


I really like the design. I love Quasimodo as a negative silhouette against Notre Dame. Really it’s a pretty perfect design. Also just on a personal level, I like green and gold as a color combo.