It’s been a while since I have offered new Merch for my Zazzle store.
The idea behind these designs was inspired by “movie monsters” and Quasimodo dressing up like them for Halloween. It is meant to be cute and silly. There is are Zombie, a Mummy and Dracula/Vampire designs.
This episode starts off with a bang, a literal bang as explosions are going off. François proves he immortal as he walks into an explosion and is fine, not a scratch or even a burn.
Turns out the reason behind the explosions is Frollo but not in way one might think. Turns out it’s because in his youth Frollo’s greed made him hire an assistant in his work under Quasimodo’s awesome parents. The assistant was a young man named Robert who because of Frollo gets turned into a Lizard-person and vowed revenge under the alias “The Abomination.” And now he stalks Frollo, let that one sink in.
Frollo begs the Gang of Pals for help by locking him in the Bastille. The Abomination finds them and Quasimodo tries to talk him down but the opposite happens and Quasimodo wants to go after Frollo. However François the seemingly immortal got pushed into a wall and needs help so Quasimodo lets Frollo get away and Robert is now their friend and is going to help in the search for Quasimodo’s awesome noble parents.
This episode has a lot of good ideas but it’s an execution problem. One issue and this MIGHT not be the show’s fault was the audio was lagging. But the animation was notably lower quality in this episode and the dialogue was awkward.
So while it was a little silly watching Frollo begging to be locked up it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. And I was genuinely into the plot summary but alas couldn’t enjoy it can much as I wanted. Plus François, he is very grating and not in a fun way this time. At least Djali was in this episode that is always a net positive.
There is no cave or spooky tunnels in this episode….weird.
Episode 18: The Barbarians
Or rather The Mercenary which is what the title card says and makes more sense. And before we start Frollo’s subterranean lair is featured so we have our “cave quota” I was worried we weren’t going have one.
So the plot roughly goes that a warlord named Tisphaine is attacking villages. The King sends Dennis as his messenger. Why? Good Question but Dennis get captured. Meanwhile Quasimodo volunteers for the army and does his pal François. Quasimodo also introduces him by his birth name. He does seem cool with everyone calling him Quasimodo though so it’s all good which is good for the show since Quasimodo is on the title. Also the army uniforms look more like scout uniforms. Quasimodo gets his gymnastic badge and François is forever working on that poetry one.
Meanwhile in Frollo’s spacious subterranean lair he has a fun new war weapon but he needs Dragon (the stone gargoyle of Notre Dame) to fly it. His plan to join up with his old friend Tisphaine in hopes of “owning the world.”
Meanwhile Esmeralda sees Dragon flies off and hears about Dennis’ capture and is sent off to the rescue.
In the end Quasi gets Tisphaine to smash the Frollo’s weapon and get catapulted away with the old rope tied to the top of a bent tree trick…..sure… in this magical world of magical adventures that is a thing they can do. Frollo is left in charged and the mercenaries want to be paid and thus Frollo like any good CEO runs off refusing to pay the workers. And finally Gang of Pals all get their merit badges for saving France…again.
This one was weird one. Like France is in danger and yet it feels very low stakes. The characters get capture and breakout only to get capture and break out again. The warlord is cast off via a tree-catapult and that is ends of the conflict. Is he dead? Or is the embarrassment of his dealing Quasimodo make him not a warlord any more? There is also same very weird dialogue that Frollo has with Azarof that makes it seem like Azarof betrayed Frollo or something. Maybe a scene was cut from the episode but Frollo is fine with whatever Azarof did was but I’m confused.
On some positive notes; Tisphaine’s voice actor is selling it; Frollo seems to have a lot of friends, good for him; and Esmeralda’s disguise was a pretty good outfit. Otherwise this episode was underwhelming.
It rather just occurred to me that there is a percentage of children whose first experience of the characters is this show since it pre-dates the Disney movie by mere weeks. The approach to the characters is far different as is the scope of the story. Just a little interesting aspect to consider.
Also a question, what age range is this show for? I’d say 6 to maybe 8? But maybe 5 to 7? I can’t see a ( or 10 year old gravitating for this show but I could be wrong. Also it depends on the child.
In this episode we get a backstory about Esmeralda’s locket, which was passed down from her grandmother’s great-grandmother after she healed the High Priestess of Council of Magicians in the woods. Since the locket has lost its energy the gang of pals ventures to find the magicians. Naturally Frollo gets winds of this plans and also goes so that he get more power. Why he doesn’t wait? Who can say?
After the gang of pals gets lost Frollo infiltrates the Magicians and spreads lies about the gang. Isabel, the High Priestess, isn’t paying it and has Esmeralda and Frollo Magician duel which reveals what in their hearts. Esmeralda conjures spring and Frollo conjures gold and thus loses and gets his mind wiped about the magicians. Prior to the duel Isabel recharges the locket and after the duel she gives Esmeralda a magic rings the reveal friend and foe which Esmeralda plans to give to her grandmother.
This episode is alright. There is nothing to really push it into the delightful range but nothing that makes it overly annoying. Frollo did have to take some stupid pills for this one to work but there needs to some conflict. I did enjoy Esmeralda dancing and François was used sparingly.
And if you’re wondering if there is a cave in this episode, the answer yes of course, gotta have a cave for that cave quota….
I love Notre Dame de Paris and I love costumes so here some ideas for more costumes for the show.
Let me just preface by saying these ideas are adding, not subtracting or even really changing existing costumes in the show. Also I only have ideas for three characters.
So let’s start with the idea that is the least likely to happen, (also I do not think any of these ideas will get used in the show but if they do that would be great.)
1st idea: Quasimodo’s Grand Reveal.
When Quasimodo is first seen in the show he on the cathedral rock wall structure and the audience sees his figure descending down. I think it could be cool if he had a cloak that really accentuates his form. Maybe with a wired structure or something. The cloak could be made in such a way it’s pulls a parts prior to his song for a dramatic true reveal. Might be hard to execute but could be done. It’s not like the his entry isn’t enough as is, this would just be extra spectacle . Or they do opposite and hide Quasimodo’s form with the cloak till his first song making him more of a reveal.
2nd idea: More Esmeralda Costumes.
As I said I like costumes so more costume is always a plus and it’s more of a plus when they added thoughtful. Esmeralda doesn’t necessarily need more costume changes but there are places in the show that they could go and would work for the narrative. In theory she could be a different dress for the Fête much like in the Disney movie. This one is least necessary but I just wanted to mention it as possibility.
At the end of act 1 she meets Phoebus for their tryst. In a few movies versions Esmeralda gets a costume change for their meeting. Also the show did use a red rose fringe dress for promotion that depicted this scene. The dress was used for the London cast, 2001 French Cast also maybe the Russian cast too. So this would a very good place to add another pretty costume for Esmeralda.
Beginning of Act 2 Esmeralda as been arrested for killing/attacking Phoebus. She is recused by Quasimodo. In the book Quasimodo gives her some new clothing which is white and a nun’s habit. Not saying that for “Vivre” but it would be nice to have different costume from the prisoner one. Also in the original cast Esmeralda had her ruffle dress plus a lab coat looking item which she wears after “Vivre” though that could be for practical reasons. So she had two looks in the 2nd act, at least she did in the pro-shot. Maybe something white and a little ethereal and ephemeral to counter the previous costume which is now a heavy textured costume.
3rd idea: The Noblelady Fleur de Lys.
This idea would be the easiest to add to the show. A lot of the costumes have multiple layers, like coats and vests. Though over the years the production have played around with it, Gringoire still have his coat as does Frollo. Clopin has lost his coat in favor of a vest. Esmeralda has long since lost her lab coat thing. Phoebus’ chainmail get taken off and on but Quasimodo and Fleur de Lys never got an extra layer. It makes sense for Quasimodo but for her….
I think Fleur de Lys should have detachable sleeves for the 1st act and for the curtain call and them have off for act 2. This would give her more prim elite noblewoman appearance in 1st act and then 2nd act when she use her sexuality to get Phoebus to make sure Esmeralda hangs her bare arms would further get the point across. She’s showing some skin to manipulate her man though showcase the power dynamics in their relationship. It would show how her character has changed throughout the show.
The type of sleeves I would like to see for her is not historically accurate but none of the costumes in this show are so it doesn’t matter. I would like to see her with long sleeves with a tippet. A tippet is hanging piece of fabric off a part of a garment. For Fleur de Lys it would a long streamer attract to the upper part of the sleeves. In this picture of Buttercup from The Princess Bride, the silver part of the sleeve is the tippet. So that and the sleeves would be detachable.
I could see the performer having fun this these especially during the curtain calls as the Fleur de Lys performers tends to spin and hold her arms out. Plus it would make her look even more noble and would be a subtle change from the first act to the second act.
So are my costume ideas for Notre Dame de Paris. If i could pick one it was be Fleur de Lys sleeves, even the designer went in a different direction it would be great for the character.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Follow thehunchblog
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. Follow thehunchblog
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.
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.