Before you can understand the pain of the other Burbank version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you need to experience the pain. So you can either suffer through the forty some odd minutes of hell or just read this plot summary.   I’m sure more thought and effort were used to write this post than went into making the movie.

Frollo Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo

The story starts mind-numbingly on Year’s Eve 1599, a mere 117 later than the book for no real reason. Actually I got ahead of my self the movie actually starts with a wizard introducing this “wizard’s tale.” I can’t fathom what was being smoked at the studio when that idea was proposed and then accepted.

So, everything is going great in France as fake accent French people stroll about and pad out the 40+ minute runtime with weird animation and laugher.  Esmeralda is shown awkwardly twirling around when she approaches Frollo. Frollo rejects giving her money for her dancing by putting up his palms. On his palms is a birthmark which scares Esmeralda as she says it’s “the mark of evil.”  You know kind of what Esmeralda said in the 1939 version but instead of being something in lines of his hand it’s a big purple evil face, have fun with that and remember to put that on his hand animation team. Anyway Esmeralda walks off and Frollo doesn’t seem to like her.

Quasimodo crowned King of Clowns Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo crowned King of Clowns

Cut to Frollo chilling with King Henry IV, and to the version’s credit they got the proper monarch of France correct just not the correct year of the actual book, I mean to be fair it’s not like the first paragraph of the book or anything, it’s in the second, it’s very hard to miss… Moving on Frollo tells the king that he think Esmeralda is evil and Henry tells him to stop being narrow-minded and muses the Frollo probably still thinks the earth is still flat, which Frollo says it is. Hmm, this is reminding me a lot of the 1939 version…. Henry then gives Esmeralda a coin  just like in the 1939 version, hmm I’m saying that a lot, WEIRD!

Esmeralda then spots an eye looking at her, you know like another version, I’m noticing a bit of a pattern here. Anyway it’s Quasimodo and his dove friends, Quasimodo have doves that follow him around, at least it’s original. The town people chase after Quasimodo and make him dance for their amusement and then name him Kind of the Clowns and for some reason the crown of “King of Clowns” is not a jester hat but a wreath of laurels. WHY?   Frollo then reveals that he is the guardian of Quasimodo and how dare Quasimodo make a fool of Frollo in public again Again? What was the first time?. Less than ten minutes in and I’m so numb, hypothermia take me away.

Esmeralda the tries to go to the King to ask him for help for her people but the guard wants to arrest her because she is a gypsy and she runs away to Notre Dame. The Priest saves her and takes her in and introduces himself as Padre Jean-Paul. Why Spanish? I don’t get that, someone fill me in on why a Priest at Notre Dame de Paris would call him self “Padre?”  Cut to Frollo talking to some important looking guy demanding Quasimodo be whipped for going out in public, to which the important looking guy says no. Then it’s happy New Year and they have fireworks amidst tons of repeat animation and then everyone just leave because who parties all night for a new century, it’s bedtime.

Esmeralda meets Phoebus Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda meets Phoebus

Padre Jean-Paul then teaches Esmeralda how to pray because the 1939 version did it.  However Frollo comes in and yells that she can’t pray and then says she a witch who steals men’s heart and drives them mad. Literally it’s been two hours since Frollo first saw Esmeralda and he is already obsessed with destroying her. This Frollo makes book Frollo sane.  Esmeralda then goes upstairs and sees Quasimodo and takes off running. Quasimodo pursues her because he want her to know he is her friend. Phoebus then saves Esmeralda and sends Quasimodo to the Bastille. Phoebus and Esmeralda share a moment, he is not a smug jerk in this version.

Just like in the 1939 version, Frollo orders all the Gypsy women by round up so he can find Esmeralda but she gives the guards the slip. Meanwhile, Quasimodo is found guilty and Frollo makes a plea that Esmeralda is a witch and should be punished. Quasimodo is in the stocks begging for water. While that is happening Padre Jean-Paul explains to Esmeralda that Quasimodo is the nicest person and wouldn’t have hurt her. Esmeralda then gives him water but runs off as a guard approaches.

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda's face Other Burbank Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo tries to cover Esmeralda’s face

The King holds a masked party and Esmeralda shows up to dance to see Phoebus, even though there is a warrant out for her and she knows it. Phoebus and Esmeralda dance and confess their love for each other but then Frollo ruins the party by arresting her.

At her trail she declared a menace to society because she just so darn pretty that poor men just can help themselves with her around and sentence her to death.While is jail, Phoebus tells he is trying to arrange an appeal for her but he also has a plan to save her which is the same plan that Gringoire used in the 1939 version which was printing pamphlets.  However the night before her execution Quasimodo breaks her out of jail with the help of his dove pals.  As Esmeralda and Quasimodo seek into Notre Dame, Frollo confesses to Padre Jean-Paul that Esmeralda is not a witch and he is in love with her and the padre says he can’t forgive Frollo if he does come clean. Frollo then finds out that she has escaped with Quasimodo help.

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

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus

Now it’s the seventh of January, seven days! All this in seven days? Anyway Phoebus is getting the people on Esmeralda’s side and now know that she escaped jail. Phoebus, the Padre and Frollo all gather at the King’s to discuss Esmeralda. The Kings likes Phoebus’ approach but admits her can’t do anything without evidence. The Padre says Esmeralda is falsely accused then guilts Frollo to admit his lies which he does and the king pardons her. Frollo then rushes to Notre Dame to kill her. Frollo awkwardly attacks Quasimodo and then Quasimodo uses the bells to knock Frollo down the bell tower. Esmeralda and Phoebus reunite, people cheer, End of movie.

 

 

 

This delightful video was made by Amanda G. and it’s a summary of the novel in 4 minutes. Enjoy

Thanks to Amanda G. for letting me post this

Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

Quasimodo’s Reveal Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

The plot of the Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame is a water-down and condense version of Hugo’s novel and the 1939 version. Because the film is for children the film couldn’t follow it 100% or even 75% so watering it down  is understandable. To the film’s credit it did opt for a darker tone than most Disney movies especially where Frollo is concerned. And for the record there are worse children adaptions and as it stands, it is the best among the Hunchback for kids movies.

 

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

So the plot is stripe down to it barest essentials with a lens on Quasimodo and add-ons from the 1939 version. They added a moral,  eliminated some characters (Gringoire, Jehan, Louis, Sister Gudule (who is hardly ever mention in the adaptations) and added some characters (The gargoyles).

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Dancing

The basic plot is really about a cute girl and the guys that  “love” her and where these men take that love  into their psyches. That’s Hugo’s book at it’s most basic level, the problem is that since this book  was published in English the focus has been take off Esmeralda (Notre Dame de Paris) and went to Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). And to make it worse, two of the most famous “Hunchback” movies from the golden age of cinema, were vehicles for leading man playing Quasimodo. So the movies really do think that Quasimodo has to be the focus of the film and Disney really bought into this mentally (listen to DVD commentary).

 

Frollo and Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

Frollo and Qausimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

So the Disney plot lies in the moral that Quasimodo inspires, sure he ugly as all hell but he’s beautiful on the inside, and that’s what the plot is trying to teach, don’t judge people. A corrupt, yet pious Judge can still be a an evil jerk. Of course, this moral is as subtle as a ton bricks and the scenes can never shift away from Quasimodo for too long unless it’s a counterpoint to how great he is, and that would be how terrible Frollo is. So Frollo can gets just as many songs and srceen time as Quasimodo. This is why you’ll only see one scene without either Frollo or Quasimodo, which is Phoebus and Esmeralda’s introduction, you could count their time in Notre Dame but Frollo is technically in that scene and since there no cut in locations Quasimodo is there too . That scene of Esmeralda in Notre Dame speaking with Phoebus, getting grope by Frollo, and singing God help the Outcast ends with her following Quasimodo to the bell tower, so it doesn’t really count. So there is only one scene without Quasimodo or Frollo. The plot lives and dies on Frollo and Quasimodo and so the film’s moral is ALSO being referenced during the film’s duration. Even the songs act a method to reference the moral. All of Quasimodo and Frollo’s song are linked by this man vs monster prespective.  Clopin is the only character who gets some songs with any levity.

Clopin Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Clopin Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Phoebus, Quasimodo, Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Phoebus, Quasimodo, Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

So how was the plot of Disney’s Hunchback? Despite the film’s tunnel view of not giving a character that isn’t Quasimodo or Frollo 5 minutes of screen time. the film’s plot does well. It keeps the overall feeling of the story and makes it kid friendly and that was Disney’s angle and yet gives it a darker edge which help roots the film in Hugo’s book. But the book and the Disney’s version are character driven and not as plot driven so next time let look at the Disney version of Hugo’s characters.

 

Next time – a brief look at the 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