Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
well guys, here i am with reviewing all the disney animated films and now i'm going for one that's... just okay for me. now when i was in kindergarten i simply loved this movie. just straight off the bat. i could hardly understand a thing that was going on aside from knowing how were the good guys and bad guys were, what all their objectives are in a way that's not accurate but at the same time I have the general idea, and what happens in the moment i found just 110% hilarious. now that i'm older, i really only watch it because it was a movie from my childhood and that it's an alright movie all around. and there are something i admit i realized from the video review to this film from our buddy Lord Naseby. but while i am admitting stuff from his review, there are a couple of things that I disagreed with him on. so without further ado, this is my review for Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Plot:the film takes place in late 15th century France. Judge Frollo is on a hunt against gypsies and one night when he captured a few, he killed a gypsy woman thinking she was hiding stolen goods but turns out to be a disfigured baby. thinking it's a demon, he plans to drown it but is stopped by the archdeacon to points out what he has done and tell him to care and raise the child. 20 years later, the child, who is not named Quasimodo, is the bell ringer of Notre Dame still being taken care of my Frollo who forbids him from leaving the cathedral. but he decides to do so anyway during a festival called the Feast of Fools where he meets this gipsy named Esmeralda. things get particularly dark when Frollo begins to lust for her and goes on this mad hunt to capture her and make her choose between him or being killed.
Okay. it's completely true. This is a messed up film in terms of how it's dark even for a Disney film. i mean you have genocide, corruption, religion and all that which makes it messed up that this film was G rated. there isn't a single argument there. However, I think this film is...in a way...a good example of Disney being for both kids and adults. cause on one hand you have this dark film with quite the setting and all that for mostly the adults or much older children to enjoy, then you have cartoon characters and people getting hurt that results in some guy's eyes popping out in a cartoon that, while is generally just the comic relief especially for the adults and older kids, are things some kids will just laugh on the floor over, and then you have stuff Disney has for everybody like wonderful music and lovable characters.
Quasimodo: I generally liked Quasimodo as a kid...and i sort of still do. i mean it's pointed out just fine how his life has been mislead because he was raised by a very corrupted judge who while was evil, actually had some very good motives when it came to raising him when it came to how people would view him over how he looks. and Lord Naseby point this out well that the villagers were pretty much making a lot of mood swings. However, I still liked him because i cared for him. he has this dream, people did make fun of him, and in the end, he becomes the hero of the film and everyone likes him. I like that. and sure the people were having a lot of mood swings, but I feel like they put everything went fine in a way were they decided not to judge people by their looks and how he did save then from a seriously messed up judge. and hey, in the sequel, the whole matter about his looks become a permanent thing in the past. i mean he imagines himself handsome at one point but that's pretty much it.
Frollo: I remember Naseby having fun pointing out how Frollo was very corrupted. He all thought he was a good Christian (yeah if that's a good Christian, then my life has taken all the wrong turns in life.) while he actually followed a lot of the seven deadly sins. Lust, sloth, anger, stuff like that. and i really liked how it really got into his head. especially when he had an epiphany thus the song, Hellfire which is one of the best villain songs known to man. and in a way his obsession consumes him with it being about religion with how he beings to try to kill Esmeralda while making up some quote that sounded bibical (I don't know. some people say that it was a bible verse but it didn't sound too much like it did and I don't think i've seen any verse like that while i've been reading my bible.) and then in a big turn i makes it turn out-or at least can be viewed this way-that The Lord tells him that his ways were wrong. because (AND DON'T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE AND DON'T WANT ANYTHING SPOILED) what happens when he dies is that he was standing on a statue of some demon or something like that but then it starts to come off he loses his balance and hold on to the statue facing the head and then the head seams to come to life and so he panics and then the statue fully comes off and so he falls to his death into the liquid lead below. If that happened in real life, i for one based on my Christian beliefs would've viewed it more or less as The Lord actually telling him in a way very similar to the Old Testament whenever he judged Israel or a whole lot of other nations from the Canaanites to the Babylonians, "No, you were wrong all along, I tried to tell you numerous times and was very patient with you, but you hardened your heart and went your own way and you have made yourself incapable of changing. so as much as I don't want to do this, I hereby sentence you to your fate." I liked that.
Esmeralda:I liked her. Frankly it was mostly because of her caring for Quasimodo but i liked her all around. and i find it surprising that she actually treated him horribly in the book.
Phoebus: This is actually a better example over how the book differs from this film. Phoebus is a very friendly and lovable guy and he's pretty heroic and all that. but from the book, which i found out before watching Naseby's review, he's actually more the villain or at least one of the villains. As for the view that Kevin Kline being the voice of him...i don't really have a good comment about it. I grew up only knowing this kind of Pheobus and i feel like it's fine where it is so my opinion is not really qualified to really agree or disagree about it.
Music: again, "Hellfire" is one of the best villain songs known to man. and like everyone else, i especially love the red-hooded figures halfway through it. you can't see any faces or anything like that. that would be really cool yet creepy to try to see in real life. personally, i actually like "out there" i thought it was a nice song. I do admit after seeing Naseby's review that with the last part especially, Quasimodo cracked pretty badly. but i still find it nice aside from that. "God help the Outcasts" and "Topsy Turvy" where also nice.
Comedy: when i was a kid, there were a couple of films I liked just over some things that were not in the movies very long. With Dumbo there was Casey Jr, with Attack of the Clones it was all of the action in the very end, and with Hunchback of Notre Dame, it was the comedy for the kids. Now the comedy doesn't stop people from thinking the film should at least be PG rated. But from my experience from my own childhood, I think it was entertaining enough for kids to love that might've been one of the way or ways they found it logical to make this movie G. I mean there was stuff like when Victor put a bucket on Hugo's head, Hugo made this noise that my siblings in I (or just me) would just laugh at. but then there were things more like the looney toons or cartoons like that were Victor nervously drops a brick on a guard's head and the guard i all eyes pop out and all that and Victor's like "sorry, sorry" (yes i know. i real life that would kill you) or when Pheobus punched another in the face he would have his eyes popped out and have some of his teeth come out in a cartoony way while he falls down unconscious, Laverne does that Wizard of Oz spoof with all those birds she hates and i remember i personally liked where some guards tried to climb up by rope, but then Quasimodo grabs the rope and pulls it to that the guards who are holding on the to robe run into the rail and fall into the river unconscious (which can also kill you) and ass they feel, Goofy's classic scream is played. i just loved that to death. I mean the film needed to be PG at the least, but I feel like it did well this way to make it for kids as well as adults.
so that is my review for Hunchback of Notre Dame. it's no Beauty and the Beast, or anything like that, but to me it is a good movie regardless for all to enjoy Disney style.