Skip to main content

Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Who thought this was a good idea?

Late-night shower singing of Disney songs prompts some important questions, chief among them being: was Disney drunk when it decided to make Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Don't get me wrong — I love that movie (minus the gargoyles, aka the one weak attempt to make it seem like an actual children's movie). I will classify it as 'underappreciated,' along with Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Home on the Range. The score and setting are gorgeous, the story was written by Victor Hugo, and Tom Hulce, aka Mozart, does the voice of Quasimodo. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR.



no...no, not that.

Disney seemed to be experimenting a bit in the '90s. It went from fairytales to The Lion King -- which is kind of based on Hamlet -- to a bastardization of the Pocahontas story, i.e. actual historical events, to...a 19th century French novel about a deformed man who lives in a belltower.



I just really really wish I could've heard the initial pitch.

"So, how about we do the Twelve Dancing Princesses next? That sounds good, right?"

"Here's the thing, Steve -- I was thinking about it, and I really think this 500 page Victor Hugo novel about a rapey clergyman's the way to go."

"....fuck off, Bob."

BUT THEN BOB SOMEHOW WON. They endeavored KIND of successfully to make Quasimodo adorable, but the fact remained they had a 19th century French story about medieval Paris, a deaf and malformed bell-ringer, and a sex-obsessed archdeacon. It's like they were TRYING to give themselves an impossible task, which was to make this appealing to children. And then they didn't even try that hard, because you have scenes like this:

THIS MOVIE IS SO SEXUALLY AGGRESSIVE

It basically goes from traumatic scene to traumatic scene, including:

- Frollo almost dropping a baby down a well after causing its mother's death.

- Quasimodo being angrily pelted with vegetables by a mob after being tied down in the square.



- Frollo setting a house on fire with a family in it.

- A song with these lyrics:
Like fire, hellfire
This fire in my skin
This burning desire
Is turning me to sin


- Quasimodo and Phoebus almost being hanged by the Court of Miracles


WHAT A WONDERFUL CHILDREN'S FILM

Go home, 1996 Disney. You're drunk.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

A synonym for 'Neanderthal' is 'boorish,' which just isn't very nice

So this article came out, which isn't really groundbreaking at all, but it happens to have been published the day after I watched part of the NOVA special "Becoming Human," so it's been on my brain anyway.

I was checking out a book a while ago called Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans, and it was all "Oh dude, our ancestors probably didn't even LOOK at Neanderthals. No way. 'Cause they would've been like, RIDICULOUSLY ugly."

This book was published in 2010. And what came out this year? DNA Shows Humans Found Non-Humans Irresistible

That's right. Your lady ancestor, at some point, sidled up to a Neanderthal gentleman and said "Hey. How's it goin'?


Because all non-Africans ('cause the Africans stayed put instead of traipsing around becoming the Don Juans of prehistoric Europe) have 1-4% Neanderthal DNA. So the above scenario DEFINITELY happened. Which is disheartening NOT because of my huge Neanderth…