It is I Kitten (Aka: Mae Dominguez), an aspiring animator, dork and animation critic (and fourth year art student). Here I shall post critiques on animation of every shape and form (film, TV shows etc)
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4) The Hunchback of NotreDame II Quasimodo’s adventure to get laid.
I take it all back. ALL. BACK.
I rather watch ‘Ariel’s Begining’ twenty times if it saves me from watching this…thing again.
Oh god. Thank god I had company while watching this () because if I had no one there with me comforting my sobs of anguish, this movie would’ve killed a portion of my brain. This was just…disgusting, uncreative, stupid, unentertaining and just insulting to the original movie.
To those who don’t know ‘The Hunchback of Notredame’ is one of my favorite Disney films (My review: [link]). So watching this was like slamming my brain into an iron maiden and ripping out my heart.
To properly describe how wretched this movie is, I’m going to list the stuff that made the original movie awesome and why the sequel ruined it.
*The dark and religious nature Remember the amazing religious references (like the gregorian chants) and dark palettes used in the original film? NOT ANYMORE! Everything is bright and cheery, and all the meaningful context was stripped out. Also the palette in this movie is very yellow, I’m convinced someone took a piss on this movie…then again I am not surprised, even piss could improve the quality of this movie.
*The epicness The original film had high stakes, a mad judge was going to commit genocide on an entire race of people and burn the city to the ground to find and punish an innocent woman. Only our hero could save the city from this madness and vanquish this insane man. In this film the main conflict is, get this, A CIRCUS RINGLEADER WANTS TO STEAL A BELL. That is as ‘epic’ as it gets.
*The songs Remember the classics like ‘the Bells of Notre Dame’ and ‘Hellfire’? How about the profound piece ‘God help the Outcasts’? Or the epic gregorian chants and the swelling orchestra? Nope! Nothing of that sort here. Just stupid Saturday Morning cartoon songs that don’t even ATTEMPT to be good. I remember one of the lyrics being; ‘Imagine, someone you love who loves you.’ Yes, this was probably written by some lazy fuck. And this song [link] made me want to crash my face against a wall. Yes, the words ‘Sticky goo’ were used in a ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ movie.
*The animation This is one of the sequels with the WORST animation. All the colors are flat, the characters are animated in a lazy way and the new character’s designs are so boring and bland. And this has the balls to call itself a sequel to one of the most beautifully animated movies of all time. Whats hilarious is that in the trailer of this movie they avoid every way possible to show the animation of the actual movie and spends a lot of time showing animation from the first movie and behind the scenes stuff. ([link])
*The voicework ALL the original voice actors return to this piece of tripe. ALL OF THEM. This makes it ESPECIALLY painful to listen to, because if they had the money to bring back these big stars it must mean they used up all their budget on the casting. No wonder the animation was so piss poor.
Okay so, now that I proved that this sequel is no where near the original’s level, I will try to tell you about the plot and characters.
Where do I begin.
Alrighty, the film begins with the city of Paris preparing a new festival called ‘The Festival of Love’. Yes…This movie’s main focus is on the romance, grab a paper bag while you can. They sing a horrible song but then we find out Quasimodo is blue because he has no one to share the festival with. Then we are introduced to one of the WORST characters in Disney history; Esmeralda and Pheobus’s son Zephyr. Oh my god, where to begin with this character.
Firstly, if you are going to be a story teller you have to be very concious in how to write little kids if you need to include them in your story. Some little kid characters are charming (like Lilo) and others are extremely annoying like this turd. Now the best way to write a kid character in any story is them doing something productive or meaningful. They can either be the heart of the film or a contributor. Also they need to know how to act when they are in a movie (*cough* Anakin Skywalker *cough*).
Secondly, While Haley Joel Osment has proven to be a damn good child actor (‘Sixth Sense’) this is by far his worst role. His high pitch voice will haunt my dreams forever more. However, I do not blame the actor but the horrid writting and direction so Haley isn’t at fault here.
Finally, this character’s awfulness increases when you learn this is supposed to be Pheobus and Esmeralda’s SON. Funny thing is that he looks NOTHING like Esmeralda. I’m a mixed race child, my father is European white and my mother has a very Hispanic dark tone in her skin (very similar to Esmeralda’s color scheme). I was born with my father’s skin tone and my mother’s features like eyes, nose and mouth so people can tell I am a mix of both of my parents. Zephyr on the other hand is a Pheobus CLONE. Couldn’t they give him Esmeralda’s eyes at least?
Also I might have to add that Esmeralda and Pheobus are almost non existent in this story. Neither of them act like parents and just stand around looking at stuff. Pheobus does more than Esmeralda (which is strange since Esmeralda had a bigger role in the last movie) but he’s constantly bitching. Esmeralda is brain dead in this whole film and does not have any of the fire she had in the last movie. I guess the writers are trying to tell us that when you become a parent you become boring and bitchy. So you brought back Kevin Kline and Demi Moore to do THIS? What a rip off.
So then Esmeralda gives Quasimodo a pep talk and we find out that the circus has arrived in town. This is where we are introduced to our villain who is another huge flaw in the movie. He’s supposed to be an egomaniac ringleader kind of guy and the whole gag concerning his character is that he’s incredibly fruity and the fact he thinks he’s super attractive when he isn’t (BECAUSE HE WEARS A TUPEE AND A CORSET HAWHAWHAW FAT JOKES). Also his catch phrase is ‘Lovely~’ which gets old very fast. This guy is NOTHING compared to Frollo who is definately (in my opinion) Disney’s best and most complex villain to date. The fact they mention that this guy is ‘a villain’ is an insult to the greatness Frollo was.
At the same time we are introduced to the main love interest of the story; Maddeline. She’s a really bland character, the typical gorgeous girl who is ‘CLUMSY~’ and insecure trope that doesn’t know how pretty she is. Her dream is to be in the circus as a tightrope walker person because…she needs to have a dream to be a female disney character duh.
So Fruity villain man (I forgot his name, he’s that forgettable) tells Maddeline that he wants to steal a bell from Notre Dame and wants her to check out the tower and find the location of the bell by ‘wooing’ the bell ringer. By the way, this ‘expensive bell’ is the most improbable thing I have ever seen in a movie. Its basically a giant bell that looks normal on the outside but its covered in gems ON THE INSIDE GEDDIT? Seriously though, WHY PUT THE GEMS ON THE INSIDE? The people at the town square will not see the gems from that height, this is so stupid I will just…stop there.
Maddeline goes to the bell tower and finds Quasimodo but he hides from her. Despite this they start awkwardly flirting and then he reveals his face to her and she gets scared and runs away. TWU LUV. Quasimodo then develops a strange obsession with her and makes a doll of her likeness and starts making plans on how to impress her. He gets a ‘makeover’ which is just him wearing pimp clothes, and goes to the circus. Oh and we also reveal Pheobus starts making racist remarks about gypsies when HE WASN’t racist before. Continuity, whats that?
So Maddeline watches Quasi and turd- I mean Zephyr sing an awful song and her heart melts or…something. After pointlessness, Pheobus finds out the circus people have been stealing stuff so he goes to investigate. Meanwhile, Quasi and Maddeline go on their first date which is the most pandering stuff I have ever seen.
Maddeline: Ew this souffle is ugly.
Quasi: NU HUH taste.
Maddeline: Ew these plants are ugly.
Quasi: NU HUH smell.
Maddeline: Ew this tower has a horrible view.
Quasi: NU HUH, listen.
GEDDIT? HES SHOWING HER STUFF THAT IS UGLY ON THE OUTSIDE BUT BEAUTIFUL IN THEIR OWN WAY.
Okay, this is where I am going to analyze that this relationship is forced, contrived and stupid. It is obvious that Maddeline finds Quasimodo ugly and hard to look at due to her reaction when she first saw him. If Quasimodo wants to find a girl, he needs to find someone who finds his ”uglyness” charming or attractive to them. I personally find Quasimodo adorable and the reasons why I wouldn’t be in a relationship with him do not concern his appearance at all. Its the fact that I never found him mature enough for a relationship, he acts like a little kid. Quasi has always known that he was ugly and his physical appearance was the crutch to him in the first movie. Now that he finally has all this out of nowhere wisdom of ‘everything can be a miracle or beautiful’ its just so out of character for him. I believe that if there needed to be a sequel is Quasimodo adapting into society and HIM learning these lessons. This was just made so he could get ‘a gurlfwend’ and not only that but a girl that fits the ‘bland Disney female character’ trope. Don’t get me wrong, Disney has made a lot of great leading ladies but if they needed to give Quasimodo his soul mate she should be someone compatible and that shares his struggles. That way they learn from each other to become better people.
Instead they felt the need to pair him up with a blonde bombshell to prove that ugly people can hook up with attractive people which solidifies that there is only ONE definition of ‘beauty’ and ‘ugly’, which is NOT true. Some people even find Brad Pitt unattractive so I don’t get why they needed to make such a contrived romance.
Alright now that I got that out of the way, I can wrap this up.
Fruity villain man tells Maddeline that if she doesn’t tell him where the bell is he will hurt Quasi. HHAHAHHAHAHAH. Sure Fruity, the man with the lung crushing corset can beat a man who broke apart SOLID ROCK. If I were Maddeline, this is what I would’ve done.
1) Give the Fruity man a false lead of where the bell is. 2) Tell Quasi of Fruity’s plan. 3) Get Pheobus and the guards to arrest him.
Instead she does the exact opposite, she tells Fruity where the stupid bell is and they steal it, and of course they steal it in the most implausible way ever. They just make it…disappear. I swear I am NOT joking. This implies that all of Fruity’s magic tricks are REAL. Blow me.
So Maddeline is arrested because she was a suspect of the Bell’s disappearance and Quasi is heart broken. Then Maddeline tells Pheobus that she might know where Fruity is and Esmeralda suspects that it might be the catacombs. So the whole gang goes to the catacombs and they find out OMG FRUITY HAS TURD- I mean ZEPHYR! And if Pheobus didn’t let him pass he was going to…hurt…him? With what? He has no knife, nothing. Was he going to strangle him? Argh who cares, its almost over.
Maddeline gains Quasi’s trust again by saving Zephyr doing a tightrope which is hilarious because she moves as slow as a snail and she still catches up with Fruity’s escape boat. I guess her tightrope arc is…over or something.
So in the end there is the famous ‘Festival of Love’ and Quasi and Maddeline finally kiss. This kiss is so funny because its all on Maddeline’s back perspective to cover up the kissing action as much as possible. You are not fooling anyone.
And that was HBOND 2, one of the worst Disney sequels. Will you believe me that there are three sequels that are WORSE than this one? Stay tuned.