Kronk desperately tries to find ways to impress his Dad, whom he can never please. But when things go wrong, Kronk kicks into comical gear and discovers the true riches in life are his friends and being "true to your groove."
Elliot M. Bour
Now that Frollo is gone, Quasimodo rings the bell with the help of his new friend and Esmeralda's and Phoebus' little son, Zephyr. But when Quasi stops by a traveling circus owned by evil magician Sarousch, he falls for Madellaine, Sarouch's assistant. But greedy Sarousch forces Madellaine to help him steal the Cathedral's most famous bell. Written by
Of course I don't expect Disney direct-to-video sequels, with their little budgets, to look and feel as spectacular as the originals. In fact, of all of them that I have seen, I still think Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Christmas looks the most like a theatrical motion picture, probably because it was not staffed out to any Japanese animation factories (though it does have some stiff moments that look like they were left to the junior animators.)
Being as I am not a Disney collector, I must say my interest is in the characters and the story, which plays a little like a long Saturday morning cartoon - very easy and predictable. (I guess they figure that if there's no trip to the movie theater, adults won't have to sit through these sequels if they don't want to.) But even for someone my age (29) it had some unexpected and touching moments, not to mention a nifty joke or two. I also just can't get over how sweet Quasimodo can be when Tom Hulce plays him. That in itself is worth a viewing. I also dig Madelaine. She's not yer typical Disney chick. I even risk saying she's right up there with Belle on the cool meter. She and Quasimodo have some great scenes.
I did miss some of the musical aspects of the first film. But the song "Ordinary Miracles" has stuck with me pretty good. I think the score just needed more recorders in it. :-) That's what I really missed, that 1490's kind of sound.
And so for all the positives, I have to look past the harsher lines and colors, some lack of detail (though I have to mention the backgrounds were pretty nice), and absence of big-budget digital post production. I've done enough animation myself to know how much work went into this little movie, and what counts to me is that the characters are all there, satisfying to see again. It also fills a little hole left in my heart by the first movie. Without giving away what happens: it was very sweet, to say the least.
No, Hunchback of Notre Dame II is not for film critics, but I think all you regular people will enjoy it!
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