Lady Tremaine gets her hands on the Fairy Godmother's wand, then turns back time to the day Cinderella tried on the glass slipper. She enlarges the slipper to fit one of the stepsisters, ... See full summary »
Christopher Daniel Barnes,
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
Ask not for whom the bells of Notre Dame toll...they toll for this!
A previous commentator remarked that this monstrosity of a DTV sequel could only be watched in chunks. I found it interesting that my experience with this movie involved blowing chunks.
I know that's an awfully immature way to describe my experience with Hunchback II, but that's exactly what this thing did to the original Hunchback. It took the very dark (for Disney, at least) original and removed everything from it that made it mature and compelling. The only thing to remain fairly untainted by this incarnation of the film was the one element that was out of place in the original...the gargoyles. They were right at home in this one. That's a bad sign...it's indicative of the overall decline in the film's maturity level.
The first film centered around our protagonists' struggle against Frollo, whose lust for power and for Esmerelda provided a conflict more psychological than would have been found in an average Disney movie. This centers around a guy who wants to steal a big, fancy bell from the bell-tower along with his lovely assistant (who happens to fall in love with Quasimodo along the way). That's it. And people say the first film would have sent Hugo spinning in his grave! The returning characters are not immune from this either. They were at least somewhat well rounded out in the first film, but they have become two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs of themselves.
In fact, pretty much every aspect of the film has become flat. The music has regressed from the choral chants which were so appropriate to the movie's setting and the songs which so perfectly fit the moods and characters in the film to more-or-less generic Disney movie music (if I remember correctly; I've tried to block several aspects of the movie from my memory). There's no use commenting on the "artwork"; it's the same DTV schlock that we've become used to seeing from Disney's TV animation unit. The difference between it and the artwork from the original is like the difference between a child's messy crayon drawing and finely-rendered computer animation.
So, how to sum up? What can I say here that hasn't been said in previous reviews of this and other Disney DTV sequels? Ending with the plea for Disney to stop the insanity would be futile, seeing that sequels are in the works for "Mulan" and "The Jungle Book" (that one should break my will to live). I suppose it's just best to keep our eyes peeled for more of these imposters to the throne of what was once Disney quality. (Heck, these aren't imposters...they're not even trying to masquerade as quality films!)
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