The classic tale of a loveable, outcast hunchback and the gypsy girl he adores is transformed into a musical, warmhearted animated classic in this delightfully updated version of a stirring... See full summary »
Sorry for what?
That I could be as silly as all the others. Judging you ugly because of your face. Never seeing what is truly beautiful... your soul.
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One of my favourite Burbank Films Australia animations
Initially I wasn't sure whether an adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel would work in 52 or so minutes. I needn't have worried though, as Burbank's Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of my favourites of theirs alongside Wind in the Willows and Peter Pan. Is it the best version? Possibly not, the 1939 Charles Laughton film is incredibly well made and moves me to tears every time I see it. But of the three animated versions seen, I believe also there is one from either Golden Films or Burbank Animation Studios, it is for me second to Disney's(which is not perfect but I personally love it for the animation, music, characters and how much it moved and thrilled me) and much better than Jetlag's(not bad as such but one of their weakest efforts overall). What I love about this version is many things. In all honesty I wasn't expecting much from the animation quality, the cover was suggestive of a rather sketchy story-book-like style, but I was surprised. There is a lot of detail in the backgrounds, the dark yet more elegant than usual visual style is very fitting with the story's mood and the characters right from the grotesque yet immediately identifiable Quasimodo to the beautiful, both in character and how she's drawn, Esmeralda. The music lacks the ambitious and almost operatic scale that Disney has, but on its own it is very impressive in this regard, beautifully and subtly orchestrated while with some evocative, haunting parts. The writing is not childish or over-complicated, Quasimodo's exchange to Esmeralda in the cathedral after he rescues her is most moving, and the story is compelling and focused in tone(doing all that while also being perhaps the closest in spirit to the book). The characters are memorable, Frollo is not as complex as his novelistic counterpart but hardly stereotypical either, Esmeralda I have always found an improvement on screen than the rather naive and flat character in the book and Quasimodo is as he should be poignant despite his appearance. You do feel sorry for Gringoire, Phoebus is not as big a jerk as he is in the book and Clopin is menacing and darkly humorous. The voice acting is good, Ron Haddrick being brilliant as Frollo. All in all, highly recommended as one of Burbank's best. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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