The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Video 1996) Poster

(I) (1996 Video)

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Has its good and bad points
TheLittleSongbird13 July 2012
I have always liked the Jetlag animations, they have their foibles but also have a certain charm to them. Their Hunchback of Notre Dame is not one of their best though, alongside Alice in Wonderland and Jungle Book it is one of my least favourites(though neither of those are bad, I need to re-watch Christmas Carol) and not on par with the likes of Heidi, Magic Gift of the Snowman and Little Red Riding Hood. Where it is let down is in the animation, script and storytelling. I have seen far worse cases many times before in animation or otherwise, but I did find the animation rather flat in colour and repetitive at times while the scripting while having many moments of heart was corny and somewhat over-simplified(though not as badly as Alice in Wonderland) and the storytelling while more faithful in spirit than Disney's(which I did find superior to be honest) is uneven in tone with moments where it is confusingly told and the happy ending while understandable is tacky in comparison(of course there are other adaptations that don't have Hugo's grim resolution but even then they were more poignant to me). However, there are redeeming qualities. The voice acting is decent, and the characters are endearing at least. Quasimodo does make you feel for him, Frollo while not as complex is not clichéd, Phoebus is arrogant without being too irritating and Esmeralda is appropriately sensual. But it was the music that really sold it. The score is both whimsical and intense, and the three songs are just lovely. I found the most effective to be Queen of Your Heart, which really does well in conveying Esmeralda's inner beauty and kindness as well as how much she is admired. Pity Not Quasimodo also is a pleasant listen, I would have liked it to have been longer but I liked the message, likewise with Love is Everything, though its basic message of love may remind people of other Jetlag songs. All in all, this Hunchback of Notre Dame has its good and bad points but I do partially recommend it. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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almost ruined by being carelessly faithful
darkghost340011 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This adaptation isn't bad, but was an utter mess. The storytelling seems all over the place, trying hard to drop all the novel in your face. It leaves an uneven story which can be hard to follow. The script is childish and cheesy in many parts. And the ending is the worst part. OK, the downer ending of the book is not an option, but it is no wiser to make a contrived romance and end up happily even if a few deaths of people we root for were implied. Also, there was a plot hole. Quasi couldn't have seen anything about the crime.

The backgrounds are well done and the character designs were decent, but the animation is mediocre. There is too much repetition of frames, especially noted when Esmeralda danced or when Frollo talked to Gringoire (spinning around the chair). Often, the scenes are not well organized.

In its defense, though, its intent was respectable. The characters worked as well as the script allowed them, the incidental music was effective and the two earlier songs are catchy. However, the third song was too uninspired with the repetitions of love is this and that, and reminding more of the poorly executed ending. In conclusion, this was an okay version, but should be a remainder that being faithful to the source material is not inherently good. I am not panning the book, by the way.
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