The Disney 52 Animated Challenge: Year-Long Activity - NOW PLAYING: Princess and the Frog

Discussion in 'DPF Game Room' started by MerlinEmrys, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. unibear

    unibear DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

    Rating - 100%
    51   0   0

    Wow. I’ve never seen this before and was convinced I wouldn’t really like it. But it surprised me in a positive way. I really like the characters of Phoebus and Esmeralda, and I really despise Frollo (which I guess is a good thing, considering he’s a villain!).

    1. My overall impression of the movie… Several things:

    I never knew that Quasimodo means “half-formed”, although I recognize the root words in both parts of his name! I learned something new!!

    I really like Esmeralda, and I think that she is (at least in part) a model for Megara in “Hercules” coming up. A “damsel in distress”, but clearly in charge of her life and willing to fight for what she thinks is right. I like them both!! (Does this mean I have to start collecting pins for Esmeralda?).

    I knew the goat’s name was Djali, but I never knew it was pronounced “Jolly”!

    Voice alert! The archdeacon sounds just like Cogsworth (and Governor Ratcliffe, and Wiggins and Jumbaa Jookiba), but it didn’t bother me a bit… I kind of liked it. On the other hand, I found Hugo (the gargoyle voiced by Jason Alexander) to be incredibly annoying but I’m not sure it’s the voice or what they made him say (to be fair, I think they made Hugo the annoying one because of who voiced him).


    2. (and 8.) I really thought about analyzing Frollo because he’s so evil and there’s so much to talk about, but I’ll get to him later. So instead I chose to analyze Phoebus. In many ways he serves as a foil to Frollo, pointing out to the audience how terrible Frollo is simply by being decent and noble, and therefore so different from Frollo.

    Phoebus’s initial interactions with the cityfolk are to view the gypsies as performers (giving them some $$), in contrast to Frollo’s henchman who toe the party line of gypsies as thieves. Phoebus interferes, helping the gypsies escape and foiling the “constables” because it is the right thing to do. He isn’t buying in to the prejudices about the gypsies, and that makes him noble. He also shows that he’s quite smart, recognizing Esmeralda/Djali instantly, but also returning their coins instead of apprehending them.

    Phoebus was brought it to be “the law” according to Frollo (Captain of the Guard). Phoebus was initially annoyed at this, asking Frollo incredulously if he was really brought back from the wars to “capture fortune tellers and palm readers?” However, Phoebus still keeps his sense of what is right, and has no qualms of standing up to Frollo when he is wrong—refusing to burn a family trapped in their home. This earns him the ire of Frollo, but cements his role as hero that is not always defined by who is the LAW and who is an OUTLAW (this makes him very much like Robin Hood!).

    Also very interesting is Phoebus’s and Frollo’s initial responses to Esmeralda’s dancing in the red dress. Frollo says that it is a “disgusting display”, while Phoebus is openly admiring Esmeralda with an “eye of interest” (lust). Phoebus is always open and honest about his feelings for her. He finds her beautiful, but he also sees a good soul and a good friend to Quasimodo. He acts gallantly toward her, and they end up finding romance together. Frollo’s initial response, on the other hand, is rather duplicitous. He pretends to be horrified by her dancing, but later (alone in his room) we find that Frollo is also smitten with her (also: PREDATOR ALERT—Did you see the way he smelled her hair in the church? Creepy…). However, unlike Phoebus, he doesn’t own up to his feelings, instead insisting that she must have cast a spell on him to make him want her. Instead of admitting that he is human and prone to the feelings of human (base as they are), he blames the object of his obsession for his obsession (“Did you see the way she was dressed? The way she danced? She bewitched me, so it’s all her fault and I am still the guiltless victim as I slaughter everyone I can to find her!”). Also, if Frollo really were pious, then he would fight these feelings instead of trying to burn all of Paris to find her—not to punish her (unless she rejected him) but to get her to be his conquest.

    Phoebus proves to be a hero once again when he lies to Frollo, saying that Esmeralda claimed sanctuary in the church even though she didn’t. I understand that she doesn’t trust him (as evidenced by the fight/foreplay in the cathedral) but he does the stand-up thing and saves her from the villain, albeit temporarily.

    Phoebus, as the golden boy in this film, is an obvious comparison to John Smith in “Pocahontas”. The characters are supposed to be rather similar (although John Smith starts out believing the lies/prejudices about the savages while Phoebus never did) and eventually side with the outcasts, finding love with one of them. The character of Phoebus is more believable and likable—in part due to the voices of Mel Gibson and Kevin Kline—but also due to the difference in being converted to help those who need your help only because one of them is so pretty versus always being on the side of right but taking a bit of time to figure out which side that is. Phoebus, FTW!

    He also has two of my favorite puns in the movie: (1) Said to his horse as he is walking him on the streets of Paris, “Achilles—Heel!” (2) Said to Esmeralda in their cathedral fight after Djali head-butts him, “I didn’t know you had a kid!”


    3. and 4. and 8. The song I chose to analyze was the introductory song, “The Bells of Notre Dame”. It starts out sort of reminiscent of “Beauty and the Beast” (the song “Belle”) on the streets of a French city with the lady pouring water out of her window and the merchants setting up their wares (“There goes the baker with his trays, like always; the same old bread and rolls to sell.”). But the opening feels much darker than “Beauty and the Beast”; I wonder if that’s the difference between the big city versus the quiet village, but it does feels like the city is oppressed under the sheer size of the cathedral.

    The song is used to introduce the children (and audience) to the story of Quasimodo and it also introduces Clopin. It also hints that this is the story of a man and a monster (more later in 6.). Then we meet Judge Frollo and learn of his reprehensible behaviors (murdering a girl, intending to murder her child) and his sanctimonious beliefs that he used to rationalize away any crimes he may have committed. Clearly, he views himself as the Law, and therefore claims that he is guiltless. The archdeacon did guilt Frollo into taking care of the child (fearing for his immortal soul), but Frollo made it clear that he saw the child as a foul creature that must be locked away from the public but he also saw the child as a pawn, as someone that may be of use to him in the future.

    Although this film was made first, I saw it after “Tangled” so in my view it is taking from “Tangled” when in fact it is the opposite. Still, the connections to HBNT and “Tangled” are obvious.
    • Frollo = Mother Gothel. Both are using and abusing a child put in their care. Both locked the child in a tower far from the eyes of the world (Frollo to protect the world—and his public image—from the creature whose only sin is to look different; Gothel to protect her golden flower from the world so that she alone could use its power). Both pretend to be looking out for the child’s best interest, but both lie to the child about the child’s origin, and are more concerned about themselves and their desires. Both had their child escape from the tower and both seemed to delight in saying “I told you so” when their child was initially abused by the world. Both also fell to their deaths from the very tower they locked their child in, after trying to murder Quasimodo/Flynn and revealing themselves as the villains that they are.
    • As such, Quasimodo = Rapunzel. Both are locked away, both have dreamed of going down there to see the world, both eventually do—finding it to initially be scary and dangerous, but both learn whom to trust, find friends, and see that the world is not ALL bad (just their guardians).
    • Interestingly, Phoebus = Flynn. This makes for a differing comparisons because in HBNT Quasimodo and Phoebus are friends (and rivals for Esmeralda) while in “Tangled” Rapunzel and Flynn become romantically linked. Still, both start out on the “wrong side of the law” (which for Phoebus means BEING the law) but change sides as they interact with the child (and Esmeralda, in the case of Phoebus).
    • No surprise that Achilles = Maximus. Two horses working for the Man, more horse than man (i.e., not talking), who eventually find that they are on the side of the hero (Phoebus/Flynn) and helping the “damsel in distress”.


    6. and 7. (and 8.) The phrase I chose to analyze came from the “Bells of Notre Dame” song: “Now here is a riddle to guess if you can (Sing the bells of Notre Dame) who is the monster and who is the man.” The goal of the film is to get us to look beyond physical appearances and judge each character not by how they look but by what they do (the same goal as “Beauty and the Beast”). Throughout the film we see that some people look nice but are evil (Frollo), some look evil but are nice (Quasimodo), and others look and act nice (Esmeralda, Phoebus) or look and act evil (Frollo’s henchmen).


    9. Is it so wrong that I like this scene? After all, “He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!”

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    10. This is a really cool pin, with Quasimodo ringing the “Bells of Notre Dame” (10518).

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. unibear

    unibear DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

    Rating - 100%
    51   0   0

    OOPS!! Forgot to do #5


    5. The symbol I chose to analyze was the fire. For many it serves as heat and comfort, allowing them to live a better life. For Frollo, on the other hand, he uses fire to sanctify and purify and yet he succumbs to the lustful fires within him, to his ultimate demise. So fire represents the most pious and the most base of his emotions at the same time!

    Frollo has been purging the city of gypsies, and he uses fire to burn the city of Paris to try to find Esmeralda. He even plans to burn a family trapped in their house, justifying it with the idea that he is purifying the city from the gypsies. Ironically, the entire song “Hellfire” tells of his lustful interests in Esmeralda and views his “flames” of desire not as a measure of his own weakness, but proof that the Devil is stronger than Man because he’s got an erection (sorry for the indelicate term/idea). He even plans to burn Esmeralda at the stake to cleanse not only Paris from the gypsies but to cleanse his own impure thoughts and feelings. Also, very appropriately, he who lives by the flame dies by the flame! In his attempts to kill Quasimodo and Esmeralda, he meets his brutal end by falling to his death into the flames at the base of the cathedral. Again, Disney likes their villains dead, but I’m okay with it in this case…
     
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  3. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0

    I thought this death was much more shocking than the death of Bambis mom or Mufasa - in the latte cases the actual death isn't seen although we see Mufasa falling - we see Quasimodos mother hitting her had and die.
    yes yes yes - he even talks about it before he realizes he'll fall.
    Who's a good boy? Who deserves an apple? :)
    Frollo and Gothel would be a perfect match :D
    Frollo is allthogether very creepy. Especially just before his death. Looks like devil.
    Frollo is just as ugly as his soul in my opinion (then again I never thought Gaston handsome, either)
    It is a very strong and a very impressive scene! Very well made!
     
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  4. caw caw rawr

    caw caw rawr Squirrel!

    Rating - 100%
    49   0   0

    Quick connection for this movie (please don't be mad at me NutMeg): I had never read the book but as a teenager, when I heard the movie was coming out, I went and bought it and read it. I loved the book, except for one super long bit in the middle that (if my memory serves me right) was all about architecture. I may appreciate that part of it now, as an adult, but it was really long and boring as a teen. Other than that, I remember thinking that the book was sad and beautiful and I really liked it. Then the movie came out and I learned a painful lesson. Don't watch a movie based on a book right after you finish the book and love it. You will be disappointed. I sure was. I still can't watch the movie without the, "But in the book!" thoughts running through my head.

    If I consciously ignore the book, the movie is overall enjoyable and there are some really great moments in it. I especially love "God Help the Outcasts." This last time, I watched it with my kids and was really uncomfortable with them watching Frollo and all of his creepy lustiness. I didn't like having to explain to my littlest kidlets what was going on during the fireplace scene. (They got a very brief G-rated glossing over. They'll understand when they're older, I guess. :( ) Frollo is, to this day, my least favorite Disney character of all time. He is icky and creeps me out.

    Also, while watching it with my kids, my sweet littlest daughter said, "why doesn't the pretty girl love that man [referring to Quasimodo] instead of the horse guy?" She was genuinely confused by this. She also had a really hard time (I do too) when they mock Quasi at the Festival of Fools. I don't know that I'll watch it with my kids again anytime soon. (When we watch through the 50 animated each year I usually watch this one on my own while they're at school or out playing.)

    We did think the prisoner who keep getting freed and re-captured ("dangit") was pretty funny. Just my couple thoughts. :)
     
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  5. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    I'm super nervous to read anyone else's review lol. Be gentle with my heart, people... xD

    It would probably be different if my fave happened to be one of the really popular and celebrated Disney movies, like BatB or Lion King, because then it doesn't matter if someone dislikes it; it already gets a lot of love and attention. You don't need validation. But no, my stupid "feelings" had to go and get attached to one of the most unpopular, "uncool" movies lol. So I feel weirdly protective and over-sensitive about it. I'll still be your friend even if you don't like this movie but idk, I may hold it against you for a little while if I'm being perfectly honest. xD I should bribe you guys with zaps if you write a positive analysis. xD
     
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  6. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0

    Believe me I'm just as nervous you reading what I wrote :$ :(
     
  7. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

    Rating - 100%
    85   0   0

    Since I’m not in it for a medal, I’m just here for @NutMeg (ha), I’m going to answer five questions but they will be answered in a fairly me way. FAIR WARNING. :D

    1. Overall impression: I went to see Hunchback when it was originally released (which happened to be the same month I graduated high school, apropos of nothing) and remember leaving the theater in a state of befuddlement/dislike. It just didn’t feel like a great Disney effort, and it followed Pocahontas, which to me at the time was already a bit of a comedown from the peak of Lion King. It seemed like Disney had lost its way again and the Second Renaissance had ended (although thankfully Tarzan and Mulan would lift it up again a bit). I was fully prepared to rekindle those feelings while viewing it for this challenge. I don’t think I dislike it (she says, barely dodging a tomato thrown by NutMeg) but I remain somewhat befuddled. I know another question relates to the movie’s overall goal, and I can assure you that I will not be answering that one because the truth is IDK WTF Disney was trying to accomplish here.

    From the very beginning, through music and visuals, our first reference point is Notre Dame. So we know that this movie is going to touch upon religion. And this is why I really have no idea what Disney’s goal was in adapting this story into an animated film at least theoretically aimed at children. I know Disney is “for families” and Pixar would later prove that you could incorporate jokes that only adults can appreciate—but this is not that. This thing is loaded with “adult themes” and it is just a (at minimum) weird and (at maximum) creepy juxtaposition to have a jolly animated quasi-kids movie dabbling with religious themes including, most notably, sin.

    Let me spell this out for you: THIS IS A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AREA FOR DISNEY TO BE EXPLORING. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s too … outre. The rest of the movie is pretty standard and almost predictable (not that most Disney movies don’t have that “We know how this needs to end” feeling) and seems kinda snooze-fest. And then you’ve got this freaky-freak Frollo sniffing Esmeralda’s hair and being tantalized by her gyrating form in a fire. Wuuuutttttt. Does not compute. I don’t want this in my Disney movies, yo. Make a life-action of this story and just GO FOR IT. But I mean, go for it. Take a full-on crack at religion while you’re at it—as in, explore the themes and the questions. Make it an adult movie. Make it relevant to present day. But this is just too weird and out of place for an animated film. It’s like they approached the topic but knew they couldn’t go full out so they stopped short and it’s just in this weird awkward inappropriate limbo. IDK. I obviously cannot really articulate my feelings about this movie.

    I also think the movie’s message is unclear. Like, seriously: What am I supposed to take from this? What is the lesson? I don’t dislike Quasimodo, but his character is a mystery to me. I don’t see a ton of growth in him the way I do with other Disney heroes/heroines. A lot of what happens to him seems to … happen to him. He’s not a very active participant. When he takes action, his motives are either unclear or oversimplified. I never really “feel” the connections being made. Esmeralda is beautiful and kind to him … something he’s not used to … so understandably he falls for her … but I never really FEEL it. I’m just “told” by the story that this is what is happening. I get the idea of the gargoyles as the ol’ Greek chorus, but they are no Muses. Thank God Disney sorted that out better by the time they go to Hercules, a movie in which the honest-to-Olympus Greek Chorus helps the story progress but ISN’T replacing the action. I guess some of the point is that Quasi is a passive character through circumstance, but even when he decides to take action and “save” Esmeralda, the a-ha moment is kinda glossed over. Off he goes! Cuz the gargoyles said so. Le sigh.

    One of the strongest points of the film (I did like something) was Esmeralda. Yeah, she’s gorgeous, but she’s also kind. She’s the epitome of a Disney princess … except she’s not a princess and she won’t become one through marriage, either. She represents an outcast of society, and she’s a fighter, but even the struggles she and her people have been through haven’t tainted her spirit or her soul. She is strong, smart, savvy, and sassy. She stands up for what she believes to be right and has the courage of her convictions. You go, girl! (But she’s not the character I want to analyze.)

    2. Character(s): Frollo is begging to be discussed, innt he? I mean, begging. In a really unseemly, sorta lecherous way. This is a classic example of my IDK what Disney was thinking with this movie: Adult themes out the wazoooooo. This was just a really ambitious/risky/weird decision on Disney’s part. They changed him from an Archdeacon to a judge to fudge it a bit, but still. Frollo’s character as depicted here is a pretty fair representation of the corruption and dissolution of the church in the time period of the original story. Go back to the Renaissance and you’ll find endless stories of priests, bishops, even the Pope granting “salvation” in exchange for very worldly goods and tributes. There were Popes with mistresses. The whole thing was a big ol’ racket and the men installed to oversee the good of the people and the salvation of their souls from eternal damnation were the biggest flipping sinners of all. So if you want to tackle religion, well, this is a place you’re gonna have to go. But I still can’t believe Disney went there. Now, granted, they stop short of full-on debauchery—but barely. From the beginning, we are told (which is one problem I have with the opening; we’re “told” everything) that Frollo is corrupt. We see that for a God-fearing man, a follower of Jesus (although his name is not invoked—but since we're at Notre Dame Cathedral, Frollo is undoubtedly supposed to be on Team Big J), an example to the people, Frollo is a big ol’ meanie. He is cruel, vain, and arrogant. We also see, from the beginning, that he has a thorough penchant for blaming everyone else for the consequences of his actions. It’s never, ever his fault. Quasimodo’s mother dies, and when Frollo is confronted by the priest, he just says, “She ran. I pursued.” That blithe denial of responsibility for EVERYTHING carries along through the movie. He’s inflamed with passion for scandalous vixen Esmeralda and it’s all her fault for tempting, tormenting, and bewitching him. Riiiiight. I don’t want to get hyper-political and start a riot, but this is the kind of rationale that is often seen in strict Islamic societies as well: The women have to cover up because they offer temptation to the men, and the men will sin if steps are not taken to prevent it. But it’s not the men’s fault. (Please note: I am not in any way knocking Islam. I’m just observing a parallel. Everything people rail about in regard to non-Christian religions in the modern day has some parallel in “ancient” Christianity. We’re all the same in the end; we just don’t want to see it. Besides, Disney opened this can of worms with its “thematic elements,” not me.) ANYWAY … One of the basic tenets of Christianity, in any branch but particularly in Catholicism (again ... we are talking Catholicism, cuz Cathedral of Notre Dame) is forgiveness. BUT YOU GOTTA REPENT FOR YOUR SINS. Not blame the other gal/guy/gargoyle. And priests are always so fond of admonishing you that "God will know" what is in your heart and if you have truly repented. Hmmmm. It's like Frollo knows he ain't gonna meet the Big Man in Heaven so why worry about his wrath for lying and sinning and not repenting and all that? Furthermore, the depiction of Frollo in this movie makes a mockery of the notion of a Man of God, because he displays no respect for the religion he purports to be protecting. Again, accurate to the general time period of the story BUT pretty off-putting for a modern audience. Don’t even look at the persecution of those who are not of his religion/purported “morals.” Burning down a house with people in it is actually something that might’ve happened at the time; I know his neighbors over in England spent better parts of centuries torturing and killing either Protestants or Catholics, depending on who was in power at the time. (Side note: Ordering the house burned down with the family locked inside was sooooo Colonel Tavington in the Patriot. Except Wilkins was no Phoebus, so he took orders. There’s nothing like burning an occupied building to make it clear that the villain is evil!) But look at Frollo’s lack of respect for sanctuary—not only the concept, but for the physical building of Notre Dame. It’s a sacred place, consecrated to his God, and yet he is willing to tear that place apart and burn it to the ground just to exact his revenge on Esmeralda for being beautiful and rejecting him, and on Phoebus and Quasi for defying him. Ummmmm aside from your ego issues, sir, you missed the memo from God. He called and said, “Leave my cathedral alone, fool.” Sooooooo … yeah. Frollo. Weak, cruel, lecherous, insincere, deluded. All the great qualities in a villain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  8. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins My name is Ann, and I'm here to enable you!

    Rating - 100%
    85   0   0

    Ann's commentary (part 2)

    4. Song: I’m not going to analyze “Guy Like Me.” I’m going to ask WTF Disney was thinking having a semi-jolly, here-I-am-the-Hero song that makes sick jokes about “Paris is alight tonight” BECAUSE IT’S FLUFFING BURNING and Esmeralda having “guys she could dangle” FROM NOOSES. This is one tiny tiny example of why this movie is just kinda fluffed up in my book. I have a sense of humor. I laugh at inappropriate moments. This is not Mary Tyler Moore bursting out laughing at Chuckles the Clown’s funeral inappropriate. This is, “Hey, we live in a world where people are burned at the stake, people’s homes are burned down (often with them inside), and other people are hung for petty or fabricated ‘crimes.’ BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I LIKE TO DO WHEN I’M FEELING STRESSED BY THE WORLD? Laugh! Ha ha ha ha.” Yeah, hysterical. This movie just often feels on the verge of inappropriate, in a variety of ways. That’s why I don’t get it.

    5. Symbol: FIRE. I chose this not merely because it’s obvious (ha) but because it has a dual nature that bridges the identity and purpose issues that this movie has. Fire offers light and warmth—but fire can be destructive. Because of the time period, fire, in the form of lit candles, provides illumination. Besides their practical purpose, they are also used in churches as symbols of … you guessed it … light and hope and illumination. Supplicants light candles to saints, Mary (mother of Jesus), Jesus, God himself, etc. But as we see throughout the movie, Frollo uses the destructive power of fire to achieve his villainous aims. He burns buildings down. Near the end, he attempts to burn Esmeralda at the stake, as befits a “witch” at the time. Now, there are many ways to die and none of them really qualify as pleasant—but I have to say, burning alive has got to be one of the worst ones. Fire leaves nothing behind but ash—which also, I may point out, mirrors the oft-evoked notions of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” We come from nothing and we return to nothing. Very, very religious.

    8. Connection to previous film(s): OMG this is Beauty and the Beast’s cousin. Or maybe its very old auntie, because it comes after in the Disney canon but is set well before BATB. First of all, it’s France! Second, as someone else pointed out, the opening sequence when we descend “into the village” for our introduction to the story is very similar to the sequence introducing us to Belle in BATB. It’s a French village! Here’s our baker, here’s our … other villagers (I can’t remember who, ha), here’s what life is like here in our quaint little corner of the world! Except it’s not quaint because we’re all being terrorized by a quasi-religious zealot (which is different from BATB, where Belle is merely tormented by abject boredom). And finally, when the cathedral is under siege on Frollo’s orders, we have a whole bunch of parallels: from using a battering-ram on the door to pouring liquid (fire vs steaming hot tea/water) onto the intruders to swinging from parapet to parapet, a sword fight on/near the edge, gargoyles, and a terrible (accidental) death for Frollo that mirrors Gaston’s. Oh nooooooooooo he fall down, go boom. I know Disney has to keep the hands of the heroes clean, thus no one can inflict a fatal wound on the villain—but how many of these people can really accidentally fall from heights to their death? (Go back to the Evil Queen disguised as the Witch in Snow White, where you can BLAME THE LIGHTNING, and you see the start of a Grand Tradition.)

    Sooooooo … I kept my promise. Sowwwwyyyyyyy NutMeg that I didn’t love your movie. But look at it this way: Less competition for your wanted pins! :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  9. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

    Rating - 100%
    256   0   0

    How is it that even non-busy weekends are busy? :p

    4.
    God Help The Outcasts is an interesting juxtaposition. Esmeralda, a Gypsy who doesn't follow the Catholic faith, and who is viewed as a sinner by the French people, is praying to God for help for those in need. Meanwhile, she is passing congregants who are also praying, though they are all asking for selfish things - wealth fame, glory, etc. These supposed faithful are asking for things that reflect sins - specifically the Seven Deadly Sins. This makes Esmeralda a more sympathetic character, and shows that the ones we perceive as sinners may actually be the opposite.


    6. The line that stuck out to me is this line from the song Bells of Notre Dame:

    "Judge Claude Frollo longed to purge the world of vice and sin, And he saw corruption everywhere except within."

    Frollo sees everyone as a sinner, but also believes himself to be above sin. He sees himself as morally just, and he is able to justify all of his actions - even murder - because the consequences are to punish sinners. Killing Quasi's mother? She was a sinful Gypsy. Order Phoebus to be shot? He was committing treason. Even when he catches himself giving in to temptation, he blames outside forces rather than himself - his lust for Esmeralda was her fault for being a seductress rather than his fault for having human desires. This way of thinking is at the core of all of his actions throughout the film, and defines his personality.


    7. The main goal is to teach us that true beauty lies on the inside, rather than our physical appearance. (A rehashing of Beauty and the Beast's message, which funnily enough is also set in France.) Quasimodo's appearance is not what society deems as attractive, but his personality is - he is kind, gentle, compassionate, curious, artistically talented, and protective of his friends. Meanwhile, Frollo could be considered conventionally attractive, but is an ugly person inside.

    9.
    [​IMG]

    The scene between Quasimodo and the baby bird is one of the sweetest scenes in the film. The bird flying off also acts as a parallel to Quasi's desire to leave the bell tower. This shot with Quasi's hand stretched out towards the freedom the baby bird has in this moment is really moving.

    10.
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    Pin# 2521 - Disneyana 2000 Small World Series -- #3 'It's a World of Hopes

    I had to go with a pin with Quasi and the baby bird. I love that this pin also includes the stained glass background which is reminiscent of the stained glass of Notre Dame.
     
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  10. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    [​IMG]
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    Well I'm almost done with my own super long analysis to make all you jerky jerkfaces appreciate this movie's greatness. :p (I haven't read all the reviews yet but I'M SENSING A LOT OF NEGATIVITY HERE FOLKS. I FOUND NICE STUFF TO SAY ABOUT YOUR STUPID MOVIES.)

    *continues being super immature*

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  11. unibear

    unibear DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

    Rating - 100%
    51   0   0

    Hey, I said really good things! Where's my zap??
     
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  12. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    LOL, I haven't read yours yet! But if what you say is true...

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

    Rating - 100%
    26   0   0

    Ack, had a long day after heading to a family reunion. Going to try to post at work if not cutoff...
     
  14. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    477   0   0

    Disclaimer:
    I’m going to make some religious commentary here. This is in NO way meant to step on anyone’s toes. When I say Church, I’m not talking about religion or Christianity in general—I mean the institution/organization Church, the “governing” body who controlled religion during the time period of the film. Whether or not the issues are applicable to modern religious institutions is a topic not suitable for this thread. That’s a whole other kettle of fish. ;) So unless you go to church in the 15th century, I’m not talking about you or your religious leanings, hahah!


    1. Overall Impression
    This film was exceptional—mostly. I’ve always felt this way about Hunchback, and it was certainly reinforced on this viewing. The film is so strong and heavy and deep and doesn’t shy away from tough subjects—until it does, and then boy howdy, it really shies away. In this way, I find the film to be torn. It wants so much to be a serious (some would say “adult”) movie that deals with serious issues, where the stakes are not necessarily global but have a significant impact. But then at the same time, it feels like it has to be a kids’ movie so we get Hugo and his armpit fart joke. Other films more deftly sprinkle comedic moments in otherwise heavy spots (Mushu especially comes to mind), but the Gargoyles were just in SUCH stark contrast to the timbre of the rest of the film that they became distracting at best (and downright obnoxious at worst).

    So, for me, the film is torn. Despite its beauty and spirit, with characters and scenes that moved me to tears, I can see why it’s less popular. It’s not confident enough in itself to inspire confidence in the casual viewer, and so it tries to overcompensate and ends up throwing the whole balance off.


    2. Character Analysis
    Holy crap Frollo is such a good villain. And I’ll admit that I learned a lot about him in this watch which changed my perception on him and the film’s overall message quite a bit. Somehow in my mind I had always assumed that Frollo was a part of the Church/clergy, that his job was actually as an agent of the Church. But actually, he’s just a “religious” person (as in, how he has chosen to interpret religion). This is a key difference, because I had always considered the film as decrying religion—but our actual clergyman, the Archdeacon, is one of the kindest characters in the film. Therefore, the enemy here isn’t necessarily the Church (capital C), it’s Frollo’s twisted version of its message.

    And therein lies Frollo’s greatest threat: his ability to control information, to write the narrative. He has no power, really, beyond his influence (as we saw in the Topsy Turvy scene), but he uses that influence to control the way in which people both him and his goals. He twists words and presents only specific details to give himself the most opportune position.

    This becomes especially clear in the beginning part of “Out There” where Frollo is talking to Quasi and sings, “You are deformed. And you are ugly,” which Quasi (heartbreakingly) echoes back. Frollo is controlling how Quasi seems himself be twisting the narrative and feeding the information to him. Equally so, when he says brings up Quasi’s mother early on in the film, saying that had he not intervened, she would have drowned Quasi in the well—which is exactly what HE was going to do. But by changing the narrative, he gives himself control over both Quasi’s present and past. And that is a frightfully dangerous power to wield. It’s what makes him incredibly threatening (more so that our previous “normal” villain, Radcliffe).

    (Another good example of this is after he SNIFFS ESMERALDA’S HAIR he turns the situation on her, saying that she’s twisting his intentions into unholy thoughts. GOD THAT MOMENT WAS SO CREEPY.)


    4. Song Analysis
    Frollo’s power to control information is, perhaps, the greatest threat the film presents and has a serious grounding in history. During this time period, the Church controlled the “narrative” of religion, was the arbiter of right and wrong, and most importantly, who had access to the blessings bestowed on the faithful. In modern terms, it was Pay-to-Play religion and is utterly despicable. (For more on this, do a Wiki search for “Indulgences”). For any single institution to control access to something like morality is incredibly dangerous. Frollo is a prime example of why: because if one institution controls access, they control not only who gets there but also what information those people get. It was a terrible moment for human history, and we see it touchingly played out in “God Help the Outcasts.”

    This is such an awesome moment in the film, and the whole song deserves an entire analysis. But for the sake of my sanity, I’ll focus on just a few points. The song begins with Esmeralda asking if God “would even listen” to her and her prayer, and says “Yes, I know I’m just an outcast / I shouldn’t speak to you.” That moment is so utterly heartbreaking to me. She thinks that because of her social standing / race / background, she is not “worthy” of speaking with God? And considering Esmeralda’s character (supah feisty!), you can assume that she didn’t come to that conclusion herself. No, this is the narrative the Church has presented, that only those who are “worthy” may commune with God—and the Church determines what “worthy” even means (re: costs).

    During the song, we also see people who are “worthy” according to those standards, and their desires are unabashedly selfish: “I ask for wealth / I ask for fame / I ask for glory to shine on my name / I ask for love I can possess / I ask for God and his angels to bless me!” Esmeralda, of course, “asks for nothing” because of her own capabilities and entreats only on behalf of those less fortunate. So, the only person with more obvious pure, philanthropic intentions is socially barred from “interacting” with God, while others who are “worthy” want His blessings for their own personal gain.

    And that dynamic is heart wrenching. And if the song wasn’t so darn sad and pretty it would make me furious because it’s an accurate reflection of our past (and present? Oops, did I type that outloud?). I may have some skin in this game, which could be why it stings so much. But man, this song is really haunting and beautiful and real.

    And full of some freaking amazing visuals…


    6. Dialog Analysis / 7. Overall Goal
    I had forgotten about the scene with Quasi and Esmeralda on the roof of the cathedral where she “reads his palm.” It was sweet, and tender, and a nicely compacted view of the film’s overall goal. After Quasi explains that he’s “a monster” because of what Frollo has told him, and denying that Esmeralda is anything like those other Gypsies, Esmeralda reads and palm and says, “Hmm, funny. I don’t see any monster lines” and follows it up with “Maybe Frollo was wrong about both of us.” That subtle suggestion of thinking for yourself and not just blndly accepting everything someone in a position of power has told you is so important to me—as both a human and an educator, hahah! And even with the more overt social commentary that seems to run the plot of the film, I think this moment of independent thought is what’s really at the heart of the film as it runs counter to everything the villain is trying to do.


    8. Connections/Progressions
    Until we hit some of the later Pixar films, and perhaps not even then, I think Hunchback may be the densest Disney film in terms of subtlety of message, complexity of imagery and content, and its treatment of more serious subjects. I so wish it could just be what it wants to be, without having to feel like it has to still pander to a perceived need for slapstick and crass humor to “keep kids’ attention.” I think Mulan would come closest, followed by perhaps Moana (but even that is still leagues away). Where Pocahontas was trying so hard to be edgy that it ended up just being predictable, I think this film would have succeeded has it not been for those damn gargoyles.


    9. Iconic Shot
    This film is all about the visuals, so it’s even harder to choose an iconic shot. But I think it’s going to have to be this for me:

    [​IMG]

    This moment of triumph, sacrifice, rebellion, and of course the iconic Rose Window of the cathedral. Not gonna lie, it made me cry.


    10. Representative Pin
    Ack…. Pinpics is still down. But I did find the pin I was thinking of:

    upload_2018-8-13_0-30-3.png

    This iconography of the window and of course this adorable scene is a good representation of Quasi, his kindness, and the theme of freedom that pervades the film.




    Stray Thoughts
    *I didn’t have enough time/space/sanity to really dive into Clopin, but holy crap what a cool character. As a storyteller figure (you all know I love those…) he has such a cool purpose in this film. And what’s more of an epic exposition song that “Bells of Notre Dame”?!?
    [​IMG]

    *For all his faults, Frollo's vocabulary is stellar. “The common, vulgar, weak licentious crowd.” / “Why invite their calumny and consternation?”

    *”Hellfire” is just as amazing as it’s always been. Haunting, creepy, terrifying, beautifully animated. I couldn’t do an analysis on it justice, so I’ll just give it a shout out. The way he holds that scarf….. man…..

    *I used to not like Phoebus much, but he was okay on this viewing.

    *I. Hate. Hugo. So. Much. The other two gargoyles don’t bother me as much. But geebus I wanted to push him off the banister…

    *Speaking of Gargoyles. Teehee the Wicked Witch goof:
    [​IMG]

    *Russ’s comment at the end of this movie: “Esmeralda is the best Disney Princess. Why is there even a contest?” @NutMeg, you have a convert, hahah!

    *#humblebrag I’ve been to Notre Dame! It’s so incredibly breathtaking…

    *I kept thinking during the music, “Man, this sounds a lot like Prince of Egypt or strands from Wicked. Then I realized that Stephen Schwartz also worked on this movie! Surprise!! No wonder I like the music so much! (Except for “Guy Like You”………)
     
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  15. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    [​IMG]

    THANK YOU. I needed that. Finally someone who appreciates this movie's depth. Although I totally agree about those freakin' gargoyles (and have like two whole paragraphs bashing them in my own analysis haha.) They really detract from what is otherwise a truly amazing and special movie, but ultimately my love for it is strong enough for me to overlook the flaws. But yeah... so frustrating.

    I'm picking up what you're throwin' down and I have the same reaction. It's definitely one of the realest Disney scenes in history.

    [​IMG]

    Tell Russ we're getting those half-heart BFF necklaces. But in the shape of Esmeralda. Actually, that might look weird to have her cut in half. Idk, we'll work on it.

    Also, THANKS A LOT for distracting me from my own analysis. Just checking the thread periodically for when I inevitably miss the cut-off lol. CAN'T. STOP. WRITING. I keep thinking of things to add. xD
     
  16. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

    Rating - 100%
    256   0   0

    Yes, the tone of the gargoyles is pretty off, and one of the few things I didn't like about this movie (besides Frollo's creepiness...).

    I noticed how off A Guy Like You is. We just saw Frollo try to burn a family alive in their own home, Phoebus rescue them and get shot, and Frollo heading off to BURN PARIS TO THE GROUND to find Esme, then we cut to Quasi in the tower and this song. It is REALLY tonally dissonant from the rest of the movie and reads as insensitive at best.

    It seems as if the Hunchback team really wanted to make a darker movie, but Disney was too afraid to risk this in their big summer movie so they forced in the gargoyles to "appeal to the kiddies". Hey, you know what kids like Fart jokes! Magic tricks! Let's tell so many jokes about Hugo being in love with a goat!
     
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  17. Meritre

    Meritre Active Member

    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0

    I guess at these points it is important that the gargoyles are actually - his imagination, the different sides of Quasimodo himself. At least the's what I read about them...

    In the musical version I saw they changed him back - there, Frollo is a clergyman, the Archdeacon and I think he was that in the book, too but I'm not sure.

    Ummm... I didn't find that off-putting - then again I didn't want to touch and talk about things I don't know enough about. :(

    They had much worse ways of executing people in France about 200 years earlier - I'm not sure they kept them but believe me they were really, really cruel.

    Belle actually has a cameo in this movie :)
    [​IMG]
    Cameo Crew — 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame'

    I have to agree that one was really sweet.

    I was a coward and decided not to touch the religion part -don't know enough about it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  18. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    [​IMG]

    1.) Overall Impression:

    So yeah, this is my fave Disney movie. Just wasn’t sure if you guys were aware of that. ;P

    Now that I’ve dropped that bombshell on you, let’s get on with the Hunchback analysis that truly matters most: MINE! xD Gonna have to drop some knowledge on you guys who don’t appreciate this movie’s greatness.

    [​IMG]

    Whoa, Mr. Potato Head - too far! Not cool. ;)

    First of all, while I do think there's a ton of stuff that is objectively great about this film (and I will begin arguing my case for its greatness in a bit), I understand why some people dislike it. It’s definitely Disney’s darkest film, and a huge departure from the lighthearted, family-friendly fare their films are known (and cherished) for. I get why that dissonance is jarring and off-putting to some. On face value alone, it certainly seems bizarre that Disney would even choose this book to adapt in the first place. (Although people seem to forget that the fairy tales their films frequently derive from are pretty dang dark as well. The original story of The Little Mermaid would probably scar kids for life. The Lion King is basically Hamlet, a tale of murder and revenge. And let’s not even get started on the actual Hercules myth…)

    But personally, I think the animated musical format is a compelling choice for a modern Hunchback adaptation. This is actually less of an adaptation of the super bleak book; rather, it’s an adaptation of the classic 1939 live-action film, which reinterpreted the original novel by exploring themes of social justice (more on that later.) Those themes are certainly in line with Disney’s idealistic brand. Yet the film wisely implements enough of the novel’s darkness to create a more complex narrative, rather than a simplistic after-school special. And like author Victor Hugo’s other major work, Les Miserables, the epic nature of the book makes it ripe for a grand musical retelling.

    I actually think the film falters most when it veers away from the darkness and adheres to cheery Disney cliches, which were so obviously shoved in clumsily by hand-wringing studio execs, despite clashing horribly with the actual creative vision of the filmmakers. (This is even more painfully obvious in the film's original advertising, which was basically restricted entirely to clips of the gargoyles and the Feast of Fools scene, minus Quasimodo's torture of course. Frollo was pretty much nonexistent. Go watch the old commercials on YouTube if you need a laugh. The Burger King ones are my fave.) The film definitely has a HUGE tone problem. It’s no secret that I hate those freaking gargoyles - especially the Jason Alexander one. To borrow one of Merlin’s phrases: holy jeebus. Did Disney actually think that *George Costanza* would make for a charming cartoon sidekick?? (I’m a Seinfeld fan, but Alexander’s brand of comedy is based on unlikability. Robin Williams he is not…) Of course, the gargoyles do serve a useful function by allowing for dialogue in Quasimodo’s solo scenes, which is clearly a much more natural way to impart information to the audience than just having him talk to himself. And they could have been improved upon enormously if they were purely a figment of Quasimodo’s imagination, created in his mind out of desperate loneliness. That could have been an extremely powerful, tangible manifestation of his tragic circumstances, while also making them more palatable for audiences, because at least the gargoyles offer comfort to him. For most of the film, it actually seems as if this is the intent. But then, during the final battle with Frollo and his soldiers, they physically help Quasi defend the cathedral with some seriously Looney Tunes-style combat - they have a direct influence that cements their status as *literal* beings.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    But even if they were purely figurative, I honestly still wouldn’t like their personalities. Sure, give Quasi friends to uplift and support him, but this just isn’t the story for wisecracking, comic relief antics. Paris is burning around them, and they’re singing a happy song and roasting weenies in the flames. Wtf. Not the time, guys. Read the room.

    [​IMG]

    There’s also non-gargoyle related forced comedy bits, like the equally “wtf” moment of a man doing the Goofy yell while falling to his death.

    [​IMG]
    “YAAAH HOO-HOO-HOOEY...!” Ok, I just decided that's going to be the last thing I say on my deathbed. Done deal.

    Another complaint I have to mention is with the Court of Miracles song, in which the Romani reveal themselves to be at least partially guilty of the deviousness that Frollo and the masses have accused them of. They openly point out to Quasi and Phoebus, completely unprompted, that they trick people into giving them money by pretending to be disabled. Clopin even undermines the entire message of the film by singing “We find you totally innocent, which is the worst crime of all.” Um, what? The whole idea of the movie is that the innocent are often persecuted due to ugly, unfounded prejudices. So why are these prejudices suddenly being confirmed??? As with Pocahontas, Disney can’t seem to resist “both sides”-ing racism.

    But the very reason these elements are so frustrating to me is because I love the movie so much overall. And the strengths are enough for me to ultimately overlook the flaws. Again, I think there’s a lot of objective excellence in this film, both artistic and technical, that people don’t give it enough credit for, but I admit that a big part of my love for it is entirely subjective. For whatever reason, it just resonates with me, and appeals to my innate personal tastes - even when I was 5 and this movie first came out, I was super into it. I remember playing with the toys and everything. I guess I’ve just always been drawn to weird, darker stuff, in the same way that other people have an inherent preference for whimsical fantasy, or sci-fi, or whatever. I love that this film is so different and gutsy and takes so many risks. The themes, aesthetic, and music all appeal to my sensibilities. I find the emotional aspects incredibly moving. The animation is BREATHTAKING - seriously, some of Disney's absolute best. And obviously, y’all know I love me a strong, sassy gal. Which brings me to…

    (continued below...)
     
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  19. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    2.) Character Analysis: Esmeralda

    [​IMG]

    Another shocker: I’m choosing to write about Esmeralda. I KNOW RIGHT. I always think it’s impossible for me to love her any more than I already do, yet every time I re-watch this movie - BAM, my love deepens. I mean, if you don’t like this movie as a whole I can still be friends with you, but if you don’t think Esmeralda is awesome, we’re gonna have to go our separate ways. Sorry, I just can’t with you.

    In my opinion, Es is not only Disney’s best female character ever (tied with Meg of course - don’t make me choose!), she’s one of their best characters, period, and is an awesome role model for any kid regardless of gender. She’s outspoken, independent, witty, courageous, compassionate, selfless, and she stands up for the voiceless and oppressed. She’s even willing to die for what she believes in. She exercises her own agency, refusing to submit to Frollo’s unwanted advances or even use his desire to her own advantage through seduction (thank God the filmmakers didn’t repeat the mistake they made with Jasmine and Jafar...) Perhaps the most badass moment in Disney history is when Frollo offers to spare her life if she gives herself to him, and she responds by straight up spitting in his face. When I saw the stage version in June, this was like the number one moment that I was hoping they'd keep, haha. When it finally happened, there were cheers from the audience (including myself, obviously.)

    [​IMG]

    Esmeralda is so awesome, in fact, that she really doesn’t have any flaws to speak of, which is normally a pet peeve of mine, because it means the character doesn’t undergo any meaningful growth. But in this case, it’s absolutely necessary for her role in the story. Her virtuousness is what discredits the prejudices against Romani (which is especially important in order to undo the damage caused by The Court of Miracles.) She’s also the one benevolent presence in Quasi’s life, who proves to him that despite Frollo’s teachings, there’s goodness in the world after all. Because of all this, it would’ve been easy for the filmmakers to portray her as a naive, childlike, wide-eyed ingenue (the way she's portrayed in most adaptations, and in fact the original book), which would have obviously been incredibly boring and typical of Disney’s female stereotypes. Fortunately, she’s depicted here as a mature, streetwise, utterly self-possessed woman who has clearly survived a lifetime of oppression, and has therefore developed immense inner strength, wisdom, and empathy, as well as an uncompromising moral compass. She never feels like an unrealistically perfect "Mary Sue," because her strength was obviously earned through personal struggles long before the events of the film. Which is also the reason why we don't feel the need to see her experience some big character development.

    She also adds a compelling, nuanced balance to the film’s depiction of religion, acting as an angelic contrast to Frollo’s fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity, which he uses to justify his bigotry and hate. He weaponizes his ideology to condemn others; as Clopin says, “He saw corruption everywhere except within.” In God Help The Outcasts, Esmeralda acts as a foil for this. She represents a much more humble and truly altruistic form of faith; while the others in the cathedral pray for self-serving desires such as wealth and fame, Esmeralda asks only for God to help her people. This sentiment is reflected visually, as she walks in the opposite direction of the other worshipers. (Also invoking the idea of her being a progressive freethinker going against the narrow-minded majority.) I especially love the composition of that shot where the shadows of their clasped hands glide behind her.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Esmeralda’s characterization is definitely one of the areas where Disney vastly improves upon the original novel, eliminating Victor Hugo’s sexism and racism. In the book, she's pretty much just a passive victim, and is extremely delicate and prone to hysterical fainting. She falls in love with Phoebus instantly and spends the whole book obsessing over him like a starry-eyed teenager (I mean, she *is* only 16 in the book; yes, the male characters are all adults, and yes, it's very creepy.) Meanwhile, Phoebus just wants to hook up (he's already got a fiancee.) Oh, and she's not even Romani - she’s actually white, and was kidnapped by those evil gypsies as a baby. So good job, Disney, for leaving out that whole mess. Disney also offers an impressively feminist deconstruction of the Madonna/Whore complex, which is very present in Esmeralda's original characterization. She's named after the emerald necklace she wears, which contains one of her baby shoes and which she feels represents her virginity. And if she loses either one (the necklace or her virginity), she believes that, as punishment, she'll never find her long-lost parents. In addition to this weird victim-blaming superstition, there's just a general focus on her virginity that's pretty uncomfortable. Hugo definitely seemed to be of the mind that women are defined by their sexuality, and exist as either chaste, honorable Madonnas or immoral, defiled Whores.

    Disney subverts that harmful dichotomy by framing Quasi and Frollo's contrasting perceptions of Esmeralda as that of the Madonna and the Whore, respectively, while also reshaping her character into a complex women who defies either categorization. While Quasi views her as pure and angelic, Frollo considers her a wicked temptress. Esmeralda is neither. Obviously she's pure of heart, but it's also obvious that she's quite comfortable with her sexuality, and doesn't have any moral hang-ups over wearing slinky clothing or performing provocative dances. While Quasi is ultimately able to see Esmeralda as her own person, Frollo never evolves past his mindset, and ultimately suffers for it. This is honestly why I always defend Disney's decisions to A) let Esmeralda live, B) not reward Quasi by having him get the girl, and C) pair Es up with Phoebus in the end. First of all, getting the girl should never be the reward. In the words of a certain other Disney character, women are not prizes to be won. The fact that Quasi lets Es go and is content to have her friendship is what separates him from Frollo, who is so possessive that he would rather die than see her with anyone else. Quasi is better than that. What's more, Phoebus is the only man who is able to see the true Esmeralda from the start, and appreciates both sides of her - he's definitely super into her sexy dancing, but he also really respects and values her as a person. This can be observed right from their first encounter, when Phoebus sees through her old man disguise and subtly drops her rightfully-earned coins back into her hat (this is how he spots her slipping into the church later.)

    (continued below... SORRY!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  20. unibear

    unibear DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

    Rating - 100%
    51   0   0

    Great analysis Nutmeg! Don't leave us hanging!!

    (BTW I too felt that "A Guy Like You" was so out of 'character' for this movie and just stopped the action for a feel-good song that included torching the City of Lights...)

    To all of you (us?), these have been really good, insightful analyses of this movie. I learned a lot about a movie I never really thought about before. Aces!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  21. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

    Rating - 100%
    26   0   0

    Just got off work, very quick analysis on phone before I head out.

    1. Overall Impression.
    [​IMG]
    So here we are to our next chapter in the Disney Renaissance, I remember watching this first all the way not when it came out but at the post office in Lake Buena Vista waiting for my bus route. So pretty much for half a year in 2010, this was playing nonstop there lol. Watching it again, I can agree that this is probably the darkest Animated film Disney has had yet, not surprising considering the subject matter. It definitely took to careful depiction of the original story while maintaining Disney's current edge.
    [​IMG]
    The animation is great, the scenery very lively and breathtaking, I think my favorite backdrop is the first initial Full depiction of the Paris Skyline in the background(though you can clearly see deliberate use of vanishing points). My initial musical thoughts was that it was a clear inspiration from Carl Orff(Carmina Burana) Stephen Sondheim, The Bells of Notre Dame definitely has that O Fortuna vibe.

    4. Song Analysis
    When I first listened to the soundtrack, the song "God help the outcasts"stood out as the somber heroine ballad by Esmeralda. As she is praying for the wellbeing of her fellow gypsies, this contrasts with the more wealthier parishioners who seem to loudly proclaim their ironic want for more wealth as they usually look down on gypsies for perpetuating those very same intents. Their hands instead of raising in prayers seem to reach out toward god with their hands wide open as if to proclaim "gimme".

    5. Symbolism
    Regardless of whether or not the gargoyles are tangibly alive, they seem to represent a very loose description of Sigmund Freud's model of the human psyche. Hugo represents the Id, the instinct who acts brash and seems to speaks his mind. Victor is the ego, the realist who counteracts with the ID with a more dignified presence and rationality. Laverne is the superego, the moralist who is represented as a parental figure that keeps the other two in check.


    9. Representative Still
    If we are to choose the hero as our focal point, then his scene on the church spire during "Out There" is seen as the high point quite literally as well as audibly.
    [​IMG]


    10. Representative Pin
    Pin 99410 DLP - Paris Retro 2014 - Quasimodo
    [​IMG]


    You know, there actually isn't many pins with Notre Dame Cathedral on it, plus it has Quasimodo.

    *Stray Thoughts
    During the song You Lucky Guy, Hugo flashes a deck of cards in front of Quasimodo before pulling out an Ace. In a French style deck, Aces are shown as 1. [​IMG]
     
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  22. NutMeg

    NutMeg The Nefarious N.M.G.

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    UGH MY COMPUTER KEEPS FREEZING AND RESTARTING. >.<

    2.) Character Analysis: Frollo

    [​IMG]


    Frollo is definitely (in my opinion) the creepiest and most realistic/believable Disney villain ever. In fact, it’s his realism that makes him so creepy. Because men like this actually exist, and have created serious damage in our world.

    His prejudices against both Quasimodo and the Romani are fairly easy to unpack, and bigotry has certainly been used as a motive and/or tool for other Disney villains. Racism is obviously a serious topic, but it’s still pretty standard when it comes to subject matter for morality tales aimed at children. The depraved, lecherous resentment of women, on the other hand, is a somewhat less popular choice…

    It’s not like Disney has never tackled misogyny before. They frequently do. But it’s always a rather simplistic, “safe” version of misogyny. “You’re a girl, so you can’t leave home/choose your husband/read.” They tend to target already-outdated social norms that are less likely to offend anyone (I mean, a lot of men in the news these days are definitely testing my faith, but I still believe that most guys are pretty much ok with women being literate at this point. Right…? Oh God please tell me I’m right.) So it’s kind of incredible that this film actually goes there, depicting a pretty dang realistic, straight up *hatred* of women. Specifically, the hatred some men feel for the women they desire. Perhaps a seeming contradiction, but nevertheless very real.

    There’s a quote by one of my favorite film scholars, Robin Wood, that breaks this down really well. It’s from one of his essays on director Alfred Hitchcock and it describes the overarching themes of masculinity throughout his films, but I think it’s quite fitting here as well. “Central to Hitchcock’s work is the culture’s investment in masculinity, and the dread that actual men may not be able to fulfill the demands that masculinist ideology makes on them. Also central is the revenge of men on women for arousing these fears, and the monstrous irrationality of that revenge.” For some (very disturbed) men, when a woman stirs their passions, the reaction is angry rather than amorous - the aforementioned insecurity and anxiety involving their “manliness,” the perceived loss of control, the threat to their dominance in the traditional male/female power dynamic… Compound that with the woman outright rejecting you and deep-seated Catholic guilt, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Exhibit A: Frollo.

    Rather than address these serious emotional issues, Frollo directs the blame for his lust onto Esmeralda, and posits himself as her unwilling victim. This is a popular tactic. I seem to recall briefly touching upon this when discussing Jasmine’s seduction scene, but again, one of the oldest prejudices against women is that they’re sex witches who can brainwash men with their lady parts and tempt them into doing bad stuff they would otherwise never do.

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    That may seem like a really outdated idea on face value alone, but it’s the same logic behind phrases like “what was she wearing?” and the general slut-shaming of women based on their appearance. It’s all rooted in the idea that men have little control over their urges, and once a woman flashes some skin, he’s not really responsible for his actions. This is clearly Frollo’s mindset; as he sings in Hellfire, “It’s not my fault/I’m not to blame/It is the gypsy girl, that witch, who set this flame.”

    Another thing that makes Frollo such a realistic and fascinating villain is that while he does point the finger at Es, he still experiences immense inner turmoil and despair over his lust. He actually fears for his soul, imploring God to “have mercy” on him and begging Maria (the Virgin Mary) not to “let this siren cast her spell/Don’t let her fire sear my flesh and bone,” referring to the flames of hell he dreads being damned to. At the same time, he doesn’t truly believe he’s deserving of this punishment, as his twisted sense of justice has him convinced that he’s “so much purer than the common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd.” (Wow, Frollo, tell us how you really feel. Also, yes, I’m pulling all these quotes out of memory haha. I think I might have this movie memorized by now.)

    This kind of nuance and complexity is unheard of for a Disney villain - he's actually deluded himself into believing his actions are morally just, and that God is on his side. This differs entirely from practically every other villain; they know they’re bad guys, and they seem to love it. That's pretty much the whole "Disney Villain" brand. They usually offer the campiest scenes of each movie, especially when it comes to their over-the-top musical numbers, in which they gleefully relish in their own evilness.

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    Just compare their expressions to the utter and complete anguish on Frollo’s face in his own villain song...

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    I really think he’s Disney’s best villain (although not my favorite - he creeps me out way too much for that.) But I still love how well-written he is, and think that Tony Jay's performance is criminally underrated. And I appreciate that Disney even dared to create a villain like him, who addresses such mature issues. I get why parents complain about this and hesitate to show the film to younger kids, but again, I loved this movie when I was 5, so idk. I think kids are generally a lot more perceptive than people give them credit for, but in this case, I can’t imagine any young child having enough information about sex or religion to actually contextualize this aspect of the film. I just remember thinking that Frollo was scary - I didn’t actually decipher why he was scary until I was much older. And I wasn’t traumatized by it at all. It was stuff like Dumbo and The Fox and the Hound that left me emotionally scarred! Seriously, I don’t get why a parent would keep this movie from their kid, but allow them to watch films where sad stuff happens to cute animals. That abandonment scene from TFatH honestly messed me up. :(

    (continued below...)
     
  23. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

    Rating - 100%
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    Because we still live in a largely puritanical and patriarchal society where sex is the biggest taboo, and if a movie touches on that then it's inappropriate for kids. Sex should only be done behind closed doors between a husband and wife for the purpose of reproducing and anything outside of this is shameful and sinful. And if anything deviates from this, it's the woman's fault for being a temptress. (This plays into the feminization of male villains - their feminine qualities contribute to their evilness.)

    (Note that I don't personally believe that, but that viewpoint is certainly pervasive and shapes a lot of our current, majority Christian society.)
     
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  24. LittleBird

    LittleBird Well-Known Member

    Rating - 100%
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    I suspected the analyses of this movie would be fascinating, and I was right. The articulations of both its flaws and its strengths are spot-on for me. I have nothing unique to add (and am too mired in editing a book on political philosophy to do so), but I will make one small comment: on the personification of Notre Dame in the film's music.

    "God Help the Outcasts" may be my favorite Disney song of all time, but it's "Bells of Notre Dame" that never fails to give me chills. The Archdeacon personifies Notre Dame itself (herself?), declaring that "the very eyes of Notre Dame" see through all of Frollo's corruption (and damn, that one singular moment of fear in Frollo's eyes is powerful). Clopin's final lines add to that personification; he sings that it is the bells themselves who ask, "Who is the monster and who is the man?" At this point, Notre Dame itself is set up as the arbiter of morality.

    Both Esmeralda and Frollo directly address Mary (i.e., Our Lady, Notre Dame herself) in their songs; each of them ask for her aid. (I suppose it could be argued that Esmeralda is speaking to the infant Jesus, but the camera's focus on Mary when she sings "I see your face" makes me think the song is addressed to her, aka Notre Dame. Frollo clearly asks Maria for help in overcoming his lust for a woman, which is a whole big mess of virgin-vs.-temptress in and of itself.)

    In the end, when Esmeralda and Frollo are in a direct, physical confrontation (one trying to save Quasimodo and one trying to kill him), Our Lady literally makes the final judgment. It is Notre Dame itself who kills Frollo for his sins: the gargoyle Frollo is clinging to comes to life (at least to his eyes; it definitely breaks) and sends him into hell. His death confirms the Archdeacon's warning from the opening song: that Frollo has been watched by the eyes of Notre Dame and she has found him wanting. In that way, his death is not a typical Disney villain "accident" at all.

    (All of this, of course, makes the comic gargoyles an ever greater mess, but I'll just let that be. :D)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  25. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

    Rating - 100%
    477   0   0

    Man these analyses are so good. <3 You guys are epic this week. I'm still reading through a few in between doing stuff for school, but just a few quick comments.

    I saw a couple people mention this about the opening song, and it being more of a "tell" not "show" situation. And while it's definitely an obvious exposition moment, complete with Clopin dictating narrative, there is a fascinating slippage between him telling us what's happened, and the act of him telling becoming the showing. I know that's a weird sentence (and probably poorly articulated), but here's what I mean. Just before Frollo is about to dunk baby Quasi, Clopin narrates, "'Stop!,' cried the archdeacon." And there's a chilling moment of conflation between frame narrative and the narrated events:

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    Clopin, the narrator, becomes what he's narrating. It's so small a touch, but is meant to re-engross us in the tale he's telling. The narrative break can be troubling. And shifting back and forth between past and present (and between Clopin and puppet, for that matter) can muddy the waters. But this moment is such a cool spot because it's probably the most successful attempt to connect the frame and the narrative.


    And furthering the Frollo discussion too, his mockery of being a "religious" man is all the more troubling when you look at his hand gestures:
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    The two finger gesture is a staple of Catholicism and is meant to be a blessing or benediction to the recipient. A sort of "go with peace" idea. You see it a lot in religious art:

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    The fact that Frollo mimics this is blasphemous on a good day, because he definitely never means for anyone to go in peace. But it reinforces the idea that he is only outwardly "religious." He "performs" the trappings of piety, but all of that gets twisted with his own self-righteousness and exceptional ability to twist anything to his own benefit. Again, another small touch that becomes even more sinister when you think about it.

    Edit: Oh, also! (Man, I can't get away from Frollo...). That awesome moment in "Hellfire" where the red robed figures appear:

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    (gif lovingly swiped from Nutmeg!)

    He begins singing, "It's not my fault!" and the robes chant, "Mea culpa!" which means "my fault" in Latin. The use of Catholic liturgy throughout this film is amazing, but this use was sooooooo haunting. Frollo is shouting that he's innocent, but his subconscious is shouting that he's guilty. It creates an incredible moment of internal conflict that has been mostly absent from Disney villains--and that conflict gets personified in his song. Just...holy crap it's so good.

    I've probably watched this scene like 6 times now for this thread and it's just so freaking awesome..... That fireplace transition.......

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    Few moments are as chilling...

    Okay, I think I'm done gushing about how awful and complicated Frollo is. XD
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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