Plot: Quasimodo gets a girlfriend, and the villain is after one of the bells in the bell tower. That’s about it.
Breakdown: I’m going to guess how the meeting went for the pitch of this movie.
– Hey, do you guys remember how the original Hunchback movie was all dark and impacting; full of religious connotations, murder, mentions of hell, and our first direct plotline involving such a mature theme as lust?
= Yeah, it was an awesome movie! How can we top that in the sequel?
– By having the movie be about Quasimodo falling in love and getting a girlfriend with no mature themes whatsoever beyond theft!
= …..That, uh……I guess that can work if we do it right.
– Wait, wait, I’m not done! Remember how we had AMAZING songs in the original movie that were epic, deep and impacting?
= Yes! They were some of the best songs in Disney history! We’ll need to get a great orches–
– I was thinking we could have songs….that SUCK! 😀
– Oh and remember the gorgeous scenery and wide open feeling of the city?
– Hardly any scenery, what is there isn’t great and small town feeling.
– Oh and the villain is very important!
= Of course! Frollo was one of the most complex, dark, influential and controversial Disney villains ever made! How can we top that?!
– Laughably non-threatening villain that is quite literally in love with himself and has no motivation beyond stealing a valuable bell that would be nearly impossible to sell on the black market.
= Who hired you?
– Oh oh! And we’ll have awful dialogue, a terrible new lead girl and art and animation that pales in comparison to the original so much that it makes viewers cry!
= That is one of the worst ideas ever.
– Too bad, I’ve already written the script. Bye! Oh and Quasimodo’s new best friend is Esmeralda and Phoebus’s five year old son. His name is Zephyr! And he’s annoying as sin! See you in the pile of money we’ll make!
Seriously, that is basically all that you need to know about this movie, but let’s delve slightly deeper shall we?
The new lead girl, Madeline, is a klutz. She works for a traveling circus because she’s paying off a debt to the main villain for stealing food from him when she was a starving six year old. Was she stealing gold plated caviar? Just run away! Not like he’d seriously pursue you. She’s much like practically any girl in a romantic comedy. She has the depth of a piece of paper and her only trait is being a klutz with bad self esteem.
She finds her way into the tower because the villain demanded she go in there to case the bell tower so that they could steal the precious bell that is plain on the outside but beautiful ON THE INSIDE…..Get it?….Get it?…..Like Quasimodo!…Get it? Hm? Hm? Hm?
He immediately falls in love with her after a shocking five lines of dialogue (Taking the relationship slow by Disney standards), but she initially finds his appearance so disturbing that she runs out of the bell tower and then claims he’s too ugly to confront again to the villain Sarousch. Until, however, Quasi and Zephyr sing a song about being best friends forever (not kidding) and that suddenly wins her heart.
Sarousch is the new villain, and how they ever thought that he could even breathe the same air that Frollo did is beyond me. He is a joke. Plain and simple. Frollo was fueled by lust, hatred and self-righteousness. Sarousch is fueled by laughable egotism, vanity and a desire to steal a bell for no reason beyond ‘it’s valuable’.
Yes. It is. But it’s also incredibly recognizable and would be impossible to sell on the black market without being caught. I know it looks like a crappy bell on the outside, but if someone was trying to sell it, they’d want to display the inside. That’s the hook of the whole thing.
He’s even willing to kill Quasi for the bell, because why not make yourself even more of a target for investigation?
The songs are awful. Not being up to par with the original is one thing. It’s hard as hell to match the fantastic quality of the original movie’s songs. But these are horrible even for direct-to-video sequels. Being direct-to-video is no excuse. There’s no excuse for this level of garbage. That best friend song is so terrible and corny I was just dumbstruck all the way through it, and our love song is actually called ‘Fa-la-la-la Falling in Love’ or ‘Quasimodo’s Falling in Love’ take your pick.
One last thing to note; this festival is really stupid. Now, don’t get me wrong, festivals of love are great, but the main attraction is each couple going up on an altar and literally screaming I LOVE (ENTER NAME OF ROMANTIC PARTNER!) while the other person does the same thing. Not only does this seem stupid, but it has to be 100x more irritating to be single on this day. Valentine’s Day is bad enough. You have to listen to that BS all day.
The dialogue is horrible. The acting is flat and lazy, though I’m not sure if I blame the director or the cast on that.
The art is fairly low quality, and the animation is saddening.
This movie also clocks in at an hour and three minutes, including credits. That is appalling. I thought an hour and ten minutes was bad.
You wanna know a sad fact? This movie supposedly took five years to release. Five….friggin’….years….I have no idea why it took so long especially when the production values are so poor. I don’t even think the original movie took that long to be released, and there was all sorts of complications with releasing that movie.
Bottom Line: I can’t recommend this to anyone except maybe easily entertained very small children who haven’t seen the first movie. It’s probably the most obvious cash-grab of the Disquels, at least so far, and it’s borderline insulting to fans of the first movie. Unless the aspect of Quasi not getting a girlfriend in the first movie particularly upset you and you really are desperate to see him finally get a love life, this is definitely not for anyone who is a fan of the first movie.
Recommended Audience: Really nothing questionable here. Esmeralda’s not a dancer anymore so not even the slightest tinge of sexual vibes. Frollo’s gone, so any controversial theme with him is gone. No one dies. E for everyone….
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2 thoughts on “Dissecting the Disquels: Hunchback of Notre Dame 2”
Loved this, especially the pitch bit. Couldn’t agree more.
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That review was hilarious how you wrote it like the opening part. I only saw a few clips and cringed with how bad the animation was. I’m glad I never saw this sequel and it certainly didn’t need to be made. There are certainly issues with the first movie (especially the whole status quo of beauty equals worthiness, etc.), but at least they tried. That new villain looks like a very petty flamboyant wimp and doesn’t measure up to Frollo whom I consider to be the most evil and most realistic Disney villain ever. That looks like a lame cash grab.
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