Disney(ish) Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse: The Hunchback of Notre Dame II

It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Execution is more important than concept.

Consider Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Doing Victor Hugo’s classic melodrama as an animated Disney musical is an objectively terrible idea. Awful. Comedically bad. You would have to really sit down and think to come up with a classic novel less suited to the genre. Dracula has more potential as a Renaissance Disney movie than Hunchback (Magical villain with a cape and animal sidekicks, heroine who yearns for more than her safe, stale existence, funny comedy relief foreigner and a happy ending, what more do you want?).

But the thing about Hunchback is that, despite the inherent cruddiness of the core concept, everything else is JUST SO GOOD. That animation! The character designs! The backgrounds! The acting! The direction! The singing! The music! YE GODS THE MUSIC!

So what if the final product resembles Hugo’s work so loosely that Disney might as well have claimed it was original IP and called it the “The Adventures of Maurice the Not-So-Pretty Bell Man”? Gorgeous movie is gorgeous.

But what if…what if all that was taken away?

What if you took away the animation, the character designs, the backgrounds, the acting, the direction, the singing, the music ye gods the music?

What if all you had left was that initial terrible, terrible idea?

Probably something like The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2, produced in 2000 but only released in 2002, presumably out of shame. This movie is why we have words like “nadir”.

Let me be clear. It’s not simply terrible compared to the original. It’s not simply terrible as a movie in its own right. It is terrible compared to other Disney Sequels.

Scared?

By God, you should be.

Alright, so imagine you’re making a cheap sequel to one of the most beautiful animated movies made by an American studio in the twentieth century, and it’s to be animated by Disney’s notoriously shoddy Japanese TV animation studio. It’s not going to look good. Make your peace with that right now. But a good script is no more expensive to animate than a bad one so, y’know, you can still pull this off. You can still make a decent movie provided you don’t go out of your way to remind people of the original movie oh are YOU KIDDING ME…

You know what? I appreciate that. The movie just flat out dispenses with any pretense and shows us where we stand. The opening scene of the original is one of the single most powerful sequences in the whole canon. The gentle Latin chanting suddenly blasted away by the thunderous bells and those mountainous opening chords while Notre Dame looms impossibly tall over pristine white clouds, God, it nourishes my soul.

The opening scene of Hunchback 2 tries to replicate it and every single element is just so hideously inferior. Especially the animation. But especially the music. Especially everything. Everything is equally especial.

So, since last movie featured the Festival of Fools, this time around Paris is getting ready for the Jour D’Amour, with Clopin and Quasimodo OH SWEET JESUS MERCIFUL SAVIOR…

SEND IT BACK TO THE BELLTOWER!

Yeah, so here’s an interesting thought experiment. What if you had a cartoon where the animators simply didn’t have the skill to animate the main character? James Baxter’s original Quasimodo design is quite possibly the most marvellous and intricate model of any hand-drawn character in any Disney movie. It breaks every rule and somehow it works, it’s asymetrical, and heavily detailed and yet it moves with fluidity and grace and somehow manages to look ugly and appealing at the same time which shouldn’t be possible.

This movie’s version of Quasimodo is the animation equivalent of badly performed Shakespeare. The brilliance of the source material actually makes the whole experience ten times worse. Quasi truly is “half-formed” now, veering so wildly in appearance from scene to scene that it’s kind of hard to tell what he was supposed to look like originally. The fact that they actually managed to get Tom Hulce back (and even more bafflingly, Kevin Kline, Demi Moore and Jason Alexander) lessens the pain not a jot.

So Quasi is hanging bunting by swinging from the rooftops like a kyphotic Spider-Man while Clopin sings about the coming Jour de L’Amour. On the one hand, I suppose it’s a positive that the movie doesn’t try to undo the previous film’s happy ending and shows that Quasi and Clopin are both now beloved and accepted members of Parisian society. On the other hand, this is the fucking worst, right here. It’s all so wholesome and saccharine. Seeing Quasimodo and Clopin dancing in the streets together while smiling onlookers cheer and clap just feels…wrong.

“Ha ha my friend! Remember the time I almost hanged you in a sewer?”
“Ho ho! We’re such good friends!”

The opening song…actually no. Let me talk about the songs for a minute to explain why I’m not going to talk about the songs. Imagine for a minute you were taken hostage by a cult of inbred hillbillies who proceeded to slowly eat you over the course of many months. You would, possibly, decide that one of the hillbillies was nicer than the others. Maybe Ol’ Uncle Zeke is a real peach because he only eats your toes. Having a favourite song from Hunchback 2 is kind of like having a favourite cannibal hillbilly. You might convince yourself that one was less terrible than the others but it’s just your brain trying to protect you. The fact is,  all the songs are regurgitated garbage and comparing them to each other is a waste of my time and yours. Moving on.

So Quasimodo is excited because on the Jour D’Amour he gets to ring “La Fidele” a bell that is plan on the outside but studded with gold and jewels on the inside.

Because it’s beautiful.

On the inside.

Do you understand? Do you see what they did there?

“Do you see? Do you see?”

Now you might say “Mouse, isn’t the inside of the bell the absolute worst place to put a load of gold and priceless jewels? Wouldn’t the jewels be damaged and the bell sound terrible thus making the entire undertaking a double failure?”

To which I reply “Yeah. Yeah. But…uh, I think we got a bigger problem here.”

The bell doesn’t even have a FUCKING CLAPPER.

No, no. I’m being unfair. How could I expect them to understand how a bell works, they’re notoriously complex instruments.

Anyway, the three gargoyles try to convince Quasi to get out and enjoy the Jour de L’Amour but he says he has too much work to do. The gargoyles are again voiced by Jason Alexander (Hugo) and Charles Kimbrough (Victor) with Jane Withers stepping in to voice LaVerne as Mary Wickes couldn’t appear in the film, as she had passed on by this point. Allegedly.

“That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!”

We then meet Zephyr (Haley Joel Osmond), the six year old result of Phoebus and Esmerelda’s union and every bit as bad as the start of this sentence would lead you to believe. None of the original characters from the first film are anything but a pale shadow of their former selves, but I have to say that Phoebus and Esmerelda both suffer virtual character assassination, as they are here re-imagined as the kind of people who would name their child “Zephyr”. Phoebus and Esmerelda just start making out in front of Quasimodo (nice guys, classy) and talking about how they’re going to be yelling about how much they love each other when La Fidele rings. Zephyr asks Quasimodo who’s going to be screaming his name and he says “I don’t think anyone will” which is completely untrue. I haven’t stopped screaming his name since the movie started, usually followed by “WHY!?” and “WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU, MY CROISSANT SHAPED PRINCE?” Anyway, Esmerelda tells Quasi that there’s a girl out there for him, not her, obviously, I mean, Jesus, but you know…somebody.

A circus arrives in town and the magician/proprietor Sarousch puts on a show for the local rubes. However, his act almost comes a cropper when his assistant fails to appear. He finds her practicing a tight-rope walking act and chews her out, saying “You’re job is to stand there and look pretty.” but she says she want to contribute more to the circus. This is Madellaine.

Madellaine is voiced by America’s Sweetheart For Around Forty Minutes in 2000, Jennifer Love-Hewitt and she will be our love interest for this ordeal. This brings me neatly to what I call the “Quasimodo’s Girlfriend Dilemma”.

So, if we can acknowledge that this whole area is a minefield that we would run from if we valued our lives, let me say that I don’t object in principle to the idea of giving Quasi a girlfriend. I mean, pairing him up with Esmerelda is always going to be too far against the grain of the original novel (plus, two male and female Disney leads having  a loving but platonic friendship is important in its own right) but yeah, having Quasi never find love is problematic in a different way. So fine, a romance for Quasi, I’m game.

The trouble is that Madellaine…

Hold up. Has anyone, anywhere, ever seen that name spelled that way? Anyone? I’m half convinced Disney invented a new name just to trademark it. Anyway, Madellaine™ feels anachronistic in a way that none of the other original characters do. Everything about her mannerisms and performance screams “Meg Ryan Rom Com Heroine” and it jars in a way that’s difficult to describe. Oh, but she’s an unqualified success, a veritable Lando Calrissian of seamless sequel integration compared to Sarousch.

Sarousch is our villain and, believe it or not, actually makes for a worthy successor to Frollo. What’s that? You don’t believe it? Well done. I was testing you and you passed. Sarousch is garbage. Not even being voiced by Michael McKean can salvage this trainwreck.

There’s something about this that’s so crap, it’s like how much more crap could this be? And the answer is none. None more crap.

As well as being vain and obsessed with his own appearance, Sarousch is a thief who uses his circus as a cover for heists. Because, if there is one thing this movie wants you to know, it’s that circus folk are all dirty, dirty thieves. Sarousch tells Madellaine™ to go to the bell tower and charm the bell-ringer into showing her La Fidele so that he and the rest of the circus folk can steal it. Madellaine™ is not not happy about this but goes up to the bell tower anyway. Quasi hides because it’s a g-g-g-girl. He hides under one of the bells and talks to her, and they engage in some of the most excruciating romantic banter I have ever had the misfortune of sitting through. Madellaine™ tells Quasi it looks like he’s wearing a massive hat and, OH MY GOD BUT THEY MILK THIS. THEY MILK THIS ONE NON-JOKE UNTIL IT DIES ALONE AND IN AGONY.

Oh, and Madellaine™ can see the gargoyles. She shouldn’t be able to see the gargoyles, because as I made very clear in my last review, the gargoyles are all in Quasi’s head and even when we see the gargoyles interacting with other characters that’s just Quasi Tyler Durdenning.

I explained this. I made it very clear. This movie is undoing a lot of hard work on my part and this will not stand.

Quasi is amazed that Madellaine™ can see the gargoyles (SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP). She thinks she’s going crazy but he says she just has an active imagination. She asks to see his face and when he finally comes into the light she of course doesn’t judge him by his appearence…oh.

In fairness, I’ve been making this face since the opening title.

She runs off and Quasi sadly goes back to his table of figurines to make a Madellaine™ doll that he can smush against the Quasimodo doll while making kissy noises. Quasimodo then sings An Ordinary Miracle and I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about the songs but seriously guys, you need to watch this shit. Come. Come and gawp at the carnage.

Not even Tom Hulce could save that that! It could not be Hulced!

The gargoyles tell Quasimodo…no wait, back up a step, what the fuck is happening with Victor and Hugo?

They’re changing colour so fast they looks you could stand beside them, play some techno music, drop some molly and get a rave going. Who was in charge of continuity on this? I mean God, they just did not care.

Back the circus Madellaine™ tries to explain that even in the circus she never trained for that kind of ugly but Sarousch tells her he wants the most useless bell in all Christendom and to seduce the Hunchback. Madellaine™ feels obligated to Sarousch because he didn’t turn her in to the authorities when he caught her stealing from him when she was six years old and also because she’s kinda dumb. She feels really guilty about lying to Quasimodo though, and stares at herself in the mirror so long that one of her eyes becomes larger than the other.

Is it a metaphor for the way her soul has become corrupted by Sarousch’s greed or is this just an awful cartoon? Who can say…

So after the magic show Madellaine™ catches up with Quasi and seems him carrying Zephyr home on his shoulders (so now he’s got two worthless lumps on his back, hi-yo!). Realising that anyone who could put up with Zephyr’s unending asinine prattle without dropping him down a well must have the gentle nature of a saint, she does…this.

I’ve mentioned the weird phenomenon of bad acting in cartoon characters before. I don’t mean bad voice acting, I mean when actual cartoon characters give unconvincing performances and Madellaine™ is an excellent example of this. Every gesture she makes is so over the top, so completely excessive, that it makes the Wolf from Red Hot Riding Hood look like Philip Seymour Hoffman. And here’s the thing, that is hard to do. Cartoon characters exist in their own world, we don’t think of them as actors, we think of them as real beings inhabiting their own seperate reality. For a cartoon character to be unconvincing would be like you giving a bad performance as yourself in your every day life. Sucking that hard is an achievement.

So they go far a walk and before you know it she starts falling for him for real. Meanwhile, Phoebus is suspicious because there’s been a wave of thefts since the circus arrived in town and he suspects Sarousch’s troupe. Esmerelda, Quasimodo and Zephyr all get mad at him when he blames the circus folk the thefts and theorises that Madellaine™ is using Quasi to get something else. So, big problem right here. Phoebus, is one of my favourite characters in the original movie and here he’s presented like a bigoted authoritarian jerk. But if your movie is going to be about bigotry you can’t have the bigot be right about every single thing. It is really suspicious that the crimes only began when the circus arrived. The circus troupe actually is behind the the thefts. And Madellaine™ really did get close to Quasimodo to steal something. And frankly, if Phoebus wants to investigate the circus troupe he has really good, compelling reasons to do so.

Meanwhile, Sarousch tells Madellaine™ to lure Quasimodo away from the belltower so that he can steal La Fidele. She doesn’t want to, but he tells her that if she doesn’t, Quasimodo could get hurt. Uh huh. Yeah. Sure. Oh gee, I really hope Sarousch doesn’t hurt Quasimodo. I am so fearful for Quasimodo’s safety. That Sarousch sure is a dangerous force to be reckoned with.

God I would pay money to see that.

Never happens of course. In fact, Quasimodo and Sarousch never actually exchange dialogue. In two movies we’ve gone from one of the most emotionally rich and dark hero-villain relationships in the Disney canon to a movie where our hero and villain never even speak to each other. I just realised that. This movie keeps finding new and ever more galling ways to show me that that it is the fucking worst thing.

Phoebus shows up at the circus and interrogates Sarousch who pins all the thefts on Madellaine™. While Phoebus looks for her, Sarousch’s men break into the bell and steal La Fidele. They’re discovered by Zephyr and Sarousch decides to take the kid as a hostage.

Quasi and Madellaine™ arrive back at Notre Dame to find the bell stolen and Quasi is furious at her for lying to him. Madellaine™ is arrested but when Esmerelda discovers that Zephyr has been kidnapped Madellaine™ offers to help them find Sarousch. She leads them into the catacombs and Phoebus’ gaurds block off Sarousch’s escape but he threatens Zephyr so they have no choice but to let his boat pass. Madellaine™ convinces Quasi to free her from her shackles and they work together to rescue Zephyr.

She tightrope walks over the boat and grabs Zephyr and Sarousch yells “What are you doing here?” and she replies “Just standing here looking pretty.” because that was the thing that he said and that was the thing she was doing and that’s how screenplays work.

Writing.

And the movie ends with Sarousch getting thrown in jail and all our couples celebrating La Jour D’Amour, Quasimodo with Madellaine™, Phoebus with Esmerelda and Hugo with Djali. Yes. That happens. The gargoyle and the goat are our first official gay Disney couple. I wanted this for so long.

But not like this. NOT LIKE THIS!

***

This is probably breaking some kind of movie-critic omerta but I enjoy bad movies. The Room brings me real, pure joy. I enjoy the first Transformers and Armageddon and probably more of Michael Bay’s oeuvre than I care to admit. Bad movies can be wonderfully enjoyable and even intellectually stimulating. They have a way of getting my creative juices flowing, wondering how I’d fix this character or that plot point. Pocahontas 2 was a bad movie but it was interesting and weird and hilarious and I honestly got more enjoyment out of it than its staid, bland, competent predecessor. But Hunchback 2 hits that awful, awful bad movie deadzone between good enough to be enjoyable and bad enough to be hilarious. However bad it gets, it’s never stunningly bad. It’s suffocatingly bad. Numbingly dull. It’s hideousnesses never sinks to the level of the bracingly garish. It’s ugly, but “seventies Tory” ugly, not “freakshow” ugly. It’s a bad, bad time, is what it is. I’ll watch Foodfightagain before I watch this.

Scoring

How butt ugly is the animation? Is it as ugly as a butt: 2/20

Well, the characters move. So it meets the criteria of being “animation”.

Are the main characters jerks? I bet they’re jerks: 2/10

This Quasi makes me queasy.

Bet the villain’s a real shitpile, character wise: 2/20

Shit sandwich.

“You can’t print that!”

Oh what’s this? Supporting characters? Fuck you supporting characters!: 1/20

No, you know what, I can’t, I just can’t I’m welling up guys…

Man, fuck the music. I hope it dies: 1/20

AW CHRIST.

FINAL SCORE: 8%

NEXT UPDATE: 07 September 2017

NEXT TIME: Taking a bit of a break to focus on other writing but I’ll back in September for a slightly belated extra special fifth-anniversary review. When I started these reviews five years ago I didn’t really know what I was doing.

“Plus ca change.”

“Shaddup.”

So I thought it might be fun to revisit a movie I reviewed way back in 2012 and see what an older, wiser Unshaved Mouse review might look like. What’s the movie?

What else?

50 comments

  1. Good choice, Mouse. Because recycling is important. 😑

    Nah, I’m just giving you a hard time, because my brain went into a protective coma halfway through this review. Sorry ’bout that. 😝

    Thanks for all your hard work, Mouse! 😄

  2. Holy shit this was fun. For me, I mean, not for you. How long has this been sitting in your queue?

    Also, you may or may not remember this, but 8% is the exact same rating you gave A Troll in Central Park. Would you rather watch that over this?

    And oh Lord yes to the Anniversary review. If you gotta revisit something, nothing classier than revisiting your roots.

  3. Alright, we’re doing this. I’m gonna go watch this putrid thing tonight and then read this review. Hooooooo boy this is gonna suck

  4. Ah, so you’re re-reviewing Snow White, eh? What will the beginning of the title be? “Disney Re-reviews with the Unshaved Mouse”?

    “I’ll watch Foodfight! again before I watch this” WOW! Now THAT’S a bold statement, Mouse! Jeez!!! I mean, yeah, this movie is bad. But worse than FOODFIGHT!??? I don’t know if I would go THAT far. That’s just me.

    Fun fact: the guy who directed this movie also directed Pocahontas 2. And Lion King 1 1/2.

    I have to say, I may not like this movie, but I actually kinda like the end credits song sung by Jennifer Love Hewitt. I feel it’s the only good thing in the movie.

    Here’s a fun drinking game for this movie that I found online: every time Sarousch says “Lovely”, take a drink. I’d also add every time he says or does anything else narcissistic. Have fun with that one!

  5. Yes, this movie is really bad. One of the worst Disney sequels bu a long shot. But ever since I saw the actual worst one, none of the others managed to come close so I don’t care as much about this one being atrocious. And I might as well tell you since nobody would ever guess it within at least their first five tries.

    My pick for worst DTV Disney sequel is Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure.

    Not because I love the original movie so much, although the original is my favorite Disney movie of the 50s. Not because the animation is horrendous, because it’s good for a DTV sequel (in fact, this was released around when the sequels tried actually looking good).

    It’s because of Scamp. Mother fucking Scamp. I can say without a hint of hyperbole that Scamp is the worst protagonist I’ve ever seen in an animated Disney movie. Scratch that, an animated movie. Scratch that, a movie. Scratch that, anything. Scamp is the worst main character of anything that ever existed.

    It’s been over a year since I first subjected myself to this garbage, so I’ll give you the two highlights proving Scamp is just the worst.

    *A while after he runs away, he goes back to his house with Girl Dog who not-so-secretly wants to be in a family. Scamp and Girl Dog see the family all sad and crying about Scamp being gone, and Girl Dog says “Wow dude, they miss you, maybe you should go home.” But then Scamp vomits out “b-but I hate taking baths!!!” and walks off.

    *Later, Jerk Dog, the villain, tells Scamp to steal a steak from his family on a picnic (it’s the 4th of July or some other holiday where people have picnics). Not only does Scamp steal from the family who has been missing him for days, but when Tramp chases after him, Scamp is all “how dare you lie to me and not tell me you were a stray!!! I had to hear it all from Jerk Dog, who is such a nice guy!!!”

    So yeah, Scamp makes me embarrassed for dogs all over the world. I would have taken a sequel to Home on the Range over this trash.

  6. Hooooooo boy. I tried to watch this, hoping it would be so-bad-it’s-good, but that Ordinary Miracle song… it’s like a flash flood of molasses. With poison. You see the warning signs, and you start driving along the floodway anyway, and then the awfulness just smashes you like a freight train of saccharine.

    I’ll just leave this here.

  7. Now that you mention it, Madellaine even looks like Meg Ryan! Ouch…

    Seriously though, I plan to give this one a chance one day. I mean, can it really be that bad?

  8. Ok, now that I’ve seen the damn thing I can safely say….it wasn’t that bad? I mostly just found it dull and pointless. And yeah that’s a serious crime compared to the majesty and sheer raw power of the original movie but I seriously didn’t think it was that bad. Technically it is definitely awful, the animation is atrocious and the music is really really ungood. The villain is kind of campy fun IMO though. I don’t know, somehow I just can’t get much hate up for this movie just for being boring (which is funny because usually boring is what gets the MOST hate from me).

    Anyway now to wash the taste of that out of my mouth by watching the actually good half of this 2 movie Blu Ray combo pack.

      1. It’s one of my absolute favorites as well. Top 3 Disney for sure and borderline top 30 overall films for me. Also, I have to say that it looks FUCKING INCREDIBLE on Blu Ray

  9. That Snow White re-review better have some gags involving the Mickey Mouse 2013 cartoon doing a whole reference plot gag on it. Where we learn Snow White and automobiles existed at the same time period and the dwarfs would rather get hair than getting Snow back from the dead.

    Because seriously, that was one of the top three most awesome things Disney’s ever made.

  10. I want to start by saying that I really did like this review and I promise I don’t just show up to be negative. Yes there is a but.

    I take exception to you saying that it would be a problem for Quasimodo to never find romantic love. First because using “love” by itself to mean romantic love is a pet peeve of mine. Second I think it would be a good message to send that it’s fine not to have a romantic relationship. Quasimodo has the respect and adoration of his community. He has friends who love and care about him. I don’t like the whole societal norm that this makes him a failure. This is the primary reason I don’t want a Frozen sequel. I like that we have a Disney lead that shows no romantic attraction to anyone and that is ok.

    I’m sorry if this sounds like an overly involved parent complaining about new rules for school bakesales.

    1. While I respect your opinion, I have to say that I like that Quasimodo gets a love interest. It gives people hope that they too will find somebody some day. Because no matter what you feel about it, that is what most people want.

  11. Well, I was telling myself that I would go to bed at a decent hour tonight. Then I saw this review was up. And I became a liar.

    I watched this when it first came out, because my roommate and I would go on periodic Disney-watching benders and we had no freaking idea what we were getting into. Poor naive fools, we never had a chance. That’s probably why I remember so little of it. (Nice callback to Darby O’Gill, btw.)

  12. Great review for an aweful looking movie. It always shocks me they can get the original cast back for these things but I guess a check is a check. This movie seems like what non Disney fans think Disney movies are, especially that shot of Quasimodo and Clopin.
    A Disney Dracula on the other hand is something I would have killed for for years now. Kickass villain with monologue ready to be turned into a song, acts of true love, kickass chase scene. If they can make Hunchback work they can do Dracula.

    1. Disney Dracula would still be amazing, even in this day in age. Although I’m sure it would be CG, and I’m not keen to get any sort of Hotel Transylvania vibe from it, these days they are great at more mature stories and complex villains. They could totally pull it off.

      1. I’m not sure COUNT DRACULA exactly qualifies as complex – although he evidences considerable sophistication, like any good Bond Villain – for so far as I can see he is nothing more than a Feudal Aristocrat happily taking his droit de seigneur for a stroll in Victorian London (although happily this “Old World” Tyrant finds the Modern Age quite unwilling to suffer his Unholy Aristocracy).

        That being said one would love to see a Disney DRACULA, especially if it were of a quality to equal their TARZAN (another classic work of popular fiction which one would not have expected to see falling in when Ranking the Disney canon!), although one wonders whom they would bring in to voice The Count – alas, Sir Christopher Lee (a man who not only did Dracula better than most but one who had also launched himself into at least one Villain Song … in Live Action!) has departed this vale of tears so we must look elsewhere.

        My default casting suggestion for a modern Dracula is Mr Charles Dance (watch DRACULA UNTOLD, then try to prove me wrong!), but when it comes to Singing Dracula one can’t be sure he’d be up for the role …

  13. I’ve always refused to watch this movie on principle. Hunchback is my favorite Disney movie, anything that would tarnish my feelings toward it is pure evil.

    Thanks for the review, you’ve convinced me that I made the right choice.

  14. One thing to point out: Not all bells necessarily need clappers. Big Ben for example is rung by the striking of an external hammer onto a static bell.

    The problem, of course, is that this is entirely unlike how any bell in this franchise is shown to be rung so…

  15. I don’t know whether to be relieved or regretful that I didn’t vote for this one.

    This is one of the most fun reviews you’ve done in a while! I’ve remarked before that you always seem a fair bit more animated when discussing and analyzing animated films, and thus it is here (even if the animating spirit is mixed horror, rage, and despair).

  16. Good Mouse, I was just browsing your back catalogue of articles and came across one that allows me to offer you one quantum of solace after this recent shattering of your last outstanding Principle – at least you have still been able to avoid reviewing PLANES! (so your Shame is not complete after all).

    On a more serious note if you ever again feel some strange impulse to review a straight-to-video feature in future then take my advice and consider a run of DC animated features like THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or SUPERMAN VS THE ELITE: at the very least they can’t be Worse than the average Disney cheap-quel!

  17. “animated by Disney’s notoriously shoddy Japanese TV animation studio.”

    Would you believe it’s the same bunch that animated Akira?

    1. I’m guessing they’ve got a special amateur/intern wing for filthy gaijin projects, aka “the ones that actually pay the bills but which we can’t be arsed to care about”.

  18. My Good Mouse, may one please ask if you have heard that there is to be a GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT adaptation in the near-future of the Animated DC Universe? (I apologise if this seems a little off-topic, but since any given building in Gotham has almost as many Gargoyles as the average medieval cathedral and given that you are a fellow Bat-fan I thought one might risk the question).

    I only stumbled across this delightful news quite recently myself and was immediately seized with a desire to spread the Good News (not let us just hope that the film will live up to the High Concept of “Batman in the Age of Sherlock Holmes” just as well as BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLDs “Trials of the Demon” did!).

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