The Hunchback of Notre Dame II

Last updated
The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2: The Secret of the Bell
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Bradley Raymond
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Flip Kobler
  • Cindy Marcus
  • Jule Selbo
Based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame
by Victor Hugo
Starring
Music byCarl Johnson
Edited by
  • Colleen Halsey
  • Peter Lonsdale
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release date
  • March 19, 2002 (2002-03-19)
Running time
66 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (also known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2: The Secret of the Bell) is a 2002 American animated film directed by Bradley Raymond. The direct-to-video sequel to the 1996 Disney film The Hunchback of Notre Dame , the film was produced by Walt Disney Animation Japan, Walt Disney Television Animation and Walt Disney Video Premiere. Critical reception was generally negative. [1]

Contents

Plot

The film is set in 1508, six years after the events of the original film and the death of Judge Claude Frollo. Captain Phoebus serves as Paris' Captain of the Guard under the new Minister of Justice. Phoebus and Esmeralda have married and become the parents of a six-year-old son named Zephyr. Quasimodo is now an accepted part of Parisian society; though he still lives in Notre Dame de Paris with his gargoyle friends Victor, Hugo, and Laverne as the cathedral's bell-ringer.

A circus troupe led by Sarousch enters town as part of "Le Jour d'Amour", a day dedicated to the celebration of strong and pure romantic love. Sarousch is secretly a master criminal who plans to steal Notre Dame's most beloved bell, La Fidèle, the inside of which is decorated with beige-gold and enormous jewels. He sends Madellaine, a peasant girl, to discover the whereabouts of La Fidèle.

Madellaine encounters Quasimodo without seeing his face, and the two of them initially get along quite well. Once Madellaine actually sees his face, she is shocked at his deformed appearance and runs away from him. The gargoyles convince Quasimodo to go to the circus to see her again. At the circus, Sarousch captures the audience's attention by making an elephant disappear, while his associates steal from the audience. He pressures Madellaine to follow Quasimodo and obtain the information he needs for his plans. When Madellaine disagrees with this mission, Sarousch reminds her of her past and of the loyalty she owes him: when she was six years old, Madellaine was a thief who was caught trying to steal coins from Sarousch. He could have turned her over to the authorities and Frollo; instead, Sarousch decided to employ her in his circus.

Madellaine reluctantly takes the mission to win Quasimodo's trust. After observing Quasimodo fondly playing with Zephyr and letting the boy sleep in his arms, Madellaine realises the hunchback's true nature and ceases to be frightened by his appearance. Quasimodo takes her sight-seeing around Paris. A rain forces them to end the date and return to Notre Dame. Quasimodo takes the opportunity to offer Madellaine a gift, a figurine in her own image which he created himself. A sincerely touched Madellaine kisses him on the forehead and leaves. Quasimodo soon realizes that he is in love with her.

Meanwhile, Phoebus is investigating reports about robberies in his city. He suspects that the circus is responsible for the crime spree and confides to his family and friends, but Esmeralda expresses her belief that Phoebus is motivated by his own prejudice. Elsewhere, Sarousch instructs Madellaine to keep Quasimodo preoccupied while the circus steals La Fidèle. However, Madellaine has come to genuinely care for Quasimodo and protests, so Sarousch threatens to have Quasimodo killed if she refuses. Phoebus eventually questions Sarousch about the robberies, and finds a stolen jewel in his possession. To avoid being arrested, Sarousch claims that Madellaine is a lifelong thief and that he is covering for her crimes. Phoebus seems to believe him.

Later, while Quasimodo is out with Madellaine, Sarousch and two of his subordinates sneak into the cathedral. Sarousch causes La Fidèle to vanish. The gargoyles try to stop the thieves, but end up trapped under another bell; Laverne still sounds the bell and alerts everyone that something is amiss at the Cathedral. Hearing the sound, Quasimodo and Madellaine rush back. When the Archdeacon informs everyone that La Fidèle has been stolen, Clopin claims that if they do not find the bell, the festival will be ruined. Phoebus realises that Sarousch has played him for a fool. He sends the soldiers all over Paris to find Sarousch. Quasimodo realizes that his beloved Madellaine has deceived him (despite her pleas that she did not intend to) and angrily breaks off their relationship. He retreats deeper into the Cathedral, feeling heartbroken and betrayed.

Phoebus has his guards arrest Madellaine for her involvement in the theft. The gargoyles soon inform Quasimodo that Zephyr has left to pursue Sarousch. He passes the information on to Esmeralda and Phoebus, who now have personal reasons to locate the master criminal. Madellaine, now a prisoner of Phoebus, informs them that Sarousch has taken the missing bell to the Catacombs of Paris and tries to explain the secrets behind her former master's tricks and illusions. Phoebus decides to search around the catacombs, and brings Madellaine with him. In the Catacombs, the search party encounter Esmeralda's pet goat Djali, who leads them to Sarousch and Zephyr. Sarousch has taken the boy hostage and blackmails Phoebus into opening a gate for him. Madellaine uses her high-wire skills to rescue Zephyr. With no leverage against his pursuers, Sarousch and his group of criminals are arrested, and the missing bell is recovered.

The festival can finally take place. Hugo finally wins the heart of Djali, his longtime crush. A number of romantic couples, including Phoebus and Esmeralda, proclaim their love for each other while Quasimodo rings the restored La Fidèle. The bell falls silent when a released Madellaine joins Quasimodo in the bell tower. The two of them admit their own love for each other and share their first romantic kiss. As the film ends, Zephyr takes over the ringing of La Fidèle.

Voice cast

Home media

As announced on August 21, 2000, the film was originally going to be released on DVD and VHS on August 28, 2001. [2] However, the release date was moved to March 19, 2002 to coincide with the VHS/DVD re-release of the original film. [3]

Reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 30% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 3.88/10. [1]

DVDactive said it was an "unusually chintzy production", noting "the characters are slightly off-model, their movements are stilted, optical zooms are used in place of animated camera moves, animation cycles are over-used, and painted highlights float around between frames". It compared it to the company's television shows, adding it looks "cheap", "old", and "awful". It concluded by saying "it is mercifully short – under an hour without credits." [4] Hi-Def Digest said "There's really no point in wasting your time watching this subpar sequel of an already ho-hum movie", rating it 1.5 stars. [5] PopMatters notes "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II both addresses and cheapens the previous movie’s notes of melancholy, as it sets about finding Quasimodo a romantic partner". [6] DVD Talk says "the story...somehow stretches what might have once been a 12-minute segment of the Smurfs to over an hour", and concludes that "the whole thing has the awful feel of a cash grab". [7]

Songs

  1. "Le Jour D'Amour" (Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn) — Paul Kandel, Tom Hulce, Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough and Jane Withers
  2. "An Ordinary Miracle" (Walter Edgar Kennon) — Tom Hulce
  3. "I'd Stick with You" (Walter Edgar Kennon) — Haley Joel Osment and Tom Hulce
  4. "Fa-la-la-la, Fallen in Love" (Walter Edgar Kennon) — Charles Kimbrough, Mary Jay Clough, Jason Alexander and Townspeople
  5. "I'm Gonna Love You (Madellaine's Love Song)" (Jennifer Love Hewitt and Chris Canute) — Jennifer Love Hewitt

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References

  1. 1 2 "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango . Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. "Lady & the Tramp II,' 'Hunchback II' Heading Straight to Home Video/DVD on August 28, 2001". August 21, 2000. Archived from the original on May 4, 2005. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  3. Hettrick, Scott (September 18, 2001). "Disney ramps up vid-preem sequel slate". Variety . Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  4. Malcolm Campbell and Tom Woodward (16 March 2013). "Review: Hunchback of Notre Dame I and II, The (US - BD) - DVDActive". dvdactive.com.
  5. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame / The Hunchback of Notre Dame II". highdefdigest.com.
  6. "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Mulan' Are from Disney's Artistically Vital Years". PopMatters.
  7. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Two-Movie Collection (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk.