Reprising most of the original voice actors, the scriptwriters of this hunched-back adventure set out to prove that looks are only skin deep -- an oft-criticized flaw in the first film that concluded with the sultry Esmeralda (Demi Moore) in the arms of the handsome Phoebus (voice of Kevin Kline), while poor Quasimodo (voice of Tom Hulce) was expected to be content ringing bells with his stone-faced gargoyle friends.
Picking up on that "happily-ever-after" conclusion (did anyone in the production department read Hugo's book?), the sequel opens with a circus rolling into Paris, led by the obviously evil Sarousch (voice of Michael McKean). The ringmaster uses Madellaine (voice of Jennifer Love Hewitt), his reluctant partner in crime, to distract the crowd from noticing his criminal activities. Intending to steal Notre Dame's huge jewel-laden bell, he directs the woman he nicknames Trinket to begin casing the cathedral while he makes elephants and spectators' jewelry disappear on the streets below.
Madellaine's initial visit to the belfry certainly rings Quasi's bells, but her interest in the deformed dinger, along with a rapid rise in petty theft, has Phoebus convinced there's more than romance in the air. With all signs pointing to the circus maiden as chief culprit, Quasi is crushed, while Sarousch welcomes the diversion as the perfect opportunity to peel away with the bell.
Parents who saw Disney's previous Hunchback are sure to recall the adult themes it contained, causing it to barely make a "G" rating. Those kinds of concerns are not present in the sequel, which simply reuses the characters to create a film targeted at children. Instead, this tale suffers from being exactly the opposite of what it preaches: Lots of flashy names on the marquee -- not much soul on the inside.
With a quality level that lags below even other Disney direct-to-video offerings, this strange mixture of French environment, American media savvy, and Disney's Japanese Studios animation work (that resembles the flat Pokemon cartoon style), combines to creates a movie as awkward as Quasimodo himself. Although youngsters may look beyond these shortcomings, it is unlikely the film will ring up the sales of its predecessor.
Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...
Disney brings the cast and characters of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame together again in this direct-to-home video sequel—but the story is aimed at young children this time. When the lovelorn Quasimodo meets a beautiful circus performer, his heart does flip-flops. But Phoebus suspects her interest in the hunchback may have ulterior motives. Although containing few content concerns, the poor production quality masks the movie’s attempt at a positive message.
Mild cartoon-style violence, including horseplay amongst gargoyles. Stealing is discussed and depicted. Coercion is used to get a character to participate in acts of theft. Guards draw swords. Child character is held hostage.
Sexual Content: B+
Married and unmarried couples exchange kisses. Gargoyle kisses goat. Female characters wear shoulder-revealing clothing. Minor joke made about nakedness.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A
Skulls shown in catacomb setting.
Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...
The wicked Sarousch uses Madellaine’s lack of self-confidence to manipulate her behavior. Why does the way we see ourselves have such a strong influence on the way we act? Where does self-confidence come from? Is it possible to have too much?
Although this film is a sequel to The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, parents should be aware that the content of the original might not be suitable for young viewers. Other tales that explore looking beyond appearance are Beauty And The Beast and Babe. The Secret Garden features another hunchback.
Home Video Notes
Home Video Notes: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame 1 & 2: Blu-ray Combo Pack
Release Date: 12 March 2013
Disney is releasing The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame 2 together in a 3 Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. Bonus extras include:
- Blu-ray copies of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame 1 & 2
- DVD copies of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame 1 & 2
- The Making of the Hunchback of Notre dame
- Audio Comentary
- Multi-language reel: A Guy Like You
- Behind the scenes with Jennifer love Hewitt
- A Gargoyle’s Life