The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2001)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-May-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Menu Animation & Audio
Game-Festival Of Fun
Featurette-Jennifer Love Hewitt Music Featurette
Featurette-A Gargoyle's Life-It's Not Easy Being A Gargoyle
Featurette-Art Attack-Gargoyle Door Knocker
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 63:11
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Bradley Raymond
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Tom Hulce
Kevin Kline
Demi Moore
Michael McKean
Haley Joel Osment
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $34.95 Music Carl Johnson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Greek
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Quasimodo is back. Set a few years after Disney's original The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, this sequel, subtitled The Secret of The Bell, sees Quasimodo (voiced again by Tom Hulce) still ringing the bells in Notre Dame Cathedral, and lamenting the loss of gypsy Esmerelda (Demi Moore) to leader of the police guards Phoebus (Kevin Kline). He does have Esmeralda's son Zephyr (Hayley Joel Osment) to keep him company and also his Gargoyle friends in the tower try to cheer him up (voiced by Charles Kimbrough, Jason Alexander, and Jane Withers). But Quasi still pines for true love, despite knowing that his looks and hump will deter almost all who see him. When a circus comes to town, run by the nasty Sarousch (Michael McKean), the townsfolk are enchanted by their antics and stunning magic tricks. Little do they know the real reason that the evil Sarousch has come to Paris, and it certainly isn't for their benefit. He sends his beautiful servant Madellaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) to woo Quasimodo and find a way to steal the highly valuable, jewel-encrusted bell La Fidele from the Notre Dame tower. Of course, not all goes to plan, and Madellaine finds herself smitten by the charms of the kind and gentle hunchback. Will true love find a way past the ugly and ill-formed exterior? You'll just have to watch to find out - though I think you can pretty much work it out for yourself already.

    The usual fare from Disney is on parade here (pun intended). Singing, talking animals, moral messages at every turn, and the obligatory happy ending. If the kids liked the other Disney blockbusters and have seen the original Hunchback, then this would come easily recommended. It will surely keep them entertained for at least an hour.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is presented in an aspect of 1.66:1, and also features 16x9 enhancement. There are virtually no problems to report at all with this transfer, as would be expected given the age of the source material.

    The animation is nice and sharp, and except for a couple of minor scenes that appear to be slightly less than perfect, there are no problems to report. There are no shadow detail problems, no grain, and no low level noise.

    The colours on offer are fairly stock-standard for animation, and while not offering the super vibrancy of some of the other features I have seen are still quite pleasing on the eye.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, no film-to-video artefacts, and no film artefacts to be seen at all.

    Only three subtitle streams are available, these being English, English for the Hearing Impaired, and Greek. I watched the feature with the English subtitles on and found them to be virtually 100% accurate.

    This is a dual layered disc, although I couldn't spot a layer change. Presumably the main feature is on one layer and the extras on another.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Despite missing the dts soundtrack that is present on the Region 1 disc, this is still a quality effort from Disney. There are only two soundtracks available, these being English and Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 offerings, encoded at a bitrate of 384 KB/s. The English soundtrack offers decent front speaker separation with some good panning and directional effects across the front.

    Dialogue is excellent, with all the voices coming across clearly and easily understood. Obviously animation makes the task of picking any audio sync problems pretty difficult, but it all seems accurate.
   
    This is a Disney animated feature, so it wouldn't be right if it didn't have some music and the usual collection of sweet and sickly songs. There are plenty on offer in the sixty minute duration to keep the kids singing along.

    There is a reasonable surround presence throughout, though nothing I'd call aggressive.
   
    The subwoofer gets some attention, which did surprise me somewhat. The magical explosions in particular make a nice deep boom when played..

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

Game - Festival of Fun Set-Top Game

    Two mini and somewhat basic games. Game one allows you to practice your bell-ringing by selecting the notes you wish Quasimodo to play on the bells. Good for learning the musical scale. The second games is similar, but instead of selecting musical notes, you select up to six different dance moves that you want the goat puppet to dance to. Once selected he goes off and performs the dance routine.

Featurette - Jennifer Love Hewitt Music Feature

    Running for 4:47 minutes, this has Jennifer Love Hewitt describing how excited she is to be given the chance to perform a song for a Disney animated feature. Her song, I'm Gonna Love You is played towards the end. Video transfer is full screen 1.33:1 and audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.

Featurette - It's Not Easy Being A Gargoyle

    Running for 2:37 minutes, this featurette uses a poem as the device for describing the life of a gargoyle, who perches high on the cathedral roof gazing over the city. Full screen 1.33:1 with audio from a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Mildly amusing.

Featurette - Art Attack

    Running for 4:39 minutes, this featurette is a segment from the Art Attack program on the Disney Channel. Neil Buchanan hosts this segment and will guide the kiddies through the simple process of making their own Gargoyle door-knocker to hang on their bedroom door. Video is again full screen 1.33:1 and audio is also Dolby Digital 2.0.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 disc misses out on;

    Unless you have a pressing need for the additional languages, I can't see any reason to favour the Region 1 disc, despite the inclusion of a dts soundtrack. This isn't really the sort of film that would benefit greatly from the higher bitrate soundtrack, and I feel the PAL formatting to be a bigger advantage, not to mention the cheaper price of the local product.

Summary

    We all know what to expect from Disney. Quality animation coupled with music, singing, and a moral all wrapped up into a high quality package. The duration of this feature is somewhat shorter than I expected, but I guess young kids attention spans might be stretched if it got too long.

    The video quality is excellent, but I was expecting nothing less.

    The audio is also excellent, with a decent enveloping surround soundtrack.

    The extras are somewhat thin and brief.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Terry O

Comments (Add)
OK sequel....... -