Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo

Go To

The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo is a Canadian-French animated television series loosely based on the Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

In 1483 Paris, Quasimodo teams up with gypsy girl Esmeralda, her brother Francois and a charming goat, Djali, to fight villains, stop sinister plots, and escape from traps. They often come face to face with their greatest enemy, Frollo, a man dedicated to the pursuit of all evil.



  • Abled in the Adaptation: Quasimodo is neither half-blind due to an enormous wart covering one of his eyes, nor is he deaf from bell-ringing.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: While Quasimodo still has a hunched back, it's far less pronounced than other versions of the story, and he certainly doesn't qualify as The Grotesque.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Rather than being the Archdeacon, Frollo is simply an alchemist and sorcerer/magician,whatever word you prefer.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Frollo is a Card-Carrying Villain and acts like a jerk to Quasimodo in contrast to his novel counterpart, who was a good man who cares about Quasimodo but was driven to evil by his lustful feelings for Esmeralda.
  • Adapted Out: Phoebus does not appear in the show.
  • Age Lift: Leonardo da Vinci would have been thirty-one in 1483. He has been made much younger in the episode "A Trip to Italy".
  • Advertisement:
  • Artistic License – History: In "The Court of Miracles" there is reference to Notre-Dame being at least as old as the fourth century. Construction didn't begin until 1163.
  • Bald of Evil: Frollo is completely bald.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • One episode features an enchanted carillon, which creates apparitions whenever played. Frollo learns of its power and tries to use it to obtain the secret of the philosopher's stone. But all the machine will show him are visions of his unhappy youth, which send him running away, never wanting to hear the bells again.
    • In another episode, Frollo gets his hands on the Philosopher's Stone, but is turned to gold himself (luckily for him it isn't permanent).
  • Big Bad: Well, maybe not 'big bad', per se, but Frollo is certainly the only recurring villain.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to several characters over the course of the show.
  • Canon Foreigner: Francois (Esmeralda's brother, though in personality very similar to Pierre Gringoire), Dennis the monk (Who is based off of Frollo's good side) and Angelica (Esmeralda and Francois' adoptive grandmother). Anyways what canon?
  • Clear Their Name: In one episode, Angelica is framed for theft, so Quasimodo and his friends have to find the true thieves.
  • Composite Character: Quasimodo took on Phoebus's role as Esmeralda's rescuer.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: In one episode, Frollo poses as a (very ugly) belly dancer in order to carry out one of his evil plots.
  • Damsel in Distress: Esmeralda.
  • Decomposite Character: Dennis takes Frollo's role as the Archdeacon of Notre-Dame.
  • Disneyfication: It's far Lighter and Softer than the the Disney version - there's magic and potions, Never Say "Die" is firmly in effect, and Frollo has no romantic interest in Esmeralda at all.
  • Doorstop Baby: Quasimodo was left on the cathedral steps by a maid who worked for his parents.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first episode portrays Esmeralda and Francois as already knowing they are Angelica's adoptive grandchildren. "A True Gypsy", on the other hand, portrays this as having been unknown to them.
  • Expy: Francois is based on the character François Villon in The Beloved Rogue. He is also partially based on Pierre Gringoire, the poet who appeared in the original book and married Esmeralda.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: In one episode, Quasimodo is close to finding his parents (the idol), but Esmeralda and Francois are unconscious in a coach at the bottom of a cliff, and in danger of getting killed in the rapids (the friend).
  • Historical Domain Character: Leonardo da Vinci appears as a ten-year-old in one episode.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Frollo will not allow anyone to call his pet dog Azaroth a mangy mutt except himself.
  • In Name Only: A character in "The Court of Miracles" has the name Pierre. He has little in common with Pierre Gringoire save for a given name. Esmeralda's brother covers this role perfectly. Also the series as a whole is this. Calling it an adaptation is a bit of a stretch.
  • Left Hanging: Quasimodo never finds his parents by the end of the show (although he does meet his long-lost grandfather in one episode). It is possible that if the show had been renewed for an additional twenty-six episodes, Quasimodo would have found his parents, but alas, we may never know.
  • Magical Accessory: Esmeralda's locket gives her magical powers.
  • Master of Illusion: Villain of the Week the Jester. Also, Esmeralda's locket gives her this power.
  • Never Say "Die"
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In this adaptation, Quasimodo's real name is Jacques de Bernassac, but everyone calls him Quasimodo.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The de Bernassac medallion that was left with Quasimodo when he was abandoned on the steps of Notre Dame.
  • Parental Abandonment: Not intentionally, though - when their house burned down, Quasimodo's parents were unaware that a maid had rescued him, and believed that he had died.
  • Parental Substitute: Dennis the monk serves as this for Quasimodo. Also, Angelica is a grandparental substitute for Francois and Esmeralda (they were left on a floating raft by a young panicked couple during a raging forest fire, and she loved and cared for them as if they were her own).
  • Race Lift: Quasimodo is portrayed as a Frenchman by birth, rather than a Romani raised as one.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Frollo wears a cape that is black on the outside and red on the inside.
  • Saving the Orphanage: The plot of one episode involves finding a chest full of gold in order to pay the rent owed by an orphanage.
  • Save the Villain:
    • In the second episode, Quasimodo has the chance to get rid of Frollo, but is forced to let him live in order to recover the Orphan's Plot Trinket Frollo stole from him.
    • In another episode, Frollo is being pursued by a man known as the Abomination, who blames him for his disfigurement. Quasimodo is forced to help Frollo as the Abomination is threatening Paris with his vendetta.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Frollo and Clopin survive all of their appearances. It is possible that if the series had been renewed for an additional twenty-six episodes then Frollo and Clopin may have been killed off, but with the Lighter and Softer tone and similar shows such as Ivanhoe: The King's Knight keeping villains who died in the source material alive by the end, that is unlikely.
  • Spot the Imposter: In one episode, Frollo creates a potion which will turn the drinker into whoever or whatever they're looking at when they drink it. Naturally, he uses it to turn into the king (although the real Frollo can be identified by his cold eyes).
  • Take That!: Frollo's ally of the hour in "The Guardian" is called "Prince Yensid." Taking into account that this show was a Canadian-French coproduction and the descendants of Victor Hugo's disowning of the Disney adaptation, it makes perfect sense.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • A minor example, but Esmeralda is portrayed as Roma by adoption for the first time since 1923.
    • Another minor example, but Clopin is not identified as being Romani like in other adaptations. In the original novel, he was not Romani, but adaptations have tended to combine him with the Romani leader, who answered to Clopin.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Francois is terrified of puppets.