My Thoughts: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1987/1988)

phantom of the opera

Today’s review is the first one that has ever been requested of me.

The name of the requester is Jegsy Scarr, an often viewer of my blog. She is an ardent fan of “The Phantom of the Opera”, so much so as to even compose FanFiction about it. And being a fan of “The Phantom of the Opera”, she suggested that I review either “A Monster in Paris” or an animated version of “The Phantom of the Opera”.

Well, seeing as how I’ve not seen the former yet; the latter is the focus of this post!

“The Phantom of the Opera” is a novel written by the French author, Gaston Leroux.

He claimed that it was based on a true story...or at least a "true rumor"!
He claimed that it was based on a true story…or at least a “true rumor”!

It tells the story of a young singer named Christine Daaé

Forgive the (Portuguese, I think) subtitles, please!
Forgive the (Portuguese, I think) subtitles, please!

who hears a voice that gives her music lessons for a number of years. The voice then reveals itself to be that of a man named Erik, the so-called “Phantom of the Opera” who dwells beneath the opera house and wears a mask to cover his disfigured looks.

"What's underneath Mask #1?"
“What’s underneath Mask #1?”
erik phantom opera
“Surprise! It’s my skeleton!”

After a while, Christine seeks assistance from her love, Raoul, to escape the clutches of the obsessed Erik!

So, Freddie Prinze played Raoul before he died?
So, Freddie Prinze played Raoul before he died?

Oh, and there’s also a Persian Daroga called…umm…”the Persian”!

"You HAD to look up the word, 'daroga', didn't you?"
“You HAD to look up the word, ‘Daroga’, didn’t you?”

The book eventually became a hit spawning many film adaptations, an especially popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical,

"Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation! Darkness...ah, you know how it goes!"
“Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation! Darkness…ah, you know how it goes!”

and eventually this animated less-than-an-hour TV movie. You can watch it below (as long as it remains on Youtube).

So what did I think of this movie?

Well, let’s look at the pluses. First, this TV special captures your attention and interest from the very beginning. I’m not a huge “The Phantom of the Opera” fan (forgive me, Jegsy) and thought the book was “OK” at best; nevertheless as soon as this movie started, I was focusing all my concentration on it, so that’s good.

Maybe the fact that they had a whole 2 minute introduction with various scenes from the movie helped a bit!
Maybe the fact that they had a whole 2 minute introduction with various scenes from the movie helped a bit!

Secondly, it uses a lot of the original dialogue found in the book, or so online research has told me. And that always is an amazing thing to see in a film!

I didn't love either of these movies, but the use of the original dialogue did wonders to both films!
I didn’t love either of these movies, but the use of the original dialogue did wonders to both films!

And thirdly, according to many “The Phantom of the Opera” experts (correct me if I’m wrong, Jegsy), this is one of the more faithful adaptations of the novel which pretty much sticks to the gist of the story.

Now, let’s look at the minuses. Well, there really is only one minus, but it’s a HUGE one; it’s the animation!

This has got to be the most low-budgeted limited recycled animation that I’ve ever seen in my life! The characters move like cardboard figures, the movie is filled with recycled animation over and over again, the characters’ mouths never mesh with the words, it’s just very annoying! Like I said, it’s the only problem I have with this TV movie, but it’s a huge one!

"Ha! I laugh! Ha, see I'm laughing! Ha, I can laugh!"
“Ha! I laugh! Ha, see I’m laughing! Ha, I can laugh!”

All in all, I’m glad to have watched it, but I don’t think I’ll watch it again, or at least not very soon. Now to rank this movie. I’ll compare it with other animated films involving outcasts/ugly characters.

Capture

9 thoughts on “My Thoughts: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1987/1988)”

  1. I’ve never seen this before! I absolutely love the original Phantom of the Opera. I just love all the songs, costumes, story line, etc. I even really enjoyed the remake with Emmy Rosum in it. I also love Cats! Sorry…going off topic here. Great review though 🙂

      1. I’m not sure how I knew the songs, but I definitely knew them all long before the remake with Emmy. Waiiiiiiiit. I think I know. I think I had an audio tape of the Phantom of the Opera!! Derrrr.

  2. Oh, man, I forgot to review your review! How embarrassing…

    Anyway, THANK YOU! I feel to honoured to have the first requested review!

    I agree: the animation itself is pretty awful. To be fair to them, they were a low-budget animation company, trying to fulfil their noble goal of bringing classic stories to children. And I think they did a pretty good job, all things considered. I love how they stayed (fairly) true to the story. And I love Erik’s voice! So creepy. And his look is pretty much spot-on. Although, I’m annoyed that Christine isn’t blonde. That’s weird. You’d think that if you were making a faithful adaptation of a book, you’d at least get the characters to look as they’re described in the book, especially when it’s animated and you therefore have freedom to draw them any way you want.

    But…I do love this little movie. Thanks again!

    xxx

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