The Great United ProductionsAfter the initial success of Frozen in 2013, the Walt Disney Company decided to repeat some of their mixed successful films from the 1990´s, the Disney Renaissance, in order to acquire some profit to help Eurodisney in France and they chose Pocahontas (1995), Hercules (1997) and the Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) to start.
To acquire additional profit for their next movie, Batman vs. Superman and a new Comic series featuring the hero Aquaman, DC Comics Enterprise decided to partner with Disney and enter this new project. Thus, The Great United Productions was founded in London, England. However, after the tremendous success Frozen faced with over 1,2 billion in recipes, Disney abandoned the project as the financial gains from the movie were more than enough to restore Eurodisney to a stable position. Shortly after this, DC also decided to abandon the project and both companies decided to sell 88% of the project and the Great United Productions fell under the control of The Great Lord David, while both Disney and DC each owned 6% total percent of the company. Having access to both Disney and DC characters, David decided to continue the projet and started working on a new version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bamtan: A Twist in Time.
ProductionOriginally, Batman: A Twist in Time was to be a new computer animated movie, with an animation style similar to that of both Frozen and Tangled combining computer and hand drawn characters. However, the lack of money to perform a movie such as this would change this perspective and thus The Great United Productions decided to make the film with a more modern animation style of 1996´s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. All the media coverage of the founding of the company by both Disney and DC did give a considerable amount of advertising to the film and both companies provided 50,000$ to finance the costs. David mainly used the money to hire directors, the cast (that is presented above) and many others to work on the music and the animation style.
David, alongside Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale produced the movie while David made a distribution deal with Buena Vista Pictures and many theaters. While the cast was selected by the other members of the producing team and the animators worked on the new animation style, Bruce Timm, the creative mind behind Batman: The Animated Series was hired as an advisor to the Batman aspect of the movie. He was mainly responsible for some changes in the Dark Knight´s designs and to elaborate his personality/actions into the context of the story.The team used Timm´s designs from the 90´s animated series and matched it with their own animation style. David and the other producers made several alterations to the original plot, including many scenes where only the Batman Multiverse is present and also the most notable one being the Gargoyles, who passed from magical and living statues to simply imaginary friends of Quasimodo. David decided to reduce the comedy and funny scenes in the movie to an even darker tone, focusing more on Frollo, the ideas from Victor Hugo´s original novel and also worked with improvements between both Esmeralda and Batman and the relationship they share. Some of the songs from the original movie were also removed and new scenes and sequences were made for the song "Hellfire", along with a well received female version. In the new movie, David also included more ideas related to the punishment for witchcraft and the ideas and power the church had in 1446, the year where the story takes place.
CastKevin Conroy as the Batman/Bruce Wayne/Grey Ghost: Kevin Conroy voices the Batman, along with Bruce Wayne and the Grey Ghost. Known for his voice work as the Dark Knight since 1992 in Batman: The Animated Series along with several other series of the DC Animated Universe, Conroy was eager to participate in this new project and offered his voice as that of the main character. This is officialy the second time, Kevin performed a song while voicing the Caped Crusader, the first one taking place in the episode "Circe" of the DC Animated Universe Series, Justice League Unlimited. In the movie, Kevin performed the voices of the Caped Crusader with a larger tone and gave the voice of Bruce Wayne a smoother tone, something that could be noticied when comparing with his previous works with the characters. He described the film "as a great change in the history of cinema".
Tom Hulce as Quasimodo/Robin: Tom Hulce is a well known actor and voice actor and he was responsible for providing the voice to Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). The producers felt that Hulce was still perfect for the part and his voice would sound familiar to those who watched the original film, and so they casted him again as the deuteragonist. Due to the events of the movie, Tom Hulce also played the small parts where Robin was featured. "It proved to be a challenge" he said. He confirmed that he asked Loren Lester (who voiced Robin in Batman:The Animated Series) for some tips and that the producers lowered his recordings for the Boy Wonder´s voice to make him sound younger. Still, fans appreacited Hulce´s voice work and many critics noted his singing had reached a much more significant technical level.
Tony Jay as Judge Claude Frollo: Tony Jay is a legend in the world of voice acting and he provided the voice for Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). With Frollo being a character known and loved for his evil, his tone and his singing capability with songs such as "Out There" or "Hellfire", Tony Jay was again casted as the main antagonist. "Back in 1996, it appeared I could only voice a character such as this once. Now it doesn´t" he said. Originally, Tony Jay was also meant to voice Ra´s Al Ghul but in the end, it was David Warner who provided the voice for the eco-terrorist. Tony Jay´s performance in this movie earned him a spot in the Disney Legends Gallery and an Academy Award for Best Song for the song "Hellfire" along with Alan Menken. "I am making my bid for immortality" he said.
Adrienne Barbeau as Catwoman/Esmeralda: Adrienne Barbeau was chosen by producters to voice the beautiful Catwoman and Esmeralda. She was one of the first choices of the producers as she had voiced Catwoman in various DCAU series. However, the producers first choice for these roles was Demi Moore who voiced Esmeralda in the original film in 1996. However due to her acting projects and the fact she had never voiced a character such as Catwoman, Adrienne was chosen instead.
"I haven´t played Catowman for over two decades. I feel younger already" she said. Adrienne managed to separate and yet unite both her characters with the same tones but different accents, using a small "gyspy" accent in Esmeralda´s voice which audiences enjoyed. Adrienne has already confirmed she will be working on more films by the Great United Productions for the next 3 years.
Ron Pearlman as Deathstroke/Phoebus: When Deathstroke entered the plot of the movie, the choice for the voice actor was obvious, Ron Pearlman, who´s voice work as the character in the original Teen Titans show is still widely praised and known. As the events of the movie would have it, he would also voice Captain Phoebus of the Royal Guards.
Besides serving as the voice of the secondary major antagonist, he also provided additional voices such as those of the guards and the gypsies that were almost burned in Paris by Frollo. Originally however, Deathstroke was not included in the plot and Phoebus would be voiced by Kevin Kline, the actor who first provided the voice of the character in 1996´s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Fans enjoyed the voice work performed by Pearlman and many stated, The Great United Productions would also have him voice Slade in a new adaptaion of the Teen Titans performed by the studio. "Slade is back" was his only comment to the press.Eartha Kitt as Martha Strange: Eartha Kitt was invited to voice a character that had never been featured nor in the original hunchback movie nor in the 1971´s Batman action film. From what the Daily News gathered this character would act as an alchemist and an assistant to Frollo in his plans against the gypsy community of Paris. Kitt revealed she was mainly invited by the producers due to her voice work as Yzma in both The Emperor´s New Groove and The Emperor´s New School which managed to impress them and ultimately led to her casting as this new character.
Eartha confessed she was really happy with the final result of her voice work and said the movie itself combined some of the best from every aspect animation had ever seen. Eartha has already confirmed she will be working alongside Tony Jay and Pat Carroll in the next movie by The Great United Productions to be released in 2015. "I already have some new projects planned but for now we are going to focus into making this movie a success" she said.Mark Hamill as The Joker/Clopin: When the Joker was first introduced in the movie, Mark Hamill was immediantely chosen for the role due to his work with the character in the Arkham series and in the DC Animated Universe. Although the producers have confirmed the Joker will only have a small role in this film, the presence of both Mark in the cast and the Clown Prince of Crime in the movie should make the film an even greater achievement.
As the events of the movie would have it, he would also voice Clopin and thus narrate most of the story along with a few scenes. "Joker´s back in bussiness and this time he has a partner" he said. Mark has already confirmed he will provide the voices to both characters but he will not perform the singing performances of Clopin, something which fans were already expecting. These segments will be re-done by Paul Kendel, the actor who originally voiced the character in 1996´s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- Tom Kenny as The Penguin
- David Warner as Ra´s Al Ghul/The Demon´s Head
- Helen Slater as Talia Al Ghul
- David Stiers as The Archdeacon
- Frank Welker as Djali/Additional Voices
- Charles Kimbrough, Jason Alexander and Mary Wickes as Victor, Hugo and Laverne
- Corey Burton as Guards/Judge/Additional Voices