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Topsy Turvy (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Topsy Turvy" is a song from Disney's 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The song is 5:36 minutes long and is performed by Clopin.

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The song is sung by the film's gypsy narrator Clopin. It is performed as he introduces the Feast of Fools, and continues up until they crown Quasimodo as the King of Fools.

Christian Answers recounts the scene thus: "During the celebration, he is crowned “King of the Fools” and finds himself falling instantly in love with the Gypsy dancer Esmeralda. Joy turns quickly to sorrow as the crowd cruelly mocks and rejects him for his misshapen appearance, failing to see the charm which lies below his odd looks."[1]

Composition and context

The Hunchblog writes "'Topsy Turvy' follows in the path of the big show stopping music numbers of Disney. Other songs like this included (but not limited to) 'Under the Sea' (The Little Mermaid), 'Be Our Guest' (Beauty and the Beast) and 'A Friend Like Me' (Aladdin). Unlike these, 'Topsy Turvy' is not a show stopper, it doesn’t stop the movie for the sake of a spectacle, but instead 'Topsy Turvy' propels the plot forward."[2] The site adds "This visually also give Quasimodo something to react to and since he is seeing all this craziness for the first time, Quasimodo acts as the audience in this song. There is a cast of thousand."[2] There are some lyrical references to Victor Hugo's novel. For example, Clopin mentions the date a being January 6, which is the day the Feast of Fools took place on. Also, Esmeralda is referenced to with the article “La”, which is often done in the novel. When Clopin sings the line “shock the priest”, he is holding a Frollo puppet, which is a subtle reference to the fact that Frollo was intended to be a priest.[2]

This song and "A Guy Like You" use "the Broadway line-dancing technique of stopping the song and then progressing its bloated performance from a standstill to proper tempo."[3]

Critical reception wrote "Alongside the demonic is some nicely hammy comedy. 'Topsy Turvy' is a big showtime number with a slapstick MC and a swelling chorus."[4] ChristianAnswers wrote "the song for the celebration, describes very well the rest of the story as Quasimodo’s world turns upside down."[1] The Mouse For Less wrote "At the opposite end of the spectrum from 'Hellfire', 'Topsy Turvy' and 'A Guy Like You' are included for comic relief. 'Topsy Turvy' uses silly rhymes to describe the Festival of Fools".[5] Filmtracks wrote "The gypsy song 'Topsy Turvy' is a carnival-like, French-styled piece for the Feast of Fools; the static pounding of the title lyric is extremely irritating."[3] Anime Instrumentality said "'Topsy Turvy' plays as intended, with lyrics that let loose by throwing everything out of place amidst a jangling jig. It’s a fun piece, with only a slight hint of menace in the celebrations."[6] Spoonful wrote "'Topsy Turvy' is a sight to see-and dance along with."[7]


  1. ^ a b "Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) …review and/or viewer comments • Christian Spotlight on the Movies •". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  2. ^ a b c "The Music of the Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame – Topsy Turvy | The Hunchblog of Notre Dame". 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  3. ^ a b "The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Alan Menken)". Filmtracks. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  4. ^ "Music – Review of Alan Menken – The Hunchback of Notre Dame". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  5. ^ "Movie Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  6. ^ "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Original Soundtrack – Review – Anime Instrumentality Blog". 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  7. ^ "Movie Review:The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Spoonful. 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
This page was last edited on 1 January 2019, at 03:35
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