Film: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Film:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Honors:
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Distributor: Walt Disney Video

The misconception about this animated film from Disney was that it was a movie for kids—something Victor Hugo never had in mind. In fact, despite a cute brace of singing gargoyles who are Quasimodo’s (Tom Hulce) best friends, this version of Hugo’s classic tale is really adult entertainment, with a strong set of songs by Alan Menken. The story remains mostly the same (though tricked out with a happier ending than Hugo’s): Quasimodo, the ward of repressive monk Frollo, falls for a gypsy girl named Esmerelda (Demi Moore)—though she loves one of the king’s guards…

Reviews

Amazon.com

The misconception about this animated film from Disney was that it was a movie for kids—something Victor Hugo never had in mind. In fact, despite a cute brace of singing gargoyles who are Quasimodo’s (Tom Hulce) best friends, this version of Hugo’s classic tale is really adult entertainment, with a strong set of songs by Alan Menken. The story remains mostly the same (though tricked out with a happier ending than Hugo’s): Quasimodo, the ward of repressive monk Frollo, falls for a gypsy girl named Esmerelda (Demi Moore)—though she loves one of the king’s guards (Kevin Kline). But they are all put in jeopardy by the wicked Frollo, whose secret passion for Esmerelda leads him to seek her death. At times too dark and even a shade kinky, something that may scare younger viewers. —Marshall Fine

Related Works

Book:The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Victor Hugo

Set in medieval Paris, Victor Hugo’s powerful historical romance The Hunchback of Notre-Dame has resonated with succeeding generations ever since its publication in 1837. It tells the story of the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, condemned as a witch by the tormented archdeacon Claude Frollo, who lusts after her. Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer of Notre-Dame Cathedral, having fallen in love with the kindhearted Esmeralda, tries to save her by hiding her in the cathedral’s tower. When a crowd of Parisian peasants, misunderstanding Quasimodo’s motives, attacks the church in an attempt to liberate her, the story ends in tragedy.

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