In 15th century Paris, Clopin the puppeteer tells the story of Quasimodo, the misshapen but gentle-souled bell ringer of Notre Dame, who was nearly killed as a baby by Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice. But Frollo was forced by the Archdeacon of Notre Dame to raise Quasimodo as his own. Now a young man, Quasimodo is hidden from the world by Frollo in the belltower of the cathedral. But during the Festival of Fools, Quasimodo, cheered on by his gargoyle friends Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, decides to take part in the festivities, where he meets the lovely gypsy girl Esmeralda and the handsome soldier Phoebus. The three of them find themselves ranged against Frollo's cruelty and his attempts to destroy the home of the gypsies, the Court of Miracles. And Quasimodo must desperately defend both Esmeralda and the very cathedral of Notre Dame. Written by
Supervising animator Andreas Deja really wanted to animate Esmeralda from the beginning of the film's conception, which would've been a stark departure for him - he is best known for animating villains like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast (1991), Jafar in Aladdin (1992), and Scar in The Lion King (1994). When that position went to Tony Fucile, Deja went on to supervise the animation of the titular character in Walt Disney Pictures' next animated film, Hercules (1997). See more »
At the time of the movie, the use of digital technology to create large crowds of people was fairly new. Thus in many places if you watch the crowds instead of the main characters, you can clearly see how the crowd members all have simple, almost undefined faces and move in very computerized ways. This is especially easy to see at the end of the movie when the little girl pulls Quasimodo into the crowd - watch the crowd that parts for them. Other good examples are just after that when the crowd carries Quasimodo across the square (watch individual crowd members), at the Festival of Fools, and in the shot during the final battle where the gypsies and villagers, moving en masse towards the cathedral, are seen from above. See more »
Justice is swift in the Court of Miracles / I am the lawyers and judge all in one / We like to get the trial over with quickly / Because it's the sentence that's really the fun!
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After the final credits, the gargoyle Hugo says, "Good night, everybody!" See more »
I've just read a comment that this movie has a lot of bad songs. I absolutely disagree - there may be some weak parts of script or so, but music is indeed very, very good. Alan Menken made a masterpiece, as usual! The orchestration, score, everything, not to mention good voices of characters. But it is true that maybe this story isn't exactly meant for children, although Disney tried to make it closer to a child's ear and eye. I also think that the animation was really good - much more expressive than some of newer Disney's movies that were made almost entirely by computers. It's a pity that Hunchback wasn't more successful - it certainly deserved it.
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