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
Despite Frollo claiming to be a righteous man, he displays some form of all Seven Deadly Sins in the lyrics of "Hellfire", this was likely done intentionally to show his hypocritical way of thinking. The lines "Of my virtue I am justly proud and You know I'm so much purer than the common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd" show him displaying Pride, considered the most dangerous of the seven, as it is often used to justify the other 6 deadly sins, or even deny committing them in the first place. This is displayed frequently in the song, and the film as a whole, and could be considered the first he has committed. Frollo's intense desire for Esmeralda to be his and his alone show Lust, Envy and Greed. Lust as the intense sexual desire for Esmeralda, especially her body alone. Envy towards anyone else who may gain her affections. Greed for seeing her merely as an item to be gained, and wanting her intensely even though he doesn't actually need her. His intent to destroy her if she does not comply is an example of Anger/Wrath. Frollo claiming it is not his fault he is sinning, and blaming Esmeralda for tempting him can be seen as an act of Sloth, as he is not taking the initiative to better himself, nor taking responsibility for his own sins. Gluttony is sometimes interpreted as Selfishness, displayed when Frollo says he will burn down all of Paris (despite what it would do to the innocents of the city) to get to Esmeralda. See more »
During the song "Bells of Notre Dame," the Archdeacon's eyebrows change from gray to black. See more »
Ah, duty calls. Have you ever attended a peasant festival, captain?
Not recently, sir.
Then this should be quite an education for you. Come along.
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At the end of the closing credits, the gargoyle Hugo says, "Good night, everybody!" See more »
On the German VHS, the music video for The Kelly Family's "Gott Deine Kinder" was played before Eternal's "Someday" (the latter which is on the credits). See more »
I have been reading all of the negative comments on this movie, and it just baffles me how people can't really see the big picture here (no pun intended) Though Disney has enchanted us in the past with sickly sweet renditions of timeless fairytales in the past, I think that it's a good thing that Disney embark on creating a more dark and looming satire.
Now although I am a huge advocate of Disney it's no mystery that they have turned storylines around on mostly all of their movies. I dont think I have seen one of their animated features, that was derived from a story that they didn't change the plot around on. And though most of us know that Sleeping Beauty's original story didn't include 3 good fairies, nor did Beauty and the Beast feature singing Dishware or Gueston (sp), but we still loved those movies regardless, and that it because they were well done. So in saying all of that, why should this one be any different. It didn't follow the Hunchback's novel completely but it doesn't mean that it was horrible. On the contrary, I admire Disney for trying to reninvent themselves by attempting this challenge.
Of course there are alot of things in the book that MUST be taken out of the movie in order for the movie to remain children-friendly. Let's face it the story of the Hunchback is definately one of the darkest, and the combination of religion,lust,and racism which is major concept in the book, needs to be toned down. It is even painful to me, a young adult to stomach alot of what is portrayed in the original Hunchback. I know that children couldn't possibly understand what the real lessons of the book were trying to portray.
However, I believe that Disney reformed this story as to not really narrate the book as I think it was made to prove a point, and to educate children on the cruelty of society in general.
The second time i saw this film, i had rented it and watched it with a three year old girl that I was nannying at the time. Her mother wanted her to see it but I was reluctent to subject the little girl to the darkness of the message. Regardless of everything, I do think this film is more of a FAMILY film, than a CHILDREN'S film. If children are going to see this, then they need a parent to watch it with them. Through out the entire movie the little girl reacted the exact same way that I am sure Disney wanted her to. She would constantly ask me questions like. "Why do people make fun of Quazi, he is a nice guy", and "That Frollo man is so mean to people". Regardless of the inacuracies to the book, the little girl was learning a lesson. Don't judge a book by it's cover, and be kind to your fellow man.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I thought it to be very well done, and the music was outstanding. "The Bells of Notre Dame" give me a chill everytime I hear it sung, and there was a good blend of humor, and drama. Disney, once again hits the nail on the head, and it's one that I am going to be adding to my Christmas list in the future.
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