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
Desiring a huskier voice different from the leading Disney heroines, Demi Moore was cast as Esmeralda, and met with Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz on singing. After several singing demos, the actress said "You'd better get someone else,'" according to Schwartz. New York City cabaret singer Heidi Mollenhauer was selected to provide the singing voice. See more »
When Quasimodo is pulled on stage, Frollo only recognizes him after a person in the crowd identifies him as "the bell-ringer of Notre Dame", even though he should have been able to recognize him immediately as his adoptive son. See more »
You leave town for a couple of decades and they change everything.
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At the end of the closing credits, the gargoyle Hugo says, "Good night, everybody!" See more »
On Australia's first home video release, about the entire last third of Hellfire was edited out, ending the scene with the line "I'll find her. I'll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris", and then a fade to black before moving on to the next scene. All the parts that were edited out have since been restored. 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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