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Published:June 2nd, 2010 09:57 EST
Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame is Distinct from all other Disney Films

Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame is Distinct from all other Disney Films

By Tony Graff

Prompted by the Nostalgia critic (thatguywiththeglasses.com) I spent this past weekend watching the 1996 Disney`s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

Now, this film is completely different than most Disney films. There isn`t a female protagonist, there isn`t even a good looking protagonist, as far as biological aesthetics, but this is an intriguing story that Disney captured the essence of, something the original author, Victor Hugo would be proud of. 

Quasimodo, as the story goes, is the hideous bell ringer in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. He`s kept there by Justice Frollo, who assures the hunchback that he is the only person he can trust, and that the rest of the world is riddled and plagued with evil of all manners, which he personifies in the droves of gypsies that roam the streets begging and stealing. 
 
At the festival of fools, both Frollo and Quasimodo meet the beautiful dancing gypsy Esmeralda. Frollo becomes entranced, leaving the bell ringer in the hands of a merciless crowd despite protestations from the captain of the guard and Esmeralda herself. 
One of the creepiest villain songs, and the best according to the Nostalgia Critic, come in about this time. Frollo returns to his home and promises himself that either Esmeralda would be his or she would die. This is rather bold of Disney to put in a film for children. 
Frollo and the guards begin a vigilant hut for all gypsies, particularly offering money for Esmeralda. Homes burn, people die, and Quasimodo is forced to choose between the ringing of the bells he has known his whole life, or help the people who mocked him for the way he was born. 
 
This is an older movie, but still a classic among Disney films. As the final scene plays, this movie touched home with the final line, and the theme of my novel, Juniper Crescent: What defines a monster, and what defines a man?
When all is sang and done, the graphics are beautiful, the characters are real, and the story is wonderfully told, as many of the classic Disney movies are. This is a movie worth seeing.