Release Date
June 21, 1996
Director
Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise
Screenplay
Tab Murphy
Irene Mecchi
Bob Tzudiker
Noni White
Jonathan Roberts
Based On The Novel By
Victor Hugo
Production Company
Walt Disney Pictures
Budget
$100 million
Animation, Drama, Family, Musical, Romance
Rated G
91 minutes

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is one of the darkest Disney movies to date. With enough animated detail, action sequences, and character development, the film catapults light years beyond anything before its time. This film is often a struggle to endure at times, as you witness the brutal mistreatment of Quasimodo and the quarrel between the handsome and gentle Phoebus and Quasimodo, both vying for the hand of Esmeralda. Many of the characters face developments of an adult nature.

The villain, Frollo, whose animated details are beyond anything I’ve quite seen before, wants the gypsies dead, but cannot deny the beauty of Esmeralda and wants her all to himself, so much so that he’ll kill her if she doesn’t comply. This is a whole new level of animosity and, yes, we’ve faced this before with Disney, as Jafar captures the Princess, but you’re never under the impression that lives are at stake. In “The Hunchback”, the serious nature of the film often has you at extremes.

Although the songs match the style of the film, there’s nothing quite memorable enough to latch on to and the comedy is mainly lost on the three gargoyles, there’s a sincerity and emotional tension built throughout the film that causes a deeper connection to the material compared to most animated films. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is stunning on most levels, and with such a dark nature, Disney ushers in a new level of animated entertainment.

 

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