The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Quasimodo is a misshapen but sweet and gentle soul who lives in the bell tower of Notre Dame and rings the bells. He was nearly killed by Claude Frollo the Minister of Justice in Paris but the Notre Dame Archdeacon forced Frollo to raise Quasimodo as his own. Quasimodo has lived alone in the tower all this time, with only the gargoyles to keep him company. He longs to go out into the world, particularly now during the Festival of Fools. Defying his master, Frollo, Quasimodo cloaks himself and leaves the tower to join the festival where he meets Esmeralda. Esmeralda shows Quasimodod unbelievable kindness. He also meets Phoebus, a soldier with a conscience. Frollo hates the gypsies so when he lays eyes on Esmeralda he instantly wants to destroy and all her people. And Quasimodo becomes the unexpected hero. Starring the voices of Jason Alexander, Tom Hulce, Tony Jay, Paul Kandel, Charles Kimbrough, Kevin Kline, Demi Moore, Jim Cummings, David Ogden Stiers.
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame isn’t the most impressive or creative of the Disney animated films but it is still charming and entertaining. The Hunchback seems to be a combination of other Disney films. You can see glimpses of them in the songs, the characters etc. I think that is both a good thing and a bad thing. Its good because you have the familiarity that you know and love from the other Disney films. It is bad because this particular film doesn’t bring anything new to the table, it is just same old same old. I prefer the Disney films that have something more to offer that are special and oozing charm. My little sister use to watch this movie every night before bed – to the annoyance of my father who was forced to watch it with her. Despite that I do think this one has more adult levels then the others and isn’t as “kid friendly” in some of its themes and undertones. Still it is animated with bright colors so it is definitely meant for your kiddos. Definitely should be a part of anyone’s film library.
7/10 Stars – Entertaining, cute music and a lovable lead character but doesn’t have the wow factor you expect from Disney films.
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