Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

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It’s the Bellringer from Notre Dame!

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise directed this Disney animated film based on Victor Hugo’s 1831 book of the same name (which, coincidentally I have decided to reread as an adult.)

The film tells the story of the hunchback Quasimodo (Tom Hulse) who lives in Notre Dame Cathedral in the Middle Ages. Quasimodo struggles to be accepted into society due to his deformity and is raised by Judge Claude Frollo (Tony Jay). Demi Moore and Kevin Kline voice the gypsy Esmerelda and Captain Pheobus, two characters who help serve to help Quasimodo in his journey to be accepted in society.

This film, like so many Disney films is a firm favourite of mine and my sister’s. I remember watching it countless times on VHS as a child and having lots of film figurines.  It is also lovely  because of its breathtaking animation and Alan Menkin’s fantastic soundtrack. I think it has defiantly appealed to me more as an adult with the resounding message of being an outsider and being accepted for who you are. You also understand the ‘Hellfire’ song a lot better as well but let’s not go into that …

Reading the book I was disappointed that there were no talking gargoyles to help Quasimodo but instead it often delves into a whole chapter about Notre Dame and how it was in the 1830’s when Victor Hugo wrote it and in the time the story was set.

There was also a direct to video sequel that was nothing as good as the original.

Overall, a superb film with dark undertones.

My rating : 5/5

 

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