The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1996 American animated musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation for Walt Disney Pictures. The 34th Disney animated feature film and the seventh animated film produced and released during the period known as the Disney Renaissance, the film is based on the 1831 novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo.
The plot centers on Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer of Notre Dame, and his struggle to gain acceptance into society. Directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale and produced by Don Hahn, the film’s voice cast features Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Tony Jay, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough, David Ogden Stiers, and Mary Wickes in her final film role.
- Starring : Tom Hulce / Demi Moore
- Genre : Animation / Drama / Family / Musical / Romance
- Country : United States
- Language : English / Latin
- Director : Gary Trousdale / Kirk Wise
- Production : Walt Disney Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures
- Distributor : Buena Vista Pictures / Buena Vista International / Falcon / Gaumont Buena Vista International (GBVI) / Kommunenes Filmcentral (KF) / Laurenfilm / Prooptiki / Abril Vídeo / American Broadcasting Company (ABC) / Audio Visual Enterprises / British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) / Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Buena Vista Home Video / Channel 5 Television / Disney Channel / Disney Cinemagic / Gativideo / Net5 / Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The Hunchback of Notre Dame movie
The Hunchback of Notre Dame release date
- June 19, 1996 : USA (New Orleans, Louisiana) (premiere)
- June 21, 1996 : USA
- June 24, 1996 : Canada
- July 11, 1996 : Israel
- July 19, 1996 : UK
- July 19, 1996 : Ireland
- August 24, 1996 : Japan
- September 12, 1996 : Australia
- November 15, 1996 : Sweden
- November 22, 1996 : Spain
- November 27, 1996 : France
- November 28, 1996 : Germany
- February 24, 1997 : UK (video premiere)
- March 4, 1997 : USA (video premiere)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame cast
- Jason Alexander as Hugo(voice)
- Mary Kay Bergman as Quasimodo’s Mother / Additional Voices(voice)
- Corey Burton as Brutish Guard / Additional Voices(voice)
- Jim Cummings as Guards / Gypsies(voice)
- Bill Fagerbakke as Oafish Guard(voice)
- Tom Hulce as Quasimodo(voice)
- Tony Jay as Frollo(voice)
- Paul Kandel as Clopin(voice)
- Charles Kimbrough as Victor(voice)
- Kevin Kline as Phoebus(voice)
- Heidi Mollenhauer as Esmeralda(singingVoice)
- Demi Moore as Esmeralda(voice)
- Patrick Pinney as Guards / Gypsies / Additional Voices(voice)
- Gary Trousdale as The Old Heretic(voice)
- David Ogden Stiers as Archdeacon(voice)
The film is considered to be one of Disney’s darkest animated films as its narrative explores such mature themes as infanticide, lust, damnation, genocide, and sin, despite the changes made from the original source material in order to ensure a G rating received by the MPAA. The musical score was written by Alan Menken, with songs written by Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who had previously collaborated on Pocahontas, released the year before.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was released on June 21, 1996 to generally positive reviews and was a commercial success, grossing over $325 million worldwide and becoming the fifth highest-grossing release of 1996. The film received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for Menken’s musical score. A darker, more gothic stage adaptation of the film, was rewritten and directed by James Lapine and produced by Walt Disney Theatrical in Berlin, Germany, as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame, and ran from 1999 to 2002. A direct-to-video sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, was released in 2002.
In 1482 Paris, Clopin, a Romani puppeteer, narrates the origin of the titular hunchback. A group of Romani sneak illegally into Paris, but are ambushed by Judge Claude Frollo, Paris’ Minister of Justice, and his soldiers. A Romani woman in the group attempts to flee with her deformed baby, but Frollo chases and kills her outside Notre Dame. He tries to kill the baby as well, but the cathedral’s archdeacon intervenes and accuses Frollo of murdering an innocent woman. To atone for his sin, Frollo reluctantly agrees to raise the deformed child in Notre Dame as his son, naming him “Quasimodo”.
Twenty years later, Quasimodo develops into a kind yet isolated young man who has lived inside the cathedral his entire life. A trio of living stone gargoyles—Victor, Hugo, and Laverne—serve as Quasimodo’s only company, and encourage him to attend the annually-held Festival of Fools. Despite Frollo’s warnings that he would be shunned for his deformity, Quasimodo attends the festival and is celebrated for his awkward appearance, only to be humiliated by the crowd after two of Frollo’s guards start a riot. Frollo refuses to help Quasimodo, but Esmeralda, a kind gypsy, intervenes by freeing the hunchback, and uses a magic trick to evade arrest. Frollo confronts Quasimodo and sends him back inside the cathedral.
Esmeralda follows Quasimodo inside, only to be followed herself by Captain Phoebus of Frollo’s guard. Phoebus refuses to arrest her for alleged witchcraft inside Notre Dame and instead has her confined to the cathedral. Esmeralda finds and befriends Quasimodo, who helps her escape Notre Dame out of gratitude for defending him. She entrusts Quasimodo a pendant containing a map to the gypsies’ hideout, the Court of Miracles. Frollo soon develops lustful feelings for Esmeralda and, upon realizing them, begs the Virgin Mary to save him from her “spell” to avoid eternal damnation. When Frollo discovers that she escaped, he instigates a citywide manhunt for her which involves bribing and arresting gypsies and setting fire to countless houses in his way. Phoebus is appalled by Frollo’s evil and openly defies him, and Frollo sentences him to death. While fleeing, Phoebus is struck by an arrow and falls into the River Seine, but Esmeralda rescues him and takes him to Notre Dame for refuge. The gargoyles encourage Quasimodo to confess his feelings for Esmeralda, but he is heartbroken to discover she and Phoebus have fallen in love.
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