Friday, May 3, 2013

Project Disney- The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. Inspired by Project Disney hosted by Picture Me Reading.

 Sanctuary! Sanctuary!!  This week's Project Disney is The Hunchback of Notre Dame based off the book with the same name by Victor Hugo.   This time I had a lot of fun with Project Disney.  I hadn't read the book or seen the movie in a long time so it was all new to me.  I watched the movie on a VCR tape!!  We have all the Disney movies on VCR tapes (until they stopped making them) and so I thought.. why not?   Here are all our VCR tapes:

This movie is obviously completely different then the book.  There is no way that the movie could've been faithful to the book since it is a movie for kids.  Quasimodo is not deaf in the movie like he is in the book, he speaks more in the movie, and of course he has 3 gargoyles who are his mentors. They are supposed to also add some comedy to the movie but I really didn't find this Disney movie that funny.  Though sometimes the goat Djali was funny.  In the book, the priest Frollo falls in love with our main character Esmeralda and we know about it.  I felt in the Disney movie we never figured it out until all of a sudden she was going to die and the Frollo tells her to chose death or him.  I was like WHA?????  Plus I must admit I kept having issues with the voice of Esmeralda.  I am not sure what it was.. annoying?  Not really a girly pretty voice?  Something I couldn't put my finger on and then I looked it up and saw she is voiced by Demi Moore.  And then I was like ... hummmm....

And then of course this movie does not end like the tragic book.  The Disney film seems to end when Quasimodo grabs Esmeralda and yells "Sanctuary"! But in the book that is only about a little past the middle.  The book everyone's story ends poorly (and if you don't want the book to be spoiled stop reading this part).  Everyone DIES!  Quasimodo realizes that Esmeralda has been hung and then goes and finds her body and lays with her and just dies with her.  Phoebus who is the hero and love interest in the movie really only uses Esmeralda for sex in the book and is some sort of hero in the movie.  He is a total bad guy.

While watching the Hunchback and doing research on it I discovered that there is The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2!  I can't believe it either.  I mean umm... this is the description about the film: Now that Frollo is gone, Quasimodo rings the bell with the help of his new friend and Esmeralda's and Phoebus' little son, Zephyr. But when Quasi stops by a traveling circus owned by evil magician Sarousch, he falls for Madellaine, Sarouch's assistant. But greedy Sarousch forces Madellaine to help him steal the Cathedral's most famous bell.  
I find this so hard to believe because of how the book ends.  But now I am on a mission to see this second film!

Well one thing I can say about this movie is I love the music.  I really think it has some great songs.  I love the time period the movie takes place in, I love all the dancing and the pretty colors.  I have actually been wanting to re-watch this movie forever and am glad I did.  I plan on ordering it on blu-ray.  The book was amazing too and I am so glad I finally read it.
Oh and I always add the evil Disney princess pictures since I love them so much.. here is the one of Esmerelda:

Edit.. here is what I think is an Annie Leibovitz picture of Angelina Jolie.  It looks like Esmerelda for the Notre Dame Disney movie but I can't find confirmation anywhere that this picture is for that.  I wanted to post it here anyways because it looks like it is:

Here is my review on The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Be sure to check out my other PROJECT DISNEY:
Snow White
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Princess and the Frog
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone 
The Aristocats
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron  
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch 
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound 
Melody Time


  1. I feel exactly the same way...I think the voice acting really isn't great in this film..and therefore the story really never comes to life for me! It is pretty though and has some great songs!

    1. Yea..Demi Moore? Really? That was an awful voice for this movie!

  2. This is a great feature and I love Disney! I never read Hunchback, but I guess I kind of knew the story. I didn't really like the Disney adaptation of this movie. I don't feel it was their most successful.

    1. You should totally read it. So fun... I like this adaptation but some of the voice acting was off to me.

  3. I really hate Hunchback of Norte Dame. Although I love Disney this movie is not one I have ever liked. I'm going to skip this project Disney post, but I really enjoyed reading yours.

    1. It seems like you aren't doing Project Disney anymore! Hopefully you get back on track.

  4. LOL!! Yes he is perving!! In the movie it never really shows that he loves her, just that he is some creeper. In the book it's like he finds it a sin that he loves a gypsy so he takes it out on her. Really scary stuff actually.

  5. Amanda P. @ Of Specs and BooksMay 17, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    I know this was posted a year ago, but I have things to say haha :)
    I was about 7 or 8 when this movie came out, and I remember thinking that it wasn't my favorite (I think it was because Quasimodo was left alone without a love interest), but once I got into college, I loved it. I knew it wasn't a good interpretation to the novel -I'm a huge Victor Hugo fan. I loved Les Mis and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But I realized one thing that Hugo does in his writing that Disney adopted very well (especially for a children's movie): Class differentiation both social and economic, as well as the use of Christian theology, corruption, and use of the Church. To me, that was the most fascinating thing about this movie.
    It really isn't a children's movie. It's an adult movie wrapped up in kids packaging. It paints the Church in a pretty bad light (as did the novel), but then you have certain characters (who are not necessarily Christian) who act more pious and with more honor than priests do. I thought that Disney did a very good job of adopting this theme into the movie. I also loved that they used a variety of diversity in characters and physical attributes. Even though this was forever ago, I just really wanted to say this haha! Thanks for the post!

  6. I love when Project Disney gets people talking. YES to the class differentiation. Actually, another Disney film that does a good job with this is Robin Hood. The people of Nottingham are POOR, POOOOORR! The scene where they are in jail shows that so well. Even sharing a crumb of food with each other.
    Shocking that Disney actually used the Church in the Hunchback. I agree about this not really being for kids which is why it probably isn't so popular with kids. I think I didn't appreciate the film until I was an adult too.

    I think more kids should be shown this film to see the different views that are out there... and also to introduce them to some classic literature.

  7. Amanda P. @ Of Specs and BooksMay 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Most definitely! Thanks for working on such a cool meme. I can tell you work really hard on it!

  8. Thank you for stopping by my blog and looking at my review!
    I'm really impressed at your Disney project. Most of the time I prefer to pretend that the Disney movies are separate from the original source as they are so different. I like though that you took the time to compare as I believe you see other aspects of the story. :)