The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)


Animation | Drama | Musical


Gary Trousdale | Kirk Wise



Voice Cast

Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Tony Jay, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Charles Kimbrough, Jason Alexander, Mary Wickes, David Ogden Stiers, Frank Welker


In order to help his friend, a gypsy dancer named Esmeralda (Demi Moore), deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo (Tom Hulce) has to assert his independence from the evil Frollo (Tony Jay).


When I was a kid, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" was one of my favourite films. I would watch it over and over again, so I don't really understand people saying it is not a kid-pleaser film like, for example, "The Little Mermaid", which by the way was the only typical Disney flick I loved - you know, boy meets girl, they fall in love, eventually end together at the end and live happily ever after.

And maybe it's because of its dramatic tone, or because of the themes it deals with, but "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" still is a great, magical animated film.

Adapted from Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, the story is what makes this film so special. Just like mentioned before, this is not your typical Disney plot, and while many may argue that Hugo's dark tones are not meant for kids, I have to say that the filmmakers did a great job at making it family friendly. The outcome is a charming, touching and heartwarming story that will probably bring a few tears to your eyes, but that will also cheer you up with some comedy.

The reason why today's kids should watch this film are the themes. Hugo's themes, ranging from understanding others to racism and bigotry, are very well handled - but it basically feels like the film delivers a don't judge a book by its cover message.

The characters are also fascinating. From the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmeralda - is it okay to have a crush on a cartoon? - to the unusual hero to the story, the disfigured man, Quasimodo, which is in my opinion one of the best Disney heroes ever. His condition is so tragic, and while it's easy to relate to him, chances are one will feel sorry for him. There's also a sinister villain.

Finally, turning it into a musical was definitely a smart choice. The music is beautiful and the celebrity cast does a good job. And against most people's opinion, I adore the singing and dancing gargoyles. They don't ruin the film, rather they make it more entertaining for kids.


  1. I love the 1939 film version with Vharles Laughton and I also enjoy the silent version with Lon Chaney but I have never seen the animated film. Nice to know that it is better than I thought.

    1. I haven't seen those two versions, but I think I'll give them a try.

  2. Agree! I remember I watched this film years ago and I enjoyed it. I like the message that was portrayed in the film.

  3. Beh, qui casco facile... E' uno dei film Disney che preferisco :)

  4. Ciao Sonia grazie per essere passata ti seguo su GFC ora spero che tu abbia voglia di adoro questo film ho assistito anche al musical ,,,divino
    un bacio