The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Courtesy of Disney AnimationWalt Disney Feature Animation was looking for something fresh. Everything the studio had cranked out since "The Black Cauldron" had been light and breezy, exemplified by the romantic "Beauty and the Beast" and comedic "Aladdin." The mood of the studio with the television hit "Gargoyles" was darker than it had been, though, so story developer David Stain came up with the idea for a Disney movie from reading a comic book. The idea was to adapt Victor Hugo's classic "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996) into a children's film. There was a lot to be said for the idea of this Disney movie, as the visuals of Paris would be breath-taking, Hugo's story is an epic tale, and possibilities abound for cute gargoyle characters and the like. The one problem was that the basic plot of the original "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is full of adult themes and violence. So, this Disney movie did what so many had done before (see, oh, "The Jungle Book" or "The Fox and the Hound," for example): it changed the characters of the Disney movie "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" to make it palatable to children. How you feel about that kind of change will likely determine whether you like this Disney movie, because otherwise it is technically proficient and full of exciting adventure.
|The star of our show, ladies and gentlemen|
|Better than four dogs playing poker on black velvet, I suppose|
|Paradoxically, the stone gargoyles are the liveliest part of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"|
|Very pretty picture that really didn't need animation to achieve|
|"Look at me, I can fly... Oh wait, wrong Disney movie"|
|"I'm just a wild and crazy guy!"|
|There is something very disturbing about this picture|
|"Nyah Nyah, I have Esmeralda and you don't!"|
|Oh, my poor little soldier man|
|"If you're sexy and you know it, clap your hands"|
|"I really shouldn't have eaten that lemon...."|
|Watch that hand, buddy!|
Below is the theatrical trailer for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."