The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) is an American animated musical comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. Quasimodo (Tom Hulce) is a grotesquely deformed but kind-hearted young man who was abandoned by his parents as an infant and thrown down a well; he was rescued by the priests of Notre Dame, the massive cathedral in the heart of Paris, and he lives there, earning his keep as a bell ringer. Quasimodo has become the ward of Judge Frollo (Tony Jay), an outwardly pious but deeply hateful man who treats Quasimodio with indifference and violently loathes the Gypsies who spend their days in the cathedral’s courtyard. Frollo hopes to clear the Gypsies out of Paris with the help of Phoebus (Kevin Kline), leader of the troops under Frollo’s command. However, Phoebus does not share Frollo’s racist views and harbors no ill will against the Gypsies. When Quasimodo is crowned King of the Fools after leaving Notre Dame during the annual festival of Topsy Turvy Day, the hunchback is ordered beaten by the guards as punishment, but Esmerelda (Demi Moore), a hot-blooded but compassionate gypsy beauty, shows pity on him and helps free him from his chains. Darker and less outwardly comic than most of Disney’s features, The Hunchback of Notre Dame does feature comic relief in the form of Victor (Charles Kimbrough) and Hugo (Jason Alexander), a pair of gargoyles who befriend Quasimodo, as well as several songs from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.
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