The Hunchback of Notre Dame / The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (3-Disc Special Edition) (Blu-ray / DVD)
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Whenever someone asks what the greatest animated Disney film is, you'll invariably get the same answers from everyone. People will exclaim titles like "The Lion King," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," or "Snow White." You'll never hear anyone campaigning for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Well, I mean to change that!
I know "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" doesn't have a chance put up against a bunch of soft-spoken petite princesses, but it should. I would argue that it has more heart and reaches a whole new level of grandeur in visual scale. The gothic setting and massive background art casts a huge shadow over anything else the studio has ever done.
When you're watching "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," the tragedy unfolding in front of you just sucks you in. I imagine it's how audiences feel when they're viewing a Broadway version of "The Phantom of the Opera" or "Les Miserables." You truly feel as if you're taking in an animated epic which could measure up to any Cecil B. DeMille live action production.
While the songs might not be as memorable as "Under the Sea" or "Beauty and the Beast," they're more dramatic than any of those combined. Alan Menken stepped outside of the box and composed operatic numbers for the tale of Quasimodo.Read more ›
This film has always been a personal favorite of mine. Its my favorite musical. Its my favorite Disney film. It takes it's place on my Top 10 List. It is a timeless film, one that has aged with grace and style. I remember seeing it in theaters back in the 90s. The opening music alone was enough to fill me with awe. I was 5 or 6 years old. Old enough to enjoy the colorful animation...not old enough to completely grasp everything else.
Fast forward. Now I'm 22. And I see The Hunchback of Notre Dame for what it truly is: a masterpiece. Disney hasn't made a film like it since. Perhaps they never will.
This is the only animated film that brings me to tears. It's messages are timely and universal, a wake-up call to the monsters of humanity and a gentle embrace to the outcasts. No, I am not deformed. Yet I relate to Quasimodo entirely, his fear of being hurt, his desire to experience freedom, his pain from being cooped up and made to live under fear. I'm gay, and I come from a Mormon/LDS family, one who's religion often times shows its ugly side without reprieve. I can relate to the central character because I understand what he's going through. Deformation causes some people to feel uncomfortable or uninitiated in interacting with the deformed person. Same goes for gay people. Many people I know are uncomfortable with my sexuality. This film's message of acceptance towards those who are different is timely.
The villain in this film is the scariest, most realistic villain in any Disney film. He exists. There are people out there who share his hatred for anything different.Read more ›
Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
The Voices of Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Tony Jay, Mary Wickes,
Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough
Original Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Making an animated film as ambitious as The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a bold move when you consider that the film leaves less opportunity for Disney to enrich its other divisions than say, another princess movie. Hunchback might have made a great Broadway show (and still would, as it was very successful on stage in Germany), but it's more adult than perhaps any Disney feature since Fantasia and less conducive to plush toys (though there were a few). But Disney Animation was riding so high at the time, there seemed to be no limit to how high they could reach, and are to be admired for pushing the boundaries given the chance.
And push it does. Hunchback has some highly electrifying scenes, especially for a mass-market animated film. The human animation is downright astonishing, especially considering that, according to the commentary, while there was some modeling done, this is not that watery rotoscope stuff.
Frollo is the most purely evil of all Disney human villains, with no redeemable features and a creepy depravity that is brought to a boiling intensity in the set piece, "Hellfire." Animator Kathy Zielinski, again according to the commentary, dressed as the villain to get the details of the outfit right. I suspect that there was also a strong influence from the animation of Maleficent and Lady Tremaine as well. You could almost imagine Eleanor Audley's voice coming out of Frollo!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of my all time favorite Disney movies; however the only thing that is holding me back from giving this a five star rating is the inclusion of the... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Steven Anctil
Classic disney movie. I am a disney collector and I love all the movies even outside the main titles. This was a must have for my collectionPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is one of my favorite movies because of the three gargoyles! The songs are also awesome. I purchased this movie years ago when it came out on VHS. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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