June 21, 2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of Disney's 34th animated feature, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. Poor old Hunchback is often overlooked in the sea of Disney's lighter, fairy tale based films. Here are five reasons why this film is worth revisiting as an adult.
1. Unlikely Heroes
The vast majority of Disney Protagonists are drawn as beautiful, or handsome. Not so in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. While Hero Quasimodo has a heart of gold, those around him have looked down on him his whole life due to his grotesque appearance.
The film's Heroine, Esmeralda, is beautiful, but definitely no Princess. Strong and independent right from the start, she never sits around waiting for the men to save her. Beneath her tough exterior is a kind heart, easily accepting Quasi as a friend.
2. A Compelling Villain
Judge Claude Frollo, voiced by the late Tony Jay, is an amazing, horribly underrated Villain of the Disney universe. Many Disney Villains have grand goals. Frollo simply wants to find one Gypsy girl.. and burns the whole of Paris to do it, making him one of the most frightening Villains of all.
3. Amazing Songs
Right from the opening number, The Bells Of Notre Dame, it is clear that the music featured in Hunchback is different from any other Disney film. There is more depth to it, and often darkness.
Hellfire stands out as a brilliant villain theme, but you will never see it done as a sickly sweet cover by a current Disney Channel star, ala the Jonas Brothers version of Poor Unfortunate Souls from a few years back.
4. Unique Character designs
Quasimodo is not the only character in the film to look a little different from the Disney norm. Esmeralda, a dark, green-eyed Gypsy, is unique among Disney heroines. Esmeralda's love interest, Phoebus, while ruggedly handsome, is far from a classic clean-shaven Prince.
5. A Moving Plot
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is not a love story, although it does include one. It is not about defeating the Villain, though that is also accomplished. The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, at its core, is the story of Quasimodo's search for acceptance.
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is a brilliant, beautiful film, which can only truly be appreciated as an adult. If you haven't seen it, you're really missing out.
Where do you rank The Hunchback Of Notre Dame?