Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney, 1996)

[Post #17 of the Blaugust Challenge!]

Hidden away in the bell towers of Notre Dame is the disfigured Quasimodo, a monster with fricking strong arm muscles, a great singing voice, and a heart of gold. He longs to mingle with the rest of the people in Paris but is rightly afraid that he'd be treated as an outcast so he instead spends his days looking down on them with only his (possibly imaginary) gargoyle friends to keep him company. A string of events lead him to meet the gypsy Esmeralda, who becomes his first true non-gargolye buddy. Alas, gypsies aren't tolerated for very long within the city as the main villain,  Judge Frollo quite enjoys setting them on fire.

That is a -very- rough outline of the movie's setup, and to be honest I was a bit surprised at how well all the main characters are developed. Being a Disney movie there's a LOT of singing, a lot of comedy, a fair bit of dancing, and a very light violence. I'm just curious as to why the movie wasn't titled "Esmeralda" as she is the main crux upon which Judge Frollo, Quasi and Phoebus (my favourite dude) revolve around. Basically they all want to get into her pants. Go DISNEY! :P

There's even a pole dance sequence!

I guess I should also mention that with Notre Dame taking center stage there are a few songs and themes involving religion, in case that should bother anyone. Last thing I want to talk about is the animation. For the most part it's very good as per usual for Disney but there's a little bit near the start where I felt they were using what I call "reserved animation" too much. The city is made with layering paintings and the animated characters in between them didn't quite seem to gel. That's quickly fixed in the next 4/5ths of the movie though so I just found it odd they didn't fix it fully. Regardless I thought it was a very enjoyable and entertaining flick and give it four bells out of five.

Blaugust Bonus: I go to mass every week. Never been to Notre Dame though. When I was very little I actually wanted to become a priest! That wouldn't have worked out so well I think, the world doesn't need another psycho preaching to the masses. Sooo, instead I setup a blog to do exactly the same thing. LOL. 

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