Watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- 1 hr 31 min
The Hunchback of Notre Dame from 1996 is a Disney-animated musical drama based on Victor Hugo's 1831 novel of the same name. The film follows the story of Quasimodo, a deformed bell ringer who lives in the bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral in 15th-century Paris. Quasimodo is voiced by Tom Hulce and is joined by an impressive cast of voice actors, including Demi Moore as the gypsy Esmeralda, Jason Alexander as the unscrupulous circus master Clopin, and Mary Kay Bergman as multiple characters.
The story begins with Judge Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice, assaulting a group of gypsies and killing their leader. However, before Frollo can capture the rest of the group, Esmeralda seeks refuge in the cathedral and gains the protection of the sympathetic Archdeacon. Meanwhile, Quasimodo, living in solitude and isolation, can only watch the world from atop his bell tower.
As the plot progresses, Quasimodo becomes enamored with Esmeralda, who treats him with rare kindness and compassion. However, Frollo becomes consumed by his lust for Esmeralda and attempts to capture her repeatedly, leading Quasimodo to team up with her and her loyal pet goat to protect her.
The animation in this movie is nothing short of breathtaking, even by modern standards. The vivid colors of Paris and the ornate architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral are beautifully rendered, as are the various town characters and the circus performers in Clopin's troupe. The voice acting is also noteworthy, with each actor perfectly embodying their character's personality and quirks.
One of the film's standout numbers is "Hellfire," a sinister and powerful song in which Frollo rages against his lust for Esmeralda, seeking forgiveness from God but ultimately succumbing to his base desires. This scene is a stunning showcase of Frollo's character arc, as it becomes clear just how far he's willing to go to claim what he believes is rightfully his.
Another musical highlight is "Out There," in which Quasimodo expresses his longing to explore the world outside of his bell tower and be accepted despite his deformities. This song is a touching exploration of the film's central themes of isolation, cruelty, and redemption, and showcases just how much Quasimodo as a character has grown throughout the film.
Overall, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a standout entry in the Disney animated canon. Its themes of acceptance, compassion, and self-discovery are universal and impactful, and its stunning animation and musical numbers are sure to leave an impression. If you're a fan of classic Disney animation or just looking for a moving and well-crafted story, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a must-watch.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1996 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 74.