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Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (also known as The Bells of Notre Dame in some countries) is the thirty-fourth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released to theaters on June 21, 1996, and loosely based on Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. While the basic structure remains, the film differs greatly from its source material. The plot centers on the gypsy dancer, Esmeralda; Claude Frollo, a powerful and ruthless judge who lusts after her; Quasimodo, the protagonist, Notre Dame's kind-hearted but deformed bellringer, who adores her; and Phoebus, the chivalrous if irreverent military captain, who holds affections for her.

The film was produced by Don Hahn, and directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale. The songs for the musical film were composed by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz and featured the voices of Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Tony Jay, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough, Mary Wickes and David Ogden Stiers. A direct-to-video sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, was released in 2002.

Trivia

  1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame received one Oscar nomination for Best Original Score by Alan Menken.
  2. Soundtrack features the Goofy holler.
  3. This was Mary Wickes' last film. She died of cancer before she finished all her lines (Jane Withers provided the remaining dialogue).
  4. The names of the three gargoyles are Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, after Victor Hugo, author of the original novel, and one of the three Andrews Sisters, LaVerne.
  5. The name of Phoebus' horse in the film is Achilles. During one of the first scenes where we see Phoebus, he beckons his horse to follow by saying, "Achilles, heel." This is an overt reference to the story of the weakness of Achilles, and this same story is briefly told in another Disney animated feature, Hercules.
  6. Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Carpet from Aladdin, and Pumbaa from The Lion King can all be seen in one of the scenes.
  7. In Japan, the title of this movie was changed to The Bells of Notre Dame  because the word "hunchback" (semushi-otoko) is seen as discriminating against the physically disabled, and it is listed on the "taboo words for broadcasting" for Japanese television.
  8. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is Disney's second animated film to have an interracial couple, Phoebus and Esmeralda, preceded only by Pocahantas and John Smith.
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