I love Disney. I think that Disney is a huge influence on my own pieces. The wide range of stories that Disney has cranked out, whether it be animated, live-action, or Disney Channel shows, has stayed strong throughout the years. While there are some bad Disney movies out there (I’m looking at you, The Black Cauldron,) the majority has withstood the test of time.
For my money, my favorite Disney movie is The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The fact that this movie is underrated is a crime. Quasimodo is one of the warmer-hearted protagonists out there, and Judge Claude Frollo is in the top 5 of “most evil Disney villains.”
If you haven’t watched Hunchback yet, I suggest you do. Only thing I must warn you is this; it’s dark. Like, really dark.
Quasimodo is a hunchback, and while he’s a very nice guy, he has had medical problems since birth. On top of this, his mother, a Gypsy, was killed by his eventual mentor, Frollo. Frollo wanted to dump baby Quasimodo into a well, but the Cardinal of Notre Dame Cathedral made Frollo care and raise the child. In a compromise, Quasimodo became the bell-ringer in the towers of Notre Dame.
Frollo, by comparison, looks completely normal physically. However, Frollo is a mental basket-case, narcissist, and zealot. The man is a corrupt monster, using the veil of God’s word to hunt and capture Paris’ Gypsy population.
The theme of Hunchback follows the adage “Who is the monster and who is the man?” I think the song Heaven’s Light/Hellfire sums up the differences in the two characters perfectly.
While Quasimodo is singing about loving Esmeralda in its purest form, Frollo is singing about forcing Esmeralda into sex.
Side note, this is a Disney film. What the hell?
Ok, back to the piece. The point of this piece is the same point the Hunchback has; Frollo, while normal-looking physically, is so corrupt mentally that he deserves to fall off the top of Notre Dame Cathedral. Quasimodo, on the other hand, deserves happiness and acceptance despite looking physically different. And while he doesn’t get Esmeralda, he does get accepted by the people of Paris, and really, that’s the hardest thing in the world to achieve.