Theatrical release poster

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1996 musical drama film released during the Disney Renaissance. The film is based on the book of the same name by Victor Hugo.


A deformed Hunchback named Quasimodo lives in the French bell tower of Notre Dame under the watch of the city's cruel, ruthless and deeply religious judge Claude Frollo. And all Quasimodo wants is to go out into the world and be accepted like normal people. With the help of his three gargoyle friends, Hugo, Victor and Laverne, a beautiful gypsy named Esmeralda and Frollo's kind-hearted captain of the guard Phoebus, Quasimodo can break free and help others to look past his deformities.

Why It Rocks

  1. Outstanding animation.
  2. Excellent character development, especially the extremely sympathetic protagonist Quasimodo.
  3. A great, complex villain in Frollo.
  4. Thrilling climax.
  5. Great songs, especially the villain's song Hellfire.
  6. It takes risks and tries its absolute best to adapt a source material that is difficult to pull off for a Disney movie.
  7. Great voice acting.

Bad Qualities

  1. A tad too dark for a Disney film. Darkness does not automatically make a story any better.
  2. Themes like infanticide and sexual hypocrisy are out of place in a family film, while the gargoyles are out of place in a dark film. The two genres don't mesh well together.