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Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Who thought this was a good idea?

Late-night shower singing of Disney songs prompts some important questions, chief among them being: was Disney drunk when it decided to make Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Don't get me wrong — I love that movie (minus the gargoyles, aka the one weak attempt to make it seem like an actual children's movie). I will classify it as 'underappreciated,' along with Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Home on the Range. The score and setting are gorgeous, the story was written by Victor Hugo, and Tom Hulce, aka Mozart, does the voice of Quasimodo. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR.



no...no, not that.

Disney seemed to be experimenting a bit in the '90s. It went from fairytales to The Lion King -- which is kind of based on Hamlet -- to a bastardization of the Pocahontas story, i.e. actual historical events, to...a 19th century French novel about a deformed man who lives in a belltower.



I just really really wish I could've heard the initial pitch.

"So, how about we do the Twelve Dancing Princesses next? That sounds good, right?"

"Here's the thing, Steve -- I was thinking about it, and I really think this 500 page Victor Hugo novel about a rapey clergyman's the way to go."

"....fuck off, Bob."

BUT THEN BOB SOMEHOW WON. They endeavored KIND of successfully to make Quasimodo adorable, but the fact remained they had a 19th century French story about medieval Paris, a deaf and malformed bell-ringer, and a sex-obsessed archdeacon. It's like they were TRYING to give themselves an impossible task, which was to make this appealing to children. And then they didn't even try that hard, because you have scenes like this:

THIS MOVIE IS SO SEXUALLY AGGRESSIVE

It basically goes from traumatic scene to traumatic scene, including:

- Frollo almost dropping a baby down a well after causing its mother's death.

- Quasimodo being angrily pelted with vegetables by a mob after being tied down in the square.



- Frollo setting a house on fire with a family in it.

- A song with these lyrics:
Like fire, hellfire
This fire in my skin
This burning desire
Is turning me to sin


- Quasimodo and Phoebus almost being hanged by the Court of Miracles


WHAT A WONDERFUL CHILDREN'S FILM

Go home, 1996 Disney. You're drunk.

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