As you all know, “Beauty and the Beast”, is my favorite Disney film; hence it’s not a surprise that I also love “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” which was made by much of the same crew members as the former film.
Released in 1996, Disney’s 34th animated feature is known as one of the darkest Disney Canon films (along with “The Black Cauldron”) as well as the most adult Disney Canon film! This film deals with topics such as racism, prejudice, religion, hell, and even lust! I’m still surprised this film passed with a “G” rating! Nevertheless, it’s one of my favorite Disney films!
Based on Victor Hugo’s book of the same name,
the film is about a hunchbacked man named Quasimodo who is raised by the evil judge Frollo after his mother dies.
Well, actually after Frollo kills Quasimodo’s mother!
Frollo finds Quasimodo simply revolting because of his appearance as well as his Romanov descent; so he decides to keep Quasimodo away from the public view by making him the official bell-ringer of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Time passes and Quasimodo dreams of escaping the cathedral’s walls and venturing out to meet real people!
Heck, the only friends he has are his three imaginary/semi-imaginary/kind of imaginary/who are we kidding? they’re pretty much real gargoyle companions.
The two “male” gargoyles are named “Victor” and “Hugo” as a tribute to the author.
The “female” gargoyle is named Laverne as a tribute to Laverne Andrews, one of the Andrews Sisters.
One day, Quasimodo gathers the courage to leave the confines of the cathedral which leads to discovering new conflicts and meeting new characters such as Esmeralda, the gypsy,
Phoebus, the Captain of the Guard,
and even Jafar in his “old man” disguise!
This was one of those Disney films that I’ve complained about already where it was hard to pick a forgotten/minor character. And even after picking one, I wasn’t pleased with my choice. But, what can I do? Hopefully, you all will be pleased with it!
The character that I picked was the boatman. He operates a boat and is the one helping Quasimodo’s parents escape from Paris surreptitiously when Quasimodo was a baby.
But the plan goes awry, and that’s when Frollo enters and messes everything up.
Now the boatman is important because, had he not taken Quasimodo’s family up the river (literally, not figuratively), they most likely would not have been killed and may have lived as gypsies throughout the movie. They still would have been persecuted by Frollo and his army, but maybe the movie would have gone a different direction in granting the gypsies their freedom.
Anyway, regarding the boatman, he himself gets captured!
I wonder if they killed him as well for “harboring and transporting illegal immigrants for a fee”! Or maybe, he’s a traitor and alerted Frollo himself that these particular gypsies would be found near the docks of Notre Dame! And then they secretly released him after!
Whatever the case may be, the boatman is the character I decided to focus on for this post!