Hunchback Of Notre Dame
In Disney’s 35th animated feature, the characters in Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel about lonely bell-ringer Quasimodo and his adventures with the beautiful Esmerelda come vividly and musically to life–even the stone gargoyles! This updated ’90s version features Quasimodo as an awkward youth, a departure from the Hugo text.
Loosely based on the Victor Hugo classic about the deformed bell ringer who rescues a beautiful gypsy accused of witchcraft. A remarkable piece of work. The animation, both computer and hand drawn, is so three dimensional, I swear many crowd scenes came to life. The musical score by Alan Menken (THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY and THE BEAST, ETC.) Although not his most memorable, contains several poignant pieces, including a prayerful ballad, “God Help the Outcasts”. This reverent and melodious piece serves to remind us of a true spiritual supplication, one which pleads for the poor, downtrodden and unloved. Character actress Mary Wickes, who made a lifelong career playing curmudgeonous busybodies, leaves us with one last Red-letter performance – Laverne, one of the stone gargoyles who councils Quasimodo. The film-makers pay her tribute, by giving this Queen of Wisecracks the film’s final bon mot. Never condescending, this family treat is filled with humor, adventure and positive messages. A winner for the entire family.