this is dark! the outcast in disney's filmography. Frollo's struggle against his sexual desires for esmeralda while evil shadows danced on the walls is one of the most amazing scenes. the use of religious imagery, Esmeralda's empowering sexuality and independence (when I was a kid I wanted to be her haha), and the Hero is not the prince with the white D. It is the "freak". Favorite disney film.
Reaches for an almost Miyazaki-like solemnity, as scenes of historical atrocity & political persecution are presented with a genuine menace & despair. Unfortunately, later appeals to cute supporting characters & coarse childish humour typical of the Disney "brand" means the film fails to deliver on its potential. A missed opportunity, but one that maintains traces of genuine cinematic poetry & real emotional depth.
I consider this Disney's best film and my personal favorite of theirs. The score and lyrics are excellent and memorable, the story doesn't shy away from dark subjects like death, lust, and religion and Jay's role as Claude Frollo is unforgettably sinister and surprisingly human at the same time.
Many memorable songs, great animation, and a good story all combine to make this underrated Disney film that on first glance might be a stinker but quickly becomes one of Disney's best features of the 90's. True, the subject matter & drama is a little dark but its message of acceptance is something all children need to hear.
Mid 90's DIsney is remarkably bad, using some incredibly lifeless animation. Look at how dull the backgrounds are, smoothed and sanded down until any edge or grit has been lost. The ravishing colors from Sleeping Beauty have been long forgotten as shown by how terribly mishandled the Hellfire sequence is. What should be one of Disney's great moments is rendered into oblivion.
One of Disney's darkest animated films is also one of its best. Often swept under the rug by Disney like it's the bastard child of the brand, and Frollo's twisted sexual desire for Esmerelda remains startlingly complex for a children's film. The gothic score, the gorgeous rendering of Notre Dame, the grandiose religious symbolism - this is a grown up film masquerading as children's entertainment. And it's fantastic.