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Random Troper: Okay, this is a long one, but this has always bugged me about the Disney Animated Canon adaptation.
According to Word of God, the three gargoyles, Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, are really the manifestations of Quasimodo's inner voices. However, they appear to move around independently at various moments.
I think we're MEANT to ask that question; is Quasimodo imagining them, or are they genuinely animate? Frollo's crazy when the waterspout animates, but the scene where Hugo moves for Djali really complicates this one.
Furthermore, the film is set in 1482. At one point, Laverne sends a flock of birds into the air, calling out "Fly, my pretties!" in homage to the Wicked Witch sending out the flying monkeys in 1939's classic The Wizard of Oz movie. Also Hugo, at one point, makes machine gun noises while spitting rocks.
You know they did stuff like this in Aladdin and everyone just thought it was funny, right?
Yes but Aladdin was at its heart, a lighthearted adventure where comedy like that was appropriate and done often. Not only is that type of humor not used very often in Hunchback, it's completely contradictory to the film's tone and feel. Making this moment very bizarre.
I've always thought this personally myself. We're assuming that Clopin is telling the story, but he obviously couldn't have known as much as he did since he wasn't there for most of the story. He must have asked Quasimodo for details, and Quasi mentioned the gargoyles doing these sorts of things, since to Quasi they would have been "real". They may not have done any of that at all, and Clopin is only telling the story as he was told.
Oh, and another thing: if Quasimodo's mother is Roma, why is Quasimodo white? This Troper holds a theory that perhaps she found Quasi after his (white) parents abandoned him and took him in as her own, though that's just WMG.
Consider also that he probably doesn't see that much sun locked up in the tower all day.
Yeah, but he still has red hair. Personally, I agree with the second troper; his Roma mother probably found the abandoned baby and pitied it, since the baby was an outcast (because it was deformed) just like herself.
My personal theory was that the father wasn't Roma, but I like other idea.
Mine is that Quasi was conceived when a white man raped his mother. If you assume that one of the Roma men with her in the beginning of the film is her boyfriend or husband, and take into account that the Roma people were/are treated horribly by the rest of society, it's not too farfetched a theory.
This is why you folks should read the book instead of trusting what the movie says. Quasimodo's parents are never mentioned in the book - all we know is that gypsies at one point had Quasimodo in their possession before they stole a normal looking baby and left him in its place. So no, there was never any reason to assume that he was a gypsy or would look like one.
But we're not talking about the book; we're talking about the movie, which actually shows Quasi's parents (and has very, very little to do with the book, seeing as it's an animated family movie).
Actually, all we see is a gypsy woman looking after him, and two gypsy men travelling with her. We assume she is his mother, but nothing confirms this. She says to him "Hush, little one." If she was intended by the writers to be his mother, they easily could have had her say "My child." Frollo is the only one who says that the gypsy woman was Quasi's mother, and it wasn't like she and Frollo knew each other well.
Also, nothing confirms either of the men as Quasi's father either. One even says "Shut it up!" (hardly the sort of thing you'd expect a father to say about his child), while the other is more worried about being spotted than comforting the baby.
I always just figured it was part of, for lack of a gentler way of putting it, his deformity. His parents aren't hunchbacked or squish-faced, but he is. So maybe the light skin and hair is just part of the deal.
It's genetically possible for two white parents to have a black child. It's not too implausible for Quasimodo to have recieved red hair, white skin (which is also explained by him remaining mostly indoors) and his physical deformations from an unlucky inheritance of particular genes.
I don't think they're Quasimodo's parents. Frollo just referred to her as his "mother" because she was his female care-taker. Their colorful clothes suggest they were carnival performers, which makes this troper wonder if they intended to use Quasimodo in a circus freakshow.
This troper has always theorized that Quasimodo's real parents, who were white, probably abandoned him and the gypsy woman we saw in the beginning took him in, intending to raise him as her own. I'm also fairly certain, after hearing him refer to the baby as 'it,' that the gypsy man is definitely not the father of Quasimodo.
Seriously, all this discussion and no one has suggested that Quasi might have been stolen? Sure, he's deformed, but that didn't mean his real family would toss him out indefinitely unless they really were cruel. Gypsies back then were known for stealing babies for revenge because of how they were treated and how their reputation was slandered by the whites/upper class/priests/just about everybody.
Uh, I'm pretty sure that Roma didn't steal children at all, and that was most likely entirely made up like all the other racist stereotypes about them.
But child stealing does happen in the original story, so it is possible that the film makers were influenced by that.
At the time when the original story was written, people weren't too concerned about political correctness. Flashforward to the 1990's in America when that was a completely different story. It would have been pretty egregious for Disney to promote offensive stereotypes that late.
It's highly unlikely that she would have given her life for a kidnapped child
And no, back in those days someone deformed likely would have been abandoned, if not out of cruelty/believing it to be a monster than because the child wouldn't have been of any use in doing chores/running the farm; only deformed children born into noble families might have had a chance, but even there the deformity would have been seen as a black mark against the family's bloodline. Many even saw such people as a punishment from God for sin/hubris. So only an outcast would have considered adopting and raising him, or a more noble and caring churchman like the Archdeacon who truly believed everyone was a child of God.
I'm going with the deformity caused unusual coloration because that's the less squicky option and this IS a Disney movie.
This troper has always thought it was a combination of two of the things listed here: having a white dad along with staying locked up in the bell tower all day.
Here's something that's bugged me about the Disney Animated Canon adaptation- Fidelity to the novel be damned, Phoebus always came off to me as a walking studio note to add a straight man love interest. He contributes absolutely nil to the story that couldn't be done by other people- Esmeralda could've easily called sanctuary on her own, and even his rallying of the people was originally Clopin's big moment- and turns the ending into an Esoteric Happy Ending. Seems to me, the story would be much better off without the extraneous character.
And Esmeralda could have gotten together with Quasimodo, instead of the 'studly' blonde guy. Way to totally undermine your 'look beyond the surface' theme there, Disney, just pair the two sexy people up and leave the deformed guy heartbroken.
Who says people have to go by "inner beauty" by itself? Esmeralda treated Quasi with respect, and didn't treat him like a hideous monster, but even the nicest of people usually aren't attracted to guys with giant growths on their foreheads. What kind of "happy ending" would leave two people together just because one feels obligated by guilt and gratitude to be with the other, despite a lack of physical attraction?
I think the Phoebus/Esmeralda pairing was fine. He loved her for her beauty, wits, fighting abilities, and desire of justice. She loved him back for these things too.
And also, 1) the act of letting Phoebus and Esmeralda be together shows Quasi is a strong person, and reflects nicely on him, and 2) the "don't judge people on looks" aesop includes "don't grudge pretty people" just as much as "don't hate ugly people". Duh.
Quasi puts Esmeralda on a pedestal- he thinks she's perfect- and Frollo sees her as an object. Pheobus was the only man who treated her like a person.
Quasi isn't old enough for Esmeralda, or indeed for romance. He's been emotionally stunted: he's caught at a preteen level. Didn't any of you pay any attention during "A Guy Like You"? As annoying as that song is, it expresses what's going on in Quasimodo's mind at that moment. Paris is on fire. Frollo's gone around the bend. Who knows how many people have died already? What's Quasimodo thinking? Is he thinking, "What's happened to my master?" Is he thinking, "Is there anything I can do to fix this?" Is he thinking, "God is punishing me for my sins"? No. He's thinking what a twelve-year-old child in the throes of his first crush would think. First, "Is My Girl okay?" And second, "Does she just like me — does she just want to be friends — or does she really like me?" The other people of Paris are no more real to him than his little painted wooden figurines. He's not ready for romance. He's not old enough.
That is the single best explanation of that disparity that I have read. Excellent analysis, fellow troper.
Always Save the Girl is a well-established trope. I agree that he is emotionally stunted, but...well, this is Disney. Rapunzel should have been equally stunted, but she wasn't.
Assuming you're referring to 'Tangled,' the relationship Rapunzel had with her "mother" was different than Quasimodo's relationship with Frollo. They both used fear and manipulation to keep the children they raised cooped up in their respective towers, but Rapunzel's mother at least tried to make it seem like everything she did was out of motherly love, as opposed to Frollo who's whole angle seemed to be "I was kind enough to take you in, since your parents didn't want you," Also, Rapunzel has even been raised to view her captor as her mother, and even calls her this, whereas, Quasimodo is brought up to view Frollo as his master.
Why didn't they use Gringoire then? He's a comical nice guy in the original version, albeit cowardly. He's a poet; romantic scenes are just easier. Why'd they leave him out?
Because they needed an action hero to stand up to Frollo, help Quasi and Esmeralda, be torn between Frollo and the innocent people, and lead the rebellion. A poet couldn't do those things.
It is important to the story that Quasi does not get Esmeralda. A major point of the story is comparin Quasimodo and Frollo; "Who is the monster and who is the man." It's an important point that Quasi and Frollo both want Esmeralda and can't have her. What makes one of them a monster and the other a man is how they react to this. Which one is strong enough to let her go, and still be her friend, and which one simply decides "if I can't have her then no one can."
You aren't the only one. There's quite amount of Fridge Logic that really really makes Esmeralda seem like...a complete bitch.
She's hardly a complete bitch because she went for the well-meaning, handsome and genuinely heroic guy instead of the well-meaning, genuinely heroic guy who was hideous. If Phoebus were anything like his portrayal in the novel, then perhaps, but because this version of Phoebus is not a sucky person, Esmeralda can hardly be said to be a complete bitch.
Quasi loved her because she was the first female, (and the first human, for that matter) who didn't treat him like crap. I'm not sure that this is enough for a relationship.
Well you could also consider that Disney let him live at the end unlike the book as well as the fact that he was free of Frollo, able to leave the Cathedral without fear, and had Esmeralda and Phoebus as friends. Plus he gets a girl in the sequel.
In addition to the very good reasons already mentioned for why it was important for Esmerelda to end up with Phoebus instead of Quasi, there's another aspect. The movie as a whole heavily deconstructs the Madonna-Whore Complex. When all is said and done, Quasi's view of Esmerelda was just as unrealistic as Frollo's. Quasi was just as blind to her flaws as Frollo was to her virtues. The primary difference was which extreme they saw her as. This aspect of the story depended on Esmerelda ending up with the one who saw her as a whole person. Phoebus makes no effort to deny the physical aspect of his attraction to Esmerelda, but it's seeing her bravery and kindness that takes it beyond lust. That is why she fell in love with Phoebus, because he loved the person. Quasi only loved the ideal.
But if they made Phoebus a romantic straight man for commercial reasons, why was he was completely ignored by the marketing, which focused on Quasimodo, Esmeralda and the gargoyles?
Phoebus wasn't made for commercial reasons: first, as another troper explained it very well on this page, it was very important to the story that Quasimodo didn't get Esmeralda, so his kindness could be contrasted to Frollo's monstrosity; second, Phoebus embodies the part of regular citizens that do not agree with the unjust mistreatment of innocents, and who eventually rebel against it, something that only he could embody as he's the only regular citizen apart from Frollo among the characters of the story. And it's this sense of justice, not his looks, that gets Esmeralda to fall for him (when she first meets him, she's wary of him, but she starts to feel differently after he saved the family from the fire).
Esmerelda having ended up as Quasimodo's main love interest would have also just come off as Disney trying too hard to illustrate the moral that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
What was such a large cauldron of molten metal doing on the belfry? I'm not an expert in bellcraft, but I'm pretty sure they would mold and repair the bells somewhere in a special workshop, wouldn't they?
Perhaps the bells are repaired on-site? They're pretty freaking huge, and I can't imagine they're that easy to transport to a separate workshop.
I would like to remind those who have read the book and inform those who have not, that Quasimodo defended the cathedral with supplies and tools from a wall repair during the day before the evening when Notre-Dame would've otherwise been overrun by the tramps. IT IS noteworthy that Quasimodo did pour lead onto some of the tramps and he DID drop the beam off the edge, which, true to the book, was used as a battering ram.
At the end of the movie, wouldn't the steps of the church have been destroyed by the molten lead? One would assume that that crap would have been hot enough to melt the stairs away.
No way. Those are stone steps. Molten lead has a really low melting point, not even close to that of stone.
Also, at the end of the film, what happened to all the guards who carried out Frollo's sinister deeds? I know a majority of them probably died during that final battle scene, but what about the ones who survived? Was it like in Germany following the end of WWII and the Holocaust, where many former Nazi leaders were tried for war crimes and hanged or imprisoned for life?
I'd say they were most likely arrested and handed over to the King to stand trial.
After Frollo attempts to have Phoebus executed, Phoebus steals a horse, rides to the bridge at least some hundreds meters from the start, gets shot and falls to the river. Immediately after he submerges that spot begins to get showered with arrows by soldiers from directly above. How the hell did they manage to get there in a matter of seconds and even bring the old man Frollo with them? Did they teleport?
Really fast horses?
Also, don't forget that Frollo is more fit than you'd think. He did manage to chop through stone with a longsword, after all.
After Frollo falls to his death, Esmeralda drops Quasimodo, but he is caught by Phoebus. How the hell did Phoebus get into the cathedral? Just as soon as Frollo and the soldiers were able to break the door open, the molten lead falls upon them, causing the soldiers to flee, leaving Frollo as the only one no was able to get in. At what point was Phoebus even able to get in there?
He probably climbed in the same way Frollo did during the fight.
Not the movie itself, but the surprisingly common Frollo/Esmeralda shipping. No... Just NO!
I think it's by virtue of the fact that out of all the Disney villains, he's the one who's distinctly and overtly sexual. It's impossible to extricate that aspect of his personality from the character. (Compare Gaston and Jafar, who seem to only want the heroines as possessions.) He also has the most self-loathing of any Disney villain, making him more complex and to some extent relateable. And of course the voice.
After Phoebus frees the Miller's family, Frollo sentences him to death, and then has the other guards hold him down and pull out a sword, ready to behead him on the spot. Now wouldn't he take him to the Palace of Justice to torture him first?
He likely wanted to make an example out of Phoebus to his men, especially considering one of them would likely be promoted to Phoebus's position once he had been killed.
This Troper cannot be the only one who was wondering about this, but...what was with Hugo and his interest toward Djali? Did he think Djali was a girl because of the earring? Does he swing that way? Is he just screwing with the goat's mind? It's never explained, and there doesn't seem to be a reason why Hugo does this aside from Rule of Funny. Even then, this Troper doesn't get it.
Djali is a goat. Hugo has little horns like a goat. Maybe he thinks he is a goat also? Or that Djali is a... whatever the hell Hugo is.
If you want a disturbing thought, combine this with the 'the gargoyles are figments of Quasi's imagination' thing. Apparently Quasimodo is into interspecies slash?
Well, being locked in a bell tower all your life and being sexually and religiously oppressed can do weird things to a person...
There is pretty-well supported fan-theory that the gargoyles reflected Quasimodo's Id (Hugo), Superego (Victor), and Ego (Laverne). If this is to be believed, then it would not be so hard to believe that Quasimodo's id would be pretty twisted considering he was being raised by a living,breathing, personification of extreme-piety.
I don't know. Hugo and Laverne work well in their respective roles of Id and Ego, but taking a Sociology class, Victor does not fit the Superego role at all. The Superego is Societies mentality placed into an individuals mind, and helps create the ego with the Id. Victor does not at all act like the Superego: He does not tell Quasimodo that going out of the church would be a terrible idea; he does not have a hatred or a disdain for Gypsies, which was common at the time; he does not tell Quasi that regardless of what Frollo is doing, even if its wrong, he needs to fallow his orders because he is Quasi's master; he doesn't do anything a real Superego would do. Yes, he's the most intellectual of the three; no, that doesn't automatically assign him to Superego. Superego =/= Intellect, Superego = Societies Norms, values and laws. Victor does not tell Quasimoto to fallow the law, he's just as supportive as Victor and Laverne in leaving the church, helping and loving a Gypsy, attacking palace guards, and other things that would be social taboos of the time. — Dingo Walley
Maybe it's a Shout-Out to the original book, which had Pierre Gringoire, a character who was married to Esmeralda but found himself more in love with her goat.
That is an extremely creative, original, and intriguing explanation. I like it!
Okay, this is an odd one, but it's bothered this troper's historical awareness: At one point Frollo bars the miller and his family inside the mill and orders Phoebus to set the place on fire. Phoebus refuses. Why? You or I would never do such a thing, of course — but you and I have the privilege of living in a place and time where setting a place of business afire with the business owner and his family barred inside is generally considered a Bad Thing. Phoebus does not share this privilege. Phoebus, in fact, lives in a time where such actions were an expected aspect of soldiering. "We know enough if we know we're the King's subjects. If his cause be wrong, our obedience to the King wipes the crime of it out of us" — I was only following orders really was all the excuse you needed. Civilian deaths, rapes, "naked infants spitted upon pikes" were all regrettable but expected side effects of fifteenth-century warfare. So why does Phoebus refuse to set the mill on fire? It's not like he's never done anything like that before.
Same troper: It's also important to remember that in this time, people believed in a microinterventionist God — one who placed every human being in his or her proper station in life. If you were a lord, it was because God had put you there — specifically wanted you to be subject to your overlord and the king, and wanted your subjects to be under you. A commoner was someone God had made a commoner: if you were a peasant, it was because He had placed everyone else in a position of authority over you, and wanted you to be in authority only over your own wife and children. Defying your overlord was tantamount to defying the Almighty. By refusing a direct order from Frollo — whom GOD has placed in authority over him — Phoebus is in effect spitting in God's face.
This Christian troper with an interest in history would like to give a second opinion on the issue. The same church that taught people to stay in their place also taught people that Thou Shalt Not Shed Innocent Blood. It also taught charity to the poor, mercy for sinners, and being personally responsible for the sins you commit. There is nothing contradictory at all for someone raised even in a corrupt church to refuse to burn innocent people alive. For that matter, "enlightened" peoples such as ourselves still commit war crimes, still murder and rape and rob. Is there anything confusing or unlikely about evil people realizing their wickedness and choosing to stop?
It's a Disney movie, don't think too hard about it. But it's not out of character for Phoebus to do that, he's already been established as a nice guy who shows sympathy for people he's really not "supposed to". Like Esmeralda. It's not unheard of for people to rebel against the prevailing mindset of the time, anyway.
If no one had ever questioned authority, we'd still be living like they did in the movie. Pheobus recognized the miller's situation as humans suffering at the hands of humans, and had the mindset to feel it was wrong.
Also, there's the possibility that Phoebus had a history of this, which could be why he was sent home to work with Frollo instead of staying to participate in the war.
Finally, it's not like Pheobus was a common soldier. He was a ranking captain of the entire garrison (huge promotion over his novel counterpart). He would have been of at least middle class if not a knight. He DID have authority and station to question orders. I found the fact that his men so quickly turned on him more frustrating than the fact that he questioned orders.
Actually, it's sort of a demotion, as in the novel, he's captain of the king's archers which was a Big Deal.
Yeah, that annoyed me too. Pheobus is their commander. I can buy that some might disagree and leave, but his entire squad? What? Would this be allowed at all?
But here's the thing; he's their newly-appointed captain. He's recently replaced their old captain and hasn't had time to earn their respect, especially not over Frollo, who we see has been controlling them for at least 20 years. It makes sense that they would side with someone they'd known longer and (presumably) trusted over their new leader who was protesting against something that, as stated above, was simply part of their way of life.
As said before, not everyone in those times were stupid sheeps who would blindly follow the social norms, even if that social norm told them it was OK to kill/mistreat certain people. There were some people who were actually decent human beings who thought that the social norm was not OK, so they did their little part in helping the less fortunate. I think Phoebus and Esmeralda both represented that side of humanity. Phoebus for not letting a miller's family die, and Esmeralda for not treating Quasimodo like crap because of his deformities (Phoebus didn't treat him like crap either, but Esmeralda met him first, so she gets first dibs on that.)
If you pay attention, in the beginning of this scene, we can hear people muttering "poor miller, he never harmed anyone" and "Frollo's gone mad". Later, when Esmeralda is to be burn alive, people are shouting she is innocent and some are trying to go through the soldiers (Just a note, remember: Frollo was burning the city in his search for HER, some of them could very well say "Thanks, she will die and things will be back to normal"). I think Phoebus' act of openly defying Frollo could work as a seed to break the fear-induced control Frollo had over the people. After his speech, we see both, Parisians and Gypsies fighting together against Frollo and his soldiers. Phoebus and Esmeralda open people's eyes and give them courage to stand against what is wrong and speak up against evil people.
In regards to Esmeralda's character, Frollo goes on an obsessed-driven rampage to find her. She even hears him say "Find the girl. If you have to burn the city to the ground so be it." She knew he was talking about her and that many peoples' homes would be destroyed, so why didn't she turn herself in? It's obviously not an easy choice to hand yourself over to the authorities (especially to Frollo), but all those peoples' homes could have been spared had she been noble enough to reveal herself.
You said it yourself - it's not an easy choice, and Esmeralda is still just a young girl. It's been some time since I've seen the film, so I can't remember if Esmeralda thinks Frollo wants to kill her at that point, or knows he just wants to force her to marry him, but either way it would take a heroic amount of courage to hand yourself over to someone like that.
Chances are, she stayed in the Court of Miracles for a while after the whole Cathedral incident and just heard about it when the rumors spread (remember, the gypsies found were being locked up) so maybe she just learned that it was because of her when she heard that. And even if this isn't the case, did you see her face when she heard that? Esmeralda was clearly feeling bad and scared about it, but turn yourself in to be tortured and raped (and we all know it wouldn't be a "one night" thing either)? Who would do that, especially to a guy who is a sick, sadist psycho?
Force her to marry him? Yeah that's....what he wanted to do with her....marry her...right.
Exactly. Though Frollo wasn't technically clergy, he was still in a position that forbade marriage (I believe, anyway), so Esmeralda had to know exactly what his intentions were. Turning yourself over to someone you know is going to rape you, especially as a sixteen-year-old girl...that takes more than nobility, I think. You'd need sainthood for that.
Sixteen? I've never seen any sixteen year old who looks like that!
She's explicitly sixteen in the book; however, she is also The Ingenue in the book. The animators at Disney designed the Esmeralda in this film as being in her mid/late 20s (this was stated in a magazine article released around the time the film was).
I don't care how powerful Frollo supposedly is, more than a few higher-ups would have a hell of a lot to say if he actually tried to burn the city down. There's simply no way he has the kind of clout that could let him get away with torching Paris so he could find some girl he wanted to bone. Even the king probably couldn't have got away with that and lived. People tend to get pissy when their homes get burnt down, and he'd have a lot of people out for his blood.
As has been stated on the main page, it is entirely possible the king is off still fighting the wars Phoebus came back from so he isn't around to stop Frollo. By the time he ever did return, either Frollo could have already cleaned everything up and left no evidence, or made up some story about a peasant rebellion—do you really think the king would doubt this and take the side of peasants and Gypsies who claimed Frollo went mad over a dancing girl? And there don't seem to be any other higher-ups—any other nobles or officials must either be with the king or secluded on their estates until the war is over, and the Archdeacon can't do anything because while he's a church authority, he has no political power.
I think "burn the city to the ground" was hyperbole; he meant "burn as many houses as you have to". The houses burned would be those of gypsies, beggars and thieves, and the higher-ups wouldn't really care if they got pissy.
The court of miracles was the hiding place of thieves and gypsies, as far as I understand and beggars were probably there, too, if they weren't busy begging because they have no home.
Seeing Frollos actions with the bakery that Phoebus didn´t want to burn and they only got out because of his interference and nobody else was as helping as Phoebus, I guess Frollo actually killed more than a dozen random families. You could see that a big part of the city was literaly burning. I am really bugged why the people needed Phoebus to clarify in the climax that when Frollo sets your houses on fire for no real reason he is evil. In reality the city would have gone V for Vendetta-style right before Quasis lovesong with the senseless references to the future, hanged Frollo like Ludwig XIV and everything would have been solved.
In reality, as anything in History from the Medieval pogroms to the Holocaust shows, people (some people, most people, whatever) would not rise spontaneously against the stablished authority's actions but remain neutral ("If they don't go after me, it's not my business") or even collaborate with it, if anything. Frollo wasn't targetting people at random. He was after an oppressed minority that many Frenchmen of the time disliked, the Gypsies, and those who had helped them like the miller's family. Phoebus showed the people gathering in the square that Frollo had gone off-limits by attacking something that was sacred to everybody, not just the Gypsies and their sympathizers, and most importantly, showed them that there was already a lot of people ready to fight against him. From the perspective of a single person, it's a lot easier to join a fighting army (or mob) than to create one yourself.note Also, who the hell is Ludwig XIV?
note Wasn't he a German king in the 1700s? Of one of the German kingdoms?
And another thing, turning herself in would not necessarily be the right thing to do either; if Frollo was willing to burn down a whole city to get to one girl, then turning herself in would have been appeasement. People like Frollo should be confronted, rather than given what they want.
It always bugged me, when Frollo talks to Phoebus at the Palace of Justice regarding the Court of Miracles, how he slams the block down upside down.
It was to emphasize crushing the bugs underneath. They'd clearly gotten along just fine with the block right-side up, so... wham.
Indeed; obviously the geometry of having the block right-side up wouldn't have killed as many at a time, or else the bugs wouldn't have gotten there in the first place.
You have to think about in symbolism. What was Frollo talking about when he lifted the brick? The gypsies and trying to find their hiding place. The bugs crawling around represented the gypsies in his eyes. All nestled together, minding their own business, feeling perfectly fine. Then he sends the brick down on the bugs, symbolizing how he wants to kill every one of the gypsies just like he killed those bugs. As for him leaving it like that...It's just one brick out of many in that building. Who's going to care?
Also speaking of symbolism, consider that if the reason Frollo could lift the block is because the palace's stonework is crumbling, what does that suggest about the state of justice in Paris, or of Frollo's own soul? That and Frollo doesn't care about the state of justice, or what he's planning. He doesn't righten the block back up, because doing so would symbolize that he did care about what he was doing, and wanted to correct his ways.
Why didn't the priest raise Quasi himself? If the priest had raised Quasi, then Quasi would have been known as a nice choir boy, and not the "mysterious bell ringer." When Quasi asked about his looks, the priest would have given Quasi a nice explanation involving inner beauty and God, and Quasi wouldn't think of himself as a monster. Quasi would also have known the truth about his mother—or at least, he'd know that she didn't abandon him. And he'd probably have a much nicer name, one that doesn't mean "Half formed."
And even if the priest did have to let Frollo raise Quasimodo, to save Frollo's soul or whatever, couldn't the priest at least check on them regularly, to make sure that Frollo was doing a decent job? Couldn't he still have had some kind of friendship with the boy, so Quasi's only company wouldn't be his morbid stepfather Frollo?
It seems as though after the opening scene, the archdeacon just forgot Quasimodo exists.
Like one person in the Wild Mass Guessing suggested, the archdeacon probably only cared about the reputation of the Notre Dame church, and less so of the plight of the gypsies. By letting Frollo do what he wanted with Quasi, he got rid of having the blood of an infant staining Notre Dame's reputation as well as a free bellringer. He didn't care what Frollo did to Quasi as long as he didn't have to deal with it.
Could have had something to do with him already having his hands full, and he probably thought Frollo at LEAST had the decency to not abuse the child.
He just caught the guy about to drop the infant into a well! If Frollo didn't have the decency to not murder the kid as a baby, what makes you think he'd have the decency to not abuse the kid?
If you listen to the singing/narration in the beginning after the priest tells him not to drop the baby into the well, it is stated that for once in his life Frollo actually was having moral qualms about doing something that bad. The statues at the front of the cathedral further emphasize the immense pressure that Frollo seems to be feeling. All throughout the movie, it is made clear that Frollo does believe in a higher being that deals out judgement. While nearly everything he does in the movie is incredible wrong from the moral standpoint of the modern viewer (or at least this troper would hope so), Frollo sees himself as doing what is right and just. The priest knows this, and thus feels that at least Quasimodo will have a chance at life.
Perhaps the Archdeacon was afraid if he interfered in Quasi's upbringing, Frollo would drop Quasi (thus losing his chance to redeem his soul) and maybe even bring the might of the Palace of Justice on the cathedral, as indeed happened later. Or even get the king to turn on the church by telling him the Archdeacon was flouting his authority (it's not like the king would care about an abandoned hunchback, and I seem to recall the particular king at the time was either an atheist or simply not very charitable toward the church to begin with), thus getting his troops involved too. Better to avoid such difficulties and trust in God to see to Quasi's protection.
Apart from the obvious fact that they probably didn't want to deviate from the original story even more than they already did... The Archdeacon also probably has a lot of stuff to do around the church. It's possible that he did stop in and check on Quasi sometimes, but it wasn't mentioned because he got so few chances to actually do so.
The Archdeacon was concerned over more than Quasimodo. He also cared for Esmeralda, the people of France, and Frollo himself; by giving Frollo Quasimodo to take care of, he hoped that the child would help change him. He was wrong, obviously, but he was trying to give Frollo a chance at redemption. We can also assume that the Archdeacon was only partially aware of Frollo's corruption at that point; he would have known he hated gypsies and was willing to kill deformed children, but he didn't know he'd be as abusive and twisted as he was.
Guys, you're all missing something big here: in the beginning, the Archdeacon sings about how Frollo killed the gypsy woman, and now the eyes of Notre Dame were upon him and would not excuse his murder. Frollo then specifically asks the Archdeacon what to do, to which the latter replies "Care for the child. Raise him as your own." It isn't that the Archdeacon didn't want to take care of Quasi, it's that the whole raise-the-child thing was meant to atone for Frollo's sin of murdering the child's mother. The Archdeacon probably thought that any interference on his part would end up damning Frollo's soul, because at that point it wouldn't be just him raising the child.
The Cathedral is the seat of the Archdeacon or Archbishop. Ever since Frollo was killed, the Archdeacon probably did take care of Quasimodo to some extent.
And one other thing that bugs me about the priest. At the beginning of the film, when Quasimodo is a baby, the priest is an older, gray-haired, balding man. Twenty years later, when the rest of the movie takes place, the priest looks exactly the same. Why? Why has he not aged a day in twenty years? Medicine wasn't that good, in those days. I can accept that maybe the priest just went gray at an early age. But why hasn't he lost more hair and gained more wrinkles?
If you compare Frollo's visage before and after 20 years, not only his hair got lighter, he's starting to lose hair at the temples - at the beginning he clearly sports a fringe, which has receded later on, and is cut short not to draw attention to the balding. His face also got skinnier, more hollow looking with much more wrinkles.
Hollywood Old. If he was say, 55 at the start and had gone gray and had a few wrinkles and was 75 at the end he would not look that different.
Plus, according to the commentary he did visibly age. You can see more wrinkles, I believe.
Pretty sure his hair is a much lighter shade of gray, too. Actually, this Troper would say that at the beginning it was dark grey, whereas in the twenty years later part, it was more white. Which is a good indication that he has aged considerably.
In the movie, just who exactly gave Judge Frollo so much power that he can literally burn down Paris for the sake of finding a single gypsy woman, with very little to justify it except a vague accusation that she's a witch? Last I checked, 15th century France had a king who would probably have some major questions to ask of anyone ransacking his capital for the sake of a single gypsy.
As has been stated on the main page, it is entirely possible the king is off still fighting the wars Phoebus came back from so he isn't around to stop Frollo. By the time he ever did return, either Frollo could have already cleaned everything up and left no evidence, or made up some story about a peasant rebellion—do you really think the king would doubt this and take the side of peasants and Gypsies who claimed Frollo went mad over a dancing girl? And there don't seem to be any other higher-ups—any other nobles or officials must either be with the king or secluded on their estates until the war is over, and the Archdeacon can't do anything due to the separation of Church and State. Also, for what it is worth, I recall from the book that the king was in hiding during much of the events (I forget why) and thus there really was no one to stop Frollo from doing what he did.
In addition, this was before bills of rights had been implemented to protect ordinary citizens from the government; the higher-ups could do essentially whatever they wanted to and get away with it. Not to mention the "divine right theory," where rulers would claim that their power was handed down to them directly from God, and anyone who challenged them was not only committing a crime, but also committing a sin.
Question, how did that rope Quasi swooped down on to save Esmeralda at the end of the movie seemingly lengthen by a hundred feet or so?
An honest-to-God miracle. Quasi's in a cathedral, the soundtrack's chanting hymns in Latin, and a few minutes later we see a gargoyle (believed to protect buildings from evil) collapse and kill the villain. Minor divine intervention is there at the climax, why not a bit before?
Hypothetically, if Esmeralda were to actually give in to Frollo's offer (eeewwwwwwwwwwww) then wouldn't someone be pretty upset that the city of Paris was almost literally burned to the ground and that thousands of people arrested for treason, just for him to say..."Uh...sorry guys, turns out she's not a witch after all! We're a...just gonna be gone for awhile...so...everyone can go home, now."
He could claim that he got her to repent or something. During the many witch trials that happened over the years, an alleged witch could be spared if she admitted to witchcraft and repented. I also doubt that a person in such a high position of authority would say "Turns out, they weren't a witch after all!". In the time period this story takes place in, certain people (particularly religious leaders) were considered infallible, and no one would dare question their claims.
Besides, "literally burned to the ground" and "thousands of people arrested" is still an exaggeration. I'd say, several fires and dozens of people is more plausible. Finally, remember that people were trying to break through the chain of guards and free Esmaralda, shouting: "She's innocent!" If Frollo suddenly announced that, yes, he's going to "let her go", everybody would think he'd finally come to his senses.
I seriously doubt Frollo would have let Esmerelda walk free out of Paris at the end of it all. I think he would have made her join a convent, to really sell the "repented sinner" shtick... and where he could still keep an eye on her.
"Keep an eye on her." Riiight. That's what he'd be doing.
In the direct-to-video sequel, why is the son of Pheobus and Esmeralda completely white? I mean, I know it's possible for a person with light skin to have a light-skinned baby with a dark skinned person, but it's pretty rare.
Like you said, it is rare, but it does happen. Just because something is rare doesn't mean that it can never happen.
This is pretty common in Disney to have male children look like the father and female children look like the mother. Although this is mostly seen with movies featuring animal protagonists (Lady and the Tramp and Aristocats for example)
And why is Esmeralda wearing shoes? She was barefoot in the first movie, with the only thing she wore on her legs being a single anklet, but at the end of the film, she loses the anklet after wearing the white dress! And about the white dress, by the end of the first film, it would probably be the only outfit Esme will be wearing since her iconic dress was implied to have been destroyed by Frollo.
... maybe she bought some shoes? City streets are disgusting, and walking around barefoot there is just begging to get coarse, leathery feet covered in cuts and infections. It's pretty possible she was only shoeless because she was impoverished.
She's married to Phoebus, a man who has money. He probably bought her the shoes especially since she's no longer a poor person. It could also be a social status.
And her old dress back? Again, Frollo presumably destroyed it and all but one of her other dresses so that he can have her executed properly, hence the white dress.
Perhaps she made a new one? Given how it's her main outfit in the first movie, it's probable that if she did remake it her memory is good enough that she can make a dress that's at least almost identical to one she wore frequently.
That white 'dress' is not actually a dress. Its an underdress, basically her underwear.
Another thing about the sequel. The animation in this movie is pretty good; the use of colors and shadows really bring the movie to life. However, in the sequel, the animation is so freaking sloppy and half-assed, and looks like total crap, like the animators didn't give a damn. I know that in Disney sequels, there is often a downgrade in animation from the original film, which I understand considering the sequels often have lower budgets, but this is just so poorly done it is inexcusable!
Other than it being just plain nasty, not to mention totally inappropriate for a Disney film, is there any logical reason that Frollo doesn't just rape Esmeralda instead of burning her at the stake for refusing to sleep with him? Given that his whole obsession with finding her is lust-fueled, and that he has no moral problem with murdering her for turning him down (and especially since, if she were to agree to his offer, it would be under the circumstances of ï¿½you will be killed if you do otherwise,ï¿½ which sounds like rape to me), I just donï¿½t see whatï¿½s stopping a guy as twisted and perverse as Frollo from forcing himself on her.
He believes he'll go to Hell if he does. He blames her for his feelings of lust, believing she cast a spell on him to make him fall in love with her in order to damn him.
Yes, but he still hunts her down and tries to get her to sleep with him, just not by direct physical force.
Bear in mind a couple of things. Firstly, perceptions of rape. Even in our supposedly modern and sophisticated times, many people would probably only think of a rape as rape if there was violence and a total lack of any grey area involved, as opposed to a simple lack of consent (hence many of society's victim-blaming problems, especially in scenarios like "date rape" or rape by a partner/spouse). The fact that not everyone would think this now is in itself a reflection that we've come a long way forward, not that we haven't still got a huge distance to go yet. In the time at which this was set, it's more than likely that it just wouldn't occur to Frollo that, should he coerce Esmeralda into sex, it would still be rape: a sin. Secondly, at this point in history, it wasn't a reflection on a man if he had sex with a woman outside of wedlock. It was the woman who received the social stigma and abuse. Men weren't expected to remain virgins (unless they were members of the clergy), but women were, until marriage. Thus, it wouldn't be considered a sin on his behalf for Frollo to force Esmeralda into sex; the blame would most likely lie on her.
Worse than that: I don't think there's even really a concept of "rape" as such at this point, unless it's someone forcing himself on a highborn lady. For someone of Esmeralda's race and class, the sin Frollo's worried about isn't rape: it's lust (which was considered a sin, as cavalierly as people usually treated that stricture, and Frollo is obsessed with technical purity), and sleeping with a heathen sorceress.
It would have made the film a whole lot more darker and less child friendly than it already was. There's only so much the film can get away with while still keeping it a G-rated Disney film. Or maybe it just never occurred to Frollo that he could rape her. But to put it out there, he does try to rape Esmeralda in the novel, which is saying something.
I don't think Frollo's exactly thinking logically at this point. But I think the fact that his fantasy-Esmeralda is enticing and actively seductive means that, morals aside, what he really wants deep down is for her to choose him. It's not just about sex, it's about domination: he wants control of her will as well as her body, to compensate for what he feels is her hold over him.
Well, this may be entirely wrong, but I always loved to analyze characters and their behaviors, so my reasoning for this, based on Frollo's personality is: He is sort of a control-freak, used to be in control, to have his way and all. His feelings of obsession were obviously making him lost and took this feeling of security of him (not saying this justifies anything before someone thinks otherwise!) and the only way he would feel in control of the situation was if Esmeralda chose him (not that it would have been much of a choice, coercion and death threat, but you get it) AND it was the only way he would feel victorious at the end. There is also the possibility that, with the whole Hollier Than Thou attitude, Frollo actually thought he was better than that... And the last possibility, is that in some deep (deep, DEEP) part of him, his feelings of obsession for Esmeralda had a tiny bit of genuine love, just enough to stop him from doing so (leading to the thought of making Esmeralda accept him. And even if this doesn't make sense, remember, Frollo has a very twisted point of view). Again, I have no idea if this is correct, but those are my theories.
This has been bugging me since I actually climbed Notre Dame... but just how DID Frollo get to Quasi and Esmeralda so fast? Those stairs are not easy to book it up and they're rather steep too (not to mention narrow). So aside from dramatic purposes, how'd he manage it?
Good question. I'd chalk it up to, it's Paris, it's before the age of elevators and escalators, everyone is used to doing a lot more walking and climbing a lot of stairs. Even though Frollo's old, he's still in shape. Plus... dramatics.
Also keep in mind that Frollo has visited Quasimodo frequently. He's used to climbing those particular stairs.
This has been making me scratch my head for years now, so I'm going to throw it out here: when Phoebus gets shot in the back and falls off the bridge into the river, he's in full armor. Moments later, when Esmeralda pulls him out of the water, his armor has vanished. How the hell did Esmeralda remove his armor underwater in less than thirty seconds?
Continuity error, probably. Esmeralda either took the armor off because it was weighing Phoebus down, or perhaps Phoebus was trying to take his armor off while he was underwater to get to his wound or in an attempt to swim to the surface without being constrained.
In the commentary they mention that they had cut out a segment where Esmeralda actually does take off his breastplate underwater (which is what made him sink like a rock in the first place). Just think of it as a teeny-tiny little time skip right there, I guess.
Yeah I always assumed more time passed than we were actually shown, and that Phoebus and/or Esmeralda got the armor off him underwater. Esmeralda's good, but she's not that good.
Why would Frollo the hater of all sins and vices go to the festival of fools. They had beer and partying why on earth would he show up?
As he says to Quasi when the latter asks to go, he's a public official and thus is obliged to attend. He doesn't actually like it.
Two of Quasimodo's Gargoyles, Victor and Hugo, are named after the author of the original novel, Victor (Marie) Hugo. What's the third, female Gargoyle named? Laverne. Why not call her Marie?
I'm pretty sure this is a coincidence, but it's worth noting that in Roman mythology, Laverna was the goddess of thieves, cheats, and outcasts.
Okay, so can anyone explain to me why Esmeralda has totally changed in the sequel? For example: The Esmeralda from the first movie would NEVER had just sat there while someone threatened her family. She would have gone all Mama Bear and killed the crap out of the bad guys to save her son. However, what does she do here? Just cowers behind her husband. WHAT!?
Because she also wouldn't risk Sarouche hurting her child if she did try to go Mama Bear on him (something that Madelline confirms he'll certainly do).
Maybe I didn't pay attention, but why didn't Esmeralda scold the crowd for having humiliated Quasimodo (you know, when they tied the poor creature and tossed vegetables at him while laughing)? I know Frollo is guilty of criminal negligence, but he was not the only one to be blamed there...
Possibly because she was more concerned about getting to the root of the problem—not only did Frollo refuse to help Quasi, it was his soldiers who started the riot and turned the people against him in the first place. Not to mention, the people were more likely to listen to and support her if she chastised the man they were already inclined to fear and hate than if she called them to account for their own actions. The way she did it, instead of turning the whole mob against her, she showed them someone would dare to stand up to Frollo, and emphasize that what he did/allowed, the torture of Quasi, was wrong. By implication that would make them start questioning their own actions; outright yelling at them would have actually done the opposite.
How exactly was Frollo going to get Esmeralda out of the stake if she HAD agreed to marry him? The amount of bullshitting he would have had to do would have been epic.
Actually no. Remember, people were wrestling at the line of guards, shouting: "She's innocent! Let her go!" If Frollo exclaimed that "The gypsy witch Esmeralda has repented in her sins and humbly accepted the penance imposed upon her!" nobody would have a problem, and people would've probably cheered, thinking :"Thank God, he finally came to his senses". And his guards, of course, don't give a damn about what their master does.
Why would Gypsies sneak into Paris? Isn't that just going to the center of where everyone wants to kill you?
The same reason that Mexicans escape to the US. They'll still be hunted down and distrusted, but at least it's better than their homeland. (assuming that the Roma were Eastern European - Eastern Europe has a lot of Roma, and a long history of utter brutality towards them)
Also, note that the Gypsies have their huge hideout there. Possibly they were just going to stop in at the Court of Miracles for a few days, get some help from the Gypsies there, and then go on their way. Not to mention while not everyone in the movie is totally comfortable with Gypsies, Frollo is the only one who's outright racist towards them - even Phoebus, a soldier who should be following Frollo's orders, is uncomfortable with hunting them down.
On a more practical view of the situation, why doesn't Esmeralda use Frollo's offer to her advantage in order to escape the execution? She could easily accept, and later knock him out (or even outright kill him - she is shown to have no qualms with violence as long as it's self-defence) and escape. She's used to avoiding guards and using cloak-and-dagger skills (smoke bombs, vanishing tricks, posing as a beggar) to her advantage. It's assumed, that Frollo would want some...privacy, and let's face it, she's a young woman at her physical peak, and he's an old man. Frollo is only able to grab her in the cathedral because she doesn't see it coming, and even then, Esmeralda manages to wrench herself free with some effort. If they would be facing one-on-one, and if Esmeralda would be able to get her hands on some kind of an improvised weapon (candlestick, crucifix, water pitcher to name a few that should be found from almost any room) she would overpower him easily.
Pretty sure if she did something like that, that would just add flames the fire. If Frollo is willing to set Paris on fire and kill Esmeralda because he didn't have her, imagine what would happen if he had her for five minutes and then lost her again. Why, the rage that he would have would make an Orc look weak by comparison! Also, Esmeralda doesn't seem like the person who's willing to compromise her principles just to escape. —Dingo Walley
Besides, Frollo is much stronger than he looks. He was able to hold his own against Quasimodo, so there's no reason to suggest he wouldn't be able to overpower Esmeralda.
There's not just Frollo, but too many guards as well, and she can't handle that many.
What is the reasoning being Frollo's motives in "Hellfire"? So he is confused as to why he is lusting over Esmeralda and then blames God for letting the Devil allow himself to lust. Then, he tells [Whoever he's praying to] to make Esmeralda his or destroy her (Send her to hell). Why is that? Does he think that's just?
He's praying to God. It's God's will for the Devil to be stronger than Frollo, meaning He's indirectly responsible, when the Devil's servant bewitched him. So it's only fair if God helps his most ardent and pious disciple out of this predicament, either by destroying the witch (with Frollo's hands) or submitting her to his power, thus thwarting the Devil.
Frollo is not thinking very clearly in that scene. What he should have been doing, if he claims to be rightious, would be to repent of his sin (lust). He is right that that he can't 'beat' the devil alone, hence the need for God's help. Rather than seek and submit to God's will, though, Frollo seeks that his own will be done, and we all know how that turned out.
Why did the peasant at the Festival of Fools have a rope? Tied in a lasso? Ready to throw at the guy he was moments ago celebrating? And don't forget all those other ropes used. And why did not one but two guards have tomatoes in their hands readily available? The scene is just confusing to me.
For all we know, some mocking and bullying of the King of Fools is perfectly normal. Or there might be some other gypsy or circus act at which the audience traditionally throws produce.
I don't know. Esmeralda seemed fairly shocked and repulsed by the whole thing, as if it had never happened before.
Mocking and bullying actually were fairly common in those days for anyone who was outside the norm or had defied authority, not to mention things like hangings and other executions being a festive thing people took their kids to for a day outing. And ropes and lassos might have been part of the costumes or certain acts.
I understand how Quasimodo is so STRONG (ringing and maintaining those heavy bells every day), and even can buy him have very fast reflexes (he'd have to learn to go from any one bell to any other he'd need to be at as quickly as possible), but how in the world is he so AGILE? Muscle is heavy, and he's built like a tank, yet he flits about like Mitch Gaylord doing his floor exercises.
Well, maybe all that running around to grab the right bell helped increase his agility?
Why doesn't Quasimodo let go of the piece of cloth when Frollo's dangling from it? The guy's trying to kill them, pulling him back up can't be a good idea.
Frollo is the closest thing he has to family. He probaby doesn't want him to die if he an avoid it.
Quasimodo was about to kill Frollo before Esmeralda woke up, and that was before Frollo confessed to KILLING HIS MOTHER!!!
Perhaps Quasimodo figured that Frollo would be so grateful that he didn't drop him that he would be willing to spare him and Esmeralda and allow them to live...but I guess not.
Yeah, I can see Quasi and Frollo climbing back up, and Frollo saying something like "Soooo...sorry 'bout this whole mess. Hey, yeah, I-I know I tired to rape and kill you, and commit genocide against your people, and everything, but that was like the old me; I'm a changed man now. So hey, no hard feelings, right?"
Also, there's a trend I've noticed with many of the Disney Renaissance movies...during the climax, the hero, at one moment or another, has the perfect opportunity to kill the villain, but decides not to, often along the lines of "I'm not a man like you." Afterwards, the villain will attempt to kill the hero, often in the most absurd way possible, resulting in his death, which he inevitably brought upon himself. I've seen this in Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Tarzan.
What's wrong with the book where this quote came from?
In this particular adaptation, Frollo is a judge; he is not clergy, yes. So why do the Archdeacon and the guard in the Hellfire scene refer to him as "Minister Frollo"?
"Minister" in a non-religious context refers to any politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. (i.e. Prime minister).
Am I the only one who noticed this? At the beginning of the film, After the shot comes out of the clouds and we catch a view of all of Paris, we can see an enormous structure in the background. Let's assume that that's Notre Dame. The shot then zooms down into the streets of Paris and the market. At this point, Clopin begins singing, then, in the background, we see Notre Dame, which looks tiny at first against the skyline. I don't get it. How can that big structure be Notre Dame when we zoom into the city and see Notre Dame against the skyline? (Sorry, this troper isn't great at explaining things. You may have to watch this scene to understand what I'm talking about.) Haven't the animators heard of dimensions? Also, the first shot where we see the bell towers and the spire poking through the clouds...come on! I mean, Notre Dame is big, but it's not THAT freaking big!
It's an intentional exaggeration of Notre Dame's size for dramatic effect.
After Quasimodo saves Esmeralda and brings her to Notre Dame under Sanctuary, for a brief moment after he pours the molten lead into the streets, he believes she is dead when she is really passed out. Why exactly did she pass out? Was it from smoke inhalation, or something?
In the German stage show she dies from carbon monoxide poisoning so presumably yes from smoke inhalation. It could also be from the heat of the flames. She was only on the pyre for about a minute but that could have been long enough to cause her to pass out. She could have also willing submitted to passing out as she believed she was going to die.
This troper is confused. In the opening scene, we see Frollo and his soldiers arresting a group of Gypsies sneaking into Paris. Later, Frollo and his men go about Paris burning buildings which would be used to harbor gypsies. Then, after Quasimodo leads them to the Court of Miracles, Frollo raids it and arrests all the gypsies present. But then there's the Festival of Fools, a celebration of gypsies, which Frollo attends, and he does nothing to capture any of the gypsies there. So what's the legal status of gypsies in Paris? Why at some points does Frollo go about arresting them, while at other points, he just lets them go on with their lives? By the way, I'm actually new here, and I'm also the one who posted the three above questions, starting with "in this particular adaptation..."
He might not have the authority to outright kill them in public. He can have them executed on trumped up charges for whatever crime he invents but he can't outright murder them in public. He tells Phoebus he has been taking care of them "one by one". The Gypsies at the start were illegally trying to enter Paris so he could arrest them. Esmerelda then publicly defied him and that was enough grounds to have her arrested. She claimed Sanctuary in the Church but then she escaped - she is no longer bound by the rules of Sanctuary. Frollo's justification for the witch hunt is that gypsies could be helping Esmerelda - a 'dangerous' criminal. When the gypsies either refuse to tell her whereabouts or simply don't know, he arrests them for allegedly helping her. He's ready to burn the miller's home because Esmerelda may have stayed there. Before Esmerelda defied him, he had no power to commit genocide hence his "one by one" speech. He grudgingly went to the Festival of Fools because he couldn't do anything about it. The gypsies weren't doing anything illegal. But Esmerelda hiding in the Court of Miracles? Aiding and abetting a criminal is a perfect charge to slap on all the gypsies.
It's also why he's so keen to find the Court of Miracles. He has no power to execute the gypsies as it is - but the Court of Miracles shelters thieves and other criminals. If he finds that, then he can have them all executed for aiding and abetting criminals
Why is Esmeralda supporting all of the Gypsies, including the ones at the Court of Miracles? Firstly, she is correct in that not all Gypsies are Criminals, and so we can assume that not all the Gypsies at the Court of Miracles are criminals also. However, within the Court of Miracles, there are Gypsies who steal, lie, and kill on a regular basis. Even Clopin, the Narrator of the Story at the beginning and the "Leader" of the Gypsies in Paris, tries to Hang Quasimodo and Pheobus without a trial or letting them say anything because they simply found the Court! Esmeralda claims she is a fan of real justice, where the innocent are set free and the guilty are punished, but she's willingly siding with people who are criminals, who are guilty of crimes they commit and she doesn't turn them in herself or demand they turn themselves in. Why?
First, Clopin wasn't going to hang Quasi and Phoebus for the heck of it. He was sure they were there as spies from Frollo so he was protecting his people, and Frollo also killed gypsies without giving them a fair trial. When you're hated that much just for who you are, you hate back. None of the gypsies has reason to care for the rest of the city, except the people who once helped them. Many people there probably also stole because they hadn't chances at getting jobs because of prejudice and did so in order to survive. Heck, Esmeralda was just dancing and earning fair money and the guards assumed she stole and the woman passing by also said "they will steal us blind". They hadn't many options anyway. Esmeralda is against the extreme prejudice her people suffer and how people stereotype others. Another theme of the movie, besides the obvious "inner beauty" could also be how people have good and evil inside them.
One thing that's bothered me as far as continuity goes (and it probably would be just chalked up to Continuity Error), but when Phoebus escapes from Frollo's guards, he's struck in the shoulder with an arrow. Now, as he's riding down the bridge, he's struck from behind, yet later when Esmeralda and another gypsy bring him to the Cathedral for hiding and she tends to his wound, he's wounded in the front. Wut?
Perhaps the arrow was going to go right through his shoulder, but his armor stopped it in the front. As to how he survived that... It's Disney.