Tear Jerker: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Don't worry, she's not really dead!
The Disney film
- The sheer intensity of "The Bells of Notre Dame" informing us of Quasi's backstory:
"You can lie to yourself and your minions
You can claim that you haven't a qualm
But you never can run from
Nor hide what you've done from the eyes
The very eyes of Notre Dame..."
- When Quasimodo is tormented by the townspeople during the Feast Of Fools.
- Also: Quasimodo flinching in fear as Esmeralda approaches him while he's tied up, and her reassuring him to "Don't be afraid".
- The shot of Esmeralda from Quasi's POV, bathed in light, with an expression of pure compassion on her face? Kills me. Kills!
- Quasi being tortured by the crowd. He begs his master to help and Frollo just looks away and does nothing!
- ALSO: Quasi limping back to Notre Dame in the pouring rain, and then shutting the massive door behind him with... Oh God, that heartbreaking look on his face...
- If you listen closely, you can hear the crowd saying things such as "Oh my goodness, he's hideous!". Poor Quasi.
- Every song Quasimodo sings is, if not tragic (my God, "Heaven's Light (Reprise)") is unbelievably beautiful and uplifting
I knew I'd never know that warm and loving glow
Though I might wish with all my might
No face as hideous as my face
Was ever meant for Heaven's Light...
- "God Help The Outcasts". It might be the most beautiful Disney song ever created.
- When Frollo holds baby Quasi over the well during 'Bells of Notre Dame', fully prepared to kill an infant. It's one of the most callous things a Disney villain has done - preparing to drown a baby simply for its deformity.
- The fact that Frollo gave Quasi a name that means "half-formed" will in itself make you cry, if it doesn't make you boiling mad first. The guy is the epitome of Jerk Ass.
- When Quasi thinks Esmeralda is dead, the look on his face is just so heartbreakingly sad.
- The song at the end, with the line "Who is the monster and who is the man?" because it sums up the theme of the film, and causes you to flash back through the events of the story and appreciate Quasi's journey.
- At the beginning, Quasi is all excited about going to the festival, but the second he bumps into Frollo, all joy is gone and he is scared and trembling. Quasimodo has to be the woobiest of all Disney heroes
- During the opening of "Out There", Frollo curls his fist like his is threatening Quasimodo.
- And in the intro to "Out There" when Frollo sings that Quasimodo is deformed and ugly and he is the only one who is looking out for Quasimodo, Quasimodo brokenly repeating these lines. It really hits home for someone who has been emotionally abused by a parent.
- Try not to cry when Quasi finds out that Esmeralda loves Phoebus instead of him.
- Especially when he rips the ace of hearts in half...
- Topped off with the heartbreaking reprise of "Heaven's Light".
- "I ask for nothing; I can get by. But I know so many less lucky than I..." Even after everything Esmeralda goes through—sexual harassment, imprisonment, persecution for her race—she still uses her prayer to ask God to help others, not herself, saying she'll be fine. That single line shows just how selfless she really is. And most people still only remember her as "the hot Disney girl".
- Say what you will about it being an Award Bait Song, but the intended version of Someday still exists on some special features, and is perhaps more heartrending than "God Help the Outcasts" in its plea for justice.
- True, most of Hellfire is Frollo singing about how much he blames Esmeralda for tempting him and how if she won't submit to him she'll burn - he'll kill her - but after he throws her scarf on the fire, he murmurs "God have mercy on her," and his voice breaks as he whispers "God have mercy on me." He hates what's happening to him and knows it's wrong, but he can't see any way out. There's just enough of his real faith left for him to beg for one.