Trivia: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Disney film

  • Author Existence Failure: Poor, poor Mary Wickes, Laverne's voice actress. This was her final film role as she died of cancer during production and had to be replaced by a stand in, although thankfully only for a few lines. Fortunately, that stand-in is sound-alike Jane Withers, who took over the role in much-maligned DTV sequel.
  • The Cameo/Freeze-Frame Bonus: Try pausing when Quasimodo is looking over the city - Yep. That's Belle walking through the city, reading. The animators thought that since Notre Dame is set in France, like Beauty and the Beast, it'd be a nice Freeze-Frame Bonus. In the same shot, you can see a man cleaning a carpet and a warthog being carried to cook.
  • Dawson Casting: Played with. Zephyr's voice actor, Haley Joel Osment, was nine when he recorded all of his lines, but when the movie came out, he was fourteen.
  • Fan Nickname: Frollo's Swedish voice actor, Stefan Ljungqvist gained the nickname "Swedish Saruman" or "Swedish Christopher Lee" due to his almost identical deep bass voice.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The actual, present day Notre Dame has two pillars missing, a damaged gargoyle, and a broken doorknob. Not only does this damage happen in the climax, it's all significant in some way.
    • Also, the background singing in Frollo's scenes throughout the film has several layers of meaning:
      • 'Kyrie Eleison', a refrain which is repeated throughout the film, means 'Lord have Mercy'...appropriate.
      • The chanting when Frollo is chasing Quasimodo's mother through Paris comes from a Gregorian chant called the Dies Irae - Day of Wrath - and includes a phrase that roughly means 'Beware the coming of the judge.' Again, appropriate.
      • And, during "Hellfire", the shadowy figures that torment Frollo in his madness chant 'Mea Culpa' - 'Through my Fault' - something which Frollo constantly denies.
    • Quasimodo's climatic scene (being chained to the pillars of the church, then tearing them down in rebellion) is lifted directly from the story of Samson in the Bible.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • Mean Character Nice Actor: In an interview for Disney Adventures that was published right around the time that the movie was released, Tony Jay made it a point to say that he was actually a very nice man in Real Life, despite continually playing villainous roles (and with Frollo being one of his darker ones).
  • Non-Singing Voice : Averted; with the exception of Esmeralda, every actor does their own singing. Tom Hulce, Quasimodo's voice actor, wanted to be a singer when he was younger.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The stage musical.
  • Talking to Himself: During the flashback in the opening number, Jim Cummings voices about three or four characters in quick succession (one or two of the gypsy men, the boatman, and Frollo's guard). While Cummings does have an impressive vocal range, he unfortunately uses the same voice for all of these characters, making it very noticeable.
  • Throw It In: Phoebus's actor named his horse "Achilles" for the sake of the "Achilles, heel" joke.
  • What Could Have Been: Phoebus's speech rallying citizens to rebel against Frollo during the climax of the movie was originally said by Clopin, but the directors/producers felt that Phoebus needed to be more involved in the uprising.
    • Instead of Victor, Hugo and Laverne the gargoyles would have been named Chaney, Laughton and Quinn as homage to actors Lon Chaney Senior, Charles Laughton and Anthony Quinn who had played the title character in previous adaptations.

In the Swedish dub Mikael Grahn sings the last note of "Bells of Notre Dame" using his chest voice and is the only actor playing Clopin to do so.

The other films

  • AFIS 100 Years 100 Passions: #98
  • Fake Nationality: In the 1939 version, the French characters are played by British and American actors. In the 1956 version, most actors are French, but Esmeralda is played by the Italian Gina Lollobrigida and Quasimodo by the Mexican American Anthony Quinn.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: In the 1997 version, the first Dumbledore apparently trained as a priest before becoming headmaster of Hogwarts.
    • In a recent (and amazing) production by the Papermill Playhouse in New York, Esmeralda is Kendra Saunders.