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Western Animation / The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Burbank Animation)

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This is the Burbank Films 1986 Animated Adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The story pretty much follows the book - Claude Frollo is obsessed with the gypsy Esmeralda, and orders his hunchbacked servant Quasimodo to kidnap her. Esmeralda is rescued by Captain Phoebus, whom she falls in love with, while Quasimodo is arrested and flogged, but given water by Esmeralda. Later, Frollo stabs Phoebus and lets Esmeralda take the blame. She is convicted of witchcraft, and sentenced to be executed, but Quasimodo rescues her and claims sanctuary.


Not to Be Confused with the 1996 Burbank adaptation of the same book.

The film has examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Fleur de Lys, Jehan, the King of France and, as usual, Sister Gudule.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The ending is not the grim outcome of the book. Almost nobody dies, Esmeralda's innocence is proven and she congratulates Quasimodo.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: Djali is depicted as brown instead of white with gilded horns.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Phoebus is a much nicer guy who genuinely cares for Esmeralda. However, he passes near the location of Esmeralda's execution without speaking, but it all ends up as a double subversion: he reveals the truth to the angry mob at the end.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Any redeeming qualities Frollo had in the book are completely absent here. No details are given about the circumstances under which he adopted Quasimodo, but it is implied that he is an abusive father towards him.
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  • Ambiguously Brown: Due to her literary counterpart having been an example of Ambiguously Brown, it is uncertain if this portrayal of Esmeralda is truly a Race Lift or still an example of Roma by adoption with her backstory having been cut.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Quasimodo, the first time he attacks Frollo.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Quasimodo is a nice guy, but he can get dangerous. He throws several things at the people trying to kill Esmeralda, and throws Frollo to his death when he gets fed up with his master's repeated attempts on her life.
  • Big "NO!": Quasimodo gets two of these, both involving Frollo assaulting Esmeralda.
  • Burn the Witch!: What nearly happens to Esmeralda.
  • Cabin Fever: Esmeralda suffers a mild version due to being forced to stay in one room.
  • Cassandra Truth: Esmeralda's insistence that someone else stabbed Phoebus. Somewhat justified as she claims that the devil did it (at this point, she has no idea Frollo exists).
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  • Compressed Adaptation: The Festival of Fools doesn't appear,note  and the attack on the cathedral is performed by the angry townspeople who want to kill Esmeralda.
  • Demoted to Extra: Clopin only appears in the Court of Miracles scene.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being mistreated by Frollo throughout the movie, Quasimodo snaps and throws him to his death.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: Quasimodo does this to Frollo right before throwing him down the cathedral.
  • Kangaroo Court: Gringoire's "trial".
  • Lighter and Softer: It may be closer to its source material, but it still doesn't quite capture the utter bleakness that is the Victor Hugo novel.
  • Mr. Exposition: Frollo.
  • Nice Guy: This version of Quasimodo is probably the sweetest pre-Disney version.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Gringoire hadn't told Frollo where Esmeralda was going, Frollo wouldn't have been able to find and stab Phoebus.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Djali, of course. Clopin also has a parrot.
  • Oh, Crap!: Quasimodo has this reaction when he realizes that the townspeople are going to attack the cathedral.
  • Plot Hole: Phoebus rides past the crowd watching Esmeralda's execution and says nothing, only to reveal himself at the end. What was stopping him from doing it earlier?
  • Redhead In Green: Quasimodo.
  • Seeking Sanctuary: As usual in the Hunchback adaptations, people can claim sanctuary to ask for asylum. Quasimodo rescues Esmeralda and claims sanctuary for her.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Everyone except Frollo.
  • Standard Snippet: A portion of the French National Anthem plays as Gringoire confronts Quasimodo.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Quasimodo is flogged.
  • The Teaser: Before the opening, there's a short scene of Esmeralda dancing, while Quasimodo and Frollo watch from Notre Dame.
  • True Beauty Is on the Inside: Esmeralda tells Quasimodo this.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Both Gringoire and Djali - Gringoire when he tells Frollo where Esmeralda is going, and Djali when she performs a trick during Esmeralda's trial.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Gringoire disappears after the scene in which he tells Frollo where Esmeralda is meeting Phoebus. Djali doesn't reappear after Esmeralda's trial.