The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2010
The heavy changes in the original story, like its inevitable softening to be more palatable for children, may displease some, but still it tackles serious themes with a lot of wonderful songs and spectacular visuals, among the best that Disney has ever put on screen.
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2013
One of Disney's boldest and darkest animated films (there certainly hasn't been anything like it since), "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is surprising in both the level of thematic substance and the detail in the animation. It tries to juggle the sophisticated Victor Hugo plot with Disney conventions to far less success (those gargoyles are less comic relief and more an annoying tonal inconsistency), but like its protagonist, this film goes largely hidden within Disney's sparkling legacy -- and that's a shame.
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2012
The film has its glaring flaws. I could do without the childish gargoyles (obvious pandering to kids) and without the lazy and annoying puns that are scattered about the screenplay. However, despite these barriers towards the film's potential of being a true masterpiece, it is undeniable what dark issues this animated film remarkably addresses. In terms of quality it is a mixed bag, but it is impossible not to be moved by its powerful message. All in all, The Hunchback should be recognized as having some of the most brilliant and most beautiful scenes ever to have been done in animation (i.e. the fantastic opening, "Out There," and the Hellfire scene). It should also be noted that while the film fails at creating likable comic reliefs (the gargoyles are, once again, unbearable), it succeeds at intertwining this underlying theme of damnation and hellfire throughout its stunning music, visuals, and storyline. Pretty advanced for a kid's movie, don't you think? If we could crawl into a time machine and redo this film, taking out the gargoyles and taking out the silly jokes, it might be one of the greatest animated films of all time. But we can't. Instead, let us marvel at the masterpieces within the film and wonder what it would be like to watch a fully consistent, fully brilliant, fully awe-inspiring Hunchback, as opposed to a mix of brilliance and childish humor. The ultimate problem with the Hunchback is that one has to get past the childishness to appreciate the brilliance underneath.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2010
Hunchback of Notre Dame is probably one of the best book adaptions I've seen in my life. While it is still is strange that Disney would do a story this dark and translate it into a semi kid film, it surprisingly worked extremely well. The animation is just massive in this film, the design of Notre Dame itself is captured to a T in terms of how well it captures the look of the church. The visuals in the song Hellfire and Belles of Notre Dame also help show how powerful these songs are and how well they move the story along and they look just amazing. Also the characters, aside from a few characters *coughgargoylescough* The characters are all well developed and very likable. Frollo being one of Disney's best villains of all time, just how tormented he is and how fantastically he is pulled off by British actor Tony Jay. Jay captures the power that this character has and what he will do to get it and it just is one of Disney's most well written villains ever. Quasimodo is also a very likable villain and with the help of Tom Hulce's voice it helps make him such a likable and innocent character along with his singing voice giving him some of the best songs in Disney history. Hands down the best thing about this movie aside from the characters is the music. This film has hands down my favorite soundtrack from any animated movie and it just makes all the epic parts of the movie sound even more epic when viewing.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
August 12, 2012
One of Disney's darkest movies. Some of its themes are rather uneasy topics; prejudice, lust and ideas of genocide. However, this doesn't stop 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' from being enjoyable. This features plenty of emotion and humour. For me, the film has Disney's ultimate villian; Frollo (voiced by Tony Jay). Instead of having magic, he has the powers of law and justice. Along with a powerful soundtrack and superb visuals, this is another Disney film that's more than worth a try for fans.
Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2012
The Notre Dame is a decent film, but it is clear that the Disney animated legacy ended with the stunning Lion King. With this film, I feel that Disney totally ran out of ideas. With this film, I honestly think that Disney started to lose their touch with animated features. The film is decent entertainment, but there's something missing to really make it stand out. I enjoyed the film for what it was, but compared to other Disney films, there's something about this film that I just didn't enjoy as much as other Disney films. The film was decent, but nothing great compared to say, The Lion King. The film will most likely please Disney fans, and it definitely is entertaining, but it definitely lacks something to really give it a Disney classic feel. Decent at best, The Hunchback of Notre Dame should be seen as the beginning of the end for Disney animated features. The studio should have moved in doing more live action films. Disney has however secured their reputation as the definitive animation studio. This is an entertaining film, but compared to others that Disney has made, isn't that memorable. This is decent entertainment, but nothing ever great. Disney's last great film was The Lion King and afterwards it was clear that Disney had lost their touch. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a decent ride, but leaves a lot to be desired.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2010
This adaptation of the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, is done in the Disney style, with songs and a good versus evil theme. If you've seen any of the classic film versions of this story, you'll feel that this one is watered down and stupid. It may be fun for kids, but it's not a great movie.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Childhood classic!
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2011
Disney's most adult venture yet but falls short with an unsatisfying end that leaves plotholes and the dark themes it explores answered with hollow echoes.

It's all really disappointing, 3/4 through the movie I was convinced this was the studios best work yet. It's almost as if they stepped into a world of drama, sophistication and darkness only to immediately hide it's tail between it's legs and return to the recesses of elementary sing song.

What saves this movie are the stunning visuals but honestly? That seems to be an expected Disney trademark by now.
Super Reviewer
½ April 23, 2011
In terms of being a musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of Disney's finest movies. The music completely enhances the emotional draw of the characters and story; while also making for some extremely good sequences. The voice talents are (as usual with Disney) perfect. While Tony Jay's Frollo completely dominates all, everyone is great. The core story is extremely dark and not the simple good triumph's over evil and gets the girl. Quasimodo is an extremely complex character with a tainted sense of life and the world around him. I don't think I ever used to particularly hold this in as high regard as it deserves when I was younger; it's truly beautiful in more ways than you can count.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2011
A work of genius, this film plays every correct note.
Super Reviewer
April 29, 2007
Others can still stick to the old Disney films or the more childish ones, but this is the true masterpiece of the bunch. Not only does it have the strongest beginning of all Disneys but also one of the best soundtracks. There are wonderful characters, the story is very fast paced and with lots of exciting action scenes, nothing left to desire there. While having a balanced mix of a somewhat darker mood and really funny parts, this isn't exactly the movie for the little ones. Still, the most underrated of Disney cartoons and a pleasure to watch.
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2008
Mediocre Disney Fun.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2009
Far from being a Disney gem, just an average film about an ugly, self pitying chap.
Super Reviewer
½ September 1, 2009
This never was my favorite one of my favorite classic Disney works. But its not bad. The MUSIC IS GREAT! I also like Demi Moore. Fun as always but this is definetly one of disneys "darker" movies...i need to read the novel and see how different they are.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2007
A good fun cartoon.
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2008
Heart warming animation about the hunch back of Notre Dame.
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2007
Absolutely Disney's animated musical version of Victor Hugo's classic that make me exciting for poor ugly-looking Quasimodo who finally befriend a beautiful gypsy.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2007
GREAT songs and a little more deep than most disney movies. one of my favorites.
Super Reviewer
½ January 21, 2007
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