Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Demi Moore
Tom Hulce
Kevin Kline.
Directors
Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise.
Screenwriters
Irene Mecchi
Tab Murphy
Jonathan Roberts
Bob Tzudiker
Noni White.
Running Time
101 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Moebius
4 Star Empire Rating
All This Mayhem
3 Star Empire Rating
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame


submit to reddit


Review
Mischievous bunch, the Disney decision-makers. Having got historical sticklers' collective goats with the clap-trap that was Pocahontas, what do they do? Have a crack at a great literary classic, and for good measure make it French. Truly a case of Up Yours, Delors - we shall kidnap the delicate maiden that is your cultural heritage and do with her what we will. You have to admire their front.


Actually - although there are, of course, many liberties taken with Victor Hugo's story of the orphaned bell-ringer, Quasimodo, befriended by the beautiful Esmerelda - this is relatively free of the gag-inducing, moral-majority-pleasing, family values guff that blights many Disney movies. Preoccupied with tolerance and acceptance, its heart is definitely in the right place, with the only wrong note being the re-written ending: who ends up with whom is a lesson in Disney's view of the natural order of things.


Disney films can be sliced up quite nicely into their component parts - Baddies, Goodies, Songs, Babe Factor, Laughs, Fascism, and Quality Of Funny Little Joke Characters. Split like this, Hunchback does quite well. The baddie Frollo (Quasimodo's adoptive dad, voiced by Tony Jay) is a complete bastard, transmogrified into a government official from Hugo's corrupt archdeacon, and well worth five stars. Kevin Kline's war hero Phoebus is a self-deprecating man of the people, and Quasimodo is a goody of charm and valour. Five stars. The songs are rubbish - one star. Esmerelda, voiced by and bearing a resemblance to Demi Moore, is enough to reduce grown men to tears. If you thought Princess Jasmine was a comely coquette and Pocahontas, frankly, very attractive, Esmerelda will make you question your sanity. Eight stars.


There are, however, not enough laughs in this movie - the whole thing is tinged with a darkness and religious symbolism that sits ill with the film's supposed childish nature. Two stars. The Fascist tendencies of so much Disney output is largely missing. Four stars. As for the Funny Little Joke Characters, they're not up there with, say, Timon and Pumbaa, but the Gargoyles have sufficient charm to pull through. Three stars. All of which adds up to a solid, enjoyable, beautifully animated Disney movie, but one not quite out of the top drawer.




Reviewed by

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
Empire Star Rating

One of the best animated films I have seen. Its dark, but not stupidly dark, however there is a bit of disneyfication. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by patersonap at 16:00, 01 May 2007 | Report This Post


Only reviewer,,,

well yeah i agree wholeheartedly with everything that Empire says. But i would give the songs two stars - all are rubbish with the exception of the hellfire one by Frollo. Altogether a good film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by swordsandsandals at 19:55, 03 November 2006 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Everything You Need To Know About The Dragonriders Of Pern
The lowdown on Warner Bros. new fantasy sci-fi

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)