In 1996, Disney brought the famous Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame to the big screen in a great animated feature film.
Here are 12 things you didn’t know about the movie that will make you love it even more!
1. PG Rating
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the first animated Disney movie to almost receive a PG rating since 1985’s The Black Cauldron. Since the movie was dark and had sexual themes it was considered for the rating, but it managed to obtain the G rating, typical of Disney movies.
2. Did you see them?
This fact will make you want to rewatch the movie to find them all. While Quasimodo is singing “Out There”, the camera pans over Paris and zooms in on the street. If you look closely you can see Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Pumbaa from The Lion King, and a man shaking out the carpet from Aladdin.
3. Watch your language
It was the last Disney movie to use “hell”, “damn” and other mild bad language
4. Where are your shoes?
Esmeralda was barefoot for the entire movie.
5. Quasimodo was almost killed off
Quasimodo, as he dies in the original book, was almost killed off in the movie as well but movie makers opted for a different ending for the animated film.
6. Disney’s Darkest Song
“Hellfire” was one of Disney’s darkest songs ever written, and it was nearly cut from the movie.
7. Downplay religious themes
Animators were told to downplay the religious themes of the movie as to not offend Christian organizations.
““[We] were told not to make the movie too religious—a pretty daunting task when you consider how much of this story takes place inside a big church,” animator Floyd Norman later said.
8. “The Bells of Notre Dame” was a late addition to the movie.
The opening number of a movie can really make or break the show. Surprisingly Hunchback almost didn’t get one.
Singing duty mostly went to Clopin, a theatrical Gypsy voiced by Paul Kandel, who recalls that “we were about a third of the way through the process of making [Hunchback]” when this ballad was completed.”
9. Jason Alexander wouldn’t take his son to see the movie
While it may have scored a G rating, many parents chose not to take their kids to the movie, including Jason Alexander who voiced Hugo.
“Disney would have us believe this movie’s like the Ringling Bros., for children of all ages,” said the Seinfeld star. “But I won’t be taking my four year-old. I won’t expose him to it, not for another year.”
10. Character animation was done by hand
In spite of a lot of background animation, including rain and sets, being done by computer, all the character animation was done by hand, frame by frame.
11. It took a lot of people to pull off the movie
It took 620 artists and production staff, 72,000 pencils, 1 million sheets of animation paper, and 1.2 million work hours to finish the movie.
12. The artist who designed Quasimodo was responsible for two other famous Disney characters.
James Baxter, the supervising animator and character designer behind Quasimodo, also designed Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Rafiki from The Lion King.
What was your favorite Hunchback of Notre Dame moment?