movie film review | chris tookey

Hunchback Of Notre Dame

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  Hunchback Of Notre Dame Review
Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
6.88 /10
Quasimodo .............. Tom Hulce , Esmeralda .............. Demi Moore (singing voice: Heidi Mollenhauer), Frollo ................. Tony Jay
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Directed by: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Written by: Tab Murphy, Bob Tzudiker, Irene Mecchi, Noni White and Jonathan Roberts. Based on a story by Tab Murphy from the Victor Hugo novel Notre Dame De Paris. Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Music by Alan Menken.

Released: 1996
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 86

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They could keep making zippy comedies, Xeroxing successes like Aladdin for a predictable billion-dollar gross in the theatrical and video markets. But the artists at Disney's animation unit - it should be called the ambition unit - have bigger eyes. They figure that where they go, into melodrama or political sagas, the audience will follow. With The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise... have splashed the broody emotions of Victor Hugo's epic novel with a bold, dazzling palette. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz (Pocahontas) have written the largest, most imposing score yet for an animated film. The result is a grand cartoon cathedral, teeming with gargoyles and treachery, hopeless love and tortured lust... The movie may not soar like Aladdin or roar like The Lion King, and it demands plenty of parental guidance; but it fulfills the Disney animators' dream. From a blank sheet of paper, monsters and magic emerge.
(Richard Corliss, Time)
The best Disney animated feature since Beauty and the Beast - a whirling, uplifting, thrilling story with a heart-touching message that emerges from the comedy and song... This is not such a simple story. There are depths and shadows to it, the ending cannot be simple, and although the heroes may live ever after, it may not be happily. This is the first Disney animated film I can recall with two heroes who both love the girl, which makes heartbreak inevitable... It blends Menken's songs, glorious animation, boundless energy and the real substance of the story into a movie of heart and joy. More than Aladdin or The Lion King, certainly more than Pocahontas, it is as good for its story and message as for its animation. It reminds us, as all good animation does, that somehow these cartoons of lines and colors and movements can create a kind of life which is more archetypal, more liberating, than images that are weighed down by human bodies and the gravity that traps them.
(Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
A remarkably faithful adaptation of Victor Hugo's epic 1831 novel about a lovable, golden-voiced hunchback and his trio of zany, wise-cracking gargoyle sidekicks, The Hunchback of Notre Dame should please both Disney fans and 19th century French romanticists alike.
(Stephen Thompson, The Onion)
Others who saw early previews of the film complained that it was excessively violent, with a dark seam of sexuality. This is undoubtedly true, and one of the reasons it is such a great picture. It is thrillingly dramatic, and for long stretches you forget you are watching a cartoon at all... A dazzling treat.
(Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph)
Disney's most mature work to date.
(Alexander Walker, Evening Standard)

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