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Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is now available on Blu-ray combo packs.

Loosely based on the Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the story of Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer of the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  It’s really a story about prejudice and acceptance, both of Quasimodo and of the gypsies.  The movie looks great on Blu-ray.  There’s a lot of detail that just shines in hi-def.  There’s an ensemble cast including Kevin Cline and Demi Moore.  For all that it is, Hunchback is a pretty dark and gritty story.  I’m surprised it’s only got a G rating, as there’s a lot of scary scenes, especially those involving the character of Frollo (voiced by Tony Jay).  Frollo’s a pretty sick individual convinced that he can do no wrong, but he’s just about the worst character there is.  Things work out in the end though and justice is dispensed in a rather karmic fashion.

 

 

For Hunchback 2, all the original voice cast has returned to voice their characters, in addition to Jennifer Love Hewitt, Michael McKean and Haley Joel Osment.

In the sequel, the Festival of Love is just days away in Paris when a travelling circus comes to town. The circus is really a front for a band of thieves. Their leader is after “La Fidele”, a jewel-encrusted bell that could be worth a fortune. He tasks Madeline with befriending Quasimodo to find out where the bell is. Unexpectedly, the two fall in love but while Sarousch goes after the bell, he sets up Madeline to take the fall for his crimes.

While the animation isn’t quite as polished as its predecessor, the story was enjoyable, although a bit too predictable. But it’s not as dark as the original, so it’s more suited for younger viewers. Sadly, the cathedral doesn’t look as impressive as it did in the original and even though it was a direct-to-video title, the Cathedral really was a character of its own and I feel more attention to detail should have been spent on it.

Bonus Features:

  • The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Audio Commentary
  • Multi-Language Reel—“A Guy Like You”
  • Behind the Scenes with Jennifer Love Hewitt
  • A Gargoyle’s Life