Deeper look at the Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame Characters part 3 Esmeralda

Next Character: Esmeralda; The Heroine

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame dancing

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda is a gypsy dancer who is the subject of the three male main characters’ affections. She’s very beautiful and sensual. In this version Esmeralda is 100% Romani. She has a dark complexion (darker than Jasmine), thick black hair and emerald green eyes (attributive to her name). She wears a white chemise blouse that off shoulder, a blue corset with thin gold stripes, a purple skirt with a darker purple kercheif

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame red dress image picture

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Dancing

worn at the hip with coin trim. She wears some gold jewelry; bracelets, an anklet and one gold hoop. She were a pink scarf in her hair to keep her hair back. She has a second outfit, that is used as an formal dance costume. It’s red with purple flutter sleeves and a purple sash at the waist. In addition to her normal jewelry she where a bindi and a crown.

 

 

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda is a very different type of Disney Heroine, she’s  mature and not a dreaming of new life. She deals with her lot in life and gets by the best she can. To make a income she dances.She also dabbles in fortune telling. She is also in the company or her goat Djali. Djali acts are her security system, warning her of danger and trying to protect her from would be harm. In the Disney version, Djali doesn’t get her into in trouble like in book. Infact Djali helps her get out of trouble by helping her deguise as an old begger man.

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda demanding Justice Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda’s main motivation is social justice for mainly her own people but also for those on the outskirts of the social order (i.e. Quasimodo). It’s in this way she is the opposition of Frollo and she hates  him and defies him every chance she gets. Prior to her defiance she teased/mocked him with her flirtatious dancing during the festival of fools.  She also wary of those in power positions. That’s why she didn’t take a shining to Phoebus at first, but his persistent charm and wit won her over (plus saving an innocent family that almost cost him his life didn’t hurt much either).

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda dealing with soldiers Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame red dress picture image costume

Esmeralda mocks Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Speaking of Phoebus and Esmeralda here is a little point I would like to make. A few people feel that it was shallow of Esmeralda to choose Phoebus over Quasimodo. In movies, couples are usually established early, you can usually tell whose going to end up together. As a I mention in another post Esmeralda and Phoebus only have one scene without either Frollo or Quasimodo and that is where they are both introduced, meaning that their relationship was established before either of them met Frollo or Quasimodo. Also I can’t see Esmeralda and Quaismodo being anything but friends. She treats Quasimodo with kindness and politeness  and comes off like an older family member; she really does treat him with kid gloves. There is no  passion unlike  Esmeralda and Phoebus. The creators wanted a romance  between Esmeralda and Phoebus and  that what the movie worked towards.

Esmeralda, Phoebus, and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo accepts Esmeralda and Phoebus as a couple Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Djali having a little fun Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

As far of Esmeralda’s personality, she’s kind, she has a dry wit and she’s loyal to her friends. She is  very resourceful, for example Phoebus owns his life to her make-shift sling shot that saved him from decapitation. She also has a bit of mischievous streak. During the chase after she frees Quasimodo she looks like she is legitimately having fun avoiding arrest while raising some hell.  She also uses her feminine charms to get what she wants. She uses it to earn money from dancing but she also gives Quasimodo a peak on the check to get him to allow her to visit him. She is very physically fit; she dances, very agile in a fight (or chase), she can swim underwater, hold her breath long enough to get Phoebus out of his armor and pull up in record time. She also has seems to have some sway in the Court of Miracles as she can stop executions

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda exerting some power Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

and order the people to leave. She also can seem to refer people to the Court, not sure if that map/cryptic instructions she gave Quasimodo are standrad issue in the Court of  Miracles or if she is some high rank there. Not only that but the other Gypsies wouldn’t devalue her location, meaning either they’re loyal to their fellow gypsies or she is respected. She also seems to have a close relationship to Clopin who like in the book is leader in the Court of Miracles. She performs with him and he not put off with her meddling in the hanging of Quaismodo and Phoebus, which Clopin seem to be enjoying. It seems to me that she must hold some power amongst her people or the Court of Miracle is egalitarian.

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame singing "God Help the Outcast" picture image

Esmeralda singing “God Help the Outcast” Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda is not a dynamic character. She remains  consistent throughout the movie; she’s mature, self-confident and kind at the beginning and she remains that way thoughout the end. The only aspect about that changes is her feelings towards Phoebus. In defense of static characters, Esmeralda is not a dynamic character in the book either and Disney doesn’t do dynamic characters very often.

 

 

 

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame grope picture image

Frollo gropes Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda avoiding Frollo’s hunt Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo arresting Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda is not a typical heroine, the scarps she gets into are serious. She’s almost arrested, assaulted in a church, threaten, hunted down by a control-freak mad man, almost burned, nearly dies of asphyxiation and then chased with a six foot sword a top a massive edifice. Makes other Disney heroine’s tribulations look like a child’s play. All she really did to get into all that trouble was being a Gypsy and a defing a powerful public offical; she stayed in trouble because of her beauty and sex appeal.

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image stake

Esmeralda on the stake Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo thinking Esmeralda has died Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo being threaten Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre dame

I admit it was refreshing to see a different type of heroine when I first saw the movie in 1996 and it’s great that  Disney ventured outside the profitable typical Disney heroine. If Hunchback had come out before this shift in heroine  Esmeralda could have easily fit into the Disney princess line. Now if your thinking “Esmeralda’s not a princess” well I would say neither is Mulan but let me explain some minor points. The Disney Princess brand isn’t actually about the characters being princesses  it’s about how their movies did with girls in a certain age demographics, hence why Esmeralda isn’t in the line up already.  But if Esmeralda behaved more like Ariel, Belle, or Jasmine (dreamer wanting more) she may have done better with young girls, though it’s hard to say. I suppose the creators thought Quasimodo fit  dreamer model better than Esmeralda and she would do better as an agent of Quasimodo’s liberation from being a focused shut-in. But another point worth mentioning is Esmeralda in the book fits the Disney princess mold very well and she was very well regarded in the Court of Miracles. So making like a princess wouldn’t have been a stretch and she does dream of a different life with regards to Phoebus. I wonder if Disney regrets this since the Disney Princess line was establish in 2001.

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Phoebus leaving Notre Dame

 

 

Next Character -Phoebus

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

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One comment on “Deeper look at the Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame Characters part 3 Esmeralda

  1. Esme on said:

    As a kid Esmeralda was my favorite character! She was so strong and independent and more importantly boys liked her. I wanted to look like her when I grew up so that I would finally have a boyfriend. She was the first heroine who couldn’t be classified as “princess” and was different from previous heroines, which made her seem so cool at the time.
    Actually Esmeralda did start out in the Disney Princess line, as did Megara and a couple others, however I don’t think the more modern, forward thinking and sarcastic characters went over well with the target age demographic Disney was going for. I remember going into a Disney store at around the time the line was released and seeing a wall full of the “Princess” dolls and wondering “When the hell did Meg become classified as a princess? She’s like the anti-princess.” With the exception of Mulan, the more girly and more marketable heroines were chosen to represent, while the more…for lack of a better word let’s say adult characters were weeded out and re-branded for collectors. Honestly though, I wish Disney had just kept the other heroines because there is a market and they are marketable to young girls…I was 10 when I first saw HOND. And as a grown up, Meg is my favorite heroine because of her sarcasm. There are young girls who don’t fall into the “princess” category.

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