Question; Why does Disney act like Hunchback of Notre Dame never happened?

To be fair, there is another Disney film Disney ignores more famously than The Hunchback of Notre Dame and that would be The Black Cauldron. This is because The Black Cauldron was a failure at the box-office and therefore didn’t money for the company. It also received mixed reviews, one being “ It lacked the dark elements of the book.” (sounds like a criticism for another Disney Film)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Blu-Ray Cover picture image

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Blu-Ray Cover

The Hunchback of Notre Dame received mostly positive reviews from critics and actually was a box-office success as its budget was $100 million and its gross revenue was $325.5 million, although it did barely only broke-even domestically. So with this info why does Disney ignore The Hunchback of Notre Dame? The Hunchback doesn’t have the levels of products as a lot of the other films in the Disney pantheon and looking at Disney’s presence on Zazzle, they don’t have a single Hunchback product but they do have stuff for Treasure Planet, which bombed at the box-office. Then you have the blu-ray of Hunchback which had no extras on it. Whereas Pocahonatas’ blu-ray does have quite a few extras and Pocahontas was not only offensive and historical very very very inaccurate but wasn’t received as well. However it appeals to children which pushed Pocahonatas in to the secondary tier of the Princess line of toys, which mean Pocahonatas makes money for the company.

Disney Princess Kitchen Set picture image

Disney Princess Kitchen Set
(Does anyone else think this is Hilarious?)

I would theorize that the reason why Disney ignores the Hunchback stems from they don’t know who to market this movie to. The film didn’t really appeal to children which is Disney’s primary demographic. The film’s darker tones and the more heavy subject matter more likely distances children for it. If the film has done better with their key demographic we would more than likely see Esmeralda* in the Disney Princess Brand and her face would grace the likes of blenders, bed sheets, bikes, shoes, baby dolls, chairs, ect. (They make a lot stuff for that brand). *Before you say Esmerald can’t be part of the Princess Brand as she is not a Princess,  Mulan is not a Princess nor does she marry a Prince and yet she is part of the Brand, here is a Muan Baby Doll )

The Art of the Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Art of the Hunchback of Notre Dame

As a company Disney is not going to put money in developing products for a film that didn’t appeal to its core demographic after its initial release. As Hunchback is part of the Disney family it did get it’s entitled blu-ray treatment but Disney did extended any extra effort into the extras which would have cost them. More then likely when Hercules‘ blu-ray comes out it will get extras because had more appeal to children. Plus it would seem that Hunchback’s popular is recent so if starts to gain a big enough following Disney will start showing it love. But It’s a two-street, Disney may think the Hunchback blu-ray failed because people dislike the movie and not because there no real incentive to buy it when the DVD has extras and blu ray doesn’t.

I think the question is why doesn’t the Hunchback of Notre Dame really appeal as much to children and who is does this movie appeal to? Maybe if Disney has a demographic to target they would show Hunchback a little more love.

3 Thoughts on “Disney’s Relationship with The Hunchback of Notre Dame

  1. Esme on 07/25/2013 at 11:17 pm said:

    For one, Disney’s target audience for female characters is little girls. Esmeralda isn’t a princess and really isn’t like the other non-princesses in the line…she’s a heroine. It’s a lot easier to sell “princess” to parents of little girls than it is to sell “heroine.” But HOND was marketed toward kids when I was a kid; the issue is that it’s got some fairly grown up themes which many parents don’t find “appropriate” for kids. Disney should target grown folks who were kids when the movie first came out and offer higher end merch. Higher end figurines, apperel, Esmeralda beauty/bath products…Frollo lighters, Quasimodo coffee mugs with funny sayings about the correlation of one’s looks before and after coffee…etc.

    • jess on 07/26/2013 at 1:51 pm said:

      A Frollo Lighter?! That’s genius! You should work for Disney in product development.

      I should also point out that there could be Hunchback product and they are just Disney-park-specific. I remember the last time I went to Disney (2003) going to Villains in Vouge (great store) and there are probably Frollo products there.

      • Esme on 07/27/2013 at 6:30 pm said:

        The lighter was an idea out of necessity…I love candles and am constantly in need of lighters. So, why not have a Frollo lighter? Actually, I’m surprised no one at Disney has thought of that before.

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