I don’t think Disney denies knowledge of Hunchback like they do with the Black Cauldron it’s just very clear that from a business stand point that Hunchback didn’t make the money that Disney was used to after the Renaissance and so it gets looked over in favor of the cash-cows. But why did Hunchback fail to garner the reviews and money and is hence ignored? Well that is actually an easy question to answer, and it not so much the title translation it’s actually film history. You see the oldest surviving movies of Hunchback (the 1923 version and the 39 version) were both star vehicles for the actors who played Quasimodo. As a result Quasimodo has been the coveted role in Hunchback, it something I like to call “The Quasimodo Factor©” (more on this later) . (Why do you think Josh Brolin is playing Quasimodo, it’s because he a producer and chose to play him.) So as a Quasimodo has been pushed to the main character role even though he is not in the book.
I think this was Disney’s problem from the onset, they thought this film demanded Quasimodo and it didn’t matter how he was depicted. So Quasimodo with his sweet/bland personality was favored over the more interesting characters like Frollo, Clopin and Esmeralda.
I have to wonder that if Disney had made Frollo and Esmeralda the focus and put Quasimodo in a role where he was a minion and through some kind of exposure to Esmeralda is turned good if the movie who have done better. Was Disney too blindsided by Chaney and Laughton to see that it might have the Hunchback that bought down Notre Dame. I mean don’t get me wrong Disney was in a hard position with his one making an adult classic into a children-friendly film and I think for they did it worked, and I’m not bashing on Quasimodo but here is a challenge, list your favorite character from this movie and then list your favorite character from other Disney movies and see how often did you site the protagonist as being one of your top. I bet comparatively people like other disney protagonists over Quasimodo. So I think Quasimodo and the film revolving around him is the down fall and you can thank the 1939 version and the 1923 version for this.
Next Movie to be Reviewed – The 1923 Version Starring Lon Chaney….. oh….
*I’ll tell you what I’ll rank Disney characters too, leave a comment with 5-7 disney movies, can be any movie (not Oliver I haven’t seen it but anything else is fair game (I think)) if I don’t hear from people by the April 23th I’ll just choose at random. If in the event I get more comments I’ll pick the top 5-7 Disney movies that people picked Got it?Follow thehunchblog