If I can be real here for a second, there isn’t a lot to say about Phoebus, which is interesting in a sense. I say it’s interesting because is that character who is in a sense a chameleon, he can be whatever the movie needs him to be, hero, villain, minion extra. I would in the scope of this movie Phoebus is more of the minion but not to the bad guys, he’s just a cop which does make him a straignt by-the-book version of Phoebus. Th sonly thing that makes him a little different is he is a moron.
Now Phoebus wasn’t smart in the book but this Phoebus is a totally dumb-ass. For example he thinks cemetery is the serial-killer’s handiwork. He also can’t recognize Agnes as Esmeralda. It’s not even a Clark Kent type of thing, she isn’t hiding it she simply acting happier with her hair down and a new dress. Even when he subdues Quasimodo from kidnapping Esmeralda, he takes a very dumb route of throwing everything off hi person, i.e. his shirt. It’s a good thing Quasimodo was kind of dumb too or else we wouldn’t have got the “pillory” scene that leads into Phoebus’ stabbing later, or a big section of the plot.
Phoebus does make an interesting point which is a bit akin to the book. He says he is a chameleon, in that he acts like a slob when around slobs and a snob when he around rich people. That is true to Phoebus in the book and also, he prefers the slobs which could also be why he prefers Esmeralda to Agnes even though they are the same person in this case.
Phoebus also dies in this movie but no from his stabbing. Frollo pushes him off the church. Making it the first time this happens to a Phoebus. All in all this Phoebus is only interesting in his stupidity though it’s funny when he jokingly says he is shy and a prude, he is not.