You know who in the Disney line-up would make the perfect Disney Princess? Who embodies the ideal of what it means to be a lovely human being? Quasimodo.
In all seriousiness ,Quasimodo meets all the qualifications for Disney Princess-dom, whatever that means and to be fair to this idea the official rules don’t actually make a stipulation that the “Princess” has to be a female. It;s implied but not stated. But given that Quasimodo is presented as a man lets consider him and the only female human character isn the movie, Esmeralda and lets’ look at the the official rules and the meta guidelines.
Rule one states that they must have a primary role in an animated movie. I think Esmeralda and Quasimodo both have that, especially Quasimodo. Check
Rule two states the character must be human or become human. Check for both Esmeralda and Quasimodo. Especially given the thesis of Hunchback is What makes a monster and what makes a man? Check
Rule three is they can’t be a sequel only character. Yeah, I don’t think I have to explain this one. Check
Rule four says that the character must be royal, marry royal or perform an act of heroism. As we all know the act of heroism was only there so Mulan could be in the line up. I would say that Esmeralda going against authority to save Quasimodo from the mob and Quasimodo saving Esmeralda as well as defending the cathedral as well as bring down a corrupt public official hell bent on rape, murder, and genocide is an act of heroism. So Check!
Rule five the characters must be from a box office hit i.e. the movie had to have made money. Because Disney loves it money, like most companies. But since the rule uses the words “Box Office” which means movie ticket sales we have to look at those numbers. These amounts are from www.boxofficemojo.com.
Now I know what you might be think, Hunchback didn’t make a lot of money at the box office. Well this might surprise some but Hunchback made more at the Box Office than some movies that have official Disney princesses. Hunchback made $325,338,851 worldwide. Mulan made $304,320,254 worldwide. The Princess and the Frog made $267,045,765 worldwide. I will concede that both Mulan and The Princess and the Frog did better domestically than Hunchback but Box Office seems be in place to explain why Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron and Kida from Atlantis are not up for discussion as part of the line-up as they are both actual Princesses in their movies. While Hunchback isn’t popular it still made more money than a movie that Disney bent-over backwards to allow in the line up.
So there are the official rules which Esmeralda and Quasimodo and all pass BUT let’s look at some meta rules or guidelines that appear in the Wreck-it Ralph 2 trailer because Disney like to poke fun at its self.
In the trailer Pocahontas asks Vanellope what kind of Princess she is, these are the questions asked to her but the official Pincess and Elsa who isn’t one but who cares.
Magic Hair? No.
Magic Hands? No.
Do animals talk to you? Quasimodo talks to a bird and Esmeralda talk to Djali the goat, so check
Poisoned ? Who can say? Maybe Quasimodo was poisoned but no.
Cursed? Who can say? Maybe Quasimodo was cursed but no.
Kidnapped or enslaved? This one is weird since Belle wasn’t either. It was her idea to trade herself in for her father and she wasn’t enslaved and either was Rapunzel. But Quasimodo falls into the Belle/Rapunzel brand of princess So check there.
Do people assume all your problems got solved because a big strong man showed up? It’s a meta thing but one would have to watch the movie and look into the relationship dynamics. But did Quasimodo’s problem get solved because of a man? Quasimodo’s problem was abusive parental figure. I guess Phoebus and Esmeralda helped him to see that Frollo sucked? Esmeralda was aided by Phoebus. But were her problem solved by him? Considering she acks for help for her people and outcasts, no in the long run but maybe the fall of Frollo helped in short-term? So yes to this one?
Anyway, They get a pass for the meta qualifications, since it just seems like one is all you need but who knows? They are not hard and fast rules.
Should Quasimodo and Esmeralda be officially Disney Princesses? Yes they pass all the rules except the only rule that matters; Disney doesn’t like The Hunchback of Notre Dame because it’s not popular. The rules are just a front. After all Elsa and Anna are not in the line up, they have their own franchise that makes money. They don’t need the Disney Princess label.
The reality is while it’s nice to muse about a male character being in the princess line up it’s not going to happen and Esmeralda was at some point in the line up but got dropped like Alice. It is interesting however to see how little the rules matter when they are all met and still nothing. If everything the rules just look hypocritical to allow one character through or bar others.Follow thehunchblog
Esmeralda, like Jane, Meg and Kida were all princesses until around 2004. Their movies werenâ€™t as popular or marketable to young girls. But thereâ€™s been a lot of backlash over the princess lineâ€¦particularly the term â€œprincessâ€ from parents; thereâ€™s also been a lot of work done to get girls interested in STEM, so Jane would be a great addition to the line! And with the backlash over the princess connotation, Disney should at least consider adding Esmeralda and Kida back into the lineup. Maybe Disney could make all of their female leading characters princesses again for a limited time, to see what happens and then create princess merch for different demographics. Market Esmeralda, Kida and Meg to the older teens/adultsâ€¦thatâ€™s generally the demographic that enjoys the movies and wants merch! Disney has become too focused on the young female child and female tween demographics that they seem to have forgotten that their parents were fans first.
A few months ago, I went to Hot Topic and saw that the chain carries a lot of licensed Disney merch. At the check out counter, I asked the associate/cashier if they had any HoND stuff and the answer was a no. I expressed that because the store chainâ€™s reputation was gothic/punk/off center it should have merch from a gothic and off-center (not so mainstream) movie and he agreed. And a couple of weeks ago, while searching for HoND/NDDP merch, I found a Disney HoND dress through Hot Topic. To my knowledge, it is currently only available online and is the only piece of HoND merch that the company is currently selling. So, maybe this is a way for Disney to test the watersâ€¦maybe this is where Esmeralda (as a princess) belongs. Amongst the Hot Topic crowd; amongst those who donâ€™t feel accepted by society and donâ€™t generally follow social norms. Disney needs to start embracing their outcasts.
And yes, I did purchase the dress.