A Plot…of Sorts

Esmeralda & Djali, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Esmeralda & Djali, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I can’t get my head around this version. To get to the point, yes the Dingo Pictures version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is very bad. Anything that is “enjoyable” about it is because it crosses the line to so bad that it’s at least somewhat funny. Yet this version had someone, somewhere along the line who read the book and recalled enough of it to make an oddly fairly faithful adaptation. 

Quasimodo, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Quasimodo, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

So yes, it’s bad but they kept to the book, so one whole point, I guess, if fidelity matters. Now they most likely kept to the book because adapting to a different medium does require a lot of thought and effort and that was not so much the aim of Dingo Pictures. I would say cheap expediency was the name of the game. So they followed the book with little to no thought to how the story worked in animation.

Some key differences between the book and this adaptation 

Frollo, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Frollo, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The first key difference is Frollo is not lusting after Esmeralda. He hates her because she’s pretty, popular and distracting. This change could be a way to simplify the story and the character. It easier if his hate can be explain is a few lines of dialogue and zero visuals. And maybe this solely in the English dub and is different in the original German. I do not speak German so I do not know. Also Frollo is an Abbé which is just a low-ranking priest and not the Archdeacon.

Another difference is Quasimodo’s arrest. He is arrested when a random lady accuses him of attacking her. Which is really ridiculous because of limits of the animation, the lady in question and Quasimodo never even share the same frame. Again this just a simplification. 

Esmeralda giving Quasimodo water, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Esmeralda giving Quasimodo water, Dingo Pictures, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

There are a few notable characters missing. First off there is not Phoebus. There is a blond solider but he’s a nameless extra. Since there is no Phoebus there is not Fleur de Lys unless Fleur de Lys is the name of the old lady that accused Quasimodo of attacking her.  

And another big different is the ending. Esmeralda leaves Paris with Gringoire after reuniting with her mother. Quasimodo is arrested this time for killing Frollo and is left to rot in jail. It’s a downer ending even though Esmeralda gets away, Quasimodo is left alone to die in a jail cell.

The Story is more or less there

Esmeralda and Quasimodo

If I’m being nice, this is more like animated storybook. It steam rolls through the story without any subtly, nuance or characterization. Characters will just exposit information and when they can’t the narrator does it.

This expositing of information does make Esmeralda seem level-headed as she says that she is not in love with Gringoire as she doesn’t know him and he doesn’t know her. Her saying this just an excuse to artlessly say her backstory. This version of the few versions to have Gudule a.k.a. Sachette and the only version that Esmeralda knows of her mother’s existence. It doesn’t really factor into any character moments it’s just there because it’s easier that way.

Ultimately what we have here is a “more or less” version of the Hunchback.  

1987 Animated cartoon Phantom of the Opera picture image

Erik, 1987 Animated cartoon Phantom of the Opera

That’s Right, my friends, In 1987 Emerald City Production made a straight to Video animated version of Phantom of the Opera riding the coat-tails of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It’s a really good thing Disney didn’t make a Phantom in the mid-90’s because otherwise we would have gotten stuff on the line with all Hunchback knock-offs. Can you imagine a version of Phantom were he isn’t ugly, oh wait, they already did that (sort of), but enough about that, how is the animated version?

Compared to all the other versions, this version follows the book albeit really simplified, is about 40 minutes long. The character does have much development or even interest BUT Erik does get his redemptions and dies after Christine kisses him.  Though instead of just a straight-up broken heart, he plays his organ in such a way that it makes the ceiling fall and crush him.

Also this version on the technical end of this is terrible. It’s cleared they had no budget. They is A TON of receptive animation and the movement on the character is so wooden that actually wood would have moved better. That being said I would rather watch this than the majority of the Hunchback knock-offs because this version of Phantom doesn’t speak down to it’s audience.


It’s a cheap yet by the book versions of Phantom. Would I recommend it? If you’re a fan of the book yeah but otherwise meh. It’s not a good version but nor is so bad that one should experience.   Though it the most accurate version to Leroux’s novel.


On 2/12/12 Lindsay Ellis (Nostalgia Chick) released a list of the Top Ten Hottest Animated guy. The list was compiled with a survey she conducted on her Facebook page and Twitter with women writing in their top pick of the Hottest animated guy from 1995-2002. And the character that came at number 10 was Disney’s Frollo.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now Ellis suggested that women prefer character to physical appearance. And these characters are usually “projects”, men women can change. And with the case of Frollo he is the most sexual overt Disney character and yet very put off by it, making him relatable and yet torture. But given the fact that he kills people he is also a bad boy. And the mere fact that people generally think that if Frollo could fulfill his sexual desire this would cure him of his obsession and genocidal tendencies, which wouldn’t happen but this adds to the sexual fantasy.

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame groping Esmeralda Disney picture image

Frollo groping Esmeralda


Now given that Frollo was the villain and villains are never meant to be attractive it’s interesting to mention that Frollo was the only villain to make this list. Maybe this is because of the Disney villains, he’s the most interesting and has the most characterization.


Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo gazing at Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo gazing at Esmeralda

I do have to wonder if Disney had handle Phoebus’ character differently would be have made the list? Phoebus could have easily been a bad boy who gets reformed, I mean he did in the book. And given that women aren’t has put off by looks, if Quasimodo was more tormented could he have made the list? My guess, Phoebus yes but Quaismodo no. Disney would have never, never made him tortured, Quasimodo was suppose to  be gentle, kind and innocence which are majors turns off. But it’s also might help that Frollo that he was in a power position, he can burned all of Paris and meets no opposition from anyone, except justice freaks Phoebus and Esmeralda.

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

Would I have sited Disney Frollo as one the “Hottest Animated Guys”? Gotta say no, I wouldn’t, I like him as a character but I don’t find him “Hot”  at all.

Not that anyone at Thatguy needs me to drive traffic to them but here is the link to the video, you can find out who else is one the list and who is #1