Given how every facet of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame is different from the original novel, there aren’t that many minor differences. However there a few;
The Good Guys lives. Yeah, this isn’t a big differences. Most film adaptations let the leads live. It is interesting that Esmeralda is really only spared because she is sentence to burn instead of hanging. If she had hanged the scene would have been less dramtic. So another minor difference is all the fire imagery including Esmeralda on the stake. Also in letting the character live it takes away the theme of “Ananke” (simply meaning Death Destiny) Ananke is the word that book is based off of. However it’s only been features in like two adaptations and beside this movie is about how we “not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within” no wait that’s Beauty and the Beast…. no it’s the same in Hunchback of the Notre Dame. Stupid Disney morals ruining their movies.
Another minor difference is the lack of Gringoire. Gringoire in the book was a cowardly poet who runs off with Djali. He also acts like a story teller and the voice of author. In Disney, Gringoire is divided between Clopin and Phoebus. It’s a minor difference because when it comes to cutting characters out Gringoire is seldom cut. Phoebus is the one to get diminished over Gringoire.
There is just so many differences between Disney and the book that to write these posts has been mind boggling. I could just have an entire blog about the differences and it would probably last a good long time. Because let’s face Disney didn’t re-tell Hugo’s story they retold the 1939 version. Then they got 18 people to collaborate on the story who may not have even seen the Charles Laughton version or read the book. This is why Esmeralda is impressed with Quasimodo’s space and not with Phoebus’ name (in the book she loved his name) , why Quasimodo builds models instead ringing his bells, and why Frollo is more obsessed with fire than Esmeralda. If you read the book and then watch the Disney you would know that this movie has very little in common with book. The only things that are correct are names and the settings. That’s it but in regards to the setting Disney may have got the place right but Notre Dame role in this movie is very much twisted.
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