By now you should know that the characters in the 1986 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame are not rich, complex or by any means interesting and that’s just main characters who get screen time and apparent motivations. Considering this version misses with the main characters. the minor characters don’t have a snow flake’s chance in hell to be interesting and yet they do as result weird writing.


Phoebus 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

1986 Phoebus

Phoebus in gets the most important role of the minor characters. He does his Phoebus duties of saving Esmeralda, getting stab and conveniently not saying anything about not dying.

It weird that Phoebus didn’t say anything when he walked by as Esmeralda is about to die only to clear the air at the end. It also seems like he was sincere about Esmeralda unlike book Phoebus.

Did he just notice her execution or her trial? I find that hard to believe but it was convenient because Quasimodo has to save her. It’s just a head scratcher. I wish this Phoebus had more of a character then being a plot point because the bad writing could have made him interesting.


Gringoire 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

1986 Gringoire

He whines and marries Esmeralda and is bummed that she doesn’t like him. I don’t think he adds anything. Well strictly speaking he tells Frollo about Esmeralda and Phoebus’ meeting but really, Frollo could have overheard that just as easily. And Gringoire is not even shown after that point anyway.


Djali 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

1986 Djali

Djali is considered Esmeralda’s double but not here as Esmeralda herself calls Djali a “dirty little beast” in fact that is her first line, Djali misses the marks as they depict her as brown and not white with glided horns. Other than that Djali does her tricks and gets Esmeralda in trouble.


Clopin 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

1986 Clopin

Clopin is ONLY in the Court of Miracles scene. So because he is self-contain scene that they place straight to the book, it a decent short depiction that doesn’t get muddled. Best depiction in the 1986 version!

Next Time – The Voice Acting

Esmeralda 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

1986 Esmeralda

Book 10, Chapter 5, The Retreat where Louis of France says his Prayers

Louis XI (Tully Marshall) Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 picture image

Louis XI (Tully Marshall)
Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923

I hate this chapter, it’s so boring and long. We learn that King Louis is an old prick. News reaches him about the attack which he don’t know is on Notre Dame but he thinks on Provost. Gringoire is taken prisoner but Louis grants him mercy. When he learns that the attack is on Notre Dame, which is a like an attack on him, he gets mad. He, like Quasimodo, think the attack is about wanting a mere girl’s death so he orders it. See how this lie just exploded.

Fortunately, no movie has really done this scene because it’s boring. I GUESS the 1939 verison sort of did it but not really.

Book 10, Chapter 6, “The Chive in the City”

Robert Marien as Frollo & Dennis Ten Vergert as Gringoire 2012 Asian Tour Cast Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Robert Marien as Frollo & Dennis Ten Vergert as Gringoire 2012 Asian Tour Cast Notre Dame de Paris

Yay, a short chapter! Gringoire meets up with Frollo who is decked out in his creepy robe. The name of this chapter refers a password. Basically the two are about to sneak into Notre Dame. Well not so much sneak as Frollo has a key.

Again not too many movie versions have this chapter, in fact I don’t think any do.



Book 10, Chapter 7, Chateaupers to the Rescue

Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo finding Esmeralda gone 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo finding Esmeralda gone

Yay, another short chapter! Quasimodo has all but given up hope of saving Esmeralda from the Court of Miracles but then he see Phoebus fighting them off and the vagrants are defeated. Hooray, or is it? Because when Quasimodo rushes to knell at Esmeralda’s feet she is gone, Dun-Dun-Dun.

The soldiers do come at the end of the attack but since Esmeralda is typically still in the church we don’t see Quasimodo’s reaction. Aside from the 1956, 1977 and Notre Dame de Paris where she does leave the cathedral, Quasimodo usually has to fight off Frollo who is trying to drag Esmeralda off.

Book 10, Chapter 1, Gringoire has Several Capital Ideas

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo and Christopher Gable as Gringoire  1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo and Christopher Gable as Gringoire

This chapter is a pun, because Gringoire now like architecture and capitals are the tops of columns but it also means good. In this chapter Frollo and Gringoire talk about saving Esmeralda from the suspension sanctuary which is a lie tah Frollo told Gringoire to get her out of Notre dame in his mercy.


Frollo comes up with the idea that Gringoire should take her place and if he gets hang who really cares, Gringoire does though. Gringoire then comes up with the attack idea and seeking Esmeralda out. Frollo approves.
Lot of versions don’t features Frollo’s lie, sanctuary gets suspended and the Court of Miracle sometime rise up and fight. I think the fact that a lie get blown so out proportion that ends with deaths of so many is more impactful. The only version to have the Frollo lie, that I have seen is the 1977 version. In fact in that version Frollo propose the idea that Esmeralda is pregnant which in the book was Gringoire and made Frollo either nagry or delighted, it so hard tell with him

Book 10, Chapter 2, Turn Vagabond!

Illustration of Jehan Frollo picture image

Illustration of Jehan Frollo

In this chapter Jehan turns vagabond. That’s it. He comes looking for money and threaten to turn vagabond Frollo tell him to do it and he does but Frollo still give him money.

You know it just dawned on me, the book calls him Dom Claude more than Frollo. I guess that is a trait of the disney movie.

I don’t think any movies have this scene, the 1956 might but I can’t recall. Jehan says he will steal want he needs but taht is like at the strart of the movie so I don’t know if really counts. This chapter basically gets Jehan in to the fray.


Book 10, Chapter 3, Joy Forever!

Maurice Sarfati as Jehan, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame picture image

Maurice Sarfati as Jehan, 1956 Hunchback of Notre dame

The Court of Miracles is on broad with Project Save Esmeralda and Wreck Notre Dame. Jehan also likes vagrant a.k.a vagabond I guess considering the last chapter. Seriously he took to it in like an hour.

Also yes i was right, the Duke of Egypt is a separate character, his given name is Mathias Hungadi Spicali. He is merged with Clopin so many times that if wasn’t for one illustration I would forget. Though he is in the 1956 version and addressed by name.

Sometimes you see this chapter in movies and sometime you don’t. I suppose I could say that about any chapter really.


Book 10, Chapter 4, An Awkward Friend

Molten Lead pours from Notre Dame 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Molten Lead pours from Notre Dame 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

ATTACK!!! The Court of Miracles attack Notre Dame to save Esmeralda and loot it because they consider it to no longer be sacred and Notre Dame is only protected by its sanctity. This is really just the first part of the attack. Quasimodo defend against what he thinks is a threat when really he and the Court of Miracles want the same thing. Jehan also dies in this chapter by Quasimodo. In the end Quasimodo prays for a miracles as there is just too many for him.

I’m hard press to think of a Hunchback version that didn’t have the attack on Notre Dame. Well, the Enchanted Tales version didn’t, they has a not-so-epic run up Notre Dame stairs. In Secret of the Hunchback they fight in church.

Sometimes the Court of Miracles attacks and sometimes they don’t but mostly this chapter is done well. It’s curious though, the movie would have you think that the molten lead was the finishing move but it wasn’t.

Esmeralda 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

1986 Esmeralda

The 1986 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame operates a lot like the Jetlag version where we don’t have fleshed out rich characters but just representations.

The 1986 Esmeralda’s personality is more of a result of bad writing than actual character development.

Esmeralda 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

1986 Esmeralda

So what do we know about this Esmeralda. Despite following the major plot points of the book, the Sister Gudule subplot is not present, so Esmeralda is full Romani. She also is proud to work hard for her living.

She does have a bit of growth as she claims that she first judged Quasimodo as ugly but learned that he is really beautiful on the inside.

Her being a Gypsy also wasn’t her problem, the movie says it was her being born beautiful, which is different since no other Hunchback version says that so bluntly.

She also is tortured a lot long than every other Esmeralda. Esmeralda is tortured for like a second but 86 Esmeralda lasts from 10:50am to 3pm. There was a clock to tell us, even though clocks with hands were are anachronism for 1482.

She is also the only Esmeralda who lives, that doesn’t get a fully relieved love story. She ends up with no one and seems ok with that. Of course, the movie just ends so it doesn’t really matter.

Esmeralda 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame  picture image

1986 Esmeralda

As far as looks go, despite the bad animation and general bad character design, she is pretty. Her costume is yellow and red. Ah, red Esmeralda costume, we meet again. At least her costume is mostly yellow. It’s a weird design though, I think I just find the large puff sleeve sans the length of the full skirt awkward. It hits her ankles and has two red ruffles along the skirt

I’m not sure if it her voice actress or not but this Esmeralda seems more mature but that could also be her vague personality too. But the low British accent doesn’t help much.

Esmeralda and Gringoire 1986 the Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Gringoire

So what aspects of her personality are the result of bad writing? She is rather matter of fact and blunt. She tells Gringoire, point blank, after marring him her reason for doing it was to save him. She wastes no time. She is also not shy about approaching Phoebus. And she tells Frollo that she doesn’t know him. I don‘t think there was ever an Esmeralda as forthcoming as this one.

Esmeralda 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame  picture image

1986 Esmeralda

Since the movie tells the story has a fast rate this personality trait of being honest is for utility, this film does not have time for an ideal dreamy Esmeralda. So to get the story across she has to be honest and straightforward. It’s a interesting take on her but it wasn’t done initially.

Next Time – Quasimodo

Quasimodo 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame  picture image

1986 Quasimodo

Esmeralda and Quasimodo at the Pillory 1986 the Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo at the Pillory

The 1986 Australian version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame is in so many, many ways like the 1956 version. It follows the book plot almost perfectly but the execution on every other aspects of this movie is bad, like the 1956 version .

This version does changes a lot of things especially at the end. Spoiler warning Esmeralda lives.

The Mob 1986 the Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Mob

At the climax the crowd attacks the cathedral and demands Esmeralda’s death, so the court of miracles doesn’t try to save Esmeralda and sanctuary is not suspended.

Quasimodo fights them off as well as kill Frollo. As the crowd demands Esmeralda, Phoebus appears and tell everyone the true, that Frollo is a frowny-pants, he was never and dead and Esmeralda’s only crime was being pretty. Esmeralda ends the movie by saying that Quasimodo is is beautiful and innocent. I have seen worst endings but I have to wonder why Phoebus didn’t say anything earlier.

Phoebus 1986 the Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus in the crowd (can you see him?)

When Esmeralda is about to be burned at the stake, not sure why they change this since they mention hanging, Phoebus is seen walking through the crowd. It just seems so weird for him not to say anything at that point but then he does later.

Esmeralda and Frollo, sort of the Red Door scene 1986 the Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Frollo, sort of the Red Door scene

This version hits the plot notes of the book but it does it in a mechanical way. It’s like they have things happen for no reason than the book say it must, like there is not reason why the mob attacks Notre Dame the just do it. There is no fluidity or joy to the story telling. It’s almost as through the filmmakers felt that if they got the majors plots point right they could skip on other things, like character development or emotion.

Esmeralda and Gringoire 1986 the Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Gringoire

The Plot adherence is this version only viable strength they tweaked some things and made weird decision but no version is all faithful.

And if this version had a better script, animation, design, music, etc it could have been much stronger.

Next Time- I guess I should talk about the characters next…….? There is not much to them though.
I guess we’ll start with Esmeralda.

Esmeralda 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image


Book 7, Chapter 1, On the Danger of Confiding a Secret to a Goat

In this chapter we get a better look at Phoebus as a character and his attitude towards his fiancee, Fleur-de-Lys. Phoebus likes the crude world far too much to feel at ease with Fleur-de-Lys, so he is cold to her and she is sensitive to his aloofness.

THe scene shift as the crowd of women sees Esmeralda and Djali in the square below and ask her to come up. Esmeralda does and at once is berated because she is prettier than them, so they insult her dress and such.

We also find out the Esmeralda never intended to show off Djali spelling Phoebus‘ name, as it was her secret. This is different than how the 1956 and the jetlag verions present it, where she preforms the trick for the crowd. It doesn’t much matter because the important part is it makes Phoebus make his move on Esmeralda which sets up the tragic turn in the story.

Book 7, Chapter 2, Showing that a Priest and a Philosopher are two very different Persons

I have to love this chapter, it’s just banter between Frollo and Gringoire and it’s sort of silly. The juxtaposition of Frollo’s stern obsession that he is trying to conceal mixed with Gringoire’s odd combination of blasé and pathos for his circumstances. I do their exchanged about how Gringoire wouldn’t think of touching his wife.

Book 7, Chapter 3, The Bells

Huh, there was a bell named Guillaume after-all. I’m sorry 1939 version for saying you added it. (You can read that post HERE) Though, Guillame still maybe for when Quasimodo is feeling a little bi-curious.

Anyway, this chapter tells of that for the last two months Quasimodo hasn’t been into his bells. The book doesn’t make it clear if it’s because of the pillory or a new love. He start ringing them again but the he looks to the square and sees Esmeralda.

Quasimodo watching her was also seen the previous chapter as well as the ringing of the bells in the before that.

I suppose as chapter go, it’s ok, it defiantly a nice turing point for Quasimodo, to love outside Notre Dame.

Got Five Chapters Today!

Book 2, Chapter 3, Besos Para Golpes
The title of this chapter means ‘A Kiss brings Pain‘ in Spanish.  Quite a lot happens in this chapter. Gringoire having reached The Place de Grève to warm himself  from the bonfire sees Esmeralda for the first time and is smitten. He also sees Frollo, or the a bald man staring.  Sister Gudule yells at Esmeralda and Frollo stops Quasimodo’s reign as the Pope of Fools.   I really enjoy this chapter because it the first time in the book you get a  sense for the personalities of characters other than Gringoire.


Book 2, Chapter 4, The Inconveniences of Following a Pretty Woman in the Street at Night
This chapter set our plot in motion. It starts with our pal Gringoire following Esmeralda  home. As he’s following her, Frollo and Quasimodo try to kidnap her. Gringoire calls for help and Phoebus saves Esmeralda and arrests Quasimodo. Because of these events it’s an important chapter. However it plays out in a humorous way. Gringoire delights in stalking Esmeralda while she is a little more than annoyed. The Kidnap itself makes up a brief part of the end and it still sort of funny. I do like that Quasimodo’s weapon, ugliness, is proven useless in the dark. I don’t like him being liken to a bat, bats are awesome and a symbol of good luck, minor point. All in all I enjoyed this chapter.



Book 2, Chapter 5, The Continuation of the Inconveniences
In the previous chapter, Quasimodo throws Gringoire into the gutter and this is the aftermath of it. Gringoire tries to think about Quasimodo’s companion and he thinks of Frollo but is really certain why he thinks of him.  He is then almost burned under a mattress by some punk-ass kids called gamin, which means street urchin. You know Street Urchin does  not refer to the little friends from the sea which I ate once a sushi place and didn’t care  but rather it comes from the old French for Hedgehog. Ok, getting back on track this chapter is ok. It severed to link the other man to Frollo. Otherwise it get us from the Kidnaping to the next event. Most movies omit this scene.



Book 2, Chapter 6, The Broken Pitcher
Whew, Long Chapter (though not the longest). This where our pal Gringoire gets into a real pickle! After running from the gamins, he gets lost and when he relieves that mattress was what he’s been looking (either sleep or warmth) he gets more lost and runs into vagrants and stumbles into the Court of Miracles, which is a bar of sorts. The Court of Miracles itself was a French term which referred to slum districts of Paris, France where the unemployed migrants from rural areas resided. Gringoire meets the ruler, Clopin and is sentence to Gringoire to hang. Gringoire is given a chance by stealing from the bellboy (a dummy with bells on him) while standing on a stool on one leg. He fails, this task was meant to be fail. Then he offered to the ladies. In the end, Esmeralda saves him and the two are married for 4 years. This chapter is very humorous since you take delight in Gringoire’s pain. You know Clopin is having a jolly time jerking this guy around and either hanging or wedding, Gringoire did provide entertainment.



Book 2, Chapter 7, A Wedding Night
Grinoire is taken to Esmeralda’s place where Gringoire learns she is not interested in him as a lover. They pretty much settle on friends. Gringoire and Esmeralda BFF! We get some minor backstory for Esmeralda like she know nothing like Jon Snow (Sorry I’ve been reading  the A Song of Ice and Fire series). Though we find out she been in Paris for only a few month, she said since last August and the novel starts in January. Speaking this chapter,  it ends the events of January 6th 1482. We also see her amulet for the first time. For all the gaps in Esmeralda’s backstory, Gringoire makes up for it with his long backstory about his failed vocations and how awesome Frollo is. This is a nice chapter as we finally get  insights into  Esmeralda’s character. I like the interplay between Gringoire and Esmeralda. It kind of a shame there is not more or it in the book.


Book 1, Chapter 5, Quasimodo

The contest for the Pope of Fools begins and ends in this chapter. We are treated to a very detailed description of to what Hugo’s Quasimodo looks like. The men reveal in Quasimodo’s ugliness and the women fears it. One women even claims that Quasimodo practices witchcraft. I feel like this chapter finally starts the story going. It also shows off Quasimodo’s impressive collection of nicknames.

Book 1, Chapter 6, Esmeralda

While the Pop of Fools contest goes one, Grigoire and his actor continue on with their play as a few people are still sort of listening. The final nail in the play’s coffin comes when someone says that Esmeralda has entered the square. This chapter is interesting because in the last paragraph we get two references to the Virgin Mary. So even before we meet Esmeralda, she already aligned to the Virgin.

Book 2, Chapter 1, From Charybdis to Scylla

Between Scylla and Charybdis is an Idiom that comes out of Greek Mythology that means ” having to choose between two evils.” It’s like “between a rock and a hard place.” Charybdis and Scylla are both sea monsters.

Now that Gringoire’s play is dead, he finds himself in a pickle. He’s broke so he can’t return to his lodging as he own them money and he can’t seem to find a quiet place to sleep because of the feast. In the end Gringoire says “Fuck it” and heads over to the The Place de Grève because it you can’t beat them join them. I liked this chapter, I know hoe Gringoire feels here. I feel your pain Pierre.

Book 2, Chapter 2, The Place de Grève

This Chapter describes The Place de Grève it also foreshadows the pillory and the giblet. It’s a short chapter filled with description but not wholly dull just a little.

Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire

Like so many, many other Gringoires, the 1997 version of The Hunchback falls into the romantic guy category. However, unlike other Gringoires he doesn’t do anything, he’s kind of  just there to be Esmeralda’s love interest.


Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire


Other Gringoires try and help save Esmeralda by means of the written word or a speech. In this version Quasimodo does the leg work and Gringoire just helps out in passing out Quasimodo’s pamphlet, leading the riot and getting the noose of Esmeralda’s neck.


Edward as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward as Gringoire

One could argue that Gringoire doesn’t do that much in the book but he does have a personality here is doesn’t really.


Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire

I think he is sincere in his affections for Esmeralda but this Gringoire isn’t really allowed to do much except be nice and  follow Quasimodo’s plan.


Next time – Clopin

Jim Dale as Clopin , 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Jim Dale as Clopin


Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

The 1997 version of The Hunchback is in someways is very faithful to the book but in more ways it diverges so much. Overall, it has a great mood that feels like the original book. It knows when to be bright and knows when to be somber. But in what ways does the plot massively diverge, oh let me count the ways.


Richard Harris as Frollo and the Printing Press, 1997 The Hunchback  picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo and the Printing Press

First, the big one, The Printing Press. The Printing  Press was briefly discussed in the novel and was a major subplot in the 1939 version but the in 1997 version, it’s a big part of the plot, in fact it’s the first thing Frollo does. In the opening scene, Frollo commandeers a Printing Press and then find baby Quasimodo.


Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

The Printing Press is also a big part in Esmeralda’s trial. Since Phoebus is not in this, he can’t get stab instead Frollo is at odds with a minster who wants to legalizes the printing press. Frollo isn’t against knowledge, he is against keeping it from being easy because if it easy to attain it’s worthless. So Frollo is at odds with this minster and his obsession for Esmeralda. After his run in with minster and getting turned down by the King, Frollo seeks out Esmeralda and confesses his obsession to her. She runs off but drops her knife which Frollo then uses to kill the minister and Esmeralda is blamed.

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo and Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo and Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback

Quasimodo also uses the old commandeer Printing Press to make a pamphlet to help free Esmeralda which he gives to Gringoire to distribute. On the some note Quasimodo in this version love learning and books.


Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire

Speaking of Gringoire and Esmeralda, unlike other versions where if the fall in love it’s over time usually at the point where Esmeralda gets in trouble. In this version it’s pretty quick.  She kisses him the scene after they get married. Not a big change just worth a mention.


Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo and Richard harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo and Richard Harris as Frollo

A big change  that is worth mentioning is the attack on Notre Dame and and the climax. Much like the Disney movie the attack on Notre Dame occurs right after Quasimodo saves Esmeralda. Unlike the Disney movie it’s not at the end but like novel in the middle. So the climax is Quasimodo goes to the court of Miracles to give Gringoire the pamphlets and to get Djali for Esmeralda. He returns and finds Esmeralda gone. It turns out Frollo handed her back to executioner and she is going to be hanged. Frollo tells Quasimodo everything and as Esmeralda is about to be hanged the Court of Miracle show up and saves her. Quasimodo threaten to throw Frollo off Notre Dame until he confess before all of Paris that he is murder. As Frollo and Quasimodo walk off, Esmeralda runs into the Cathedral, Frollo in a rage tries to stab her but stabs Quasimodo by accident. In their fight they go over the edge of Notre Dame and Frollo dies. Quasimodo hangs on and Esmeralda and Gringoire save him from the ledge but dies of his wounds under his bells.


Richard Harris as Frollo hiring thugs, 1997 The Hunchback picture images

Richard Harris as Frollo hiring thugs

Another big change is Frollo doesn’t send Quasimodo to capture Esmeralda. Frollo hires some thugs and Quasimodo follows and tries to help but gets arrested.

A Gargoyle with molten Lead,1997 The Hunchback picture image

A Gargoyle with molten Lead


I won’t pretend that these big changes are not weird. It was practically jarring to see the attack on Notre Dame scene in the middle of the story. It really loses the drama. And Quasimodo not trying to capture Frollo lacks a punch too. The version makes up for these it other areas but still it’s a weird.


Next time Esmeralda

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda