The Hunchback Of Notre Dame / The Hunchback Of Notre Dame 2
Holy Hellfire! "Hunchback of Notre Dame" is hardly kids fare; its themes of deformity, sensuality and hate make an uncomfortable experience for the very young. But it’s a fantastic film nonetheless, particularly for adults who miss Disney’s hand-drawn fare. It’s also one of the studio’s best for theatrical music and soaring visuals, which make "Hunchback" an especially nice treat on an HD screen with 5.1 audio.
The film fared well at the box office, a tribute perhaps to the voices of Demi Moore and Kevin Kline as Esmerelda and Captain Phoebus respectively. Two relative unknowns - Tom Hulce (unless you’ve seen Amadeus) as Quasimodo and Tony Jay as Frollo - give voice to the central conflict between the iconic bellringer and his oppressive master. The score is one of Disney’s best.
As expected, the follow-up direct-to-DVD film is a relatively sad outing; it fares badly on the Blu-ray format. But then, that’s not why we’re buying this disc, is it? Special features more than compensate; the commentary track with directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale is enjoyable, and a "making of" featurette hosted by Jason Alexander (who also features in the film) is actually both entertaining and educational.