5 Reasons Why The Hunchback Of Notre Dame Is Disney's Under-Appreciated Gem
4. The Music
When I was little, I took part in many theatrical productions. I was a very musically minded kid, I still am today, and so one of the reasons that this film is my favorite is because of the absolutely phenomenal songs within. Not only are they catchy, but they hold so much weight. No matter the emotion its trying to portray, each and every song gets the point across beautifully. Beginning where the movie begins, the opening song The Bells of Notre Dame, is a beautiful introduction to the film. It sets the tone for the rest of the film, featuring little bits of comedy, mystery, sadness, and hope. Sung by the narrator, Clopin, he tells the story of Quasimodo's mother dying and the baby's being taken by Frollo. It sets the stage for the rest of the story that's about to play out because we already care for Quasi after watching this. We see how horrible a way in which he was brought into this world and we already feel for him. We become invested in his story from the gates. By the time the title appears on screen we have hit a magnificent crescendo and can't wait for more. For our first real introduction to Quasimodo, when he's all grown up, we are given a catchy explanatory song in the form of Out There. Out There is a great song for multiple reasons. Firstly, in a kids movie, you want the songs to be fun, and catchy, and hold their attention with exciting action, and this song has it all. Secondly it serves as a great introduction to the character. We see what its like to live up above everyone, and we see how much he wishes to be among them. There's real longing in his words and you feel that he truly want to be part of them. Also, watching the film, from our point of view, we don't fully realize how privileged we are to have the things we have. Quasimodo sings of how the people down below don't realize how lucky they are to have the things that he doesn't, so this gives the song an added level of relativity. Now, with a character as great as Esmerelda, she had better have a pretty great song. And boy does Disney deliver. God Hep the Outcasts is a phenomenal song for many reasons, but most of all because it fits its character perfectly. It perfectly sums up everything that she stands for. In church, while others pray for wealth, fame, and love, she asks for God to help others. This film is filled with religious imagery, but nowhere is it used as well as in this song. Instead of an expose of her performing kind acts, we see her in an intimate space, a space where you could ask of anything, instead asking nothing for her personally. Throughout the film Esmerelda is displayed as a selfless person concerned only for others, and that's exactly what this song shows. For those of you expecting to see a certain hell-ish song, more on that later.