What Makes The Hunchback of Notre Dame Different From Other Disney Movies

As a self-proclaimed Disney Girl, I would consider myself kind of an expert on everything Disney. This includes movies, music, and all sorts of fun facts about Disney films, as well deeper, nerdy stuff. That is why I wanted to tackle The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 It is one of the few Disney films that is rarely talked about or celebrated, except for earlier this year when the real Notre Dame burned down (Rest In Peace). Thinking about why that is, I got curious. 

 Before watching the movie, I started to wonder about what made Hunchback so much different than any other movie in Disney's wheelhouse.

 First, I realized there were no princesses. This film is strictly based on real-life and real people and real issues. That means no singing animal sidekicks and no bright and cheery sidekicks.

 Secondly, the film isn't based on a fairytale, but instead religion as well as culture. This already sets it apart from other Disney movies as its story is grounded in real roots.

 So I decided to tackle the film. Immediately I noticed the shift in tone and effects within this one compared to a movie like Moana. While the parts with the gypsies are surrounded in color and dancing and laughter and warmth, the rest of the film is damp and grey. In fact, most of the film is set in the dark places of Paris, like alleys, dungeons, underground catacombs and of course, bell towers.

Another thing regarding the plot: it is quite dark. It's about persecution and sin and hell and lots and lots of fire. There are few bright moments in the film, only in the beginning and the end, which makes the middle hour and twenty minutes the hardest parts to watch. Of course, like all characters, they face conflict but the characters in Hunchback face much harsher conflict, like death and burning than ones in other Disney films.

Lastly, there is not a lot of room for romance in this film. While there is always some type of relationship happening within a Disney film, usually romantic if not friendship-based as it was in Zootopia, it was more focused on the plights of Quasimodo and the internal conflict within both him and Frollo. Of course, there is an element of romance in the film (no spoilers), but it mainly sits in the backseat while the characters try to outrun their antagonist.

Even though The Hunchback isn't the most popular and widely known Disney movie out there, it is still a really good one. The animation and visuals are stunning, bringing Paris, Notre Dame, and it's people into beautiful light, even digitally.

The characters manage to pull you in, become your friends and your heroes and even your crushes, just like any other Disney movie does. And let's not forget the music. A masterpiece.

So while the movie may be low-key, the work that Disney and their crew did on this movie should not be forgotten. So sit down, grab a friend, and watch the film one day, maybe you'll be surprised.