Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Disney Lied

Okay we all know that Disney softens the stories it tells for little ears, but the tweaks made on Hunchback go beyond omitting bloody feet, red hot dance shoes, or birds plucking out people's eyes.  Now some of them were fine and made me laugh, others mad me made, and others just caught me completely by surprise.

Lie 1: Claude Frollo is a bigoted Religious Judge who is out to condemn and kill all Gypsy. 
Truth: Claude Frollo is a high ranking priest of Notre Dame.  he has no judicial or political power in all. He also as no real interested in purisituting gypsies to expel witchcraft.  rather he is trying to learn their secrets so he can become an Alchemist.

Lie 2: Claude Frollo took Quasimodo in as penitence for his crime of murder on the steps of Notre Dame. 
Truth: Frollo adopted Quasimodo out of pity.  the deformed child was left on the foundling bench and he knew that no one would take in the child so he took in the child.

Lie 3: Quasimodo's mother died protecting him.  
Truth: Quasimodo's mother left him in exchange for the beautiful baby girl she kidnapped.

Lie 4: Gypsies are misunderstood people or are oppressed because they are different. 
Truth: Victor Hugo portrays the gypsies as evil dregs of the society.  they steal beautiful children and leave deformed creatures in their place. it is commonly believed by the common people that the gypsies cannibalize babies as part of their dark rituals.

Lie 5: Esmeralda is a spit fire Gypsy who speaks out against the injustices done against her people no matter what anyone might do to her. 
Truth: Esmeralda is a beautiful young girl who dances bare foot for coins with her goat.  she dreams that one day she will be reunited with her mother by the power of an embroidered baby shoe she wares hidden in her necklace.  she is frightened of her two enemies, Frollo and the Nun of the Rat Hole.

Lie 6: Esmeralda can not stand to stay in the Cathedral. 
Truth: Esmeralda is quite happy to stay at the cathedral.  she is given a nice room and Quasimodo stands guard over her at all times. there is nothing about her that would say she had any real desire to leave.

Lie 7: Phoebus loves Esmeralda. 
Truth: Poebus cares nothing for Esmeralda, other then the fact that she has a pretty face and is naive enough that he can take advantage of her.

Lie 8: Peobus is a valiant knight in shining armor. 
Truth: Pheobus is a stellar example of a rich play boy.

Lie 9: Phoebus is wounded for defining Frollo's orders to burn down a house with the farmers still in side. 
Truth: Phoebus is stabbed by Frollo for attempting to have sex with Esmeralda.  Because Claude Frollo is obsessed with Esmeralda and can not stand the thought that some other man might be with her.   Of course I wonder at Phoebus' intelligence when he decided to let the strange caped man (Frollo in disguise) hide in the closet of the room where he planned to de-flower the little gypsy girl.

Lie 10: Quasimodo saves Esmeralda at the last minuet. 
Truth: He only is able to save her the first time.  when the king's men march on Notre Dame Quasimodo unknowingly thinks they are there to save her and leads them to her.  however she does escape only to be found latter and, well...

Lie 11: Everyone lives Happily Ever After.
Truth: this story is a tragedy.  Esmeralda is captured and hung in a graphic and tragic way, Claude Frollo is pushed off the heights of Notre Dame by Quasimodo.  Phoebus is married (which is a kind of death for that sort of man,) and Quasimodo's remains are found clinging to Esmeralda's at the very end of the book. Everyone dies.

So now that you know what Disney lied about do you still want to read the book? I hope so because it really is a good book.


o.O ambor O.o said...

its amazing how much the true story is distorted behind the 'magic of film'. to be quite honest though, i dont think disney wanted to be responsible for lots of angry parents and their emotionally scarred toddlers :S I'd love to read the book it sounds great ^^

Glo said...

I really enjoyed reading this book it is definitely a difficult read because it has so much going on, But that was what I found appealing.

Alma said...

It's Disney....

on the other hand, fascinating/thrilling.

Glo said...

Oh I know it's Disney and I understand why they re-wrote most of th stuff they did. I just got to a point (when I realized Pheobus wasn't a Hero) that I decided that they changed so much that they never should have even done it.