Animation Addicts Podcast, Disney, Podcasts

Animation Addicts Podcast # 154 ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ – Skeleton PJ’s

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The long awaited review of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is here! Chelsea and Morgan tackle this dynamic and controversial telling of Victor Hugo’s classic tale.


  • Today’s Patron Pick is by: Alex Pilgrim!
  • Nerdy Couch Discussion:
    • The major differences between the movie and the book… a.k.a. Book Review!
    • Who decided this would be a good kids’ movie?
  • Main discussion:
    • Time capsule
    • Character discussions
    • Quasimodo VS. Claude Frollo
    • Still waiting for Morgan’s brothers’ rendition of “I am deformed”
    • Should they have “gone there?”
    • Morgan & Chelsea’s Devotional
    • The Gypsies
    • Esmeralda: She plays the “Just friends” card like nobody’s business.
    • “God Help the Outcasts”
    • Phebus – What a hunk!
    • The Gargoyles – The era of the side kicks
    • The visuals and the score really enhanced each other.
    • Clopin – Can we really trust him?
    • Where did the gypsies get the skeleton PJs?
    • Let’s play the game “What is Frollo’s deal?!”
    • Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 – Golden Bell? (YouTube Review)
    • The Off Broadway musical – Why didn’t it go to Broadway?
    • We Rate It!
  • Voicemail: Andres, Alex, Dylan, & Stephanie
  • Don’t forget to use the hashtags #AnimationAddicts and #AnimationAddicts154 when talking about this episode on Twitter!

Runtime: 01:21:23,  57.4 MB



  • Watch : Blu-ray | DVD | Digital | Rent | iTunes
  • Buy soundtrack: CD | Digital | iTunes

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About Chelsea Robson

Chelsea Robson, Co-host of the Animation Addicts Podcast, studied studio engineering and is a singer/songwriter and is know as "The World Traveler of the Podcast." She speaks fluent Portuguese, loves being outdoors, hiking small mountains, riding horses, and talking about human nature.
  • Phoenix Wright

    This is hands down my favorite movie from Disney. I really don’t remember watching it that much as a kid, but I think I watched at some point in either late middle school or early high school and immediately fell in love with it.
    I remember way back in 2013 when I was on YouTube and a video of 2 girls reviewing the Blu Ray for this movie popped up in my suggestions. I clicked on it and loved the review. I went out and upgraded from my DVD copy and have been here ever since. As always, it was great to hear your thoughts and can’t wait to hear more in the future

    • Chelsea Robson

      Good times! Thanks for your continued support!

  • Miguel Roselló Ruiz

    I haven’t listened to this one yet, but the other day i got to listen to the El Dorado episode and I really liked it. I thought that, after my harsh comment on the Veggietales thread, I should say it.

    • I think you’ll be happy with this episode. I really think it was one of our best discussions in a long time. We’ve restructured how we have our discussions and it’s leading to much better final product.

      • Miguel Roselló Ruiz

        And you’re right, indeed. I got to listen to it yesterday, and that was really, really good… even if i am quite less positive than you with the movie. Yep, i find that tonal schizophrenia too damaging even for the theoretically strong parts. Besides, for a movie that wants to be more complex than the usual Disney flick (as if The Lion King wasn’t complex and layered), it doubles down in the saccharine with its managing of the main character’s goodness. Once I read somewhere a comment about Aladar from Dinosaur: a Mickey-Donald hero is fine, but a Mickey-Mickey hero is just too much. I think it applies to Quasimodo too, even to Phoebus. You don’t have to read Victor Hugo’s novel (and I have!) to find his concern for “that poor people” completely unrealistic. It’s like if, in order to balance the darker parts, Disney had pulled up to eleven the sugary department. Had been just like its masterful opening all along, this movie would stand as one of the best in the Disney canon. Instead of that, it’s one of the weakest…

        And you didn’t mention the MOST important thing in this movie! With its terrible end credits song, this movie marks the end of the pop ballad era and the beginning of the boy band era. Two movies, if memory serves, but too many anyway. (I think UK has its own version with female vocals, i’m not sure)

        Again, congrats for the show. I’ll be there for… oh God, Thumbelina.

  • WriteOn

    First thing first, this was one of your best discussions. Great insight about theme, structure, music, source material, etc…Great work. This is one of my favorite Disney films because of the music and how ambitious it was. This, along with Pocahontas and The Lion King, really pushed the envelope in terms of what US audiences thought animation could be…they’re films that tried to appeal to adults as well as kids by grappling with more “serious” themes and more sophisticated music and animation (for the time).

    A note about the musical. I saw it Paper Mill Playhouse (I think you screwed up the name in the episode, haha). While the music was SPECTACULAR (including a giant chorus on stage), the show itself just…wasn’t great. There were some superb performances (most notably Patrick Page reprising his role of Frollo and Michael Arden’s gorgeously acted Quasimodo) and I loved how the darker and more complicated aspects of the novel were reinstated, but the libretto (script) was all over the place, including some awkward direct address narration by the characters that was plucked from what seemed like a weird translation of the novel. Like they’d turn to the audience and say something along the lines of “Quasimodo climbed to the bell tower.” Then we’d literally see him climb to the bell tower. Ugh. For how well-paced the film is, the show was not…a real clunker. And I’ve ***heard*** the writers were stubborn about making changes to the show that could have made it better and ultimately hindered it’s critical success and potential move to NYC. That said, Disney is going to make oodles of money licensing this show to theaters around the country so I’m sure many people will be able to catch it somewhere. It’s super flawed but overall really cool to see this gorgeous music live on stage. If it’s at a theater near you, go check it out!

    • Chelsea Robson

      Thank you for your insight!

  • When Chelsea was talking about Esmeralda’s “hair and bod,” I immediately thought…
    I know it’s a lot, the hair, the bod! When you’re staring at a Demi Moore!

    Anyways, I really like this movie, and I’d rank it within my top 20 favorite WDAS films. This film has incredible music, amazing visuals, and awesome characters–except the gargoyles obviously. Like Morgan said, I don’t thing the gargoyles fit tonally within this movie. I give Hunchback 4 stars. If the gargoyles were cut out, it would be a 4.5 or even 5 star movie in my opinion.

    • Haha, we need a “hair and bod” face off with her and Maui!

  • Dodo Life

    will you guys do a podcast on the emoji movie? Also i cant wait for COCO!

  • How appropriate that I read “Wonder” by Raquel J. Palacio just before listening to this episode! Chelsea and Morgan well-discussed the mature themes of persecution, salvation, and religious influence in the film. I have to agree with Morgan’s comments about the film’s “comedic” moments with the gargoyles clashing with the more serious (and spectacular) scenes so it ended up being part-comedy part-drama instead of being 100% dark and intense.

    When I first watched this film as a child the adult themes went over my head including Frollo lusting over Esmerelda. And as Jewish kid, I honestly knew little about the inner workings of the Catholic Church and had to ask my father what it means when someone “claims sanctuary”. Speaking of my own religious upbringing, I distinctly remember watching “The Diary of Anne Frank” around the same time as this movie and in both I saw themes of people letting pride become their downfall and justifying terrible actions by ideal intentions: Frollo wanting to purge Paris of the gypsies and consequently the Nazis wanting to purge Jews from their countries.

    That being said, I’ve mentally compared this film to “Prince of Egypt” as one of the few animated films that dares to found itself upon religion. “PoE” is also an epic film with spectacular music but I think it does better as a film overall than “Hunchback” because “PoE” has a few comic moments but overall stays focused and grounded in a serious (yet beautiful) story.

    Regarding Frollo, he’s certainly not a Disney villain you can market with a lot of merchandise. But I say he’s one of the best villains for being just a man, not a god or a sorcerer, with righteous intentions he twists into cruel lustful actions. I remember Mason photoshopped Frollo holding a red lightsaber instead of a sword which is *amazing* taking into the legacy of Sith lords.

  • Rachel Wagner

    I know as a hard core Disney fan I’m supposed to love this one but I really don’t. I think it suffers from constantly changing protagonists and a mess of tones. Also some of the changes from the book really don’t work like making Frollo a judge. I know everyone else loves Frollo but I find him to be kind of bland. He’s basically the same at the beginning of the movie when he kills Quasi’s Mom as he is at the end. The gargoyles are awful and the gypsies are impossible to root for or feel compassion for. I admire what they were trying to do but I don’t think it works