The Hunchback of Notre Dame
July 22, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo and the show opening plays out, before showing NC in his room. As he speaks his opening line, an audience suddenly boos loudly at him)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it... (Gets annoyed at the booing) I like the damn movie!
(The audience immediately cheers at that)
Man: (off-screen) Let's go watch something else now.
(The title of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is shown, before showing its clips)
NC (vo): Just because I like a film, though, doesn't mean there's not a ton to talk about. I'd argue, even more to talk about, in fact. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was, I'm just gonna say it, a daring film for Disney to make. (The poster for The Little Mermaid is shown) This wasn't a fairy tale with the darker elements removed. This was a historical novel about the abuse of power in the church. Even hearing the title, "Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame", took a lot of people time to get used to. It's like hearing "Disney's The Haunting of Hill House". It's very bizarre. Despite the film, unsurprisingly, making changes, like focusing more on an Ugly Duckling angle rather than religious corruption, it wasn't quite the massive hit Disney was used to. I think there's a few reasons for this. One: It came off the heels of a profitable yet still underwhelming predecessor. (The poster of that predecessor, Pocahontas, is shown) Had it been released after Lion King, it probably would've done better. The other being it's so dark and adult compared to other Disney themes, that I don't know what era it would've been a big hit. In the past, the religious angle would've been too controversial and turn people away, and in the present, the fact that it's hand-drawn would turn people away. But maybe that's why I like it so much. It's not a film that easily finds a home. Yet I, and many like me, have created one for it. Over the years, a following has grown for the movie, who praise all the elements mainstream audiences just couldn't get into, the darker tone, the Gothic music, the unconventional themes Disney rarely touched upon. But with that said, it is still Disney. There's a lot of pandering that simply doesn't fit. But maybe there's an awkward charm to that, too.
NC: So, sit back and enjoy the not perfect, but still one of my favorite Disney films of all time. This is The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
(The film starts by showing huge shots of the city of Paris, before eventually showing a gypsy puppeteer named Clopin entertaining a group of kids at a booth and telling them the story of the mysterious bell ringer of Notre Dame)
NC (vo): The film opens with breathtaking music and imagery, as we're introduced to the people of Notre Dame, specifically Clopin, the film's always-present narrator for the first and last couple of minutes. Hey, at least this one stayed till the end. (An image of the Peddler from Aladdin is shown)
Clopin: Listen. They're beautiful, no? They don't ring all by themselves. (Brings out a puppet version of himself and speaks in a high voice) They don't? (Speaks normally) No, you silly boy.
NC (vo): Ah, when a masked man talking to kids with puppets on the street was...
NC: No, it was creepy back then, too.
(As Clopin tells, or sings the story, we go to 20 years ago, where four gypsies, one of them holding a baby, are attempting to gain passage into Paris, until they are suddenly captured by guards, led by the sinister Judge Claude Frollo)
NC (vo): He tells the story of gypsies trying to sneak under Notre Dame, but were caught by Claude Frollo, played by Tony Jay, who's a judge this time around, not an archdeacon.
Gypsy: Judge Claude Frollo!
(Frollo is first shown in full-view)
NC: You hear that? It's the sound of millions of confused girls swearing they don't have daddy issues.
(Footage of Frollo is shown as porno music plays in the background)
NC (vo): Yes, for whatever reason, Frollo has become a surprising sex symbol over the years. At first, I was confused, but the more I thought about it, take out the hunchback and this is essentially a dominating romance novel. (An Photoshopped image of a novel, which contains Frollo and Esmeralda and is titled "Do As I Say, Obey", is shown)
NC: Tell me you couldn't see him in that religious trailer before Tropic Thunder.
(The clip of the "Satan's Alley" trailer from Tropic Thunder is shown with the heads of Frollo and Esmerelda pasted onto the two "Satan's Alley" characters. Back to the movie)
NC (vo): Why, yes, I will count how many women have to leave the room when he says something kind of sexual.
Judge Claude Frollo: Bring these gypsy vermin to the Palace of Justice.
NC: (as Frollo) I call it that because it will be "Just-Us". (The "Women Who Had To Leave The Room" chart is shown with the sound of women giving a sexual groan; the number is revealed to be 250)
(The gypsy with the baby attempts to flee from the pursuing Frollo, who believes she is holding stolen goods. She eventually makes it to the Notre Dame church and frantically knocks on the door)
NC (vo): One of the gypsies runs, who you may be shocked to find out was actually Mary Kay Bergman, the actress who originally played Cartman's mom.
Mother: Sanctuary! Please give us sanctuary!
(Frollo immediately catches up to her and takes her baby, kicking her to the ground and causing her to fall head-first into the stony staircase, killing her immediately)
NC (vo): So when she's killed and her son is taken from her, you might have a better idea why Frollo is so horrified.
(The baby begins crying, causing Frollo to realize what he's holding)
Frollo: A baby?
(He looks at its face and becomes shocked at its appearance; soundbites of Eric Cartman from South Park are dubbed over the scene)
Cartman (vo): Ass-dickface!
Frollo: A monster!
Cartman (vo): Shitballs! Dumb bitch! Cock! Titties! (Beat) Okay, fine, whatever! Go ahead!
(Frollo approaches a well and prepares to dump the baby into it)
NC: Four minutes in, and already this G-rated movie is on baby-drowning. God, I wish those Saturday morning ads included that image.
(A commercial for the film's video release is shown, with the added footage of Frollo about to drop the baby into the well)
Announcer: It's everything you expect in a Disney classic. Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. (The title is shown with the added effect of water splashing)
(Back to the movie. The Archdeacon appears and stops Frollo before he can kill the baby)
NC (vo): The Archdeacon stops him, though.
Frollo: This is an unholy demon. I'm sending it back to Hell, where it belongs.
NC: (smiling) Jesus, I love this asshole. Can you give some evil lessons to current Disney villains? They kind of suck now. (Images of the Screenslaver, the Roar Omega Roar group, Yokai, and Te Ka, are shown)
(The Archdeacon convinces Frollo to not kill the baby by revealing that the "eyes of Notre Dame" saw what he did and was about to do, causing Frollo to become fearful)
NC (vo): The Archdeacon says the eyes of Notre Dame will damn Frollo if he commits such a heinous crime...but all the other stuff he does is cool.
Archdeacon: Care for the child and raise it as your own.
Frollo: What? Let him live with you in your church.
Archdeacon: Live here?
NC: I kind of love how they both guilt trip the other into taking care of this kid.
NC (vo; as Archdeacon): You must raise him as your own. (as Frollo) What? Oh, very well. But he must live here. (as Archdeacon) What? I don't want him. Don't you have a home? (as Frollo) Yes, but it's allergic to ugly. (as Archdeacon) Oh. Well, it must really... (Speaks as both characters) Sneeze a lot when you come home! Ha-ha-ha! (as Frollo) He's staying here.
(20 years later, the baby has grown into a deformed hunchback named Quasimodo, who has lived inside the Notre Dame cathedral all his lifetime)
NC (vo): Years go by, and the baby grows into a kind young man named Quasimodo, voiced by Tom Hulce.
(One morning, Quasimodo is shown speaking with a baby bird on a nest)
Quasimodo: Will today be the day? Are you ready to fly? (The bird chirps nervously)
NC: Hey, remember when Burger King tried to turn that into a big line?
(A Burger King commercial promoting the film is shown, showing a bunch of kids watching the film at a movie theater and watching the moment where Quasimodo speaks to the baby bird)
Quasimodo: Will today be the day? Are you ready to fly?
Kids: We're ready!
Announcer: And it looks like everybody is getting into the act.
NC: (confused) Honey, what's in their popcorn?
(After the baby bird leaves, the gargoyle that the bird was nesting on suddenly comes alive and spits the nest out of his mouth)
Hugo: Oh, man!
NC (vo): And we're introduced to the characters people either hate or...really hate, the gargoyles.
NC: This is the one element everyone can agree was botched.
(Various clips focusing on Quasimodo's friends and guardians, the three gargoyles, are shown)
NC (vo): While their names are funny, Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, which was Victor Hugo's sister...a shame he didn't have a feminine middle name so that joke could work better... (The full name, Victor Marie Hugo, is shown) What the fuck?...and the voice actors are great, with Jason Alexander, Jane Withers*, and Charles Kimbrough, they feel incredibly shoe-horned in, and the writing for them never gets a laugh.
- Note: Doug meant to say Mary Wickes was the voice for Laverne, but misnames her as Jane Withers, who did the voice for Laverne in The Hunchback of Notre Dame II.
Hugo: All right, all right! Pour the wine and cut the cheese!
(Images of the Genie, Timon and Pumbaa, Gaston, and Woody and Buzz Lightyear, are shown)
NC (vo): Especially coming off of comedic roles that please both kids and adults, this really needed a comedy facelift.
(A later scene of the gargoyles is shown)
Hugo: Give her some slack, then reel her in! Then give her some slack, then reel her in! Then give her some slack...
Laverne: (bonks Hugo on the head) Knock it off, Hugo! She's a girl, not a mackerel.
NC (vo): If only Alexander's lines were replaced with Duckman lines, then we'd have gold.
(Hugo's dialogue is dubbed over with dialogue from Duckman)
Duckman (vo): Sue me, I'm colorful! Doesn't mean I belong in here, making potholders with the wackos. Every day is an agonizing ordeal, like balancing a pot of scalding water on your head while people whip your legs and butt.
(Just as the gargoyles convince Quasimodo to attend the yearly gypsy celebration, the Festival of Fools, Frollo suddenly comes in to give Quasimodo some morning food)
NC (vo): Honestly, Frollo's teaching of the alphabet gets a bigger laugh.
Quasimodo: Eternal damnation.
NC: Well, now we know where Mel Gibson learned his ABCs.
(Despite Quasimodo's eagerness to attend the festival, Frollo attempts to dissuade him by warning him that he would be shunned for his deformity)
NC (vo): Quasimodo wants to join the Festival of Fools, but Frollo claims he can't, because...he ugly.
Frollo: (singing) You are deformed.
Quasimodo: (singing) I am deformed.
Frollo: (singing) And you are ugly.
Quasimodo: (singing) And I am ugly.
Frollo: (singing) And these are crimes...
NC: This is the feel-good song, right?
Frollo: (singing) Do as I say, obey...
(The "Women Who Had To Leave The Room" chart is shown again with the sound of women giving a sexual groan; the number is revealed to be 763. After Frollo leaves, Quasimodo sings about his desire to be accepted among society)
NC (vo): Quasi sings about how wonderful it would be to become accepted, and though Tom Hulce's voice is shakier than Sarah Brightman being electrocuted...
Quasimodo: (singing) Out there, like ordinary men...
NC (vo): ...he still sings it with so much heart and passion, I don't think it would've worked as well if he was dubbed. He sings about all the tough questions. How much value do we place in looks? (Several Easter Egg shots hidden in this sequence are shown, including a man carrying a carpet that looks like Aladdin's Magic Carpet, a hidden satellite shown on a building in a wide shot of the city, and Belle from Beauty and the Beast shown walking among the townsfolk) Who killed Aladdin's carpet? Why does Notre Dame not have satellite TV? And is this the weirdest prequel to Beauty and the Beast?
NC: Come on, I said they were tough questions, not good questions.
(At another part of the city, Phoebus, the Captain of the Guards, returns to Paris, where he encounters a gypsy named Esmeralda, and her pet goat Djali, dancing on the streets for coins, until she is suddenly confronted by two of Frollo's guards)
NC (vo): Captain Phoebus enters town, played by Kevin Kline, who sees a gypsy named Esmeralda, played by Demi Moore, accosted by a guard, played by Patrick the Starfish (Bill Fagerbakke).
Guard: Maybe a day in the stocks will cool you down!
(Esmeralda manages to escape the guards with the help of Phoebus, and Phoebus persuades the guards to take him to the Palace of Justice to see Frollo)
NC (vo): Phoebus goes with his horse Achilles, named only so they could do this joke...
Phoebus: Achilles, heel.
(A clip of Mike and Marcus from Bad Boys II smiling and laughing is briefly shown)
NC (vo): ...to the Palace of Justice, reporting for duty under Judge Frollo.
Frollo: (to Phoebus) I'm sure you'll...whip my men into shape.
(The "Women Who Had To Leave The Room" chart is shown again with the sound of women giving a sexual groan; the number is revealed to be 1422)
NC (vo): He explains how the gypsies are warping the minds of Paris and... (Speaks in a dude voice) taking our gerbs... (Speaks normally) ...so they must be dealt with like a nest of insects.
Phoebus: What are we going to do about it, sir?
(To answer that question, Frollo pushes a block he was holding back onto its spot, crushing a herd of ants in the process)
NC: It always drove me nuts he never put that piece back on right. (The block piece is shown not to be sitting in the right way) Oh, well. I'm sure that's the worse damage that'll befall the place.
(Meanwhile, the Festival of Fools, a celebration of gypsies hosted by Clopin, begins, with Quasimodo attending and accidentally getting involved in all the party's shenanigans in the process)
NC (vo): The Festival of Fools begins, as Quasimodo sneaks his way in.
(Clopin comes onstage to introduce the next act)
Clopin: (singing) Dance, La Esmeralda...dance!
(He disappears with a smoke blast, and Esmeralda, dressed in a red dress, appears in his place to perform a dance routine)
NC: As fun as this number is, the real entertainment is in the crowd.
(Various crowd shots and reactions shown throughout the sequence are shown)
NC (vo): Whether it's men pounding on women's heads, standing absolutely still, or having a mid-90s computer-generated seizure, they're easily the funniest things here, apart from this line.
(As Esmeralda performs, Frollo and Phoebus watch from the judge's seat)
Frollo: (unamused) Look at that disgusting display.
Phoebus: (intrigued) Yes, sir.
NC: Ironically, people will remember Demi Moore as this erotic dancer than when she was actually an erotic dancer. (A clip of Demi Moore's character from Striptease is shown)
(Clopin returns to introduce the next act)
Clopin: (singing) So make a face that's horrible and frightening. Make a face that's gruesome as a gargoyle's wing.
(Hugo, watching from high above, is offended at that line)
NC (vo): Doesn't even make sense. Who's scared of a gargoyle's...? You said it because it rhymes with "ning"!
(During the act of crowning the King of Fools, Quasimodo is accidentally exposed to the whole crowd)
Man: It's the bell ringer from Notre Dame!
(However, Clopin immediately declares that because of Quasimodo's appearance, he is crowned the title of the King of Fools, and the crowd immediately celebrates Quasimodo's achievement)
NC (vo): Quasi is crowned the King of Fools, as he technically makes the ugliest face there, and the crowd loves him...I think. (Some of the cheering citizens are shown to be monotone CGI) Some of them may have dropped Quaaludes before showing up. (Mimics a citizen) I shall cheer with extreme indifference!
(However, Quasimodo's celebration is cut short when Frollo's guards throw fruit at him, causing the crowd to get sucked in and start a riot, tying him up and continuing to mercilessly throw food at him)
NC (vo): But the crowd turns on him...rather sporadically. I get the idea they're supposed to be drunk, but they're trying to combine the King of Fools celebration with where he's being whipped, both from the book, and it's two very opposite scenes shoved together. Did every crowd member bring rope in case this weird-ass moment would break out?
(The famous clip of the four Hobbits being bowed to by the people of Minas Tirith in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is shown)
NC (vo): It's like if in Return of the King, everybody bows, and then they're suddenly like...
Minas Tirith citizen (voiced by NC): Hey, they're short! (Photoshopped apples are added into the scene as they're thrown to the four Hobbits)
(Back to the movie. The riot stops when Esmeralda appears and comforts Quasimodo)
Esmeralda: I'm sorry. This wasn't supposed to happen.
NC (vo): Esmeralda is the only one to show kindness to Quasi...though it is funny that she still calls him a creature.
Esmeralda: Just as soon as I free this poor creature.
NC: (acting as an angry person) I am not a creature! I am a thingamabob!
NC (vo): ...angering Frollo, who wanted to teach Quasi a lesson for leaving.
Esmeralda: (to Frollo) You speak of justice, yet you are cruel to those most in need of your help!
NC: (as Frollo) Again, you mean "Just-Us". (The sound of women making a sexual groan is heard again)
(Esmeralda uses a magic trick to avoid being arrested, and leads the pursuing guards in a highly comedic chase sequence before finally escaping)
NC (vo): Frollo orders her to be arrested, and did I say comedy was not this movie's strong point?
(At one point, Esmeralda crowd-surfs through a cheering crowd. The guards attempt to pursue by doing the same, but the crowd steps away, causing the guards to fall straight into the ground. At another point, Esmeralda pulls a stilted performer's pants down, causing a pursuing guard to get caught in the pants and be sent flying like a slingshot)
NC: Yeah, I know. (Two other moments are shown, including a performer kicking four guards in the crotch, and Esmeralda knocking down three guards with a guard helmet like a Frisbee) The crotch shots, the pinball thing. Don't forget the bowling sound effect. (Four guards are crushed by a cage with a prisoner inside; the sound of bowling pins is heard in the impact) Yeah, can we move on to the depressing shit?
(As the rain pours down, a saddened Quasimodo is sent back to Notre Dame as the crowd, still scared at his appearance, watches)
NC: (excited) Oh, yeah! This is the good stuff!
NC (vo): Yeah, make me feel awful, go blue and grey as I watch someone suffer! Oh, the sadness! The overbearing sadness!
NC: Kids, I know you don't understand, but when you grow up to be a mean-spirited fuck like me, this is where the real entertainment is. And those of you who grew up happy and full of life...we'll get you.
(Esmeralda hides from the guards in the Notre Dame cathedral, only to be met by Phoebus)
NC (vo): Esmeralda enters Notre Dame and comes across Phoebus.
Esmeralda: You sneaky son of a...
Phoebus: Uh-uh-uh. Watch it. You're in a church.
NC: (as Phoebus) And a Disney film. (Four scenes showing the film's darkest moments are shown) We can let all this slide, but saying the B-word is a Mickey no-no.
(Esmeralda duels with Phoebus using a lantern)
NC (vo): So they have a Monkey Island-style battle of insults, one of them funny...
Phoebus: You fight almost as well as a man.
Esmeralda: Funny. I was going to say the same thing about you.
NC (vo): ...and one so bad, it might be my favorite joke in the entire movie.
(Phoebus gets hit in the chest by Djali)
Phoebus: I didn't know you had a kid.
NC: (face-palmed while laughing) Oh, my God! I can't even look at you, joke! I can't even look at you!
(Phoebus chooses not to arrest Esmeralda, much to her surprise, but Frollo and his guards arrive, but Phoebus stops them by claiming Esmeralda claimed sanctuary. As Phoebus and the guards leave, Frollo confronts Esmeralda)
NC (vo): Frollo sees them and realizes she claimed sanctuary, but that doesn't stop him from seeking vengeance.
Frollo: Gypsies don't do well inside stone walls.
(In a shockingly lustful manner, Frollo starts sniffing Esmeralda's hair. The "Women Who Had To Leave The Room" chart is shown again with the sound of women giving a sexual groan; the number is revealed to be 17369204691)
Esmeralda: (breaking free) I know what you were imagining.
Frollo: [So typical of your kind to twist the truth and to] cloud the mind with unholy thoughts.
NC: Okay, how is that face not become a meme yet?
(Esmeralda's reaction is shown paused)
NC (vo): That's an expression that says, "Dude, I'm supposed to be two years older than Snow White? And she's 14? The fuck, Disney?"
Frollo: Set one foot outside, and you're mine. (Leaves, leaving Esmeralda trapped in the cathedral)
NC (vo): Frollo posts guards around every door, while Esmeralda talks with the Archdeacon.
Esmeralda: Letting the crowd torture that poor boy. I thought if just one person could stand up to him, then... (Sighs) What do they have against people who are different, anyway?
(The past moments of Esmeralda first encountering Quasimodo are shown)
NC: (as Esmeralda) I mean, when I met him, I said he had a great mask, and I jumped back in fear when I saw it was his face. I'd expect people to treat me the same way.
(Esmeralda walks around the cathedral while singing "God Help the Outcasts", and after the song, she encounters Quasimodo and follows him up to the tower)
NC (vo): She sings a powerful song about God helping the outcast, once again utilizing the cathedral's beauty, and encounters Quasi once more.
(The gargoyles are watching Quasimodo being followed by Esmeralda from nearby)
Laverne: He's got a friend with him.
Hugo: Yeah. Maybe today wasn't a total loss after all.
Victor: A vision of loveliness.
Hugo: The one in the dress ain't bad either.
NC: Okay, so the filmmakers said they wanted to leave it open whether the gargoyles were actually alive or in Quasi's imagination.
(Several moments in the film's climax involving the gargoyles fighting against Frollo's army are shown)
NC (vo): I guess I could buy that the guards aren't really being stopped by them in the climax, and that's just part of his wishful thinking.
NC: But here's my question. (Beat) What's with the goat love?
(A brief moment of Hugo briefly coming alive in front of Djali and making smoochy faces at him is shown, as well as a future moment of Hugo bringing out a drawn picture of Djali)
NC (vo): Every second, one of them is hitting on this animal, and if that's supposed to be in Quasimodo's mind, I fucking got someone I think you should talk to! (An image of Doctor Ross holding a sheep from the comedy Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex is shown)
(Esmeralda enters Quasimodo's room and becomes amazed at his model of the city inside)
Esmeralda: Did you make all these things yourself?
(The two begin to bond with each other, as Quasimodo takes Esmeralda on a tour around Notre Dame)
NC (vo): Quasi and Esmeralda hit it off, and he explains his connection with Frollo.
Esmeralda: How could such a cruel man have raised someone like you?
Quasimodo: Cruel? Oh, no. He saved my life.
NC: (as Quasimodo) He said my mother was gonna kill me with kindness, whatever that means.
(Touched by Esmeralda's kindness, Quasimodo helps her escape from Notre Dame, and that night, he joyfully rings the bells as he sings about his experience)
NC (vo): Quasi helps her escape, and he's filled with joy, singing...
NC: (shrugging) ...the one before "Hellfire". I always skip it, and so do you.
(Meanwhile, at the Palace of Justice, Frollo sings "Hellfire", fully expressing his newfound lustful feelings toward Esmeralda in front of a fireplace and begging the Virgin Mary to save him from her "spell" to avoid eternal damnation)
NC (vo): Yep, it's time for everybody's favorite part of the movie: arguably the best Disney Villain song. In fact, it's so good, Disney wouldn't even do another villain song until 13 years later. (An image of Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog is shown) How crazy is that? 13 years without another animated villain song! Though, I did hear they were gonna do more songs for modern Disney villains, and funny enough, they all have the same title: "Surprise, I was the villain and the worst part of the movie".
(At one point, Frollo finds himself confronted by red hooded beings)
Frollo: (singing) It's not my fault! (The chorus sings) I'm not to blame.
NC (vo): This song has everything. It's big, it's haunting, it's Gothic, it's intense, it's visually stunning. It almost got the film a PG rating for being too sexually provocative. They got around it by outlining Esmeralda's clothes more, as she was practically naked in the original. Let's see that with a gawking Frollo make one of the little candies in the Hunchback movie cups. (A commercial of Nestle's Movie Cups promoting the film is briefly shown)
Frollo: (singing) Destroy Esmeralda, and let her taste the fires of Hell!
NC: I can't even count how many covers of this song there are on YouTube.
(An image of various YouTube videos showing covers of the song is shown)
NC (vo): It's almost like this movie that already gained a following grew yet another following just with this song alone. It kicks ass just as much now as when it first came out. It still stands as one of the best musical moments in Disney history. All I gotta say is, my count for how many women left the room exploded when I merely mentioned this song. (The chart is shown again, with an even bigger number than ever before, an explosion, and the sound of women cheering in delight)
(The song ends with Frollo collapsing into the ground)
NC: (as a woman) Why haven't you burned down a city and risked going to Hell for me?
(We go to a commercial. When we come back, we go to the next morning, where Phoebus meets with an-arriving Frollo)
NC (vo): So after another pretty hilarious line...
Phoebus: Are you feeling alright?
Frollo: I had a little trouble with the fireplace.
NC: (as Frollo) I burned my soul, among...other things.
(Frollo instigates a citywide manhunt for Esmeralda, involving bribing captured gypsies and setting fire to countless houses in his way. Phoebus is appalled by Frollo's evil and openly defies him, saving a family from a burning house. Frollo sentences him to death, but with the help of a hidden Esmeralda, Phoebus attempts to escape, but the guards strike him with an arrow, and he falls into a river, where Esmeralda rescues him)
NC (vo): ...Frollo does a citywide search to find Esmeralda, even burning down a home with a family inside who gave refuge to gypsies. Phoebus saves them and Esmeralda saves Phoebus, despite being injured while escaping.
(Growing more evil by the second, Frollo continues his manhunt, eventually leaving the entire city of Paris in flames)
NC: You know, that...windmill...
NC (vo): ...with that family inside is the first place we've seen him burn down, and Phoebus isn't the Captain of the Guards anymore. Are we to assume there were people in all those buildings he burned afterwards?
NC: (smiling and nodding) Mmm! Didn't think of that one, did you, MPAA? (The PG rating is shown, but NC gets rid of the "P", leaving only the "G" intact) Nope! That P's not going in front of that G! That's there to stay!
NC (vo): Don't worry. Disney+ will just put in another disclaimer. (The Disney+ link to the movie is shown with a Photoshopped warning that says "May contain mass family genocide")
(The gargoyles are shown witnessing all the chaos that's occurring)
NC (vo): Too scary, kids? Look, there's the gargoyles! Too awesome, parents? Look, there's the gargoyles.
Laverne: But now don't you say anything to upset Quasimodo.
NC (vo): What drives me nuts about this scene where they don't want to let Quasi know things have gotten worse is, it almost could've worked if they handled the timing better.
NC: Like, okay. Here's how the scene should play.
(NC's take on the scene is shown. Quasimodo comes in as the gargoyles attempt to stay silent)
Victor: Not a word.
Hugo: Easy does it.
Quasimodo: Any sign of her?
Victor: (immediately becomes scared and emotional) Oh, it's a lost cause!
NC: Not bad. Might get a chuckle. Now here's how it actually plays out.
(The scene is shown again, this time shown to how it was delivered)
Quasimodo: Any sign of her?
(Immediately when Quasimodo says that line, Victor's teeth begin to chatter, before he breaks down)
Victor: Oh, it's a lost cause!
NC (vo): It just took too long. It also doesn't help that the moral of the story is appearances don't matter, yet they constantly mock each other for how they look.
Hugo: I thought I was the cute one.
Laverne: No, you're the fat, stupid one with the big mouth!
NC: (as Laverne) You're also porking up, too, Quasi! Eat a salad and stop being so ugly! (Facepalms immediately) I'm terrible at this.
(The gargoyles reassure Quasimodo that Esmeralda will come back for him by singing "A Guy Like You")
NC (vo): Did someone say, "Thank God they don't have a song?"
Victor: (singing) She wants you so, any moment, she'll walk through that door...
NC (vo): Yep, the gargoyles get a musical number in this, and you're held hostage until it's over. Aside from this cute in-joke... (At one point, the gargoyles give Quasimodo a hairstyle that is similar to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's hairstyle. Mozart's famous laugh from the movie Amadeus (where the voice of Quasimodo, Tom Hulce, portrayed Mozart) is heard) ...this song could be cut and you wouldn't miss nothing. This was one of Jane Withers' [Mary Wickes] last films to work on, and, man, how do you think she must have found this experience saying terrible jokes but getting a great paycheck for it?
(A clip from Sister Act is shown)
Sister Mary Lazarus (Mary Wickes): It was Hell on Earth. I loved it.
(After the song, Esmeralda comes in with a wounded Phoebus, and Quasimodo gives them shelter, but becomes heartbroken to figure out the fact that both Phoebus and Esmeralda are in love)
NC (vo): Thankfully, it's a short song, though, and Esmeralda arrives with Phoebus, allowing Quasi to find out she's in love with him.
(Phoebus and Esmeralda kiss, much to Quasimodo's sadness)
NC (vo; as Phoebus): Should we wait for Quasi to leave? (as Esmeralda) No. Sewing stitches sex is the best kind of sex. (as Phoebus) Are you sure he's okay, though? (as Esmeralda, after Quasimodo breaks a card with a heart on it in half) Yeah, he's fine.
(As Frollo arrives, Esmeralda escapes, and Quasimodo hides the wounded Phoebus under a table as Frollo comes in)
NC (vo): But Frollo arrives and Quasi has to hide a passed-out Phoebus.
Frollo: (offering Quasimodo some grapes) Is there something troubling you, Quasimodo? (Eats a grape) I know there is. (The "Women Who Had To Leave The Room" chart is shown again with the sound of women giving a sexual groan; the number is revealed to be EXTREMELY big than ever before) You helped her escape!
NC (vo): He reveals that he knows Quasi helped Esmeralda escape, and freaks out on him.
Frollo: And now, all Paris is burning because of you!
NC: (as Frollo) In hindsight, I could've asked before I killed hundreds of people, but I don't think when I'm horny...angry.
NC (vo): Frollo says he knows where her hideout is, so Phoebus goes to save her, while Quasi stays behind.
(After Phoebus leaves, Quasimodo looks at the gargoyles, who are all staring silently at him)
Quasimodo: What am I supposed to do? Go out there and rescue the girl from the jaws of death, and the whole town will cheer like I'm some kind of a hero?!
NC: I mean, it's exactly what the script says.
(Quasimodo eventually changes his mind and goes with Phoebus to find the Court of Miracles, the hideout of the gypsies. Upon finding it, they end up being confronted by gypsies led by Clopin, and, accused of being Frollo's spies, they are taken to their lair to be dealt with)
NC (vo): Quasi decides to go with Phoebus, and they stumble upon the Court of Miracles, where they're almost hanged.
Clopin: (to the crowd of gypsies) It's a double-header! A couple of Frollo's spies!
NC (vo; as Clopin): We're just fighting against the stereotype that we're murderous thieves. Now hold still while we kill you in our den of stolen goods.
(Just as Clopin is about to hang Quasimodo and Phoebus, Esmeralda stops him)
(Just as our heroes explain to the gypsies that they must leave before Frollo finds them, Frollo and his army of guards appear and capture all of them anyway, having followed Quasimodo after tricking him earlier)
NC (vo): Esmeralda saves them, though, just in time to be captured again by Frollo.
Frollo: Dear Quasimodo, I always knew you would someday be of use to me.
Quasimodo: (shocked) No.
NC: (as Frollo) I also assumed I'd stuff you and put you outside to scare off solicitors, but this is far better.
(The next morning, at Notre Dame, Frollo prepares to burn Esmeralda at the stake while the captured Phoebus and the gypsies, and an angry crowd who have begun to see Frollo as the true wicked man he is, watches)
NC (vo): They get ready to burn Esmeralda, as Frollo makes her one last offer.
Frollo: Choose me or the fire.
(Esmeralda spits on Frollo's face. A clip from Beauty and the Beast is shown)
Bimbette #1: What's wrong with her?
Bimbette #2: She's crazy!
Bimbette #3: He's gorgeous.
(At the tower, Quasimodo is chained up while the gargoyles attempt to free him)
NC (vo): Quasi is chained up, and the gargoyles try to convince him to break free.
Victor: You can't let Frollo win!
Quasimodo: He already has.
Laverne: These chains aren't what's holding you back, Quasimodo.
Quasimodo: (snapping) Leave me alone.
NC: (as Laverne) I mean, we could always sing again. (shrugs)
Quasimodo: (upon noticing Frollo setting the stake on fire, screams angrily) NO!!
(With renewed strength and motive, Quasimodo breaks free from his chains and uses a rope to swing down to the stake and rescue Esmeralda before she gets completely burned, before taking her back to the tower, claiming sanctuary, and bringing her to safety in a room)
NC (vo): Quasi finds the will to break free, and with some of the best animation and music in the movie, he sweeps in and carries Esmeralda back to the cathedral. Well, if I know the book, we have a few days before people barge in...
(Frollo and his guards attempt to break into the cathedral, the last straw for the angry crowd to rally against Frollo, and they, led by Phoebus and the freed gypsies, fight against Frollo's army in a big battle, while Quasimodo and the gargoyles fight back by throwing various beams at the climbing guards)
NC (vo): Or we're doing the supercut. That's cool. The guards try to burst in, and we have a comedic climax because... (Images of comedic climaxes from various Disney films are shown) ...that's just what Disney did for a while...and Quasimodo fights them off.
(Quasimodo notices a grappling hook and pulls it, causing three guards to crash into the building and fall screaming into a river; one guard screams the Goofy Holler)
NC: This might be the only time I didn't put that sound effect in.
NC (vo): Give credit we do finally get a funny scene from the gargoyles.
(At one point, Laverne commands an army of birds to attack in a similar manner to the Wicked Witch commanding her Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz)
Laverne: Fly, my pretties! Fly! Fly! (Cackles)
(The birds chase several guards away while pecking at their helmets)
NC: (smiling) I got a laugh. That's a good joke.
(Quasimodo and the gargoyles pour molten lead onto the streets to ensure no one enters)
NC (vo): Quasi pours molten lava onto the crowd, forcing the soldiers to fall back.
(The released lava is shown in a wide shot as a chorus sings the film's main piece of music)
NC: It's looked worse. (The image of the real-life Notre Dame burning is shown)
(Quasimodo's victory is short-lived, as he sees Esmeralda still lying motionless, and he begins to believe she has died)
NC (vo): Quasi tries to wake up Esmeralda, but it looks like she didn't survive the burning.
(A clip from The Princess Bride is shown)
Valerie: Liar! Liar! LIAR!
NC: Yeah, okay, it's pretty obvious. Even a Disney film as dark as this one isn't going to kill her off after all that.
NC (vo): But I don't think it matters, because it leads to some really great scenes. Quasi crying over losing his only friend, Frollo sneaking in, having an almost twisted conversation. Even the gargoyles get kind of an emotional moment.
Quasimodo: Oh, no.
(The gargoyles, looking upset at this apparent sad turn of events, slowly leave the room and close the door)
NC (vo; as Laverne): Oh, maybe we should sing for him. (as all three gargoyles; singing) A guy like you!
(Frollo enters, having managed to get into Notre Dame anyway, and slowly raises a knife to kill Quasimodo, but Quasimodo notices and fights back. Esmeralda regains consciousness and Quasimodo carries her out of the room with Frollo chasing them)
NC (vo): Frollo tries to literally stab him in the back, but Quasi stops him and sees Esmeralda is awake.
(As Frollo searches for the two, he notices three gargoyles; one of them looks similar to a warthog)
NC: By the way, let's set the record straight. Everyone thinks this is Pumbaa, and it's actually not. The reason I know this is because Pumbaa is actually dead and being carried off in an earlier scene. (We are shown that described Easter Egg shot, which occurred during the "Out There" sequence) Anything else I can do to make this movie darker? I'm sure they hung Woody in there somewhere. (An image of the "A Guy Like You" sequence, showing Hugo playing with hanging dolls, is shown with the Photoshopped image of Woody being one of the hanged dolls)
(Frollo attacks Quasimodo and Esmeralda with his sword, and the ensuing confrontation ends with both Quasimodo and Frollo hanging for dear life. Esmeralda attempts to save Quasimodo, who loses consciousness, while Frollo grabs onto another stone gargoyle, stands on it, and raises his sword to kill the two while laughing evilly)
NC (vo): Frollo and Quasi are found hanging from the cathedral, Quasi faints out of nowhere, because it's dramatically convenient, and Frollo lights up like a Jack-o-Lantern. No, seriously, his mouth and eyes light up. I have no idea why, and I don't care. It's fucking awesome.
Frollo: [And He shall smite the wicked] and plunge them into the fiery pit!
(As he says this, the gargoyle statue he is standing on suddenly begins to break, causing Frollo to lose his grip and hang on for dear life, dropping his sword. The gargoyle briefly comes to life and roars at a terrifed Frollo, then fully breaks, sending a screaming Frollo plummeting to his death below)
NC (vo; as the gargoyle): Joke's on you! Scientology was the true religion! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Look out, Xenu! Here we come!
(Quasimodo begins plummeting as well, but is caught and saved by Phoebus. The trio embrace, with Quasimodo giving his blessing to Esmeralda and Phoebus. The three heroes then step out of the cathedral to greet the crowd, and a young girl soon walks to Quasimodo and shows no fear of him, thus causing the crowd to finally accept Quasimodo as among them)
NC (vo): Quasi is saved by Phoebus, and as payment, he demotes himself to the friend zone. Quasi is brought out into the world and is immediately accepted by the people...until they get drunk and throw shit at him again, but I think there's a great period.
Clopin: Three cheers for Quasimodo!
(The citizens cheer)
NC: (as a citizen) Should we really have mocked how he looks? I mean, we're giving off a bit of a Sea Monkeys look over here. (Several citizens are shown animated with CGI) We look like people who end our summers with The Wicker Man.
(Quasimodo is lifted up by the cheering crowd and carried away in celebration)
NC (vo): The crowd cheers, everybody lives happily ever after, and...
NC: (shrugs) That's certainly not how the book ends, but who gives a shit? This movie's fucking awesome.
(Footage from the film plays once more as NC gives his closing thoughts. At one point, images of the film's stage musical version are shown as well)
NC (vo): There are clearly problems with it when compared to the original, and even if you don't compare it, the tone can be jarring with some of the more awkward moments. But I'm sorry. It, in no way, comes close to overshadowing the good stuff. It's dark, it's epic, it has memorable characters, a phenomenal villain. It's a visual marvel even all these years later. The music is beautiful, and even though it never became a mainstream smash, it has a fanbase that loves the hell out of it. I will say, if you want a version that's even darker and more adult, you should probably check out Disney's stage musical. It's a perfect combo of both the book and the film, and it does go to even darker places that, honestly, I didn't think Disney had the balls to go to. But even with that out there, this remains one of Disney's riskiest films. And it's nice to know that not only did it pay off, but its fanbase is growing day by day. Check it out if you haven't, and even if you have, watch it again. There's always something to appreciate with every viewing.
NC: And it'll be interesting to see what they do with a live-action remake. I mean, Christ, it's gotta be better than... (Realizes what he's about to say) This isn't a segue for it...? (The poster for what he's reviewing next, the 2019 remake of The Lion King, is shown) OHH!!
Channel Awesome Tagline: Frollo: I had a little trouble with the fireplace.
(The credits roll)