But Quasimodo is a different kind of hero. Far from the bumbling unlikely hero of Cauldron, or a would-be king rising to challenge his usurper, Quasimodo’s quest is simply to learn to love himself and dare to let others love him. His is a far more universal story than the dark tales Disney had previously told.
The film is based on Victor Hugo’s 1831 classic, but as with all Disney adaptations, it differs significantly from the source material. As Walt famously told his team to ignore everything about The Jungle Book’s plot, the Disney studio in the 1990s was set firmly on making Hunchback as family-friendly a film as possible.
Frollo, rather than being the archdeacon of the church is now a judge. Esmerelda is threatened and hurt, but does not die in the end and the sexual tension of the story is toned down significantly.