The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the 34th animated Disney feature, and is based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. It released June 21, 1996, and was the seventh movie Disney released during their Renaissance, which began with the release of The Little Mermaid in 1989. Now you can watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame online. Disney writers had to make several adjustments to the original storyline because the original themes of the story was darker, and Disney needed a G rating for their movie. Still, Hunchback is considered to be one of the darkest Disney animated features, dealing with themes like infanticide, lust, and genocide. The film was the fifth highest grossing movie of 1996, and is a critically acclaimed film, although at the time of release many critics noted that some of the themes might not be appropriate for young viewers. The Disney + service allows you to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame streaming. The movie was successful enough to rate a sequel, which was released straight to video in 2002 as well as a stage adaptation which debuted in Germany, running from 1999 through 2002. Here’s how to stream The Hunchback of Notre Dame right now:
How to Stream ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ – Exclusively on Disney+
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of the fan-favorite Disney movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream The Hunchback of Notre Dame and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Hunchback of Notre Dame”
- 5. Tap on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Overview
Release Date: June 21, 1996
Creators: Victor Hugo, Walt Disney Pictures, Tab Murphy, Irene Mecchi, Bob Tzudiker, Noni White, Jonathan Roberts
Director: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Starring: Demi Moore, Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough, David Ogden Stiers and Tom Hulce
The disfigured bell-ringer of Notre Dame, Quasimodo, longs to be with other people but has been raised in seclusion. His chance encounter with the Gypsy Esmerelda changes his life and he must save her from the clutches of the evil Frollo.
How Long Is The Hunchback of Notre Dame?
The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a running time of 91 minutes.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Plot
A group of Romani sneak into Paris in 1482 and are ambushed by Judge Claude Frollo who, on the steps of Notre Dame cathedral, kills one of the women and tries to kill her deformed baby. A archdeacon steps in, saving the boy, and forcing Frollo to care for the boy to atone of his sin. The boy is named Quasimodo and is raised in the cathedral. Quasimodo grows up to be a kind but lonely boy whose only friends are three stone gargoyles. A group of gypsies returns to Paris and among them in the beautiful Esmerelda. She and Quasimodo meet by accident and develop a friendship, but she also catches the eye of the evil Frollo, who wants her for himself. One of Frollo’s henchmen tries to arrest Esmerelda for witchcraft but when she enters Notre Dame he cannot arrest her. She is then confined to the cathedral. Quasimodo helps Esmerelda escape the cathedral because she is kind to him; this enrages Frollo who seeks her out, burning down Parisian homes as he searches for the gypsy. The gargoyles try to get Quasimodo to tell Esmerelda how he feels about her but he doesn’t. When Frollo returns to the cathedral, he learns Quasimodo helps Esmerelda escape, and tricks Quadimodo into revealing where the other gypsies are hiding. He captures the gypsies and Esmerelda and is set to have her burned at the stake because she rejected him. Phoebus and Quasimodo rally the Parisians to stand up against Frollo, and in a fight at Notre Dame, Frollo and Quasimodo both fall to the street below. Phoebus saves Quasimodo, who comes to realize that Phoebus and Esmerelda are in love. He gives them his blessing and they help him become part of Parisian society.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Cast
Several Hollywood stars turned out to provide voices for The Hunchback of Notre Dame including Demi Moore, David Ogden Stiers, Jason Alexander, and Kevin Kline. The cast members were nominated for five voice acting awards, including three Annie’s and two Online Film & Television Awards. Here are the key cast members of The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
Demi Moore as Esmerelda
Esmerelda is a kind-hearted gypsy who can see the goodness in Quasimodo. She falls in love with Phoebus. Actress Demi Moore was one of the highest-paid actresses of the 1990s, after hit films including St. Elmo’s Fire, A Few Good Men, and Indecent Proposal. She has been nominated for 28 awards over the course of her career and has won 13 including a Hollywood Film Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and two People’s Choice awards.
Tom Hulce as Quasimodo
Quasimodo is the deformed ward of Frollo who rings the bells at Notre Dame Cathedral. He falls in love with Esmerelda and longs to be accepted by society. Tom Hulce is an award winning actor who is best known for playing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1984 hit Amadeus. This role led to an Oscar nomination in 1984. He in the winner of four awards including an Emmy for his part in The Heidi Chronicles.
Kevin Kline as Phoebus
The character of Phoebus was changed from Hugo’s original to be more heroic as part of the Disney film. He saves Quasimodo’s life and falls in love with Esmerelda. Kevin Kline is an Oscar award winning actor and director who is best known for his roles in A Fish Called Wanda, Wild Wild West, and In & Out. He also starred in the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, released by Disney in 2017, and sang on the soundtrack for the movie.
Jason Alexander as Hugo
Hugo is a gargoyle who befriends Quasimodo in Notre Dame. Jason Alexander is an award winning actor, producer, and director who is best known as George on the comedy series Seinfeld. In addition to the television series, he has appeared in films such as Coneheads, Pretty Woman, and A Christmas Carol: The Musical. He has been nominated for 39 awards, including four Golden Globes, and has won 7 including two American Comedy Awards and three SAG awards.
Tony Jay as Frollo
Frollo kills Quasimodo’s mother and tries to kill him before being forced to take guardianship of the infant. He is an evil man. Actor Tony Jay is best known for his rolls in Time Bandit and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He also starred in the Beauty and the Beast TV series.
Charles Kimbrough as Victor
Victor is one of Quasimodo’s gargoyle friends who lives in Notre Dame. Veteran actor Charles Kimbrough is best known for his portrayal of news anchor Jim Dial on Murphy Brown in the 1980s. In addition he has appeared in the films The Wedding Planner and both Hunchback of Notre Dame movies produced by Disney.
Mary Wickes as Laverne
Laverne is Quasimodo’s third gargoyle friend; she is his confidante and offers him advice. Actress Mary Wickes is a Hollywood veteran who appeared 144 films over the course of her career. She would voice Laverne for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but died before the film’s release. In addition to Hunchback, she is famous for her roles in both Sister Act movies with Whoopi Goldberg, and for playing Emma in White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Songs and Soundtrack
Noted studio musicians Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken were tapped to create the music for The Hunchback of Notre Dame; the duo had previously worked on Pocahontas together. They would create seven songs along with the musical score for the film. The song Someday was originally developed to be sung in the cathedral but the executives at Disney decided a more religious tune should be sung inside the church, leaving Someday as the song rolling under the credits. The song was covered by the American R&B group All-4-One, the British group Eternal, and by Luis Miguel for the Spanish version.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Box Office
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the fifth highest grossing film of 1996, earning just over $21 million on opening weekend. All told, the film would go on to earn $325 million in domestic and international ticket sales. The good performance of the film spawned a sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, which was quite a bit lighter than the original film, and not as well-received.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Reviews – What the Critics Said
Reviewers were generally favorable toward the film, despite the darker overtones and departure from Disney’s typical movie theatre fare; the film holds a 71% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Some critics believed Disney departed too much from Hugo’s original text, but the audience, in general, liked the changes which helped make the film a family favorite.
Where The Hunchback of Notre Dame Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was nominated for 21 awards including an Academy Award, for Best Music in an Original Musical or Comedy, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score. It would win three awards including Top Box Office Films for the ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards (1997). It was the fifth highest grossing movie of 1996, which led to a sequel centering on the friendship between Quasimodo and Esmerelda’s son. Some audiences panned the film, believing it was too dark for children, but that didn’t stop the movie from grossing more than $300 million at the box office. In addition to the sequel, the movie spawned a Broadway type stage production.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Trailer
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
Jason Alexander famously said he fulfilled a lifelong dream when he was cast in the Disney movie, as he’d always wanted to be part of a Disney production. Here are five more interesting factoids about The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
1. Cyndi Lauper Axed from Hunchback
Despite being one of the first actors hired for the project, Cyndi Lauper was let go from her contract. The Disney execs decided to go a different way with the gargoyles, which is where Lauper had been cast, and thought her voice was ‘too young’ for the part.
2. Jason Alexander Criticizes Disney
Although he says being cast as Victor in Hunchback fulfilled a ‘lifelong dream’ of being cast in a Disney film, actor Jason Alexander was also critical of the film. He famously said he wouldn’t take his then-four-year-old to see the film because some of the themes were too adult for younger viewers.
3. Australian ‘Hunchback’ cuts Hellfire
For the film’s original debut in Australia, the last third of the Hellfire scene, in which Frollo burns Paris, was cut. In that version Hellfire ends when Frollo says “I’ll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris”. The edited out parts have been restored and the full movie is now available in Australia.
4. 21 Nominations for Hunchback Cast and Crew
The cast and crew of The Hunchback of Notre Dame were nominated for 21 awards, and would win 8. They won the ASCAP award for Top Box Office Films in 1996, the Best Casting award for Animated Voiceover from the BMI Film & TV awards, and three Motion Picture Sound Editor awards.
5. Critics Say Hunchback Isn’t Dark Enough
Though The Hunchback of Notre Dame is considered one of Disney’s darkest films, some critics say they departed too far from the original text of author Victor Hugo. Disney did keep the themes of infanticide, lust, damnation, genocide and sin, but the writers and developers did have to make significant changes to Hugo’s book to keep their G rating in tact.