|“||Go on. Nobody wants to be cooped up here forever.||„|
|~ Quasimodo, to the baby bird|
|“||No, you listen! All my life, you have told me that the world is a dark, cruel place. But now I see that the only thing dark and cruel about it is people like YOU!||„|
|~ Quasimodo standing up against Frollo.|
Quasimodo is the main protagonist of Disney's 34th full-length animated feature film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and its 2002 sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II. He was voiced by Tom Hulce.
Like the novel, he is adopted by Frollo, deformed and lives in solitude in the bell tower. He falls in love with Esmeralda but so does Frollo. In the Disney version, he befriends three gargoyles named Victor, Hugo, & Laverne who come to life, as well as Phoebus who ends up with Esmeralda.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
In the film, we learn that Quasimodo's parents are gypsies and instead of being portrayed as an archdeacon like in the book, Claude Frollo is the Minister of Justice with an iron fist who hates gypsies and tries to bring order to the town. Clopin, the town jester and gypsy entertainer tells a group of children, Quasimodo's origin. Once upon a time, a bunch of gypsies were travelling to the Court of Miracles when they were captured by Frollo and his secret police. The gypsies, save for one woman were arrested. She escaped but was being chased by Frollo all the way to Notre Dame. Frollo, unaware that she was carrying a baby and not stolen goods, grabs the child by force and pushes the mother over, hitting her head on the steps, and killing her. Frollo sees the deformed baby and calls him a demon from hell, deciding to drown him in a well. The archdeacon stops him and confronts him of what just happened. Frollo denies everything but believes the archdeacon when he says that he cannot hide from the eyes of the Lord. Afraid of being damned by God, Frollo obeys the archdeacon's request to take care of the baby, but has him live in the bell tower and be hidden from the world. He then names him Quasimodo (meaning 'half-formed" in the film, after Quasimodo Sunday in the novel).
Twenty years go by and Quasimodo lives a happy life in the cathedral, but wishes he could be out in public. The annual gypsy festival occurs and he desperately tries to see it up close. His gargoyle friends, Hugo, Victor, and Laverne egg him on to go, but Frollo arrives and forbids him not to go, saying people will see him as a monster. Quasimodo decides to disobey Frollo and go just this once. He ends up in the jocular dancing and crashes into Esmeralda's tent. Esmeralda sees him and thinks he is wearing a mask. He is exposed to the whole city and is crowned the King of Fools. One of Frollo's thugs throws tomatoes at him and soon more people begin to mistreat him until he is rescued by Esmeralda. Even Phoebus, Captain of the Guard, could not help but sympathize with the hunchback, but the judge stands him down. Frollo orders her to leave him alone as he needs to be taught a lesson, but she refuses and helps him. Frollo accuses her of being a witch but he secretly falls for her as well as Phoebus, the captain of the guard. Quasimodo lingers back into the cathedral in disgrace after being silently scolded by Frollo for his disobediance and Esmeralda tries to talk to him. Frollo attempts to arrest her, but she requests sanctuary and the archdeacon protects her and shuns Frollo out.
Esmeralda starts to pray in song and it lures Quasimodo to her but when he is spotted by a parishioner who mistook him causing trouble knocking a candlestaff in the process, he runs back up to the tower with her following terrified by the parishioners' mistreat to him. She sees all the bells and becomes fascinated by them. She is the first to see Quasimodo as a man and not a monster and he falls for her. He sneaks her out of the cathedral and cannot stop thinking about her. Frollo learns of her escape and organizes a massive manhunt to find her. He burns an innocent family's windmill with the family inside and Phoebus saves them. Frollo brands Phoebus as a traitor and his men turn on him, shooting and falls into a river to drown. Esmeralda saves him and brings him to Quasimodo to keep him safe. Frollo realizes that something had to have happened because he stationed guards at every single entrance. Before that, the gargoyles comfort Quasimodo and tell him that she is perfect for him and go for it. When she arrives with an injured Phoebus, Quasimodo notices a connection between the two of them and is heartbroken, further hating his bizarre apperance even more. He sees Frollo coming and hides Phoebus. However, Frollo finds out that Quasimodo secretly helped the gypsy, becoming enraged and destroying many of his belongings. Frollo leaves in an uproar and decides to use Quasimodo as bait to lure out Esmeralda, lying that he found the Court of Miracles and will attack with a battalion.
Phoebus awakes and has Quasimodo accompany him to the Court of Miracles. They find it with Esmeralda's amulet and are ambushed by Clopin and several gypsies. They are accused of being Frollo's spies and are sentenced to hang, but Esmeralda saves them. Frollo then arrives with hundreds of guards and captures all the gypsies, having tracked the heroes. He sentences Esmeralda to be burned at the stake and stages the ceremony in front of Notre Dame for all to see. Phoebus and all the gypsies are all imprisoned and are forced to watch her burn and Quasimodo is chained up in the tower and sees it from above. The gargoyles try to free Quasimodo, but he just gives up all hope. He then sees Frollo lighting the wood and Esmeralda coughing which wakes him up and he frees himself. He then grabs some rope and pulls a Tarzan move and frees Esmeralda and gives her sanctuary. Frollo then orders his men to seize the cathedral by force. Phoebus breaks free and inspires the town to rise up and stand against Frollo's tyranny. The citizens of Paris rebel, free the gypsies and a battle ensues between them and Frollo's men. Quasimodo and the gargoyles prevent soldiers from coming in and throw down rocks and wood at them. Quasimodo then stirs up a cauldron of molten copper which he pours around the cathedral and everyone runs away, but Frollo manages to sneak inside.
|“||No, you listen! All my life, you have told me that the world was a dark, cruel place. But now I see that the only thing dark and cruel about it is people like you!||„|
|~ Quasimodo finally standing up to Frollo|
Quasimodo checks on Esmeralda but she does not awake, making him believe that she died. Frollo pretends to comfort him, but tries to kill the hunchback with a dagger. Quasimodo easily disarms him and realizes that Frollo is the only one keeping him away from the world and no longer listens to him. Esmeralda then awakes and Quasimodo grabs her and flees. Frollo draws his sword and chases them down to the balcony. He admits to Quasimodo that he killed his mother 20 years ago and tries to finish what he started. Quasimodo tries to throw him off the tower but holds on to a gargoyle. Quasimodo suddenly passes out from the smoke of the burning lead below and Esmeralda tries to hold him. Frollo pulls himself up to safety and attempts to strike, manically quoting the Bible, but the gargoyle he stands on breaks. It comes to life, frightens Frollo and both fall into the pool of molten copper below. Esmeralda loses her grip and Quasimodo falls too, but Phoebus grabs him in time. Quasimodo embraces him in friendship and gives him and Esmeralda his blessing. Esmeralda and Pheobus walk out of the cathedral and are welcomed by all the townsfolk. Esmeralda brings Quasimodo out but he is reluctant. A little girl approaches him and touches his face. The townsfolk all welcome Quasimodo and as a man and hero. The gargoyles all cheer for him and Esmeralda and Phoebus watch him as he is carried in joy by the townsfolk.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
He also was in love with Madellaine and he got his first kiss at the end when Madellaine kiss him after admits that they love each other.
Depsite his hideous outward appearance, Quasimodo is not a monster at all. In fact, he is a gentle soul who only wants to fit in with everybody else. In Clopin's opening narration he is the man (ugly on the outside yet selfess and beautiful on the inside) in contrast to his father-figure Judge Claude Frollo (normal-looking on the outside yet vile and repulsive on the inside).
However despite him being a gentle creature, the man who raised Quasimodo, Frollo, was extremely prejudiced and hid him away in the bell tower of Notre Dame so that no one could see his repulsive appearance as nobody would accept him (which was actually somewhat true). Eventually Quasimodo began to see his place in society as the monster Frollo made himself out to be. However he did not share his master's cynical and misanthropic views and only wanted to be a part of them.
He was also raised in Frollo's beliefs (in the dark judge's ideals the gypsies were evil and revealed genocidal intentions to their interests). However, Quasimodo showed no hatred towards them and actually fell in love with one, the gypsy girl Esmeralda.
Quasimodo is quite artistic, over the years being locked away in Notre Dame he was able to construct his own miniature Paris and the townspeople (such as the weaver and the baker, etc.)
However, Quasimodo also has an aggressive side. After helping Esmeralda escape the cathedral and meeting Captain Phoebus at the top of Notre Dame, he then yells defiantly to the solider; "No soldiers! Sanctuary! Get out!" all the while sweeping a torch in his face. This hostility also shows while he violently fought off Frollo's soldiers who were attacking his sanctuary. In either case it only proves Quasimodo's undying devotion towards Esmeralda.
Perhaps Quasimodo's strongest trait is his never-ending loyalty toward people who show him kindness which proved to be Frollo's undoing as he couldn't feel love for another person beside himself and never showed Quasimodo anything resembling love or kindness which is why he betrayed him for a person who did. After being humiliated at the Feast of Fools and then being saved from an angry mob by Esmeralda he repaid her by assisting the gypsy girl in escaping the cathedral of Notre Dame and later fending her off against the entire army of Frollo's soldiers. Quasimodo used to be slightly naive, as he didn't see Frollo as a cruel man despite his obvious abusive mistreatment over the poor boy, but only showed loyalty because he rescued her from being killed (when actually Frollo was prepared to drown him as a baby if not the Archdeacon had stopped him and only adopted him out of selfish fear of his own morality).
In the end, despite not getting the love of his life, he was able to flourish the Pheobus and Esmeralda's romance and was able to achieve the dream of being accosted by the townsfolk of Paris.
- During the Guy Like You number, the gargoyles dress Quasimodo in a white powdered wig, a possible reference to Quasi's VA Tom Hulce's acclaimed role in Amadeus.