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Friday, June 8, 2012

4479. Quasimodo

Quasimodo is the main protagonist of Disney's 1996 animated version of the story, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where he is a very different character than in the novel. He is not one-eyed although a large lump over one eye may hinder his vision. Also, he is not deaf either, he is capable of fluent speech, and longs to live in the world outside the belltower. He has three gargoyle friends named Victor, Hugo, and Laverne. He comes from a family of gypsies, like in the novel, but in a dramatic change, his mother does not abandon him, but she is rather killed by Judge Claude Frollo, who leaves Quasimodo alive in the belltower when the Archdeacon of Notre Dame condemns him for chasing Quasimodo's mother to her death on the steps of Notre Dame, warning of the consequences if he kills the infant under the "eyes of Notre Dame". Quasimodo in this version is kind-hearted, not frightening, and is, at first, loyal to his so-called "master", Frollo, but becomes rebellious after the encouragement from the gargoyles. Soon, he discovers from Esmeralda that the world is not as dark and cruel a place as Frollo makes it out to be. Quasimodo soon realizes that Frollo is evil, and ceases to consider him a fatherly figure, like in the novel. In a corresponding change, when Frollo falls to his doom at the film's climax, Quasimodo does not show any sorrow, having previously almost killed him personally. In a drastically different ending, Quasimodo remains alive at the end of the film, as he falls off of Notre Dame, Phoebus catches him and pulls him to safety. He is finally accepted into society. Quasimodo was voiced by Tom Hulce and animated by James Baxter. He reappears in Disney's sequel film The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002) once again as the main protagonist, where he is described as independent and finds a love interest, a circus girl named Madellaine. He also made some occasional appearances on the Disney Channel series, House of Mouse. At one point, Jiminy Cricket, when giving advice to the guests, consoled him by saying that some people find someone special and some people do not, poking fun at the fact that Quasimodo and Esmeralda did not fall in love at the end of the original film. Quasimodo is also a very rare meetable character at Walt Disney World Resort. In the Disney version, Quasimodo displays an immense amount of physical strength (most likely due to twenty years of pulling the ropes on heavy bells at an almost constant rate), being able to easily lift a full grown man with one hand, throw a stone with enough weight to destroy a chariot of metal, and break free of heavy chains with extreme effort. A German musical stage show, "Der Glöckner von Notre Dame" (1999) derived from the Disney movie, restores some of the many of the darker elements of the story lost in the film; Esmeralda dies at the end, Frollo is revealed to have once been a priest in his past (akin to the novel, where he was an archdeacon) and Frollo dies because Quasimodo throws him from the roof, rather than falling by accident. Quasimodo makes his debut appearance in the Kingdom Hearts series in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance in a world based on the movie, called Le Cité des Cloches. He was the first new Disney character confirmed for the game. Tom Hulce will return to reprise his role in the game, despite his retirement on film acting.

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