Hunchback of Notre Dame Oral History

In the mid-1990s, the possibilities were endless for Walt Disney Feature Animation. After the studio hit creative highs with Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Disney was powerful enough to take risks that were impossible a decade earlier. An adaptation of an iconic Victor Hugo novel was such a risk.

25 years later, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of the most remarkable films Disney’s ever released, and one that hasn’t been topped for sheer boldness. As it celebrates its 25th birthday, 15 of the production’s key players – from directors to songwriters to animators and actors – took part in this oral history recounting how the film was made…and how they got away with it.

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Frozen (5)

Frozen started off as a pretty straight-up adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Snow Queen. But, as we detailed earlier today, it mutated to become something rather different. Now it is a story of “two sisters torn apart by a big family secret,” with Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) as the elder sibling, who cursed her kingdom to be permanently on ice, and Anna (Kristen Bell) as the younger, who tries to find Elsa after she flees the kingdom.

Based on some of the concept art we’ve seen, I expected one thing from the film — something rather grand and pretty. But this first teaser trailer doesn’t deal with family or curses, and it isn’t “grand,” exactly. It has a much smaller conflict in mind. Take a look for yourself below. Read More »