Disney: I understand now pt. 1

You think I’m an ignorant savage
You’ve been so many places,
I guess it must be so
But still I can not see
If the savage one is me
How can there be so much that you dont know
You dont know

I have been on this earth for twenty-four years and I have seen almost every single Disney film that has been produced. I love Disney, the films bring a loving warm sensation to my heart. As a child many of the disney films I had watched held message or just somethings I just didn’t understand as a child but now that I am older and rewatched some of my favorite disney classics I see my childhood in a whole new light. In part 1 of my Disney: I understand now series I will take a look at my top 10 favorite disney films of all time and discussed what I learned as an adult that I didn’t understand as a child.

When it comes to Disney movies some are popular than others and for girls Disney Princesses is a very popular franchise. Like some disney films the stories which are told are adapted from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christensen, Mythology or a famous novel..now in the original.version of these stories not all of the characters have a happy ending and contains many adult themes. So Disney takes those stories and re-tells them with a more cheerful tune and gives it a happy ending, however some of the adult themes stay intact.

Let’s take a look at Disney’s 1996 film, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The film was adapted from Victor Hugo book of the same name that was published in 1939. The film is considered to be one of Disney’s darkest animated films as its narrative explores such mature themes as infanticide, lust, damnation, genocide, and sin.  The film was also the first—and only—Disney animated feature to have a major focus on traditional religious faith; pre-Reformation Catholicism. Also there was what many view as attack on the Christian Right in the film, due to its strong theme of “religious and moral hypocrisy” – religious figures doing immoral things under the name of religion.

Now let begin’s with the first theme, Infanticide
The film begins with Clopin who is the narrator  telling the story of Quasimodos’ parents and their encounter with Frollo. Frollo then proceeds to tell his soldier to take the gyspies to the Palace of Justice. The gypsy women is holding a bundle in her arms, Frollo assumes that it is stolen jewels and she runs away; a chase ensues. Quasi’s mother is eventually  killed by judge Frollo who takes a look at the bundle that was in her hand, he realizes that it was a baby but due to the child’s deformity Frollo refers to the child as a monster and decideds to drown him. When stop by the arch deacon,  he tells the deacon that “I’m sending it back to hell where it belongs” – whoa, that was pretty harsh.

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Now the second theme explored is Lust. This sinful emotion arises when during the feast of Fools when the gypsy Esmeralda is seen doing a sensual dance and Frollo becomes entranced.  This is taken for Disney Wikia

The song “Hellfire” was intended to contrast the song “Heaven’s Light”, which was a song that was sung by Quasimodo moments earlier, expressing his feelings of love for Esmeralda, while Frollo sings of his lust for Esmeralda.

This song is considered to be one of the darkest songs in any Disney film, depicting Hell, damnation, the christian religion, and lust, four subjects that are generally considered to be inappropriate for young children.

The feeling is so strong for Frollo that he is determine to have that he is litterally setting Paris on Fire.

Guard: Minister Frollo, the gypsy has escaped.
Frollo: (speaking) What?
Guard: She’s nowhere in the cathedral.
She’s gone.
Frollo: But how? I… Never mind. Get out, you idiot! I’ll find her! I’ll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris!

(song resumes) Hellfire
Dark fire
Now gypsy, it’s your turn
Choose me or
Your pyre
Be mine or you will burn
(Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy))
God have mercy on her
(Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy))
God have mercy on me
(Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy))
But she will be mine
Or she will burn!

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Now the film deals with other themes such as damnation which is seen in the begining of the film where Frollo to atone for his sin of killing the gypsy mother takes Quasimodo as his son and in the hellfire scene where Frollo fears for his soul because of the sin of Lust brought on by the gypsy Esmeralda. Genocide is another as well with Frollo wanting to exterminate the entire gypsy population believing them to be heathens and witches. There are other themes but I can’t mention them all but this movie is definitely one of disney more mature films and I loved it as a child even though I did not fully understand it except that Quasi being deformed was constantly told by Frollo that he was ugly and that no one would accept him. When he is crowned the king of fools during the festival his brief moment of happiness is ruined by Frollo’s guards as they start a fiout and began throwing food at him and runs back to the safety of the cathedral. 

However my favorite scene in this entire film would have to be when the little girl approaches Quasimofo and hugs him, oh that scene makes my heart melt so much. The Hunchback of Notre Dame to me is truly an underrated Disney movie and if you have not seen it, go to netflix or ask a friend and watch it you will not be disappointed.

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