ok ok ok ok ok ok can I just have a quick lil moment of your time?
So Hunchback is far and away my favorite movie from Disney’s
Renaissance, and it always makes me so happy that yes, people seem to
appreciate it, people seem to love it, but I’mma go into exactly WHY it’s my
favorite, and WHY I think it’s so crucial, and WHY I think it should be
required viewing for young boys specifically.
We all know that a huge bulk of the media we’ve grown up
with consistently has that one frustrating message: Being the hero means you’ll get the
girl. Many boys let this mentality bleed
into reality. We have “nice guys,” who
feel that their niceness entitles them to romance, when obviously that
discredits a female’s personal choice. We
all get this, we all know this, and a lot of us get that it’s a toxic message.
So check out our hero.
He’s an incredibly good person who isn’t conventionally attractive.
Check out our lady.
Super good person, conventionally attractive.
The movie so deliberately builds up Quasi’s hopes. There’s a whole fucking song about it.
But Esmeralda, who is her own person with her own
motivations and preferences, chooses another man, who is also good and also
A lot of people criticize this aspect of the movie, the fact
that Quasi doesn’t get the girl BECAUSE of his appearance. But my argument? This is the best damn message a movie could
Because when things get dicey, when Esmeralda’s life in in
danger, when Quasi would be putting his own life on the line, he knows that
romance is no longer within the realm of possibility. He knows he won’t be “getting the girl.” He knows this, and he allows himself a moment
of bitterness, he risks falling prey to the “nice guy” trope, and he almost
“She already has her knight in shining armor, and it’s not me.”
BUT THEN HE DOES THE RIGHT THING.
He has NO ulterior motive for saving her life. NO ulterior motive for opposing the man who
raised him. And he doesn’t know that he’ll
get any reward, he knows he could straight up get killed for his actions, and
yet he still acts.
And there’s no bitterness.
There’s still so, so much love between him and Esmeralda, pure awesome
platonic love, and love between him and Phoebus, and just fucking love all
around, it’s amazing.
I’ve heard so many people express distaste at Quasi not
ending up with Esmerelda. Like he was
cheated out of some kind of reward. But
have they watched the ending?
Does that look like a man cheated of his reward? Does he look like he “lost” to Phoebus? No dude, that’s a man who has everything he
ever wanted, and that’s also a man who didn’t “get the girl.”
If that’s not an essential message for young boys to hear, I
don’t know what is.
So I have seen this post on my dash one too many times. And… I would like to be sympathetic to it. Out of context, young boys (and girls!) need to learn that being romantically interested in someone does not mean that you are entitled to their time or interest. And Disney movies are great for that.
The problem with this…
According to the Disney wiki, there are 76 characters with disabilities in the Disney canon out of 10,046 total. Now, this covers every Disney property, including things like Star Wars. I’m not counting Star Wars, Marvel, or any of the TV shows in this ranking; I’m also not counting Pixar. I’m just talking about the movies with Disney’s brand on them.
But out of the entire Disney Animated Canon, there are only 25 canonically disabled characters. Only 7 of them are named, have speaking parts, and are not villains. And only 1 of those characters is the protagonist.
Yup. That’s right. The male character who is specifically praised for being the one hero in the Disney canon who has a Disney romance but gives it up for the greater good…
Is also the one disabled protagonist in the entire Disney canon.
This is a massive, massive intersectionality fail.
If you’re disabled, especially if you’re physically disabled, you are often told that you’re unattractive. (”Boy, you’d be pretty if you weren’t in a wheelchair!”) People stare at you like you’re some kind of freak, and they do it all the time. People often think, if you have a partner, that loving you must be some kind of sacrifice on their part.
Saying that this subplot is good and feminist inadvertently sends out the message that what people are saying is true. That even in Disney movies, where Love Conquers All, disabled people are fundamentally too broken and ugly to be loveable. The honourable thing to do is of course ‘let’ the ‘better’ person and let your lover find someone else.
…I think we can all agree that this is suboptimal.
“When Will My Life Begin” was meant to set the tone of the entire movie and it unfortunately dropped the ball with its sugary cuteness. And with all due respect, it’s sort of the fault of the singer, Mandy Moore. Why do I say that? Because I’ve listened to the song’s Japanese version, and it’s miles better.
In Japan, the song was sung by Mari Okonogi, and she elevates it to a whole new level because she sings it more elegantly and with an adult voice. And when you take the pink saccharine out of “When Will My Life Begin,” it becomes a REALLY great song, which in turn affects your perception of the entire movie.
It’s not always a competition, though. I love both the English and Polish versions of “Hellfire” from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, despite it being a Disney song about rape. But both renditions are very different, as are, in turn, the films themselves. This means that I basically get two to three movies in one with every animated musical, a fact that I sadistically rub in the noses of my nephews and nieces LITERALLY ALL THE TIME. And that’s why I never get asked to babysit.
the hunchback of notre dame was the most socially/politically aware disney film we’ll probably ever get with one of the most principled female heroines and realistic villains and you guys let it slide under the radar to make way for movies like the little mermaid and pocahontas i will never forgive you
What she means:
Why is it that, in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo is fair skinned with red hair and green eyes when his parents are both Roma? His mother is even seen at the beginning of the movie with black hair and brown eyes. Maybe his father wasn't Roma? Or maybe the woman carrying Quasimodo isn't even his mother. Perhaps she pitied Quasimodo for being an outcast just like she was, and decided to take him under her care. If Quasimodo's real parents were part of the French elite, their abandonment of a deformed child would make a lot of sense. But maybe this all chalks up to genetic discoloration. After all,the mutation that gave Quasimodo his hunchback and deformed facial structure could have also affected his coloring. Either way I need answers