‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame I’ arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode. Colours are warm and vibrant, with bold primaries, rich purples and golds, and deep blacks. Detail is excellent too. The animators' line art is crisp and clean on the whole, the brushstrokes and textures of the hand-painted backgrounds are wonderfully resolved, and the CG elements fare well, even under high definition scrutiny. (4/5)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (blu ray):
Like the utterly ugly sequel to 'Pocahontas,' this Direct-To-Video (MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.66:1) sucks all the life and charm out of the original animation, instead producing a movie that befits the starkly flat animation of a 'Duck Tales' episode. It's a very sad movie to look at, let alone watch. (1.5/5)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame I:
Disney has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track for 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.' The audio mix does a good job at showcasing the movie's musical numbers and also provides ample room for all sorts of ambient sound. The movie's score, however unmemorable, resonates through the channels with stunning clarity. The streets of Paris are alive with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The clanging of the church bells fills each channel with beautiful echoing. One of the best examples of the encompassing effect of this mix's ability to produce believable ambient sound is during the Festival of Fools when Quasimodo gets mocked. People yell from every direction and voices ping-pong around the soundfield like you were actually standing there. (4/5)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II:
The sequel's audio mix doesn't turn out as well though.Read more ›
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The Hunchback of Notre Dame like Treasure Planet is a Disney movie that's not that well known. It's not that there's anything wrong with it, quite the contrary. But it's a movie that's a bit darker and more scary than the usual Disney fare. Not surprising considering the storyline it's based on and was one of the few if any Disney animated movies to ever get a PG rating. So perhaps that's why. But it still remains a high quality family movie provided that the family is ten or above. I wouldn't recommend this movie for kid's younger than this unless they're quite mature.
The musical score is among the better of the Disney animated movies, the animation is top notch and I'd rate this just below Beauty and the Beast in overall quality with a similar feeling storyline. It's just not for the little kiddies.
As for the second movie, consider it a bonus or an extra. Nothing more! Back in the late 90's, early 2000's Disney was making sequels to all their animated flicks, Mulan, Tarzan, Aladdin, etc., etc. Trying to milk the cow, so to speak. These were NOT theatrical grade movies, but straight to home releases of varying quality, none of them great and some downright awful. The only good thing about this sequel being that it can be shown to kiddies as that appears to be what it's aimed at! Adults can safely ignore it! And probably should!
Overall, I'd rate The Hunchback of Notre Dame a solid four stars. It's a good quality Disney movie especially if you like them a little more mature than the usual Disney fare. As for the sequel, I'll be generous and rate it a two.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Emotionally epic film thrills on blu-rayMarch 15 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
The sweeping music. The beautiful animation. The emotion-charged story. This is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a Walt Disney Pictures film, a gorgeous experience. Especially on blu-ray.
This film has always been a personal favorite of mine. Its my favorite musical. Its my favorite Disney film. It takes it's place on my Top 10 List. It is a timeless film, one that has aged with grace and style. I remember seeing it in theaters back in the 90s. The opening music alone was enough to fill me with awe. I was 5 or 6 years old. Old enough to enjoy the colorful animation...not old enough to completely grasp everything else.
Fast forward. Now I'm 22. And I see The Hunchback of Notre Dame for what it truly is: a masterpiece. Disney hasn't made a film like it since. Perhaps they never will.
This is the only animated film that brings me to tears. It's messages are timely and universal, a wake-up call to the monsters of humanity and a gentle embrace to the outcasts. No, I am not deformed. Yet I relate to Quasimodo entirely, his fear of being hurt, his desire to experience freedom, his pain from being cooped up and made to live under fear. I'm gay, and I come from a Mormon/LDS family, one who's religion often times shows its ugly side without reprieve. I can relate to the central character because I understand what he's going through. Deformation causes some people to feel uncomfortable or uninitiated in interacting with the deformed person. Same goes for gay people. Many people I know are uncomfortable with my sexuality. This film's message of acceptance towards those who are different is timely.
The villain in this film is the scariest, most realistic villain in any Disney film. He exists. There are people out there who share his hatred for anything different. His actions in this film are terrifying.
Though this film is rated G, it is anything but a mindless, forgettable flick for young children. Quite the opposite, it is Disney's most mature film. Yes, there are added comic figures to help lighten the mood and keep the kiddies amused, but this film is truly for adults, and adults with open minds.
In one scene the hunchback is tied to a spinning platform and publicly humiliated, crying for help from his master (the villain) who turns his face, ignoring the plea. Why? Because he is different.
This scene is heart-wrenching. And transcends its G rating, becoming emotionally draining and easily standing as the symbol for what the film is trying to say.
Moments after, a gypsy woman is compassionate and frees the poor young man, exclaiming "Justice!". Her cry for justice is a cry for equality. For compassion. For understanding. For those who deem themselves higher to stop, come down, and show love to those in need. Her passionate desire is also expressed wonderfully through the song "God help the outcasts".
For anyone who has seen this film and walked away from it with negative feelings, to you I say: this film wasn't made for you.
This film is for the outcast. The hunchbacks. The gays. The misunderstood. Anyone who feels different. It's message is one of acceptance. It speaks, softly, saying: Don't be afraid to live your life with those you find who love you for who you are.
One of the greatest motion pictures ever made. Film: 5/5 STARS
The picture quality on the blu-ray disk is fantastic. It is a completely different film in 1080p High Definition, with lines crisp and colors vivid. The background art is gorgeous, and the motion of the film is fluid and nearly flawless. The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (it fills the entire screen). Is it perfect? No. But I'll be shocked if there is ever a version released that looks better than this one. Video: 4.5/5 STARS
The stunning musical score pleases with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. This is my favorite musical for many reasons, one of them of course being the music. The epic, chilling music sounds fantastic on the blu-ray, and the songs burst to life with audible lyrics. I couldn't be more pleased. Sound: 5/5 STARS
Extras include The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 on the blu-ray disk, a DVD copy of both films (3 disks total), and all the special features from those past DVDs. There aren't any new features here. The Audio Commentary track on the first film is still a highlight. Extras: 2.5/5 STARS
Overall: 5/5 STARS. I don't give the honor of 5 stars to just any film. This one deserves it, with a blu-ray treatment sure to please old fans and new ones too. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an emotionally epic film and it is thrilling on blu-ray.
Rating: G. This film should have been rated PG for Thematic Material including Brief Thematic Language, and Some Intense Peril. Young children might not understand the adult-oriented story and might be frightened by some of the intense drama. There is some sexual material, but only the adults will pick up on it. The words Hell and Damn/Damnation are used in Religious context (Brief Thematic Language). One character is tied and publicly abused, this might upset some viewers. A character is tied and surrounded by fire as they inhale smoke, this will upset some viewers. One character is shot with an arrow, mild blood. A small family is locked inside their house while the villain sets fire to it, this will upset some viewers. Most of this film takes itself seriously, it really should have been rated PG. Ages 8 and up.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Blu-ray Review: "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 2-Movie CollectionMarch 22 2013
ERSInk . com
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Walt Disney Home Entertainment has gone from releasing one movie every couple of months on Blu-ray to pushing multiple ones out at the same time. One of this month's high-definition treats is "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 2-Movie Collection. The 3-Disc Special Edition contains the original 1996 film along with its inferior yet entertaining 2002 sequel. Both movies were restored and feature Disney's enhanced high definition picture and sound.
Whenever someone asks what the greatest animated Disney film is, you'll invariably get the same answers from everyone. People will exclaim titles like "The Lion King," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," or "Snow White." You'll never hear anyone campaigning for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Well, I mean to change that!
I know "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" doesn't have a chance put up against a bunch of soft-spoken petite princesses, but it should. I would argue that it has more heart and reaches a whole new level of grandeur in visual scale. The gothic setting and massive background art casts a huge shadow over anything else the studio has ever done.
When you're watching "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," the tragedy unfolding in front of you just sucks you in. I imagine it's how audiences feel when they're viewing a Broadway version of "The Phantom of the Opera" or "Les Miserables." You truly feel as if you're taking in an animated epic which could measure up to any Cecil B. DeMille live action production.
While the songs might not be as memorable as "Under the Sea" or "Beauty and the Beast," they're more dramatic than any of those combined. Alan Menken stepped outside of the box and composed operatic numbers for the tale of Quasimodo. To top it off, they're filled with dark lyrical subjects I would imagine young children would be afraid of or just not understand.
Disney included "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" in the Blu-ray edition as well. There's a big difference in the quality of animation and storyline. It's still entertaining and has a villain you quickly grow to dislike. However, it doesn't measure up to the original at all. It's much more child friendly, which is what Disney is known for.
The video and audio quality of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" Blu-ray edition leaves no room for complaints. The picture is clean, colorful, and as flawless as you've come to expect. The 5.1 surround sound immerses the viewer in several complex layers of dialogue, musical numbers, and noises of the bustling city of Paris.
There's some nice bonus material for consumers to enjoy. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" comes with audio commentary provided by Producer Don Hahn and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale. There's a 28-minute documentary entitled "The Making of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.'" It also includes a multi-language reel for "A Guy Like You." A featurette entitled "A Gargoyle's Life" round out the special features. The only extra included for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" is the featurette "Behind the Scenes with Jennifer Love Hewitt."
Of course my preference for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" comes from a love of period piece gothic horror films like "Frankenstein," "Dracula," and the likes. In reality, I know this sort of animated movie will never win over the beautiful sugary sweet tales featuring Prince Charming saving the helpless Princess from a fire-breathing dragon or wicked witch. I can dream though, can't I?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Original is going to be considered a classic; sequel better than expectedMarch 25 2013
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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise The Voices of Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Tony Jay, Mary Wickes, Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough Original Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Making an animated film as ambitious as The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a bold move when you consider that the film leaves less opportunity for Disney to enrich its other divisions than say, another princess movie. Hunchback might have made a great Broadway show (and still would, as it was very successful on stage in Germany), but it's more adult than perhaps any Disney feature since Fantasia and less conducive to plush toys (though there were a few). But Disney Animation was riding so high at the time, there seemed to be no limit to how high they could reach, and are to be admired for pushing the boundaries given the chance.
And push it does. Hunchback has some highly electrifying scenes, especially for a mass-market animated film. The human animation is downright astonishing, especially considering that, according to the commentary, while there was some modeling done, this is not that watery rotoscope stuff.
Frollo is the most purely evil of all Disney human villains, with no redeemable features and a creepy depravity that is brought to a boiling intensity in the set piece, "Hellfire." Animator Kathy Zielinski, again according to the commentary, dressed as the villain to get the details of the outfit right. I suspect that there was also a strong influence from the animation of Maleficent and Lady Tremaine as well. You could almost imagine Eleanor Audley's voice coming out of Frollo!
This score is perhaps the pinnacle in Alan Menken's already spectacular music career. Few songs reach into your heart and soul like "God Help the Outcasts," sung to perfection by Heidi Mollenhauer as the singing voice of Esmeralda (Demi Moore delivers a superb speaking performance as well.)
This is a film, which, like the novel, explores heady material about life, death, religion and politics, thus perhaps too pithy for everyone who saw it back then. Hunchback wasn't the hit that Lion King was, though it would have been somewhat unrealistic to expect so much. I do think that of all Disney features produced during this period, Hunchback may be much more revered in the future than it ever was in its own time.
2013 Blu-ray Bonus Features: - Audio Commentary with Producer Don Hahn, and Directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale - The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame - "A Guy Like You" Multi-Language Reel
2013 & 2002 DVD Bonus Features: - Audio Commentary with Producer Don Hahn, and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale - The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame - "A Guy Like You" Multi-Language Reel - Topsy Turvy Underground Game - Topsy Turvy Sing-Along song
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)
The Voices of Tom Hulce, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Michael McKean, Jane Withers Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough Music by Carl Johnson Songs by Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Chris Canute, Randy Peterson, Kevin Quinn, Walter Edgar Kennon
How do you follow the eye-filling spectacle and tireless detail of the original Disney Hunchback, perhaps the most elaborate feature since Pinocchio? First, you make the script strong to overcome the time and budget restrictions on a made-for-video sequel. You also get a skillful director, in this case Bradley Raymond, who has done miracles since with his second Tinker Bell movie and Return to Never Land.
Retaining the original voice cast, albeit relegating Esmeralda and Phoebus to cameos, what would seem to be unthinkable actually works. It takes on the task of following up on a Disney epic as well a Hugo classic. Instead of taking a somber, pompous approach, this film tells a more intimate story in a remarkably convincing way. You start out thinking, "Oh come on! Quasimodo gets a girlfriend? Please!" but Jennifer Love-Hewitt's character is just enough of a non-conformist to make it plausible.
The songs are pleasant but not as memorable as the ones in the original. That was one tall order that was just too insurmountable. And even though the sequel repeats some of the same elements as the first film, particularly having yet another festival, the result is very entertaining.
2013 Blu-ray Bonus Features: - Behind the Scenes with Jennifer Love-Hewitt - A Gargoyles Life: It's Not Easy Being a Gargoyle
2002 & 2013 DVD Bonus Features: - Behind the Scenes with Jennifer Love-Hewitt - A Gargoyles Life: It's Not Easy Being a Gargoyle - Festival of Fun Activity
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Digging Deeper into Disney: The Hunchback of Notre DameMay 29 2013
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One sarcastic, Christ-loving girl's take on her favorite Disney film and its religious symbolism.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
AMAZING TRANSFER TO BLU RAY! THIS IS THE BEST RELEASE THIS FILM WILL PROBABLY EVER SEE!Feb. 20 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Disney Studios 34th full length animated feature film The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an underrated film. Beautifully animated on a grand scale with a rousing score! This is an all out musical unlike Pocahontas the film the preceded this one which seemed to have only a few songs in the first half. The new Blu Ray for The Hunchback looks and sounds fabulous! I'm amazed at how flawless this film looks. Most of the bonuses are carried over and nothing important wasn't, so I'm going to say this is the definitive edition of this film. It would have been nice to see some new extra material, but since the film looks this great and even includes the sequel (which I have never watched) I can't really find much to complain about here. If you want to own Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame looking its best, the Blu Ray is by far the way to go!