May 9, 2015

Notre Dame

No one could ever deny that I was an odd child. I'm still a little weird, so this shouldn't come as any surprise. Though I loved Disney Princesses as much as the next little girl, one of my all time favorite Disney movies was always The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I was fully obsessed with it and the saucy Esmerelda. I would watch this twisted film frequently, curled beneath my Esmerelda blanket, obviously. 

Now, for those of you who haven't watched this movie in a few years, or maybe a decade, I really think now is the time. From the plot line to the soundtrack, I do not use the adjective "twisted" lightly. There are often underlying themes in Disney films to entertain adults, but once you get to an age where you can fully comprehend the plot of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you realize that the adult content wasn't hidden in the least. On the lightest end, you have a ridiculed misshapen orphan, and on the darkest, an angry Judge Claude Frollo lusting after the "gypsy girl, the witch who set this flame". Then there's the delightful middle ground of persecution of the Gypsies in Paris. It's really a splendid movie. 

If you can't appreciate the film for its outrageous subject matter, cleverly targeted for children, then you must at least give Disney kudos points for the phenomenal illustration. When we started our second day in Paris with the agenda to go see Notre Dame, I didn't believe it would actually bear such a resemblance in detail to the animated version. Bravo Disney, bravo: not only did your film spur my initial intrigue into the grand gothic cathedral, but it guaranteed that I could hum haunting melodies all the way through the great halls, but not before Brooke, Lindsey, and I started our day with pastries and cafĂ© au lait, like proper Parisians. 

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