All my life I memorize their facesIt's really hard to think of another character as deserving of a happy ending as Quasimodo. It's heartbreaking to think of how lonely his life was- locked up in the tower, carving figurines of the townspeople with talking gargoyles his only friends and Frollo teaching him how hideous and terrible he was every day. It's the cruelest, worst sort of manipulation. And at the end, there's not even enough Disney magic to get him the girl.
Knowing them as they will never know me
All my life I wonder how it feels to pass a day
Not above them
But part of them...
Give me one day out there
All I ask is one
To hold forever
-Quasimodo, Out There
So many times out here
I've watched a happy pair
Of lovers walking in the night
They had a kind of glow around them
It almost looked like heaven's light
I knew I'd never know
That warm and loving glow
Though I might wish with all my might
No face as hideous as my face
Was ever meant for heaven's light
-Quasimodo, Heaven's Light
I think that as a kid, that's partially one of the reasons why I never liked Esmeralda so much b/c I wanted him to end up w/ her. Re-watching it now, I realize what a fabulous character she is. She's brave, smart, and most of all kind and good. I love the part where she's in the church praying for others while everyone around her is praying for themselves...and she does it b/c she can get by with what she has and that's enough for her.
There are some very dark/interesting themes in Hunchback. I sort of like how they used the church but then also see it as sort of inconsistent. I'm glad they didn't use it as a deus ex. machina. The priest was powerful enough at the beginning to prevent Frollo from killing Quasimodo but then, if the priest himself was so protective of the outcasts, why didn't he do anything to help Quasimodo? Why didn't he step in to help raise him?
I also really appreciated how they handled the love triangle. Phobeus, although sometimes is a bit like a typical guy, is decent, kind, and a hero too. It was heart breaking to see Quasimodo break down when he sees Esmeralda and Phobeus together for the first time, but then the scene after that in the Court of Miracles when Phobeus steps back and gives Quasimodo a lot of the credit really says a lot about his character.