Given that there are only five movies that qualify within the definition of “Disney 90s Renaissance Era” (and this is generously counting Rescuers Down Under), it won’t take long for the Mouse House to run out of films to remake in live-action, or CGI that looks like live-action.
That’s why they’ve already begun mining the era afterward, throwing plans on the table for live-action adaptations of Mulan and Lilo and Stitch. Today was the day they added Hunchback of Notre Dame to the list, earning reactions of either abject horror or subtle nods of approval.
Hunchback of Notre Dame is perhaps the most unusual project of the Michael Eisner era. It was put into production after Beauty and the Beast was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Eisner, thirsty for the statue that was nearly his, greenlit a decidedly non-Disney-like idea: an adaption of Victor Hugo’s famous novel.
Some of these live-action projects will be a more awkward fit than others, but in this case, Hunchback is traditionally a live-action production (usually a play)…the fact that it was animated was the unusual part back in ’96, even if you ignore the out-of-place wisecracking gargoyles. The bad guy isn’t a vamping edgelord that cackles against lightning, but a corrupt priest that has his own song about how he wants to bang the lead female protagonist (titled “Hellfire” no less). This got a G rating back in the permissive 90s.
Presumably, if they want to translate this to the real world (like it was originally), the screen-hogging gargoyle gimmicks will be kept to a minimum. We’re only getting this movie because Disney already greenlit all the others, but done right Hunchback could be pretty amazing.