"It's not my fault
I'm not to blame
It is the gypsy girl
The witch who set this flame
It's not my fault
If in God's plan
He made the devil so much
Stronger than a man"Judge Claude Frollo, in the song, "Hellfire",
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
I can't function. All I can do is replay the scene where Frollo sing the "Hellfire" song over and over again on my laptop.
I just watched Disney's (very loose) adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, Notre Dame de Paris, and it was;
What other Disney flick you know would even DARE mention religious bigotry, racism, discrimination against deformed people and sexual lust - all in the same movie - let alone address them the way The Hunchback of Notre Dame did?
None, I tell you! At least, none that I'm able to name at the moment's notice *cough*.
First off, let me warn you that this post isn't a review (if you want to know more about the movie itself, go HERE). No sirree - this is a shoutout; a loving tribute to the coolest villain ever to be hatched from the foul, twisted minds of insane animators chained to the walls by their feet in the dank, dark cellars of Disneyland! As the title of this post blatantly and shamelessly endorsed, I'm talking about the sinister Claude Frollo, the horniest judge/minister/whatever-he-was1 to ever terrorise fictional Paris;
Of course, a villain's CV would not be complete without his Big List of Misdeeds and Awesome Naughtiness? Let's me just briefly (I'll try) enumerate his crimes against other cartoon characters;
- Racism. Frollo actively prosecutes the gypsies of Paris and dreams to one day stamp out their existence from the city. Why? Because it's just a bloody evil thing to do, bwahahahaha!
- Horniness. No kidding. Go watch the video I've embedded somewhere lower down in this post and hear him sing his lusty ditty. The object of his lecherous desires is the gypsy Esmeralda (voiced by the once-delectable Demi Moore). And what more, he blamed his sins of horniness on Esmeralda's for being so darn sexy. He also captured her and burnt her on a pyre for rejecting him. According to him, Esmeralda would be pardoned from eternal damnation in hell for her sins of being a bootylicious gypsy if she lets him rape her (go figure). What more do you want in a villain?!
- Murder. Damn, I absolutely love the scene (right at the start of the flick) where he pursued Quasimodo's gypsy mom on a huge, black, emo stallion. Then when he caught up to her, he grabbed the infant hunchback Quasimodo from her clutches, thinking it was stolen goods2 and pawned Quasi's mom with a kick.
- Discriminating Against Ugliness. A few seconds after he managed to grab Quasimodo from his now dead-as-door-nails mother, he's raring to chuck baby Quasi into a well after he saw that he was a congenitally deformed child, referring to him as a "monster" and "demon from hell". Fortunately for Quasimodo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame intervened and insisted that Frollo pay penance for pawning Quasi's mom by raising Quasi as his own son. Guess I can add Attempted
Baby PawnageInfanticide too to this growing list.
- Lying and Slander. He told Quasimodo that his mother was a heartless gypsy woman who abandoned him and that he willingly chose to raise Quasimodo as his own, insisting that anyone else in his position would have drowned Quasi in a well for his ugliness. How freakin' cool is he?
- Religious Bigotry. Considers himself to be OMGHOLY. Everyone else is corrupted and is heading to hell. How can you not like a guy like that?
- Negligence of Duty as Judge. That's an understatement. He the living embodiment of injustice in Paris.
- Arson. Frollo torched half of Paris in his hunt for Esmeralda. That's what happens when a guy did not learn how to masturbate.
- Ignorant Zealotry. He thought the gypsies's street magic tricks were witchcraft and for that, they should rightly be burnt in the name of God. Haha, what a nut. Just like those folks who considered the Harry Potter books to be the works of Satan.
- Crimes Against Fashion. Big voluminous, black robe with a massive, mushroom-shaped hat. 'Nuff said.
If you choose to pass up on watching this, I pity you. You'll never know what you've been missing all your life.
I guess what I truly love about the characterisation of Frollo is that he thought he's blameless and righteous till the very end (Yeah. End. Splat) - and that he's just basically a very, very ordinary human with extraordinarily pernicious traits. I mean, if you've watched the movie and have seen the way Frollo talked and acted, you'd find very easy to spot the insanity hidden under the thin veneer of authority and self-proclaimed piousness. Of course, we all know that authority (or power) corrupts, and extremism in piety can completely consume a man, leading him to believe that all his actions are divinely permitted. With this volatile mix of personality, it's no wonder that Frollo is such a complete psychopath.
And I love psychopaths. They make the strangest, most enigmatic villains in the realm of movie magic and literature. A good flick or book, I believe, is only as good as the bad guys in it.
Okay, this is the last in my series of (relatively) short lame posts. Normal postings resume this weekend. Many apologies for being such a gormless rambler all week. It's the exam's fault.
P.S. Now, a moment of silence for Tony Jay, the brilliant voice actor behind the powerful character of Claude Frollo, who had passed away in August last year. I sincerely wish that he's still alive.
Frollo's #1 fan,
k0k s3n w4i
1 He's supposed to be the Archdeacon of Notre Dame according to Victor Hugo's novel but in this cartoon, the Archdeacon is a separate character. The folks at Disney reckoned that they might get lynched or burnt at the stake or something by an Anglican mob if they choose to proceed with the original characterisation. So much for religious open-mindedness, eh?
2Frollo considered everything that the gypsies owned were stolen goods. He's so deliciously vile.