Disney is known for their infamous vault of films. For those that have been living in a vault and do not know what it is, it’s where they store all their movies and periodically re-release them in various formats. This brilliant tradition has made Disney films not only maintain their classic feel and nature, but also keeps from watering down the market. Their Blu-ray releases sport high definition with restored picture and sound, as well as numerous special features. The latest films to get this treatment come in the special edition two pack of The Hunchback of Notre Dame / The Hunchback of Notre Dame II.
In 1996 Disney debut their latest film The Hunchback of Notre Dame to critical acclaim. Based on the Victor Hugo novel the film tells the story of a gentle-souled bell ringer who was nearly killed as a baby and now lives in seclusion due to his deformities. When his master threatens to destroy the home of a young gypsy girl he must find the courage to not only stand up for her, but finally for himself as well. This film delivers the classic nature of the old style Disney films delivering the story, music, and visuals like aching back to classics like Cinderella and Snow White. The story is actually pretty dark at times, but still keeps enough light hearted moments so that it never gets too far into the darkness. The music works perfectly alongside the film to carry the story and creates some more iconic Disney moments. The animation is as beautiful as ever with some great character design. One of the most important aspects to make this film work is the deformed features of Quasimodo. Here they manage to make it work, but also somehow make him cute and loveable as well.
In addition to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this 3 disc collector’s edition also includes 2002’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame II. With the success of the original film it came as no surprise that a sequel was made, but it just didn’t display the same quality of its predecessor. This film works fine in regards to the story moving the characters forward and taking the story in a direction to find love for Quasimodo. Most of the original cast returned and did a fine job to bring their characters to life, but it’s the animation that takes it down a bit. It’s not so much bad as it lost its movie quality and felt more like an episode of a TV series. It was clear that a different team worked on it or were purposely trying to do something different that just wasn’t as good, but still delivers a decent enough addition to the story.
In addition to the brilliant look and feel of this Blu-ray high def version, it also sports some great special features including numerous featurettes. This is sure to be a must have for any Disney fan’s collection so get out and grab your copy available now.