In a beautiful collection of animation art from Disney's new film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, conceptual material, sketches, layout drawings, and storyboards are carefully reproduced for avid fans.
For its latest animated feature, the Disney studio has turned again to a classic. This time, rather than a children's tale, the source is Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame. Not unexpectedly, the adaptation dumbs down and sanitizes the novel, altering its focus to place politically correct emphasis on Quasimodo's effort to overcome his deformity and gain acceptance. Further to avoid offense, the villain Frollo has been transformed from a cleric into a judge. And, of course, Disney provides a happy ending. As usual, Hyperion, the studio's publishing outlet, has produced a lavish book companion to the movie that details its history and production and includes hundreds of color and black-and-white illustrations and commentary by its creators. A disfigured main character is a departure from the glamorous youngsters that typically feature in Disney cartoons, but there is little reason to think Hunchback won't continue Disney's string of box-office blockbusters, and wherever Disney's other art book tie-ins have proved popular, so should this one. Gordon Flagg
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