I love writing meta for hond, but this one makes me nervous because it explains my preference for the movie version over the musical version in one aspect, and that is the development of Phoebus’s and Esmeralda’s romance. As a qualifier, I stress that I ADORE the musical, and can go on for days talking about my love for it, but this is not the post for that.
I’m going to do a comparison of the progression of their romance in both movie and musical.
In the movie, Phoebus and Esmeralda first meet in the street. He is immediately taken to her, while she is ever the consummate performer who doesn’t miss a beat even with this dashing man standing in front of her. She even smirks a little at him, probably accustomed to men being besotted by her.
It is when soldiers interfere that things begin to heat up. Phoebus witnesses the bias the soldiers show when they assume she stole the money she actually earned. Esmeralda breaks free from the soldiers’ hold and runs off, while Phoebus blocks the soldiers by using Achilles and then reveals himself to be a captain.
[Producer] Don Hahn calls Phoebus “an Everyman, a good cop in a bad town. He’s the kind of guy who sees Esmeralda and thinks, ‘Shes’s cute.’”
Phoebus emits self-deprecating charm and a winning lack of pretence.
He is a big, strapping galoot, a gallant doofus.
According to animator Russ] Edmonds, “He’s not some young kid who has to decide what’s happening in his life. He’s already done. He’s been through the ropes, he’s been through a war. He has a broken nose, and he’s had battle wounds. Because he’s been through his life experiences already, he has a sense of humour about life. He’s a mature hero with a heart.”
By refusing to carry out Frollo’s genocidal orders to set fire to the home of a family suspected of harbouring gypsies, Phoebus makes himself an outcast but also breaks the chains of blind, soldierly obedience fate has forged for him.“
Source: Stephen Rebello, The Art of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Hyperion, 1997), pp 77-78.
#you guys #i have such a deep adoration for disney’s phoebus #like the rest of his movie he’s terribly underrated and doesn’t show up on the disney prince lineup or anything #BUT I LOVE HIM #as I do for all characters who find themselves part of an evil system and refuse to collaborate with it