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In 1488, six years after the events of the original film, Captain Phoebus is now serving as Paris' Captain of the Guard under the new Minister of Justice, after the death of the previous one (Judge Claude Frollo). He and Esmeralda have married and have a six-year-old son named Zephyr. Quasimodo is now an accepted part of Parisian society; though he still lives in Notre Dame with his gargoyle friends Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, and still serves as the cathedral's bell-ringer.
A circus troupe led by Sarousch enters town as part of "Le Jour d'Amour", a day dedicated to the celebration of strong and pure romantic love and romance between twitterpated and romantically infatuated lovers (in a fashion similar to Valentine's Day). However, it is revealed that Sarousch is, in reality, a master criminal who plans to steal Notre Dame's most beloved bell, La Fidèle (a take on the real-life Notre Dame's biggest bell, the Emmanuel), the inside of which is decorated with gold lining and enormous jewels of various colors. He sends Madellaine, his aspiring assistant, to discover the whereabouts of La Fidèle. She encounters Quasimodo without seeing his face, and the two of them seem to get along quite well despite having just met, but she runs away after seeing his face, shocked at his grotesque hideous appearance. The gargoyles convince Quasimodo to go to the circus to see her again. Sarousch captures the audience's attention when he makes an elephant disappear, while his associates steal from the audience. Sarousch forces Madellaine to follow Quasimodo and obtain the information he wants. At first she tries to persuade Sarousch not to do so, but he reminds her of her background: years ago, when Madellaine was only six, Sarousch caught her trying to steal coins from him, but instead of turning her over to the cruel Frollo, Sarousch took her under his wing out of sympathy. She follows Quasimodo and Zephyr, and sees them spend the afternoon playing together. Eventually, the exhausted youngster falls asleep in Quasi's arms. Realizing that Quasimodo possesses a kind and gentle nature, Madellaine ceases to be frightened by his hideousness and ugliness. Quasimodo takes her around Paris, and shows her numerous sights.
Meanwhile, Phoebus receives reports of robberies and starts an investigation with the city's soldiers (who are now depicted as a more honorable force rather than the hired thugs that Frollo employed). As rain begins to fall, Quasimodo and Madellaine run into the cathedral. Madellaine dries off behind a curtain, and Quasimodo shows her La Fidèle. Quasimodo gives Madellaine a figurine he made of her, and he tells her that she can now see herself through his eyes. Tears well up in Madellaine's eyes, and after warmly kissing Quasimodo on the forehead, as a sign that she had a really fun and great time with him, she leaves.
The next day, Quasimodo feels odd; one minute he feels sick, the next he feels energetic. After he seeks Esmeralda's help, she realizes that he is strongly/deeply, madly head-over-heels in love with Madellaine and tells him he must tell Madellaine of his true romantic feelings. Phoebus enters and expresses his belief that the circus may be responsible for the string of thefts in which Madellaine might be implicated, which do not delight Quasi or his family (Quasimodo due to being romantically in love with Madellaine, Esmeralda due to believing that Phoebus still holds prejudice views towards gypsies, and Zephyr due to admiring the circus).
Sarousch convinces Madellaine to distract Quasimodo while he steals La Fidèle. Having developed mutually genuine and strong romantic feelings for the hunchback, Madellaine refuses at first, but Sarousch blackmails her into obeying by threatening to have Quasimodo killed, much to Madellaine's shock. While investigating, Phoebus decides to question Sarousch, who denies involvement, but Phoebus spots one of the stolen jewels underneath Sarousch's hat and prepares to arrest him. Out of desperation, Sarousch tells Phoebus that Madellaine is responsible.
Later, while Quasimodo is out with Madellaine, Sarousch and two of his subordinates sneak into the cathedral. Zephyr and Djali the goat follow them and watch as Sarousch causes La Fidèle to vanish. The gargoyles, who had tried to drop a bell on the thieves, end up trapped under it; Laverne rams one of its sides, causing the bell to clang loudly. Hearing the sound, Quasimodo and Madellaine rush back. When the now-skinny Archdeacon (skinnier than in the first film) informs everyone that La Fidèle has been stolen,Clopin claims that if they do not find the bell, the festival will be ruined. Phoebus suddenly realizes that Sarousch was behind the whole thing and played him for a fool. He sends the soldiers all over Paris to find Sarousch. Realizing now that Madellaine has deceived him (despite her pleas that she didn't intend to), Quasimodo angrily breaks off with her and tells Phoebus that he was right before running off into the cathedral, feeling heartbroken and betrayed. Feeling sorry for Quasimodo, Phoebus has the guards arrest Madellaine for her involvement in the theft.
Quasimodo climbs to the bell tower, where he hears the gargoyles calling, and pulls the bell off them. After they tell him Zephyr left to pursue Sarousch, Quasimodo informs Esmeralda, and they rush to the Palace of Justice to tell Phoebus. Madellaine, who is locked in a prison cell, tells them Sarousch and his goons has taken the bell underground in the catacombs, explaining of the secrets behind his tricks and stating that Zephyr might be following Sarousch there. Esmeralda convinces her husband to trust Madellaine's word and search around the catacombs, but he takes the precaution of bringing Madellaine along as a prisoner.
Quasimodo and the others venture into the dark catacombs. They encounter Djali, who takes them to Sarousch and Zephyr. Sarousch forces Phoebus and the guards into opening the gate to allow his raft through by using Zephyr as a hostage. Madellaine convinces Quasimodo to trust her (despite telling her that he already made the mistake of trusting Frollo in being loyal to him before), and the pair run up a stairwell. Quasimodo lassos a rock to create a tightrope, and Madellaine walks across it. When the raft passes beneath her, Madellaine seizes Zephyr from Sarousch's grasp. With Sarousch robbed of his leverage, Phoebus orders his soldiers to quickly arrest Sarousch and his goons and recover the bell.
At the festival, Hugo finally wins the heart of his longtime crush: Esmeralda's pet goat Djali, after years of pestering him. A number of romantic couples proclaim their equally strong and pure romantic feelings and love for each other while Quasi rings the bell, but then the bell falls silent when Madellaine (who has now been dropped from all charges for her involvement of the theft) shows up in the bell tower. Having forgiven her, Quasimodo proclaims his deep and true romantic love feelings for Madellaine and they share their first romantic kiss while Zephyr rings La Fidèle.
Voice Cast Edit
- Tom Hulce as Quasimodo
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Madellaine
- Michael McKean as Sarousch
- Demi Moore as Esmeralda
- Kevin Kline as Captain Phoebus
- Haley Joel Osment as Zephyr
- Paul Kandel as Clopin
- Charles Kimbrough as Victor
- Jason Alexander as Hugo
- Jane Withers as Laverne
- Jim Cummings as the Archdeacon
- April Winchell as Lady DeBurne
- Joe Lala as Guard 1
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II received mixed to negative reviews from film critics. The film currently bears a 30% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 3.6/10. On IMDb, the film has a rating of 4.7/10 from 2,617 users. Critics and audiences panned the film for the poor quality of the animation in comparison to that of the original, the lighter tone, the original songs, as well as the weaker villain in Sarousch as opposed to Frollo.
DVD active said it was an "unusually chintzy production", noting "the characters are slightly off-model, their movements are stilted, optical zooms are used in place of animated camera moves, animation cycles are over-used, and painted highlights float around between frames". It compared it to the company's television show, adding it looks "cheap", "old", and "awful". It concluded by saying "it is mercifully short – under an hour without credits." Hi-Def Digest said "There's really no point in wasting your time watching this subpar sequel of an already ho-hum movie", rating it 1.5 stars. PopMatters notes "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II both addresses and cheapens the previous movie’s notes of melancholy, as it sets about finding Quasimodo a romantic partner". DVD Talk says "the story...somehow stretches what might have once been a 12-minute segment of the Smurfs to over an hour", and concludes that "the whole thing has the awful feel of a cash grab". CommonSenseMedia said "It's predictable and a bit ham-fisted in getting its message across".
- "Le Jour D'Amour" - written by Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn; performed by Jason Alexander, Tom Hulce, Paul Kandel, Charles Kimbrough & Jane Withers
- "An Ordinary Miracle" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Tom Hulce
- "I'd Stick With You" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Tom Hulce & Haley Joel Osment
- "Fa-la-la-la Fallen In Love" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough & Mary Jay Clough
- "I'm Gonna Love You (Madellaine's Love Song)" - written by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Chris Canute; performed by Jennifer Love Hewitt