I recently re-watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a family-friendly Disney movie about a perverted priest who is obsessed with a sexy gypsy. Some fantastic writers read the Victor Hugo classic and thought, “Hey, this would make a great movie for kids!” The carnal themes are carefully hidden and the movie is a delight for both young and old, with the added benefit of introducing some fascinating topics for the budding pre-pubescent to discuss with loving parents.
Looking back, I’m not sure how the less-than-honorable intentions of the priest completely eluded me. I just thought he loved Esmeralda a lot. I can’t help but wonder how I interpreted some of the phrases in the movie. I have a few guesses:
Original line: Why I see her dancing there, why her smold'ring eyes still scorch my soul
My interpretation: She is a nice, pretty girl. He likes her lots.
Original line: Like fire, hellfire, this fire in my skin. This burning desire is turning me to sin.
My interpretation: Wow, that fireplace he’s standing next to is probably really hot. Did he say it’s burning his skin?
Original line: And let her taste the fires of hell, or else let her be mine and mine alone.
My interpretation: Something about tasting… he probably wants her to eat some dinner with him because he loves her.
Original line: Now gypsy, it's your turn. Choose me or your pyre.
My interpretation: What’s a pyre? It’s probably a French word for “papa” or something. He probably wants her to marry him, which means she’ll have to choose between him and her dad.
Original line: I’ll find her. I’ll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris.
My interpretation: I can fit ten macaroni noodles in my nose! What did he say about Paris?
I can still fit ten macaroni noodles in my nose, by the way.