My family has gone on a Disney movie spree and when we got the “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” I was curious to see the difference between it and the play. It was obvious the ending was going to result in the death of just the bad guy, but I did not expect the songs to have such deep meanings.
I had watched this movie when it first came out, but I was too young to fully understand the whole story. It was not really one of my favorite Disney movies, thus the memory of it faded over time.
Years later, I took a class in European history. One of the time periods that we covered were the witch trials. Our class watched the Hunchback of Notre Dame play and we had to identify which parts had a historical reference. Surprisingly, there were a number of political and religious references.
Back to the movie, “God Help the Outcasts” was a song that really struck a chord with me. This is different from the song sung in the theatrical version, but the overall meaning is the same. However, for some reason, the movie made me feel more heartbroken. Mainly, its the lines
I can get by
but I know so many
less lucky than I”
that keep playing in my head again and again. They make me think about so many people.
The ones standing on street corners holding a sign that says anything will help.
The children who ran away or attacked their parents/guardians because of abuse.
The parents and their children who all work in dangerous conditions and for long hours to be able to buy food.
The ones who lost their families because of war.
The list goes on and on. I understand the importance of giving donations and hand-outs to solve the immediate issues, but I wish more effort could be put into helping people gain the ability to elevate their lives.