Judge Claude Frollo is the main antagonist of Disney's 1996 feature film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He killed Quasimodo's mother 20 years prior to the time of the film on the very steps of Notre Dame cathedral and prepared to drown Quasimodo. The Archdeacon stopped him, and, fearing repercussions from God and especially from Mary, the Virgin Mother of Jesus, Frollo, was tasked with raising him and named the baby Quasimodo in reference to his disfigurement. Frollo however, kept Quasimodo hidden from the world in the church's belltower, until he could be of use to him. He was voiced by Tony Jay.
Frollo is the stern, prejudiced judge of Paris, using his power to carry out his personal vendettas, making him feared and reviled throughout the city. Frollo is especially set on eliminating the gypsies scattered throughout Paris as their indulgence in "witchcraft and sorcery" is infectious to those around them, according to him.
While most Disney villains know that what they do is wrong (and either do not care or take pride from this) Frollo actually believes he is a good person. He repeatedly refuses to find fault within himself and is quite self-righteous, declaring himself much purer than "the common vulgar, weak, licentious crowd" and above the biblical doctrine that all men are equally sinful. He believes that everything he does is in the name of God, even as he attacks the cathedral of Notre Dame for the sake of one gypsy.
He comes to lust for the beautiful Esmeralda , but even blames his own lust for her on witchcraft and the devil rather than accept that he himself is committing crimes and sins. His lust drives him murderously insane, which ultimately proves to be his downfall when he pushes Quasimodo too far by almost killing Esmeralda.
He is also sarcastic and sometimes shows a very dark sense of humor, in relation to his sadism and malice.
He is also very cruel to Quasimodo, by locking him away from the world, and allowing him to be humiliated in public without even bothering to help him, as punishment for disobeying him. He also shows no love or compassion towards Quasimodo, and only uses him as a tool for his personal gain.
At the film's beginning, Frollo ambushes a group of gypsies entering Paris illegally and chases one of them to Notre Dame where he kills her. However, he discovers that the gypsy's "stolen good" was actually her deformed baby son. Believing the child to be an unholy demon, Frollo prepares to drop the child in a nearby well, but for the intervention of the Archdeacon, who reprimands Frollo for killing an innocent woman and tells him that the only way to make up for his sin is to raise the boy as his own son, to which he begrudgingly agrees. Frollo names the boy "Quasimodo" (literally "Near-perfect mode" or "Half-formed"), and raises him in the Cathedral, hidden from the outside world, constantly teaching him that he would be considered an ugly and hideous monster by the cruel outside world.
20 years later, Frollo summons Captain Phoebus to aid him in his war with the gypsies, and at the same time, Quasimodo begins to rebel Frollo's strict actions. He attends the Feast of Fools, where he becomes enamored of Esmeralda, a gypsy performing at the festival, but when Quasimodo is crowned King of Fools and then humiliated by the crowd; Frollo refuses to help him in order to punish him for disobeying him. Esmeralda openly defies Frollo for his cruelty, and in retaliation, Frollo orders her arrested. She escapes into the Cathedral, where he corners her and tells her that he will arrest her if she dares to leave. However, Quasimodo helps her escape. Frollo gets wind of this and orders a city-wide manhunt for Esmeralda, at the same time haunted by the lust he feels for her.
As Frollo nears insanity, Phoebus defies him and is ordered killed, although Esmeralda rescues him. Frollo eventually tricks Quasimodo into leading him to the gypsy hideout, the Court of Miracles, and plans to have Esmeralda executed the next day. Frollo succumbs to his desires and offers Esmeralda one last chance to live as his mistress, but she refuses and he orders her executed. Seeing Esmeralda suffering finally snaps Quasimodo and he openly defies Frollo, rescuing Esmeralda and pouring molten copper onto the streets of Paris, keeping anyone from entering the Cathedral. Frollo manages to enter and finds Quasimodo crying over Esmeralda's unconscious body. Frollo attempts to stab Quasimodo from behind, but Quasimodo retaliates and nearly kills Frollo in his rage. As Frollo goes for Esmeralda, Quasimodo takes her to the balconies and fights Frollo. During the fight, Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that he killed his mother, and eventually, the two fall from the Cathedral balcony. While Quasimodo is caught in mid-air by Phoebus, Frollo falls to his death.
Although Frollo makes no full appearance in the second film, he is alluded to by Sarousch when he asks Madellaine "and did I turn you over to the authorities?" which reveals that he was aware of Frollo's prejudice against gypsies.
Difference from the original
Frollo was very different in the original novel. He was far more compassionate, caring, and tragic, as well as significantly less villainous in the original novel. As the archdeacon of Notre Dame in the original novel, he took Quasimodo in willingly as his own son when his mother abandoned him in the book (instead of Frollo just killing her himself like in the Disney film) and named him after Quasimodo Sunday instead of his disfigurement. He even helped Quasimodo develop some sort of sign language after the latter became deaf from becoming the bellringer. He only becomes the villain when Esmerelda enters the picture. His lust drives him insane much like in the Disney version. The only difference at this point was that Frollo actually succeeded at killing Esmeralda just before Quasimodo throws him off of Notre Dame, killing him.
Frollo makes a few cameos in the series. He appears in Mickey's House of Villains but not as one of the villains that takes over. In one episode he was seen sitting with Grumpy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Grimsby of The Little Mermaid. In "Dining Goofy", he showed to be unamused with the fact that he was seated with Mad Hatter.
Frollo appears in the fourth book, Power Play. He is seen in Disney's Hollywood Studios where he attempts to drown Willa commanding the Green Army Men. His guards also pursue Willa through Epcot . In the fifth book, he is seen boarding the Disney Dream along with some other villains.
When Sora first arrives in La Cité des Cloches, he passes Frollo, who stops him and wonders whether or not he is a gypsy, until Phoebus turns up. Later on, at the Festival of Fools, Frollo sees Quasimodo enjoying himself, despite his earlier order for Quasimodo to stay inside the belltower, and refuses to help Quasimodo when he is attacked by Dream Eaters. By doing this, he gains two enemies in the form of Sora and Esmeralda, who aid Quasimodo and defy Frollo. For his part, Frollo becomes infatuated with Esmeralda and begins a manhunt for her, slowly reaching madness. At one point, Frollo orders Phoebus to burn down the home of an innocent miller, but Phoebus rebels against Frollo and turns his sword on him as Riku turns up. Using his inner darkness, Frollo summons the Bullet Gargoyle Dream Eater to fight Riku and Phoebus as he flees back to the cathedral.
In desperation, Frollo bluffs to Quasimodo that he knows where the gyspy hideout, the Court of Miracles, is hidden, and plans to attack it at dawn. He follows Quasimodo, Phoebus and Sora to the Court and captures Esmeralda himself, frog-marching her away and using his darkness to stop Sora from attacking him (though it is not shown, it is implied that the Bullet Gargoyle strikes Sora from behind).
Frollo sentences Esmeralda to be burned at the stake as Sora arrives on the scene. As Quasimodo rescues Esmeralda, Sora confronts Frollo, ready to fight him, but Frollo summons the Bullet Gargoyle again and follows Quasimodo into the cathedral, where they end up fighting on the balcony of Notre Dame. During the battle, Frollo spitefully reveals that he murdered Quasimodo's mother twenty years ago, in stark contrast to the tale he had brought him up with about his mother abandoning him. Frollo moves in to strike Quasimodo, but misses and the two fall off the balcony. Frollo hangs onto a nearby stone gargoyle and climbs up, ready to kill Esmeralda and Quasimodo, but the gargoyle he is standing on breaks off and he falls to his death.
In Riku's story, Frollo's fate differs. Frollo stands atop the balcony of the cathedral madly, witnessing the damage below as Riku confronts him. Frollo prepares to fight Riku personally, but the Bullet Gargoyle suddenly emerges from below and the ensuing vibrations cause Frollo to lose his balance and fall to his death.
Frollo appears in The Sceptre and the Kingdom, a spinoff comic published in Spain to tie-in with the original game. When Sora and Riku are transported to Paris, Frollo declares the two to be guilty of witchcraft, but Esmeralda helps them escape.
Frollo makes a small cameo in the opening of the Colors of Fear segment.
In the Disney's Hollywood Studios' version of the show, Frollo is one of the leading villains who assist The Queen in her plan to do away with Mickey. He is killed in the end with the rest of the villains.
In Tokyo Disneyland, Frollo is featured in the villains segment alongside Maleficent and The Queen. He is accompanied by the mysterious red hooded men seen during "Hellfire".
Frollo joins other villains in the show to celebrate Halloween and joins the meet and greets and the end.
- The Nostalgia Critic listed Frollo as Number 4 on his "Top 11 Disney Villians" list. His song "Hellfire" was listed as Number 1 on his "Top 11 Villain Songs". His female counterpart, The Nostalgia Chick, listed Frollo as Number 2 on her "Top 10 Evil Nostalgia Characters" list. And, she also rated him number ten on her list of the Top Ten "Hottest" Animated Guys.
- Despite being a "human", Frollo ranks as one of the most evil Disney villains due to his personality, xenophobic hate, immense political power and above-the-law status.
- Frollo is placed 10th on the Ultimite Disney.com's Disney Villain countdown.
- Frollo has many similarities to Mother Gothel from Tangled:
- Both do not have magic powers.
- Both have harbored their ward for their own personal reasons.
- Both have created a song to describe why they shouldn't leave their "homes".
- Both have attempted to kill their wards friend(s)
- Both have died of falling.
- Frollo is also similar to Lady Tremaine from Cinderella, as both villains don't use any magic powers, and they also mistreat and abuse their stepchildren. They also obtain a high status in the wealthy class (Tremaine is a socialette, and Frollo is a judge).
- The way Frollo tells Quasimodo that he killed his mother is quite similar to how Scar reveals that he killed Mufasa to Simba at the end of The Lion King (1994), given how they do not reveal it until they believe they are about to kill their respective foes, only to arouse their foes' rage and lead to their own deaths.
- The way that Frollo burns the miller's family house with them still inside is similar to how Nihilus from The Storykeepers burns Ben's bakery with Helena, Justin, Cyrus and Marcus still in it. However, there is one similarity and two differences: the similarity that the latter that would be burned alive were saved at the last minute. The first difference is that Frollo burned the miller's family's house at once while Nihilus gave Ben until sunset to come out into the open or his bakery would burn with Helena and the 3 boys still in it. The second difference is that Phoebus saved the miller's family by breaking them out of the house while Antonius's men mined their way into the bakery and saved Helena and the boys by pulling them into the catacombs of Rome before the fire and smoke could inflame their lungs.
- Frollo was voiced by Tony Jay, who also voiced Shere Khan in TaleSpin and The Jungle Book 2, Monsieur D'Arque in Beauty and the Beast, and one of Dr. Benedict's scientists' in Recess: School's Out.
- Frollo's behavior may suggest that he is a pyromaniac.
- Frollo is also similar to Stromboli from Pinocchio, as both villains plan to keep the protagonists (Quasimodo and Pinocchio) locked away for their own purposes (Frollo: To find the Court of Miracles, and Stromboli: To make a lot of money from his puppet show with Pinnochio as his "starring attraction").The only difference is that Stromboli sought to keep Pinocchio away from his home, while Frollo provided Quasimodo with an agreed home.
- Frollo represents the deadly sin of lust, as he lusted after Esmeralda.
- Frollo is also similar to Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas, as both villains express hatred and prejudice against a certain race (Frollo: Gypsies, and Ratcliffe: Native Americans), seem to express some form of white supremecy, and they also obtain a high rank in authority and political influence.
- For more pictures and screenshots of Claude Frollo, click here.
- Claude Frollo on Wikipedia