Clopin is a minor character and the narrator of Disney's 1996 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame and its sequel. He narrates the movie from start to finish, and he sings some of the movie's songs, "The Bells of Notre Dame", "Topsy Turvy", and "The Court of Miracles" and is voiced by Paul Kandel.
Clopin is the leader of the gypsies, and is exceedingly protective of their headquarters, the Court of Miracles. Clopin is unusual for a prominent Disney character because of his neutrality towards both good and evil. One moment he is performing street theatre for children, then he dances throughout town as the Feast of Fools celebration is underway, and the next, he's about to hang the movie's heroes. He maintains a rather macabre sense of humour even when arranging the hanging of Quasimodo and Phoebus. Judging from the way he acts, his sanity appears to be a little off.
He uses puppets and street theatre to tell stories, sometimes using one of himself which he will argue with in jest, and ultimately always overrules.
As the movie's narrator, Clopin has a great deal of knowledge about Quasimodo's past, seemingly more than Quasimodo himself, suggesting that to know the whole story, throughout Paris he must have a great deal of contacts.
Clopin is a talented performer. He is able to perform many acrobatic feats as well as magic tricks. He is also gifted in singing. In The Bells of Notre Dame, he ends the song with a powerful high D note.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Clopin appears at the beginning of the movie, narrating to Parisian children through street theatre and the song "The Bells of Notre Dame" the story of Quasimodo, explaining how Frollo all but murdered Quasimodo's mother, and then intended to drown her child before the eyes of the Virgin Mother, Notre Dame herself. He explains how the Archdeacon stops Frollo from killing Quasimodo, and the cruel meaning of his name.
Clopin is next seen singing the song "Topsy Turvy", leading the Feast of Fools and dragging Quasimodo into the song despite his attempts to hide. When Quasimodo is pulled up on stage and it is revealed that he is not wearing a mask but it is his true face, Clopin hurries to calm the shocked crowd, pointing out that "We asked for the ugliest face in Paris, and here he is, Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame!" He then leads the crowd in crowning Quasimodo. He plays no part whatsoever in Quasimodo's humiliation.
Clopin next appears in far less gaudy attire to sing "The Court of Miracles" when Phoebus and Quasimodo discover the Court of Miracles, arranging for the rapid hanging of them both as he suspects them to both be spies for Frollo. Esmerelda stops him from opening the trap, and he claims ignorance of their innocence (albeit in a manner that suggests he simply wasn't listening). Unfortunately when Quasimodo is tracked to the Court, Clopin is shown captured as well as the other gypsies, Esmerelda, and Phoebus.
His fourth appearance is briefly during the climax of the film where Esmeralda is at the pyre before Notre Dame. When Quasimodo rescues Esmeralda, Phoebus breaks free and rouses the civilians into action, and Clopin is seen jumping out of one of the many cages that hold the Gypsies freed by the civilians. Along with the civilians they attack Frollo's soldiers.
Finally, Clopin lifts one of the small children seen at the beginning as Quasimodo leaves the cathedral, and sings the reprise of "The Bells of Notre Dame" as Quasimodo is led as a hero through the streets of Paris.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
In The Hunchback of Note Dame II, Clopin is no longer the narrator as in the first one and plays a much smaller role. He's seen at the beginning of the movie singing about the Festival of Love with Quasimodo and the rest of the civilians. Then he's later seen again playing with his puppets in front of a crowd that is based on the Festival of Love. Then, just as in the first one, he's seen introducing Esmeralda as she dances for the festival.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (musical)
Clopin is the story teller, leader of the Court of Miracles and the Festival of Fools. Clopin does very little for the plot but he seems to enjoy regaling the tale to the audience and providing exposition. In his storyteller role he dresses like an old begger which further separates his character into two distinct characters unlike the movie where he does as pretty the same person.
Clopin appears as a very rare walkaround character in many Disney parks. He also has a restaurant in Hong Kong Disneyland, Clopin's Festival of Foods.
At Disneyland, Clopin is incorporated into the Fantasy Faire as a dancing figure inside of a large music box in the village square.
- Clopin narrates the beginning of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, setting it up, and taking active roles in the story itself.
- His manner, wackiness, and role makes him similar to Rafiki in The Lion King.
- It's become popular to pair him with Harley Quinn from the Batman-franchise.