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"Frollo" redirects here due to this wiki's particular subject. For the original literary version, see Claude Frollo.


Villain Overview
I feel her, I see her, the sun caught in her raven hair, is blazing in me out of all control... like fire! Hellfire! This fire in my skin. This burning desire is turning me to sin!
~ Frollo confessing his lust for Esmeralda.
And He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into a fiery pit!
~ Frollo about to kill Esmeralda.

Judge Claude Frollo is the main antagonist of Disney's 34th full-length animated feature film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He is the Minister of Justice in the city of Paris, but is xenophobic, fanatical and self-righteous to the point of hypocrisy.

It must be noted that in Victor Hugo's famous novel Notre Dame de Paris (on which the Disney film was inspired), Frollo is not exactly a judge, but the Archdeacon of the cathedral of Notre Dame. Disney Studios probably made Frollo a judge to avoid controversy and to have a chance to tone up his evil actions. Indeed, the Disney version of the character is notoriously different from his book counterpart and far, far more evil.

He was voiced by the late legendary actor, Tony Jay, who also played Shere Khan from The Jungle Book 2, and Monsieur D'Arque from Beauty and the Beast.

Personality

You can lie to yourself and your minions. You can claim that you haven't a qualm. But you'll never can run from nor hide what you've done from the eyes. The very eyes of Notre Dame.
~ The Archdeacon, highlighting the fallacies of Judge Frollo's self-righteousness.

Frollo is a character of pure malevolence, completely devoid of the funny quirks that made other Disney villains somehow endearing in spite of their crimes. This is made all the gloomier in that he is a normal human instead of a stereotypical villain. He is the "monster" from the introduction song The Bells of Notre Dame (normal-looking and respected yet repulsive); in stark contrast with the "man" represented by Quasimodo (ugly and shunned yet selfless).

Frollo is cruel, spiteful, manipulative, and blasphemous person who destroys countless lives for the slightest plight without batting an eyelid, and never shows politeness that is not contrived. Frollo sadistically enjoys seeing people getting tortured (which he regards as "being taught a lesson"), and the only genuine emotions he displays are either malice or petty satisfaction.

Even worse, he grudgingly complies to his sole good action out of selfish fear for his soul. He refused to take Quasimodo as a son and hid him away to use him later, completely ruining the redemptive purpose of taking him in. He blatantly abuses him emotionally and verbally, and fakes all displays of affection.

Frollo is a deeply fanatical and sacrilegious person, obsessed with purifying the world from corruption. As such, he despises celebrations such as the Festival of Fools, which he regards as useless and degrading. He is also extremely deceiving, prejudiced, chauvinistic, and xenophobic, as seen with his irrational hatred for gypsies and his inability to conceive that a deformed person could be a normal human. (Such beliefs were sadly common in the times in which the story takes place, although Frollo's character serves to highlight their fallacies.) To him, everything and everyone outside the "natural order" is a stain that must be removed (even though the target's flaws only exist in his head).

What makes Frollo all the more despicable is his unshakable self-righteousness. He regards himself as a paragon of virtue above all blame. In his twisted point of view, he is the purest person alive and everyone else is in the wrong, if not seeking to "corrupt" him. Although he does fear damnation more than anything, his delusion is so strong that he keeps persuading himself that his faults are an innocent person's doing, during the scarce moments he could have realized the error of his ways. No matter how often the Archdeacon, a moral authority, reminds him of the Christian values of caring and compassion, like most fanatics he can only understand a logic of punishment.

Because of this, Frollo regards his lust for Esmeralda as a "spell" meant to damn his soul and fabricates absurd justifications for his murder of Quasimodo's mother. He quickly becomes obsessed with submitting Esmeralda to his will (reasoning that he can have her if he gets her to "repent"), being ready to burn thousands of innocents in the process. By the end of the film, he becomes so unhinged that he no longer fears damnation, persuading himself that his enemies are the most degenerate and wicked ones who must get punished.

Reception

Frollo has left a lasting impact on audiences, being remembered as one of the darkest Disney villains, as his crimes include trying to kill a baby, expressing clear genocidal intentions and trying to burn an innocent family alive; and the sexual element of his character is otherwise almost unheard of for an animated Disney character. It is also heavily implied that he is responsible for the deaths of countless numbers of gypsies and other innocent citizens.

At the same time, however, Frollo is arguably the most complex and human Disney villain as he does have an internal conflict, as well as a distinct fear for his soul, which he fails to listen to due to his delusional denial of his own sins. Some even find him sympathetic, and wish he had redeemed himself or even ended up with Esmeralda. This may have something to do with the book, where he legitimately is sympathetic.

In addition, Frollo's conflict with the Archdeadcon of Notre Dame (who is meant to embody the good aspects of Frollo's character in the novel) has been regarded as mirroring the conflict between pure religion (loving, welcoming and generous) and fanaticism (hateful, oppressive and violent).

An official poll of the Top 30 Disney Villains placed him in the #10 spot, and the Nostalgia Critic gave him the #4 spot on his personal list. Also, his Villain Song "Hellfire" is widely praised as one of the very best, greatly contributing to his popularity. (Oddly enough, some people even overlook his villainy due to having enjoyed the song so much.)

Despite (and, given the absurd nature of the phenomenon, likely because of) being such a dark character, Frollo is the second most popular Disney character in the Youtube Poop community, next to Gaston. The "Hellfire" scene in particular is a very popular source, again despite and perhaps because of being so dark. The most notable YTP work starring Frollo is "The Frollo Show" by Chincherrinas where he is portrayed as the main protagonist and is best friends with Gaston.

Other Appearances

Kingdom Hearts Dream: Drop Distance

Judge Claude Frollo (Kingdom Hearts)

Judge Claude Frollo (Kingdom Hearts)

This is no demon. It is righteous judgement.
~ Jidge Claude Frollo talking to Riku about Wargoyle.

Judge Claude Frollo serves as a villain in the video game Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. In this mix of the Disney and Square Enix multiverses, he is confronted in the world La Cité des Cloches (French for The City of Bells), depicting a medieval Paris around Notre Dame Cathedral. As Sora and Riku, the primary protagonists, are travelling separately to fully restore the Sleeping Worlds from Darkness, they end up in La Cité des Cloches, where they both witness different events of the movie. In this version, Frollo is voiced by Corey Burton.

Riku first arrives when Phoebus is chasing Esmeralda at Frollo's command, but denies having seen her running away. As Frollo is scolding Phoebus, Esmeralda befriends Riku, telling him about Frollo's genocidal quest and directs him to Notre Dame. While initially sympathetic to Frollo, having himself fallen in Darkness, Riku realizes the abuses he puts Quasimodo through and encourages the bell-boy to follow his heart.

Meanwhile, Frollo accosts Sora, believing him to be a gipsy due to the clothes he wears. As Phoebus suddenly barges in, reporting that monsters have invaded the town, Sora deduces that he speaks about Dream Eaters and rushes to fight them, followed by Phoebus who worries that he is but a kid. Left alone, Frollo starts ranting against all the "threats to law and order" he spent his life fighting.

They witness Quasimodo, crowned Kings of Fools as in the movie, riding Dream Eaters. Frollo's arrival causes the Dream Eaters to go berserk, and Sora confronts them as Esmeralda helps Quasimodo go back to the cathedral. Upon venturing into Notre Dame, Sora witnesses Quasimodo help Esmeralda escape from the guards that prevent her from leaving the cathedral's sanctuary, then Frollo ruining Quasimodo's self-esteem with false kindness.

As Riku is searching for Frollo, hoping to save him from Darkness, he witnesses him trying to burn the innocent miller family in their house, with an outraged Phoebus standing against him to defend them. When Frollo summons the powerful Nightmare Dream Eater known as the Wargoyle, delusionally ranting that it is a gift from God to help him "cleanse the world", Riku understands that the fanatic has sunk too low and resolves to stop him. With Phoebus wounded Riku rushes after Frollo alone.

While Phoebus has been stripped from his rank, he warns Sora that Frollo is about to invade the Court of Miracles. With Quasimodo's help, they rush there to warn the gypsies, but as in the movie, this is a trap and Frollo barges in after following them. He subdues them with his Nightmares Dream Eaters takes Esmeralda prisoner, indifferent to Quasimodo's desperate pleas, and prepares to burn her at the stake. Sora rushes to stop him, but he has a Dream Eater knock out the boy. When Sora reaches Notre Dame, Quasimodo has already rescued Esmeralda from the stake and is taking her into the cathedral.

Riku confronts Frollo atop Notre Dame’s towers, as the unhinged fanatic is gleefully watching Paris burning, and calls him out on his delusion, calling him "a sad old man with a dark heart", but Frollo summons the Wargoyle to "pass judgment". As the monster's appearance knocks him overboard, Frollo falls into the fire while cackling maniacally and yelling "Judgment is mine!" However, he somehow survives, unless the dream in which Sora is present is not the same, which remains unclear. After a short confrontation with Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Young Xehanort, Riku defeats the Wargoyle and shatters its wing, causing it to fall into the fire.

Since Sora must face the now-wingless Wargoyle, hinting that it is the same that fought Riku, he cannot prevent Frollo from barging into the cathedral after his former ward. Just like in the movie, Frollo attacks Quasimodo and Esmeralda with a sword, and reveals the awful truth about Quasimodo's mother's fate, but he fells overboard after Quasimodo dodges his sword strike. As Esmeralda desperately tries to keep Quasimodo from falling, the fanatic climbs the gargoyle while blaspheming, only to fall to his well-deserved doom.

Riku

In Riku's story, Frollo questions why he bothered summoning Phoebus if he could not find Esmeralda. Frollo is seen trying to "pass judgement" against a family by using the Wargoyle. Luckily, Riku and Phoebus make it in time. Back at Notre Dame, Frollo falls off the balcony, yelling "Judgement is mine!".

Kingdom Keepers

In the novel series Kingdom Keepers, Frollo appears in one of the books. He is one of the Overtakers, a group of certain Disney villains that plan to take over all of the Disney parks. He tried to drown one of the Kingdom Keeper kids. He, along with Maleficent and the baddie in charge (Chernabog), are the main Overtakers (along with Evil Queen and Cruella De Vil).

Trivia

  • Frollo is considered as one of the (if not the) darkest and most evil of Disney's animated film villains. In fact, Frollo was meant by Disney Studios to be as evil and as vile as possible, in an attempt to avert the trope "Evil is Cool," common to many Disney villains.
  • In the original book by Victor Hugo, Frollo is the Archdeacon of Notre Dame. He is actually caring towards Quasimodo, whom he adopted out of genuine mercy, and his good-for-nothing brother Jehan. But when Esmeralda comes along, Frollo's lust for her results in a slow descent into evil.
  • Frollo's genocidal agenda against Gypsies mirrors the Nazi's own genocide against Gypsies (which occurred concurrently to the genocide against European Jews). Frollo is also, like Hitler, a dictator who rules through fear and intimidation, and has a complete willingness to kill anyone who gets in his way.
           Disney Villains

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Other Animated Movies
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           Kingdom Hearts Villains

Thirteen Hearts of Darkness
Ansem | Master Xehanort | Saïx | Terra-Xehanort | Xemnas | Xigbar | Young Xehanort

Organization XIII
Axel | Demyx | Larxene | Lexaeus | Luxord | Marluxia | Vexen | Xaldin | Zexion

Disney Villains
Bo'sun | Captain Hook | Cecil Clayton | Cerberus | Chernabog | Crew of the Black Pearl | CLU 2 | Diablo | Fates | Flotsam & Jetsam | Gantu | Glut | Hades | Hector Barbossa | Hayabusa | Hydra | Iago | Jafar | Judge Claude Frollo | Lady Tremaine | Lock, Shock & Barrel | Mr. Smee | Maleficent | Maleficent's Goons | MCP | Monstro | Neverland Pirates | Oogie Boogie | Pain & Panic | Pete | Queen of Hearts | Rinzler | Sabor | Sark | Scar | Shan Yu | Shenzi, Banzai & Ed | Titans (Lythos & Hydros) | Ursula

Others
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