Former Title: Judge & Minister of Justice
Premiered in: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Voiced By: Tony Jay
Out of the entirety of Disney Villains, Judge Claude Frollo is the only one to never, not once, perceive himself as a villain. While most other villains recognize that what they’re doing is wrong and either take pride in their actions or ignore it to achieve their goals, Frollo never once acknowledged that anything that he did in the entirety of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was wrong. He is a monster in every sense of the word and he possesses no redeeming quality to him unlike the majority of Disney Villains that preceded and followed him. He hides behind his own religious faith, thinking that everything that he did, he had done for the glory of God and accepts none of his own inadequacies. Even when he begins to lust after Esmeralda, in ways that are beyond creepy and downright disgusting to see, he puts the blame of it entirely upon her “bewitching” him.
It is this lust that drives Frollo to achieve his one goal in the most extreme of ways. Overall, again unlike most Disney Villains, Frollo had no true want for anything. He was in a high position of power, had plenty of riches thanks to said position, and was a well respected, that is to say feared and disgusted, person amongst the citizens of Paris. His one goal throughout the film was to rid Paris of gypsies because of his racial bigotries and it was in the pursuit of one that ended up with him taking the likes of Quasimodo, a deformed baby, as a son. Why you may ask, especially considering that he believed the boy to be a demon and was set to drown him in a nearby well?
Well, it was because Frollo feared for his immortal soul as he had, mere moments prior, brutally murdered Quasimodo’s mother on the footsteps of Notre Dame. While I refuse to speak too deeply on religious faith, I’m fairly certain that there’s no faster way to the “Bad Place.” His “realization” that Esmeralda had “damned him” by filling him with an unholy lust for her drove him to such a peak of murderous insanity that Paris was all but set ablaze as he began a genocidal manhunt for her.
Like Maleficent, Frollo didn’t possess any one minion but an army of soldiers and thugs under his payroll that, frankly speaking, were likely too overpaid for their jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I like Esmeralda’s spunk but that girl is no Waldo and certainly no Carmen Sandiego. She does not blend in easily with a crowd and most certainly does not excel in the “hiding in plain sight” category. Ergo facto, them guards are either incompetent or blind. Probably both but that’s neither here nor there.
Like many other Disney Villains before him, Frollo receives his end by means of dramatic fall to his death. However, I would like to mention that, rather like Gaston, Frollo does receive a… vision of sorts in what awaits him. For while he grips tightly upon the neck of a gargoyle, the statue suddenly comes to life in the form of vividly glowing red eyes and a growl to make devils cringe in fear shortly before it breaks free from its perch and drags Frollo down to the heart of the Black Pit. Of course, this all followed in the wake of a very poetic and rather ironically timed quote.
Frollo is easily one of the worst of the Disney Villains and I say that by the list of his crimes and not as a character. While most of the villains are the kind of characters that I could honestly see myself getting along with, Frollo is one of the few villains that from beginning to the end of his respected film, I was all but chanting for him to meet his end quickly and with extreme prejudice. One of but certainly not the top contender for that honor goes to someone many films, and years, down the line yet so let’s move on to the next villain shall we?