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, predjudiced 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 muderously 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.
The Hunchback of Notre DameEdit
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, whom he prepares to kill 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 enamoured 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 aluded 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 originalEdit
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.
Role in UltimaEditIn Ultima, Frollo was revived from the Darkness by Maleficent in order for him to join the Organization. Although the Judge refused to join such Hellish beings like Mistress 9 and the Demon Lords in reviving the Dark King, a spawn of Satan, Maleficent convinced that if he helps aid them in their quest, Chernabog will grant the Judge safety from the fires of Hell and let him go off to Heaven should he die. Besides, Esmerelda will also be given to him as a bonus present for his hard work. With that, Frollo agreed to the terms of the contract and is now currently a Dark Master in the Organization's Ranks.
Of course, Maleficent was not entirely honest in her deal with Frollo. As it turns out, the gift she gave to the mad judge...was the power to control the Heartless, and Esmerelda would never be given to such a man like him. Instead, he was implanted with a shard of Chernabog's heart, which would slowly transform him into a monstrous demon vulnerable to the Fires of Heaven and Hell over time. When he first appeared in "To and Frollo", the shard was only recently placed into his heart, so the only thing that Frollo had transformed into was a stereotypically evil, cackling mad, card-carrying villain with no Knight Templar traits whatsoever. But that may change should Frollo yield to the darkness within the shard...