Judge Claude Frollo is the main antagonist of Disney's 1996 animated feature film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He is a powerful Parisian justice minister, who, after a series of sensitive circumstances, becomes the begrudged caretaker of the deformed Quasimodo.
Aside from his political authority, Frollo is a religious zealot with intolerance for sinners. He believes Romani people (or "gypsies", as he refers to them) to be the most heinous of all malefactors, and therefore dedicates twenty years of his life to eradicating them. Frollo's self-imposed mission drives him to perform inhumane acts of violence, all the while using his loyalty to God as justification.
With a majority of the film's heavy thematic elements being directly tied to Frollo's story arc — such as religion, lust, and genocide — he is widely considered to be amongst the most complex and darkest Disney villains of all time.
Claude Frollo is a rather complex person. A religious extremist and a dogmatist, Frollo is convinced that all his actions are justified because they are God's will, though he is a cruel and corrupt government official who uses his place in power to meet his own extreme ends, even employing common thugs to enforce his interpretation of God's will while posing as "soldiers".
This makes him feared and reviled throughout the city. Frollo is racist and determinate to eliminate the gypsies scattered throughout Paris as their indulgence in "witchcraft and sorcery" is infectious to those around them, according to him, showing his foolish genocidal instincts. Frollo also show a creepy and monstrous sadistic instinct, as he briefly smiles while a guard tortured his ex guards captain and showed a creepy and maniacal smily face when he almost killed Esmeralda after she spitted on his face during his sentence to death.
Surprisingly, Frollo has been known to be a somewhat forgiving person. This is evidenced by how he forgave Quasimodo for attempting to deceive him in order to attend the Festival of Fools and how he equated the letter "F" with "forgiveness" when teaching Quasimodo the alphabet. Another example is how the gargoyles seemed to be aware of Frollo's merciful side, as they suggested Frollo was more likely to forgive Quasimodo for his defiance than to permit him to attend the Festival of Fools. He also ultimately forgave Quasimodo for helping Esmeralda escape Notre Dame, believing the hunchback was under a spell of Esmeralda's making.
Interestingly, while most Disney villains know that what they do is wrong (and they either do not care or take pride from this), Frollo actually believes that he is a good person or at the very least believes his actions are for the greater good, making him a very three-dimensional character as well. 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 to be above the biblical doctrine that all men are equally sinful, confirming him as a narcissist. 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 catching, arresting, and executing one gypsy woman. However, at the end of "Hellfire", he does beg God for mercy on Esmeralda for what he plans to do with her and mercy on him for his plans, and part of his sparing Quasimodo was as penance for his killing his mother, so he is capable of some form of guilt in his own twisted way. On a similar note, the "mea culpa" chorus of Hellfire implies that he does to some level recognize that he was at fault, and implies a more self-loathing aspect to his nature.
Apparently, Frollo used to be celibate. However, he comes to lust for the beautiful Esmeralda, but after a moment of indecision ends up blaming his own lust for her on witchcraft and the devil rather than accept that he himself is prone to sin as everyone else. His lust drives him murderously insane, which ultimately proves to be his downfall when he pushes Quasimodo too far by almost killing Esmeralda. When he believes his lust for Esmeralda to be turning him to sin, he is partially right because it's this that makes him murderous and unfair towards the other people, arresting two families and attempting to kill one just because they wouldn't give him Esmeralda.
Frollo is also very cruel and manipulative to Quasimodo. He refuses to allow the hunchback to experience freedom, forces the young man to call him "master", and allows him to be humiliated in public without even bothering to help him, as punishment for disobeying him. Additionally, during Frollo's outbursts, Quasimodo tries to move away from him, implying that Frollo has physically abused Quasimodo in the past. Despite all that, Frollo has traces of humanity in his relationship with Quasimodo, as he spends his free time eating lunch and dinner with his adoptive son, as well as his willingness to educate him, employ him as Notre Dame's bell ringer, provide for him, and even gives him the means to spend time on his hobbies, as well this can be all a manipulative trick of Frollo. He also seems to be somewhat down-to-earth, believing that stone cannot talk and attempt to get Quasimodo to believe this as well:
- Frollo: Dear boy... whomever are you talking to?
Quasimodo: My... friends.
Frollo: I see. And what are your friends made of, Quasimodo?
Frollo: Can stone talk?
Quasimodo: No, it can't.
Frollo: That's right. You're a smart lad.
- Frollo: Dear boy... whomever are you talking to?
Furthermore, Frollo appears to be a rather stoic man, always appearing cool and collected, and only shows fear when Quasimodo overpowers him after he prepares to kill him and when he is about to fall to his death; he also shows visible fear when the many eyes of Notre Dame glare at him for murdering an innocent woman upon the cathedral steps. He rarely exhibits any humor, and whenever he does, it's dry and black.
Despite his single-mindedness, Frollo's true weakness is that he cannot feel or understand love for another person, even when he really tries. It was this cruelty and abusiveness that drove Quasimodo to have very little loyalty towards his master and protect the first two people who ever showed the hunchback true kindness, namely Esmeralda and Phoebus. Nevertheless, Frollo does genuinely try to be a good father to Quasimodo while raising him, but ultimately he proves to be too full of hate and arrogance to be a caring parent.
Frollo also appears to be a misanthrope with little to no sense of personalization, despite Quasimodo being the only person to whom he refers by name, as he refers to his soldiers as "You men!" as they prepare to attack the cathedral and usually refers to Esmeralda as "the gypsy girl" or "the girl".
Frollo is an aging man defined by his wrinkled, care-worn face and thinning white hair. As the Minister of Justice and a high-ranking public official, Frollo is most frequently dressed in a black and purple robe, a purple jumpsuit, a purple and black striped tricorn hat with a red tassel attached to the bottom, and black shoulder pads with red stripes. The inside of his shoulder pads are purple. He also wears rings on his fingers, two on the right and one on the left, with the jewels colored blue, red, and green.
Powers and Abilities
• Authority and Influence: As the justice minister of Paris, Frollo was a rather respected, influent and feared figure among most of Paris Population, with enought economic power to garant him to gave orders to the army of Paris and the population overall and being considered the head of Paris itself. As a justice minister, he can accuse, send to prison and even sentence to death a criminal or a normal person inventing fake accuses. However, inside the church, he seems to be unable to gave orders and rule over the archdeacon, despite outside it the orders and influence of the deacon where almost irrilevant. As a result of his position of minister, Frollo was heavily implied to be an authoritary and influent figure over all the France.
• Resources: A part of the power of Frollo was determinate by his controll over the army of Paris, that was obbligated to follow every order he gave to them.
• Enhanced Strength: Frollo's most devicing attribute was his phisical strenght, that almost rival with that of Quasimodo. During the final, Frollo almost defeated Quasimodo while tryng to stabb him, despite the hunchback was able to quickly thrown away the judge. He was also able to cut some gargoyle-like pillars with a sword.
At the film's beginning, the corrupt Judge Claude Frollo ambushes a group of gypsies etering Paris illegally, and upon seeing one of them with what he thought to be a bundle hiding stolen goods, he chases the panicked latter to Notre Dame where he kicks her down the steps of the cathedral, smashing her head in. However, he discovers that her "stolen goods" were actually her deformed baby son. Believing the child to be an unholy demon, Frollo prepares to drop him down a nearby well, but stops at the intervention of the Archdeacon, who reprimands Frollo for killing an innocent woman. Frollo tries to justify his actions, but the Archdeacon rejects his explanation, noting that his heinous act was committed on holy ground, until the judge finally admits his sin. The Archdeacon tells him that the only way to atone for his sin is to raise the boy as his own son, to which he begrudgingly agrees after seeing the stone statues of saints decorating Notre Dame apparently turn their eyes on him. However, he only agrees to save what was left of his soul and because the child might come in handy someday. Frollo names him "Quasimodo" (literally "half-formed") and raises him in the cathedral, hiding him from the outside world, and constantly reminding him that the world will never accept him for his deformity and therefore must remain in the bell tower for his own safety.
Twenty years later, Frollo, now the Minister of Justice, summons the gallant soldier Phoebus from the war to be his new Captain of the Guard, since the last one was "a bit of a disappointment" to him and is being tortured to death in the Palace of Justice. He hopes to clear the gypsies out of Paris with Phoebus' help and go to Heaven when he died. While attending the annual Festival of Fools, Frollo discovers a gypsy dancer named Esmeralda, who attracts him with her beauty. Shortly afterwards he learns that Quasimodo has left the bell tower against his orders, entered the Festival and was crowned the King of Fools. Frollo refuses to help Quasimodo when the latter is being publicly attacked by the crowd in order to teach him a lesson, even when the hunchback implores for his help; he delays Phoebus' request to stop it. He is enraged when Esmeralda openly defied him for his cruelty and frees Quasimodo, and in retaliation, he orders for her to be arrested. After witnessing the gypsy vanish in a cloud, he rashly concludes her to be a witch and immediately orders Phoebus to bring her in alive. With the crowd's help, she escapes into the Cathedral, where Frollo finds her speaking with Phoebus and orders them to force her out of the Cathedral, but is rebuffed by the Archdeacon, who orders them all out. Frollo pretends to leave before catching Esmeralda by surprise and laying hands on her; this reveals that he had lustful feelings for her. He then confronts her and told her that he will arrest her if she dares to leave. However, she ventures up to the bell tower and is reunited with Quasimodo, who helps her escape.
That evening in the Palace of Justice, Frollo is disturbed by his attraction to Esmeralda which he believes is turning him to sin and pleads the Virgin Mary to protect him from her "spell" and to let Esmeralda taste the fires of Hell if she would not be his. Upon learning from a Brutish Guard that she has escaped the cathedral, he is enraged and, with his guards the next day, begins a ruthless manhunt to find her, burning down the houses of anyone suspected of sheltering gypsies and interrogating gypsies who are captured. He later attempts to execute an innocent family whom he suspects of interacting with gypsies by burning down their house with them still inside, but an appalled Phoebus finally rebels against him and rescues the family. Frollo declares Phoebus a traitor and attempts to kill him, but a disguised Esmeralda flings a stone at his horse, throwing him off and buying Phoebus time to escape. The guards fire arrows at Phoebus, resulting in him being wounded and falling into the river, and continue firing until Frollo stops them. They proceed across a bridge to finish the manhunt. Once they leave, the wounded Phoebus is quickly rescued by Esmeralda after being left for dead.
Returning to the smoldering city, Frollo is informed that Esmeralda is still at large. He heads to the bell tower, thinking Quasimodo might have been responsible for assisting Esmeralda. Upon deducing this was true, Frollo angrily lashes out at him and is at the verge of physical abuse when he realizes he is wasting his breath and calms himself down. Suspecting Quasimodo still has connections to Esmeralda, Frollo lies to him that he has found the Court of Miracles and is ready to attack at dawn. A misled Quasimodo accompanies Phoebus to the Court, and Frollo and his henchmen follow them and arrest the gypsies. Frollo praises Quasimodo for leading him to them, admitting that he would never have found it without his help. He then notices that Phoebus has survived and remarked that he intended to "remedy it". Seeing this, Quasimodo begs him to call off the guards. Frollo refuses and tells them to take the hunchback to the bell tower, making sure he stays there. In the square, Frollo sentences Esmeralda to death but offered to save her from immolation if she chooses him. She refuses to become Frollo's lust slave, spitting in his face in contempt, prompting him to burn her at the stake. He watches and smiles sadistically while she passes out from the smoke. But Quasimodo rescues her after she passes out and returns her to the cathedral, much to Frollo's anger. Shortly after, Quasimodo drops a large beam that destroyed his carriage and nearly crushes him, the same beam Frollo orders his soldiers to pick up and use it to break down Notre Dame's doors. Enraged at this defilement and attack on the beloved cathedral, as well as fed up with Frollo's tyranny and rallied by Phoebus, the citizens of Paris arm themselves, free the gypsies, and rebel against Frollo's guards. Though Notre Dame's ancient doors manage to hold for a while, they eventually break down. Frollo gains entry to into the cathedral, directly defying the Archdeacon when he claims he would not tolerate violence in the church. Frollo ignores him and throws him down a flight of stairs, then locks him out of the bell tower so he will not follow and interfere.
He then confronts Quasimodo in the bell tower, falsely consoles him for Esmeralda's apparent "death", and attempts to kill him with a dagger, resulting in a brief yet violent struggle in which Quasimodo overpowers Frollo, wrenching the dagger from his grip and throwing him to the floor. Quasimodo then hovers over Frollo, who momentarily abandons his pride and begs Quasimodo to listen to him. But Quasimodo refuses and angrily yells out that all his life Frollo has told him that the world is a dark, cruel place, but he now sees that people who are just like Frollo are the only reason why. Just then, Esmeralda awakens, alive and well, and Quasimodo rushes to her side, thrilled that she is okay and hurries her to safety. Infuriated, Frollo draws his sword and chases them onto a balcony overlooking the city, slashing at them with his sword with Quasimodo unable to fight back due to protecting Esmeralda.
In his rage, Frollo finally admits that he killed Quasimodo's mother when she attempted to save her baby, much to Quasimodo's shock and horror. As such, Frollo decides to kill Quasimodo himself like he "should have done 20 years ago". In their brief scuffle, Frollo and Quasimodo are left dangling over a molten of lava. As Esmeralda desperately tries to save Quasimodo, Frollo manages to recover by standing atop a gargoyle, and raises his sword to strike at Esmeralda. With his eyes and teeth glowing a demonic, fire-like color, Frollo laughs maniacally while declaring his last blasphemy, "And He shall smite the wicked, and plunge them into the fiery pit!" Just then, Frollo loses his balance as the gargoyle beneath him begins to break. While clinging to the gargoyle for life, the stone beast appears to come to life and demonically roars at Frollo, terrifying the latter into screaming (whether this is Frollo hallucinating in his final moments or Divine intervention is not clear). The gargoyle then breaks off completely and sends a screaming Frollo falling into the vast lake of molten copper below to his death, symbolically sending him to Hell for his sins.
Frollo makes a few cameos in the series. In "Everybody Loves Mickey", he was seen sitting with Grumpy and Grimsby, with all three giving their trademark dry expressions in response to the comedy of Mortimer Mouse.
In "Dining Goofy", he showed to be unamused with the fact that he was seated with the Mad Hatter, calling him Frumpy during the time that Goofy lets Daisy know that he changed the seating chart so that the audience could make new friends, which did not work out.
He also appears in Mickey's House of Villains, but not as one of the villains that take over. Instead, he only appears sitting next to Ratigan in a crowd shot in between the cartoon shorts, taking place before the takeover. During Jafar's reign as host, however, Frollo is nowhere to be seen whatsoever, implying that he possibly left the club before Jafar's plan started.
In the fifth book, he is seen boarding the Disney Dream along with some other villains. He was also mentioned, but not seen, in the seventh book.
In the Disney Adventures comic based off of the movie, Frollo's personality generally stays the same. During the scene where Esmeralda is being sentenced to death, he states to her "your time has come" but says immediately afterward that even though her fate has been sealed, "it's still not too late" to change her mind and become his mistress. Like in the film, though, he falls to his death in the molten copper.
Descendants: Isle of the Lost
Frollo is one of the villains who was brought back from death to be imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost. He has a daughter named Claudine Frollo who works as the bell ringer at Dragon Hall.
Frollo appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance as a villain trapped in his sleeping world of La Cité des Cloches.
When Sora first arrived in La Cité des Cloches, he came face-to-face with Frollo in the town outside Notre Dame. The judge examined Sora, believing him to be a gypsy due to his "disgusting attire", but his interrogation of the young Keyblade wielder was interrupted by Captain Phoebus. Phoebus told Frollo that "monsters" have appeared in the square, and he rushed off after Sora who went to defeat them.
Soon afterward, Frollo arrived in the square with Phoebus, where he is furious to see Sora standing before Quasimodo, who is riding a Zolephant. The severity of Frollo's anger only increases when he witnessed Quasimodo flee into the Notre Dame cathedral with help from the "gypsy witch", Esmeralda.
When Riku first arrived, he crossed paths with Esmeralda, who was chased by Phoebus and Frollo. Phoebus asked Riku if he has "seen a gypsy woman", but the Keyblade wielder covered for her and said that he had not, Phoebus reports this to Frollo, after which the judge questions his abilities. Later, after escaping from the Wargoyle that attacked him on the bridge, Riku found Phoebus disobeying and betraying Frollo, who then summoned the fire-breathing Wargoyle that he claimed to be "righteous judgment". Intending to use the power of darkness to "smite the gypsies now and forever", the judge headed to Notre Dame cathedral along with the Wargoyle with Riku in pursuit.
Sometime later, Sora, Phoebus, and Quasimodo traveled to the Court of Miracles to warn Esmeralda that Frollo is on his way and intends to capture her. As Phoebus ordered Esmeralda to take what she can with her and leave, the judge appeared and surrounded the group with an army of Nightmares. Frollo took Esmeralda to the square for a "bonfire" despite Quasimodo's pleas and rendered Sora unconscious.
With the combined efforts of Sora and Quasimodo, Esmeralda was rescued from her execution. Enraged, Frollo chased them toward Notre Dame. When Sora attempts to stop him, he is stopped in his tracks by the Wargoyle that fell from the sky above. Frollo cornered Quasimodo and Esmeralda and revealed the truth about how Quasimodo's mother died trying to save him twenty years ago. Frollo attempted to kill him with his sword but after a series of tussles, he loses his footing and grabs the gargoyle by the neck, saving himself, but the creature comes to life and roars at him. At that moment, the gargoyle breaks off of Notre Dame, and the terrified Frollo plummets to his own doom in the flames below the cathedral, a sight only was seen on Sora's side of the story. In Riku's story, his reaction to the above was slightly different, laughing maniacally as he falls to his death, with it being implied that he committed suicide. He is voiced by Corey Burton since Tony Jay passed away prior to the game's release.
Frollo appears in both the German and North American musical adaptations of the film. In the German musical, Frollo is revealed to have been a priest in his youth (referencing his role as an Archdeacon in the original novel) and decided that Paris needed to be safe so he became a judge. He hated Gypsies and believed that they were the sole problem with Paris. He took care of Quasimodo as an act of contrition for killing Quasimodo's mother. He hoped that Quasimodo would think like him and his emotional abuse was something that he was unaware of. Frollo became consumed with lust for Esmeralda which drove him insane. He thought the cure was either to possess her or to destroy her.
His fate is changed between the versions of the play are changed. In the German version of the play, he is thrown off of the cathedral to his death by Quasimodo, rather than falling off of the crumbling gargoyle fixture. In the English version of the play, when Esmeralda awakens, Frollo draws his sword and prepares to kill both of them, but then stops, drops the sword, and leaves. This was most likely included in this version of the play to give Frollo a chance at redemption, though whether or not he took that chance is unknown.
In the North American musical, which follows much more closely the original novel, Frollo and his younger brother, Jehan, were raised in Notre Dame after they are orphaned. While Frollo studied to become a priest, Jehan constantly found himself in trouble and was eventually expelled from the church. Years later after becoming the Archdeacon, Frollo learned from a dying Jehan that the latter fathered a deformed child and needed to be looked after, the child being Quasimodo. As penance for the sins of his brother and seeing it as a test of faith, Frollo vows to raise the child to be devout as him. Years later, Frollo sees Esmeralda dance at the Festival of Fools and how she defends her actions in assisting Quasimodo. He offers for her to stay at Notre Dame and learn from him the ways of the church, and indicates his attraction to her which disgusts her. He obsesses over Esmeralda and receives permission from the king to use military power to find her and make her his own.
As in the movie, Frollo offers her his ultimatum to her at the stake before she is rescued by Quasimodo. However, Esmeralda later dies from smoke inhalation and Quasimodo is overcome by grief and blames Frollo for her demise. In his anger over his former master's actions, Quasimodo throws Frollo over the edge of the cathedral to his death.
Frollo appears occasionally as a meetable character but isn't particularly common and extremely rare. Ironically, he is nowadays the most common character from The Hunchback of Notre Dame to be found at the parks as a walk-around character. Fittingly, he is most commonly found in Disneyland Paris of all the parks around the world.
In World of Color, Frollo makes a small cameo in the opening of the "Colors of Fear" segment, which showcases the darkness of Disney via Disney villains.
In Disney's Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic!, Frollo is one of the leading villains who assists The Evil 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 of the show One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!, alongside Maleficent and The Evil Queen. He is accompanied by the mysterious red-hooded men seen during "Hellfire".
Frollo first encountered Quasimodo as a baby, after he killed his mother. For the murder, he had to take Quasimodo and raise him as his own. Frollo genuinely poses as an intimidating, yet oddly influential, father figure, for the next twenty years. However, when Quasimodo is twenty years old, Frollo allows him to be tortured after he attempts to sneak out of the bell tower for which he is forbidden to leave. He is also enraged when Quasimodo helps Esmeralda escape him and sneaks down to the Court of Miracles, where the gypsies are hiding. Frollo applauds him for finally proving useful to him before forcing him back to the bell tower. At this point, Quasimodo has come to hate Frollo and will help anyone who helps him, such as Esmeralda. After Quasimodo goes against him in a battle, Frollo's hatred for him reaches its limits and Frollo attempts to kill him like he "should have done" twenty years ago. However, this ultimately leads to Frollo's own demise.
- “The time has come, gypsy. You stand upon the brink of the abyss. Yet even now, it is not too late. I can save you from the flames of this world, and the next. Choose me... or the fire.”
- ―Frollo interrogating Esmeralda
Frollo is Esmeralda's archenemy and was a serious threat to her life. Despite his power and authority, she was not afraid of him and rebelled against his rules. Not only was she even brave enough to publicly humiliate and insult him at the Festival of Fools (also intriguing him a bit as well), she even had the courage to spit in his face before he attempted to execute her. Of note, when Esmeralda and Frollo first meet, she playfully brings his face close to hers and kisses the tip of his nose before pulling his hat down, as well as performing a seductive dance. This, however, leads to Frollo becoming unhealthily obsessed with her, becoming the first link in the chain that leads to Paris' destruction and Frollo's ultimate demise. While hating Esmeralda for being a gypsy and humiliating and evading him, Frollo had a powerful feeling of lust for her, so powerful he was desperate to find her and have her to himself, even if that meant burning Paris to the ground.
- “Silence, you old fool! The hunchback and I have unfinished business to attend to. And this time, you will not interfere.”
- ―Frollo to the Archdeacon
Although Frollo and the Archdeacon worked together in the church, their hatred for each other was obvious. It was the Archdeacon who insisted that Frollo raises Quasimodo to atone for the murder of the latter's mother. Twenty years later, the Archdeacon also prevented him from capturing Esmeralda. Finally, Frollo became tired of the Archdeacon's meddling and threw him down a flight of stairs when he attempted to order Frollo to call off the assault on Notre Dame.
Differences from the source material
- Frollo in Victor Hugo's original The Hunchback of Notre Dame novel was far more compassionate, caring, and tragic, as well as a considerably more sympathetic character than the Disney film, and was 36 years old (whereas he was around 66 years old in the Disney version).
- In the book, Frollo was the archdeacon of Notre Dame. The Disney version gives the role of archdeacon to a new character while giving Frollo the role of Paris' Minister of Justice.
- In the novel, Frollo was an orphaned child, his parents being killed by The Plague.
- In the book, Claude Frollo had a younger brother named Jehan Frollo, who does not appear in the Disney version.
- In the book, Frollo was revealed to be a gifted academic fluent in several languages and studied law, medicine, science, theology and even alchemy. Whereas the Disney version does not explore Frollo's academic side.
- In the book, Frollo willingly adopted Quasimodo out of sympathy when his mother abandoned him as an infant (though this is alluded to in the film). In the Disney version, Frollo is compelled to adopt him in order to make up for his sin.
- In the book, Frollo named Quasimodo after the Notre Dame holiday Quasimodo Sunday. In the Disney version, he named him after his deformity.
- In the novel, Frollo taught Quasimodo to communicate via sign language after he lost his hearing. As Quasimodo was not deaf in the Disney version, he taught him to read instead.
- Frollo in the novel only becomes the villain when Esmeralda enters the picture. His lust drives him insane much like in the Disney version. In the Disney version, however, Frollo is shown to be a man with a god complex and warped morals long before he meets Esmeralda.
- In the novel, Frollo hears Esmeralda's pained cries as she is being tortured, and stabs himself, later showing the wound to her to prove his unbearable infatuation for her. Esmeralda is unfazed however, and blinded by her love for the drunken Captain of Guards, Phoebus.
- In the novel, the day before Esmeralda is to be hanged, Frollo feverishly leaves Paris, overcome with his sorrow, and the insanity he believes that has come upon him. Unbeknownst to him, though, has Esmeralda been saved from the gallows by Quasimodo.
- In the book, Frollo tries to force himself on Esmeralda when he realises he cannot have her. Though Quasimodo prevents him from doing so, the Paris authorities seize Esmeralda and have her hanged. When seeing Frollo laugh at her demise, the enraged Quasimodo throws him off the bell tower and he falls to his death. In the Disney version, Frollo makes no attempt at forcing himself on her, though he does give her a choice to either become his mistress or be burned alive, and he eventually falls down the cathedral and into molten lead when a stone gargoyle he stands on mysteriously breaks.
- In the book, Frollo never explicitly forbade Quasimodo from leaving Notre Dame, though he did discourage him from doing so as he knew how the Parisians would react to his deformity.
- Although Frollo was biased against gypsies in the book (as most people were during the time the story takes place), he was not as extreme as he was in the Disney version.
- Frollo is considered as one of the (if not the) darkest of all of Disney´s villains, even more than his original counterpart. In fact, Disney was intent on having Frollo to be as evil and as vile as possible (as well as being blinded to the consequences of his actions), in an attempt to avert the trope "Evil is Cool", common to many Disney villains. However, it did not work as despite their best efforts, Frollo became a popular villain anyway, and in some fans' cases even inferred he was closer to being the good guy.
- Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and the late Alan Rickman were considered for the of Judge Frollo before Tony Jay was cast.
- Frollo is an evil counterpart to Quasimodo. While Quasimodo is monstrous on the outside, Frollo is monstrous on the inside. Both have an unrequited attraction to Esmeralda, which are emphasized by their respective songs: Quasimodo's "Heaven's Light" and Frollo's "Hellfire". But while Quasimodo is initially heartbroken to learn that Esmeralda loves Phoebus, he learns to accept it and remains friends with the couple. Frollo, on the other hand, becomes furious when Esmeralda refuses to become his mistress, so he gives into his hatred and racism towards her people by attempting to murder her, and then commit mass genocide against the gypsies. Frollo can be seen as the kind of person Quasimodo would have become if he allowed his sad, bitter feelings towards people and the world develop into sheer misanthropy after seeing that Esmeralda only loved him as a friend.
- Frollo is also an evil counterpart to the Archdeacon. Both are deeply religious men who serve God, but while the Archdeacon is a benevolent man who is kind to and accepting of everyone, Frollo is a ruthless, racist tyrant who tries to murder the gypsies he hates and perceives everyone else as beneath him. The two men also wear prominent colors to show their good and evil statuses, with the Archdeacon wearing primarily white robes and Frollo wearing primarily black robes.
- When Frollo falls to his death in the boiling inferno beneath, it clearly meant to symbolize that his soul is now trapped in eternal damnation in the satanic and demonic fires of Hell for all eternity as punishment for all of his actions and ending his tyranny once and for all. Ironically, his final words in life were "And He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit.", referring to Quasimodo and Esmerelda, but he himself was the "wicked" who was "smitten and plunged into the fiery pit".
- In fact, Frollo has committed many crimes in the film, and they include the following:
- Assault (Archdeacon)
- Attempted murder (Phoebus, Esmeralda, Quasimodo, a family of four people)
- Bribery (gypsies)
- Arson (Paris)
- Murder (Quasimodo's mother)
- Torture (His previous Captain of the Guard and Quasimodo, although he had legal rights to do so)
- Pyromania (Burn the stake, although as noted above, he had the legal right to do so)
- Although he also technically was guilty of attempted genocide of the gypsies and searching homes without a warrant, those did not count as crimes back in the time period of the movie (the 15th-16th century), as the concept of human rights, including warranted searches of homes, did not occur until the enlightenment movement in the 17th-18th century and genocide itself did not formally become a punishable crime until the aftermath of both World War II and the Holocaust due to the actions of Nazi Germany.
- Ironically, as even the DVD commentary noted, his pose when undergoing his ultimate fate was done in the shape of the cross.
- In fact, Frollo has committed many crimes in the film, and they include the following:
- Frollo was voiced by Tony Jay, who also voiced Monsieur D'Arque in Beauty and the Beast. Tony Jay's performance as Monsieur D'Arque is what led the directors of both films to cast him as Frollo. He also voiced Shere Khan in various Jungle Book spin-offs from 1990-2003.
- Frollo was Tony Jay's most iconic voice role and he has stated that it was his favorite one of his entire career.
- Frollo's behavior strongly suggests that he is a pyromaniac.
- Also, based on his mannerisms, it is implied that Frollo is ambidextrous.
- Frollo represents three of the deadly sins:
- Lust, as he lusted after Esmeralda.
- Pride, as he considered himself above all humans and completely flawless (although "Hellfire" shows him begging God for mercy on both their souls, so he is at least somewhat aware of what he plans is a sin).
- Wrath, as he desires to punish and murder several innocent people.
- He seemingly felt guilty for two of his sins: killing Quasimodo's mother and his lust for Esmeralda, though considering his self-righteous personality, he tries without totally believing himself to blame them on external forces such as the Devil, Esmeralda, or even God himself (whom he blames for having made Man weaker than the Devil). As already said, he does not fully convince himself with those lies and he still fears for his soul because of those sins, asking the Lord for mercy numerous times.
- Frollo has the most screentime of any major Disney villain; in fact, he appears for a third of the film's running time.
- The filmmakers briefly considered having Quasimodo killed off, since that is his fate in the original novel. He was originally supposed to be stabbed by Frollo, then Esmeralda regains consciousness and tries to save him by killing Frollo. Phoebus was then supposed to meet up with them, and Quasimodo's last wish was to ring the bells one last time. They take him to the bells, then Esmeralda and Phoebus help him ring the bells as he dies. The final shot was going to include Esmeralda and Phoebus crying over their best friend as the people of Paris cheer for their success, unaware of Quasimodo's death. Luckily, this is not the ending that was used because even hardcore fans of the novel agree that the ending they used instead was a more suitable conclusion for the theme of this film.
- The filmmakers originally wanted Esmeralda to kill Frollo in order to save Quasimodo. Esmeralda would have jumped onto the ledge, then grabbed Quasimodo's hand. Frollo would have attempted to kill Quasimodo with his sword, then Esmeralda would have kicked Frollo off the cathedral, causing Frollo to fall to his death. This idea was ultimately abandoned, as having a heroine kill the villain was considered improper in a family film and may have gotten the film a PG-13 rating.
- Frollo shares his religious extremism with another notable animated religious figure outside the Disney Universe; the Bishop from the Netflix series Castlevania. Like Frollo, the unnamed Bishop from Castlevania was corrupt, prideful and genocidal, as well as wrathful. However, unlike Frollo, who thought gypsies were the enemy of his beliefs, the Bishop was extreme in his crusade against science, magic, and medicine as well as anyone who did not practice Christianity as he believed such things were a sin against God. To that end, he murdered Lisa Tepes, the wife of Dracula, who was a practicing doctor, and tried to murder the Speakers, a group of nomadic historians who were trying to help the people after the Bishop's murder of Lisa unleashed a grieving Dracula's armies of demons.
- Like Frollo, the Bishop met a severe and well-deserved end as a result of his sinful crimes; where Frollo was sent to Hell symbolically and fell to his death into molten copper from Notre Dame, the Bishop was killed by one of Dracula's demons, resurrected as a zombie by Dracula's high-ranking minions and finally destroyed when he, still under the control of Dracula's minions, blessed the Danube river and turned it into Holy water.