The anthropomorphic gargoyles are part of Notre Dame's architecture. When not interacting with Quasimodo, they take the appearance of lifeless, ordinary statues (they refer to this as their "sleeping" states). They are conscious during this time, but are strict about maintaining the appearance of normality to most.
The gargoyles have fostered Quasimodo since his arrival in the bell tower twenty years prior to the start of the film. They fill the void of loving paternal guardians left by Quasimodo's caretaker, Frollo (whom the gargoyles openly despise).
Hugo is the most comical and flamboyant of the three gargoyles. Like Laverne and Victor, he is an avid supporter of Quasimodo and is often the first to suggest breaking the rules of disobeying Frollo's orders if it means granting Quasimodo some form of happiness, showing a side of mischief and recklessness. He also tends to be the most optimistic, as he was relatively calm during Frollo's massacre upon Paris in his search for Esmeralda, believing the gypsy to be too intelligent to fall into the hands of Frollo's tyranny.
He is also a lover of all things entertainment, romance, and action, especially when it comes to the Festival of Fools.
Hugo also has a strange fascination with Esmeralda's goat, Djali—harboring romantic feelings for the latter and evidently finding him to be highly attractive. This is given closure in the sequel, where Djali apparently returns Hugo's affections, and a relationship is implied to have blossomed.
Hugo always has his mouth open when he is in his nonliving statue form which encourages birds to nest in his mouth which he always spits out.
Hugo is voiced by comedian Jason Alexander.
Victor acts as a Renaissance man, speaking in a deep British tone and often the voice of reason, or at least, the voice of caution.
Compared to his companions, Victor can be seen as a coward and is the most innocent of the trio, going as far as to apologize to Frollo's soldier, after forcefully attacking them out of defense during the climax of the film. Though he makes attempts to remain level-head, anxiety can sometimes get the better of him, resulting in panicked outburst or sobbing fits.
Victor is voiced by Charles Kimbrough.
Laverne is easily the most competent of the gargoyles and acts as a wise mother figure towards Quasimodo. With her age comes wisdom, which she uses to regularly advise and guide Quasimodo through life. With this, she can be both comforting and a needed voice of reason, as well as being a rational handler of situations, while Hugo and Victor tend to approach things with more comedic or over-the-top sensibilities. Even so, she can also be fiery, and is quick to insult or scold Hugo and Victor for their incompetence; an example of this being her jab to Hugo, calling him the "stupid, fat one with the big mouth" of the group.
A running gag involves Laverne being pestered by a flock of pigeons, who seek to use her as a resting post. During the climax, she manages to tame them, and uses them as a defense mechanism against Frollo's soldiers, sending them into battle with the words "Fly, my pretties! Fly, fly!" Despite this, the flock continues to annoy her final scene in the film, causing her to angrily yell, "Don't you ever migrate?!"
In the original film, Laverne was voiced by Mary Wickes, who died during production. Jane Withers provided additional dialogue following Wickes's death, and reprised the role for the sequel. For Kingdom Hearts 3D, Laverne was voiced by Patricia Lentz.
The gargoyles are part of the Notre Dame cathedral's architect who have the odd ability to come to life at will. Being that Quasimodo was forced to live and stay in the bell tower where they reside, they revealed to him their ability and befriend him for twenty years. The trio is first seen when Quasi is depressingly watching the Festival of Fools. Laverne makes an attempt to convince him to go to the festival instead of just watching like he does every year. However, because of his master Frollo's hatred for the event, Quasi feels uneasy. Eventually, Hugo gives the idea to simply sneak out with Laverne and Victor going along with it. After Quasi leaves, Hugo watches him from above and takes offense when Clopin compares gargoyle's wings to gruesome faces. They are later seen when Quasi returns to the bell tower with a gypsy woman named Esmeralda following behind.
The gargoyles convince him to get to meet her and see her a love interest for Quasi. At the film's final battle, the gargoyles assist Quasi in protecting Notre Dame from Frollo and his guards. Hugo spits fire rocks, Victor throws down bricks, and Laverne commands the pigeons to attack. Additionally, Hugo and Victor construct a catapult and, not knowing how it works, throw it from the roof of the cathedral, triggering its spring load and causing further confusion among Frollo's troops. During the battle between Quasimodo, Esmeralda, and Frollo who manages to break into the cathedral, they are nowhere to be found after they decide to leave Quasimodo who thinks that Esmeralda is dead. After all is done, the trio cheer Quasimodo on as he is carried off by the crowd and cheered as the hero of Paris.
After the events of the first film, Quasimodo continues to live with Victor, Hugo, and Laverne. They are first seen with Quasi preparing for the romanced festival La Jour de Amour. Later on, a circus performer named Madellaine arrives in Notre Dame, and Quasi becomes smitten. However, upon seeing his face, she runs away in fear. The gargoyles cheer him up and advise him to go to the circus to see her act. That night, the gargoyles watch happily as Quasi and Madellaine enjoy a date together. Afterward, they set up a romantic mood inside Notre Dame for the two. The next day, Quasimodo and Madellaine go off on a walk when her boss Sarousch and his minions arrive and steal the Notre Dame bell La Fidèle.
Victor planned to release a rope holding another bell which would trap the villains, but the bumbling Hugo causes a different bell to fall atop them. Inside, Laverne gongs on the bell with her head, alerting Quasimodo of danger. Before he arrives, the gargoyles witness Esmeralda and Phoebus' son Zephyr follow the villains out of Notre Dame. When Quasi gets there, they quickly inform him.
The next day is all good. Hugo and Djali finally proclaim their love, and the gargoyles congratulate Quasi and Madellaine, they cry out of joy about him finally finding love. They expect for her to take care of him as she tells them she will, becoming the first person other than Quasi to notice that the gargoyles are alive, much to their surprise and they all do a literal jaw drop.
Victor, Hugo, and Laverne have made their fair share of cameos. Their biggest role was in the episode "Donald Wants to Fly". During a flight montage, Hugo gives Donald a pair of stone wings to fly, but he ends up plummeting to the ground. In the episode "Goofy's Valentine Date", Hugo blew his fire rocks at Mortimer Mouse after he flirted with Laverne. They were briefly seen in the episode "Donald's Lamp Trade" when Goofy serves empty plates of food to the guests.
Victor, Hugo, and Laverne make cameos in the form of silhouettes at the end of The Lion King 1½, watching the title film with other Disney characters.
Victor, Hugo, and Laverne appear in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance in their homeworld La Cité des Cloches.
While Sora observes Quasimodo showing off Notre Dame's bells to Esmeralda, he is surprised to see the trio behind him come to life (much to his shock), commenting on how strong they believe Quasimodo (referring to him simply as Quasi). Sora soon warms up to the trio quickly and asks them how they know Quasimodo. They tell him that they have been friends with him for years since he cannot leave the cathedral due to Judge Frollo's orders, who doesn't want people see his appearance. While Victor and Hugo argue, Laverne mentions her fear that Quasimodo's first failure of stepping outside might affect him to the point that he will never do it again after years of gathering his courage to do so. A compassionate Sora realizes that Quasimodo should not allow his heart to become a prison, and runs outside to have a word with him.
Later, when Riku goes inside the Cathedral a Meow Wow Dream Eater suddenly appears, but soon the gargoyles appear and completely defeat the dream eater. Riku is amazed to see that they don't need his help and got the situation covered, with Hugo saying "It was a walk in the park." The gargoyles then continue to battle the Dream Eaters inside the cathedral, allowing Riku to go up into the Cathedral rooftop. After Frollo's death, the trio along with Sora reminds Quasimodo not to let his fear of rejection keep him locked inside the cathedral.
Laverne also appears in the spin-off comic The Sceptre and the Kingdom in which she tells Sora and Riku the location the door that can take them back to their world.
The Gargoyles are Quasimodo’s imaginary friends. They try to encourage Quasimodo to leave Notre Dame and rescue Esmeralda. They also try to comfort him after Esmeralda dies. They don’t have the over the top personalities that their Disney counterparts have nor are they as silly. Their levity is light-hearted and subtle.
During the film's original run, statues of Victor, Hugo, and Laverne were seen at the Disneyland Resort in California.
Back in the 1990s and into September 2002, Disney's M.G.M. Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) showcased a live stage version of the film, with Victor, Hugo, and Laverne replaying their roles.
- Victor and Hugo appear to be named after Victor Hugo, the author of Notre-Dame de Paris, while Laverne was named after Laverne Andrews from the 1940s singing group The Andrews Sisters.
- Hugo has a crush on Djali in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and in the end of the sequel, they confirm their love for each other. As Esmeralda refers to Djali as a "he", this is obviously a homosexual relationship, and Hugo's gestures seem to imply that he is, in fact, homosexual.
- Their names in the musical are changed to Charles, Antoine, and Loni, which bear homage to previous actors of Quasimodo in past adaptations of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".
- Victor, Hugo, and Laverne are apparently not the only gargoyles in Notre Dame that can come to life. In the climax of the film, a gargoyle briefly comes to life just before Judge Frollo meets his end in a fiery inferno.
- There are only four characters that have interacted with the gargoyles in the films: Quasimodo, Judge Claude Frollo, Madellaine, Djali.
- Victor, Hugo, and Laverne are the only characters who were not in the original novel. The Archdeacon technically wasn't either because in the novel, Claude Frollo was just the archdeacon and not a judge.
- Mary Wickes, who played Laverne, died of cancer before she could finish her role. Jane Withers stepped in to complete Laverne's lines.
- In the DVD audio commentary Kirk Wise, Gary Trousdale, and Don Hahn suggest that it's possible that the three gargoyles exist purely in Quasimodo's mind and are in fact split off portions of his own personality created to deal with his loneliness. While this is only a possibility, it should be noted that the only other character in the first film to actually see a statue come to life is Frollo in the midst of his insanity. However, the true nature of these statues is open to interpretation, given Hugo's endless flirtations with Djali.
- Hugo made a cameo inside the Smithsonian Institution's boiler room near the beginning of Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
- Until the sequel (as well as a few points during the first movie), the gargoyle trio were a blend of fantasy and reality in the movie, being the main character's only friends and regarded by the main antagonist as nothing more than inanimate objects, suggesting Quasimodo imagined they were alive to cope with loneliness - However, Hugo, Victor, and Laverne proved their living natures several times and were acknowledged by Madellaine to be real (to their shock) and also by Djali for a brief instance in the first movie.
- The scene where Laverne summons a flock of doves and quotes, "Fly, my pretties! Fly, fly!" was a reference to Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
- According to the goof in The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, their own colors sometimes keep swapping.
- The Gargoyles are a frequent point of contention for fans and critics of the first movie, finding their antics and comedic relief out of place in an otherwise serious and unusually dark Disney movie. Others see them as necessary to keep the movie from becoming depressing.
- After the ending post-credits of the original film, Hugo, still in the balcony of the bell tower, breaks the fourth wall by saying, "Goodnight everybody! Woo, hoo hoo!".