He is widely considered to be one of the darkest Disney villains of all time.
Frollo is a deeply religious man who tries to convince the people of Paris that his evil deeds are justified because they are God's will, though he is in reality a prejudiced, sinister, vicious, and cold government official who uses his place in power to meet his own extreme ends, going as far as to employ 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 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, which therefore makes him genocidal. He also is shown to have sadism, as other than his desire to persecute sinners, he also briefly smiles when the previous Captain of the Guard prior to his promoting Phoebus to the rank was heard being tortured for having "failed" him. However despite being highly religious, he is also blasphemous calling religious people such as the Archdeacon "fools." His deep religion also makes him teach Quasimodo a religious alphabet. Despite his dark methods, he is at least familiar with the belief of "forgiveness," presumably because of his faith. This was evident in including Forgiveness as the representing word for the letter "F."
While most Disney villains know that what they do is wrong (and either do not care or take pride from this), Frollo actually believes that 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 does take Quasimodo in but not out of genuine guilt but out of fear for his soul after he unjustly kills his mother and also keeps him for one day when he is "of use to [him]." Though, 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, so he is capable of some form of guilt in his own twisted way.
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 murderously insane, which ultimately proves to be his downfall when he pushes Quasimodo too far by almost killing Esmeralda. When he belives his lust for Esmeralda to be turning him to sin he is partially right because it is this that makes him murderous and unfair towards the other people, arresting two families and killing one just because they wouldn't give him Esmeralda.
He is also very cruel to Quasimodo, by locking him away from the world, forcing the boy to call him "master," and allowing him to be humiliated in public without even bothering to help him, as punishment for disobeying him. He also shows no love or compassion towards Quasimodo (except for bringing him food), and only uses him as a tool for his personal gain. As such, he only allowed Quasimodo to live because he feared for his eternal soul. He also refuses to allow Quasimodo any happiness or freedom by keeping him locked up in Notre Dame. He also seems to be somewhat cynical, believing that stone cannot talk and has trained 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.
Furthermore, Frollo appears to be a rather stoic man, always appearing cool and collected, and only shows fear when Quasimodo prepares to kill him and when he is about to fall to his death. He rarely exhibits humor, and whenever he does, it is dry and black.
Frollo is an aging man defined by his wrinkled face and white hair. As the Minister of Justice and a high-ranking public official, Frollo is most frequently dressed in black robes, a purple and black striped hat with a red ribbon attached, and shoulder pads with red stripes. He also wears rings on his fingers, two on the right and one on the left, with the jewels colored red, green, and blue.
Difference from the original
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. Also, he is significantly younger in age (about 36 in most of the story). 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 being the bellringer. He only becomes the villain when Esmeralda 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.
Frollo's character in the Disney version of the story is much closer to Judge Jehan Frollo from the 1939 black and whiteHunchback of Notre Dame film (which is generally considered to be the main source of inspiration for the Disney version of the film). In this version of the story, Claude Frollo is the archdeacon just as he was in the novel and is not villainous at all, making him much closer to the archdeacon from the Disney film. Rather, his brother Jehan, who had a very minor role in the book, is the main antagonist. Like Claude in the 1996 film, Jehan serves as the Minister of Justice in Paris and has a deep seated hatred of gypsies. Also like Claude, he is pitiless and brutal, and is driven into a murderous rage out of lust for Esmeralda. Ultimately, the Frollo from the Disney film is like Jehan in all but name.
Role in the film
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 her "stolen goods" was actually her deformed baby son. Believing the child to be an unholy demon, Frollo prepares to drop him in a nearby well, 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 him "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.
Twenty years later, Frollo summons the gallant soldier Phoebus as his new Captain of the Guard, since the last one was "a bit of a disappointment" to him. He hopes to clear the gypsies out of Paris with Phoebus' help and go to Heaven when he dies. While attending the annual Festival of Fools, Frollo discovers a gypsy dancer named Esmeralda, who attracts him with her beauty. Shortly afterwards, he discovers that Quasimodo left the bell tower and joined the Festival and was crowned the King of Fools. Frollo refuses to help Quasimodo when he is being publicly humiliated by the crowd in order to teach him a lesson, even when the hunchback implores for his help; he even delays Phoebus' permission to stop it. He is enraged when a defiant Esmeralda openly defies him for his cruelty, and in retaliation, he orders her arrested. After witnessing the gypsy vanish in a cloud, he rashly concludes her to be a witch and orders Pheobus to bring her in alive. 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.
That evening, Frollo is disturbed by his attraction to Esmeralda which he believes is turning him to sin and pleas the Virgin Mary to protect him from her "spell" and to let Esmeralda taste the fires of Hell. Upon learning from one of his guards that she has escaped the cathedral, he is enraged and begins a ruthless manhunt to find her, burning down the houses of those that would shelter gypsies and interrogating the gypsies that were captured. He later attempts to execute an innocent family whom he suspects of collaborating with gypsies, but an appalled Phoebus intervenes and rescues them; Frollo declares Phoebus a traitor and attempts to execute him, but he is eventually rescued by Esmeralda after being left for dead.
He then attempts to kill Quasimodo, resulting in a violent struggle in which Quasimodo throws Frollo to the floor and finally rejects all that Frollo had taught him. Quasimodo almost kills Frollo who then begs to listen, but Quasimodo shouts that he should be the one to listen. Quasimodo then angrily yells out that all his life Frollo has told that the world is a dark cruel place, and now that he sees that the only thing so dark and cruel about the world is people who are just like Frollo. Just then, Esmeralda awakens, and Quasimodo rushes her to safety. Frollo chases them onto a balcony overlooking the city, slashing at them with his sword with Quasimodo unable to fight back due to protecting Esmeralda.Realizing Quasimodo assisted Esmeralda, Frollo convinces him that the Court of Miracles has been found and will be attacked at dawn. A misled Quasimodo accompanies Phoebus to the Court, and Frollo and his army of thugs follow and arrest the gypsies. Frollo sees that Phoebus has survived and intends to "remedy it". He then sentences Esmeralda to death, but offers to save her from cremation if she chooses him. She refuses to become Frollo's mistress and is prepared to be burned at the stake, but Quasimodo rescues her after she passes out and brings her to the cathedral. Frollo orders his soldiers to break down the door and some his soldiers attack the Citizens of Paris and the French army who are being lead by Phoebus. Frollo gains entrance to the interior of the cathedral, directly defying the Archdeacon and flinging him down a flight of stairs.
In his rage, Frollo finally admits that he killed Quasimodo's mother when she attempted to save her baby, much to Quasimodo's distraught. As such, Frollo decides to kill Quasimodo himself as he "should have done" 20 years ago. Frollo subsequently uses his cape to knock Quasimodo off the balcony, but he manages to hold on and ends up pulling Frollo along with him (but is unwilling to let him fall). Frollo dangles momentarily for his life, but he is soon able to climb onto a gargoyle. As he raises himself in perfect position to kill Esmeralda (who is attempting to save Quasimodo), his eyes and teeth are shown in a fire-like color, laughing evilly as he delivers his last blasphemy ("And He shall smite the wicked, and plunge them into the fiery pit!"). However, as Frollo raises his sword, the gargoyle starts to break and he falls, clinging on for dear life and dropping his sword. In his last moments, the gargoyle's face comes to life and demonically roars, terrifying him. It breaks off completely and angrily sends the screaming Frollo falling into a vast lake of molten copper created by Quasimodo, where he meets his death after coming into physical contact, resulting in a fiery explosion. With Frollo finally gone for good, his tyranny has ended and his soldiers are defeated and surrendered to the French army.
Relationship with General Grievous
- Frollo is considered as one of the (if not the) darkest and most evil of Disney's 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.
- The Nostalgia Critic listed Frollo as Number 4 on his "Top 11 Disney Villains" list. His song "Hellfire" was listed as Number 1 on his "Top 11 Villain Songs". His female counterpart, The Nostalgia Chick, listed Frollo as Number 2 on her "Top 10 Evil Nostalgia Characters" list. And, she also rated him number ten on her democratically elected list of the Top Ten "Hottest" Animated Guys.
- Despite being a "human", Frollo ranks as one of the most evil Disney villains due to his personality, xenophobic hate, lust for women, immense and corrupt political power, and above-the-law status. Only a handful of other Disney villains show this kind of sinful nature, especially in a children's movie.
- When Frollo falls to his death it clearly meant to symbolize that his soul is now trapped in eternal damnation in the satanic fires of Hell for all eternity as punishment for 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."
- Ironically, with Dante's interpretation of the afterlife, Frollo actually was closer to heaven, as Dante's Divine Comedy has Hell being a frozen, arctic place.
- Frollo is placed 10th on the Ultimate Disney.com's Disney Villain countdown.
- Frollo commits many crimes in the movie:
- Imprisonment (Quasimodo)
- Sexual Assault (Esmeralda)
- Attempted Murder (Phoebus, Esmeralda, Quasimodo, a family of four people)
- Arson (Paris)
- Manslaughter (Quasimodo's Mother)
- Although he also technically was guilty of attempted genocide and searching homes without a warrant, those did not count as crimes back in the time period of the movie (the 15th 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 did not formally become a punishable crime until the aftermath of World War II due to the actions of Nazi Germany.
- Frollo has many similarities to Mother Gothel from Tangled:
- Neither have magic powers.
- Both have harbored their wards for their own personal reasons.
- Both have sung a song to describe why they shouldn't leave their "homes" ever.
- Both have attempted to kill their wards' friends
- Both have fallen to their deaths
- Frollo was voiced by Tony Jay, who also voiced Shere Khan in TaleSpin and The Jungle Book 2, Monsieur D'Arque in Beauty and the Beast, and one of Dr. Benedict's scientists' in Recess: School's Out.
- In addition to him voicing both characters, Tony Jay's performance as Monsieur D'Arque is what led the directors of both films to cast him as Frollo.
- Frollo is very similar to Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit: both are complete monsters, corrupt judges, and attempted to wipe out a group they despise (gypsies and toons, respectively).
- Frollo is also similar to Shere Khan, as they both have a hatred for something (Frollo: gypsies; Shere Khan: humans) and only care about their own opinion about them.
- Frollo's behavior strongly suggests that he is a pyromaniac.
- Frollo represents the deadly sin of lust, as he lusted after Esmeralda. He also represents 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 sin).
- Frollo is the seventh villain who has fallen to his death. The first being the Witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the second being Maleficent, the third being Bear, fourth Ratigan, fifth Percival McLeach, the sixth being Gaston, the eighth being Zira, the ninth being Clayton, the tenth being Charles Muntz, and the eleventh being Mother Gothel.
- Unlike most other villains who have fallen to their deaths, Frollo is one of the few who was actually seen landing. The others were Zira, Clayton, Queen Narissa, and Mother Gothel. (Scar does not count because he was killed by the the Hyenas mauling him in revenge for pinning the blame of his brother's murder on them).
- Frollo is the third villain to develop feelings for the female protagonist (Gaston being first and Jafar being second), although in this case, Frollo lusted for Esmeralda and it was not as healthy as the other two.
- In the novel, Frollo was kind and willingly took Quasimodo in when no one else would and turned into a villain when Esmeralda came into the story.
- Frollo's death is more fear based than the novel. In the film he grabs onto a gargoyle but it comes to life, breaks and goes into the fire created by Quasimodo taking Frollo with it. This is fear based because Frollo fears his soul damnation. In the novel when Quasimodo sees him laughing at Esmeralda's hanging, he becomes enraged and pushes Frollo off the balustrade. A gargoyle stops his fall. He cries out to Quasimodo for help, but he remains silent. Then, Frollo falls down the cathedral, until the roof of a house breaks his fall. He slides down the roof, hits the pavement of the town square, and dies.
- Although Frollo is sadistic and enjoys Quasimodo being humiliated at the Festival of Fools he does not actually watch him get humiliated, possibly as a gesture of abandoning his cries of help.
- Frollo is the second villain of French descent to pursue a woman only because of their beauty, the first is Gaston.
- Though not the oldest villain (that honor belonging to Hades, or occasionally to the Horned King, seeming to be remained in life during centuries thanks to the magic), Frollo is possibly the eldest looking Disney villain as he has grey hair, a skeletal body and wrinkles.
- Frollo bears a strong resemblance to Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars. They both have high cheekbones, a similar hairstyle, gray hair, and a face as long and thin as their noses.
- He seemingly feel guilty with his two sins: killing Quasimodo's mother and his proposed burning of Esmeralda, though considering his self-righteous personality, it's quite possible that he's an "ends justify the means" type of man, meaning though he knows what he did are sins, he sees them as necessary evils for what he sees as the greater good, though still fears for his soul because of those sins.
- Frollo returned in the Walt Disney World version of Winnie The Pooh In Fantasmic! to get revenge on Pooh Bear by invading Mickey's dreams. He was sent into the underworld with the other villains in the finale.
- Frollo became the enemy of Ash Ketchum, Simba, and Littlefoot in Ash Ketchum Meets The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where Jessie, James, and Meowth of Team Rocket, Shenzi, Banzi, Ed, Arthur and Cecil worked for him.
- Frollo became Danny's enemy in Danny Meets the Hunchback of Notre Dame. And in the movie, he is reveald to be an old friend of Darla Dimple.
- Frollo became the FT Squad's enemy in The FT Squad Meets the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- Frollo will become SpongeBob and Alex's enemy in SpongeBob SquarePants Meets The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where the Fratellis (Mama Fratelli, Francis, and Jake), Plankton, Jafar, Iago, Maleficent, and Team Rocket (Cassidy and Butch) will work for him.
- Frollo will become Bloom's enemy in Bloom Meets The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where The Trix, Brer Fox , Brer Bear, Dr. Facilier, The Grand Duke of Owls, and Captain Hook will work for him.
- Frollo will become Thomas' ememy in Thomas the Tank Engine meets the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- Frollo will become Aladar's enemy in Aladar's Adventures of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where Oogie Boogie, Carface, Killer, The Carnotaurs, The Horned King, Creeper, Abis Mal, Rothbart, Shere Khan, and Pete will work for him.
- Frollo became Yogi Bear's enemy in Yogi Bear meets The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where Dick Dastardly and Muttley will work for him.
- Frollo will become Tino's ememy in Tino Tonitini Meets The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- Frollo will get his revenge on Littlefoot and his friends in Littlefoot's Adventures of Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
- Frollo will return in Winnie the Pooh in The Adventures of the American Rabbit, Pooh's Adventures of Problem Child, Pooh's Adventures of Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, and Pooh's Adventures of Rugrats Go Wild.
- Frollo is considered one of Pooh's darkest and most evil villains.
- Frollo is similar to Scar from The Lion King. They killed a hero's parents. (Scar killed Mufasa in the wildebeest stampede, and Frollo killed Quasimodo's mother by kicking her onto the steps of the Notre Dame cahthedral in the process of stealing the baby Quasimodo from her.)