At the urging of his hilarious gargoyle pals Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, Quasimodo leaves the solitary safety of his tower, venturing out to find his first true friend, the gypsy beauty Esmerelda. The most unlikely of heroes, Quasi fights to save the people and the city he loves and, in turn, helps us to see people for who they are, rather than how they appear.
- Tom Hulce as Quasimodo – The bellringer of the Notre Dame Cathedral. He is physically deformed with a hunched back and is constantly told by his guardian Judge Claude Frollo that he is an ugly monster who will never be accepted by the world outside. However, the opening song asks listeners to judge for themselves "who is the monster, and who is the man" of the two.
- Demi Moore as Esmeralda (singing voice by Heidi Mollenhauer) – A beautiful, streetwise, talented, and always-barefoot gypsy girl who befriends Quasimodo and shows him that his soul is truly beautiful, even if his exterior is not. She is incredibly independent and greatly dislikes the horrible ways in which gypsies are treated. Throughout the film, Esmeralda attempts to seek justice for her people. She falls in love with Captain Phoebus and helps Quasimodo understand that gypsies are good people. "Esmeralda" is the Spanish and Portuguese word for Emerald, which may be why the animators chose to give her emerald green eyes.
- Tony Jay as Judge Claude Frollo – A ruthless and self-righteous judge who is Quasimodo's reluctant guardian. He has an intense hatred of the gypsy population, seeing them as "impure" and has a desire to annihilate their entire race. He also lusts after Esmeralda. Frollo generally does not see any evil in his deeds as he does them in honor of God, even though the Archdeacon often disapproves of his actions. However, at one point during the song "Hellfire", the priests singing the Confiteor manifest as his conscience, chanting the Latin words "mea culpa" ("my fault"), to reveal that Frollo ultimately knows the truth of his actions.
- Kevin Kline as Captain Phoebus – A soldier who is Frollo's Captain of the Guard. He falls in love with (and later marries) Esmeralda. He is a heroic idealist with integrity and does not approve of what Frollo thinks or does. This distinguishes him severely from his character in the original story. He has a horse named Achilles, to whom he says twice "Achilles, sit." on one of Frollo's soldiers.
- Paul Dandel as Clopin – The mischievous leader of the gypsies who will defend his people at all costs. He introduces the audience to the story, explaining how Quasimodo, the bell ringer from Notre Dame, got to be there.
- Charles Kimbrough, Jason Alexander and Mary Wicks as Victor, Hugo, and Laverne – Three gargoyle statues who become Quasimodo's close friends and guardians. In the DVD audio commentary for Hunchback, Wise, Trousdale, and Hahn note that the gargoyles might exist only in Quasimodo's imagination (ala Hobbes in Calvin and Hobbes) and thus may well be split-off pieces of his own identity. However, most of their characteristics, including Hugo's infatuation with the goat Djali, seem unique to their manifestations when present. This was Mary Wickes' final film. After Wickes' death, Jane Withers provided the remaining dialogue for Laverne in the film's sequel and related merchandise.
- David Ogden Stiers as The Archdeacon – A kind man who helps many characters throughout the film, including Esmeralda. He is the opposite of Frollo: kind, accepting, gentle, and wise. He is the only figure in the film with authority over Frollo while he is inside Notre Dame. He appears in the beginning of the movie when he orders Frollo to adopt Quasimodo for killing his mother. He disapproves of most of Frollo's actions, and at the film's climax, Frollo, in his rage, openly defies him and knocks him down a flight of stairs.
According to producer Don Hahn, the original idea for the film came from development executive David Stain, who was inspired to turn Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame into an animated feature film after reading the Classics Illustrated comic book adaptation. Stain then proposed the idea to Disney, who called on Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale to work on the project. Wise and Trousdale were working on other projects at the time, but "none of them were quite gelling", so they "jumped at the chance" to do the film. According to Wise, they believed that it had "a great deal of potential...great memorable characters, a really terrific setting, the potential for fantastic visuals, and a lot of emotion."
- BMI Film Music Award (Won)
- Satellite Awards
- Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature (Won)
- Best Original Musical or Comedy score by Alan Menden (Nominated, lost against Emma)
- Golden Globes
- Best Original Score (Nominated, lost against The English Patient)
- Young Artist Award
- Best Family Feature Film - Animation (Nominated, lost against James and the Giant Peach)
- Annie Award Tony Jay
- Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting – Tony Jay (Nominated)
- Golden Screen, Germany (Won)
- Artios Award
- Best Casting for Animated Voiceover (Won)
- Golden Raspery Awards
- Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million (Nominated lost to Twister)
- AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals - Nominated
- ARI’s 10 Top 10 - Nominated Animated Film
Sequels and spin-offs