This Villain was proposed and approved by Villains Wiki's Pure Evil Proposals Thread. Any act of removing this villain from the category without a Removal Proposal shall be considered vandalism (or a futile "heroic" attempt of redemption) and the user will have high chances of being
"Judge Claude Frollo longed to purge the world of vice and sin. And he saw corruption everywhere, except within." ― Clopin Trouillefou on Judge Frollo.
"And He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!" ― Judge Claude Frollo's most famous quote and final blasphemy before his very ironic demise.
Judge Claude Frollo, simply known as Frollo, is the main antagonist of Disney's 34th full-length animated feature film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is based on the 1831 French novel of the same name by the late Victor Hugo.
He is a religious fanatic who uses his position as the Minister of Justice in the city of Paris to enrich himself and persecute those he considers inferior, especially the city's Gypsies. He is the ex-foster father of Quasimodo as well as his arch-nemesis and the murderer of his mother. This version of Frollo is noticeably more evil than his literary version.
He was voiced by the late Tony Jay, who also played Shere Khan in Disney's The Jungle Book 2 and TaleSpin, Monsieur D'Arque in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and Galactus in the 1994 Fantastic Four TV series. In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, he was voiced by Shouzou Sasaki in the Japanese version and Corey Burton in the English dub.
"You can lie to yourself and your minions. You can claim that you haven't a qualm. But you never can run from nor hide what you've done from the eyes… The very eyes of Notre Dame." ― The Archdeacon highlighting the fallacies of Frollo's self-righteousness.At the beginning of the film, Frollo has two central constructs in his mind: his ruthless and brutal pursuit of enforcing the laws of Paris and his apparent devotion to Catholicism. Because of these things and having lived a life of "power and control", Frollo expresses sort of pride that comes from a feeling of moral superiority - as he is the enforcer of justice. In the "Bells of Notre Dame", the film mentions that the only time the minister felt any sort of guilt or contrition is when the Archdeacon addresses Frollo's manslaughter of Quasimodo's mother and his attempted infanticide of Quasimodo. This moment reveals Frollo's deepest flaw: his lack of a self-critical conscience. Above all, Frollo believes what he is doing is right to the point where he twists the intentions of others to seem to him as evil or misguided.
Due to his Catholic faith, Frollo rejects the spiritualist customs of the gypsies and believes they are scandalizing the people of Paris - thus interfering with his goal of a more morally pure Paris. He focuses much of his efforts on locating and punishing the gypsies.
In interacting with others, Frollo is typically solemn, critical, patronizing, superficially kind and generally negative. He is skilled at reading the motives of others, assisting in his lies and manipulations to the protagonists throughout the film. He has a little sense of humor, aside from a few morbid jokes and sarcasm. As opposed to the Archdeacon, Frollo prefers the more negative aspects of his religion such as sin and eternal damnation rather than virtues of forgiveness and mercy. Due to his defective conscience, Frollo persistently believes he is a morally better person than most everyone else. Frollo is his own patron saint.
Towards the middle of the film, Frollo develops a lust for Esmeralda which contributes to a failing image of his own moral perfection. Unwilling to accept or mend this, he blames Esmeralda, Satan, and even God for this dilemma. Frollo then begins to enter much more aggressive and persecutory state in his search for this woman. He later tries to make the gypsy his mistress under the guise of converting her to his religion when she is finally caught. Towards the very end, when Esmeralda rejects Frollo's advances for the last time, he no longer feels the need to make penance with Quasimodo and impudently rejects his feelings of guilt for having killed his mother. His final words emphasize his delusion of moral perfection as he attempts to kill Quasimodo and Esmeralda: "And He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!".
Frollo is an aging man defined by his wrinkled and careworn face. He has pale skin, gray eyes, and thinning white hair. As the Minister of Justice and a high-ranking public official, Frollo is most frequently dressed in a black robe, a purple and black striped hat with a red ribbon attached to the bottom, and shoulder pads with red and black 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.
Frollo has left a lasting impact on audiences, being remembered as one of the darkest Disney villains (if not the darkest), as his crimes include attempted infanticide on Quasimodo when he was a baby simply for being ugly, expressing clear genocidal intentions in regards to gypsy population in Paris, and trying to burn an innocent family alive just to set an example. Also, the sexual element of his character is otherwise almost unheard of for an animated Disney character. It is also heavily implied that he is responsible for the deaths of countless numbers of gypsies and other innocent citizens.
At the same time, however, Frollo is arguably the most complex and human Disney villain as he does have an internal conflict, as well as a distinct fear for his soul, which he fails to listen to due to his delusional denial of his own sins. Some even find him sympathetic and wish he had redeemed himself or even ended up with Esmeralda. This may have something to do with the book, where he is significantly less malevolent and legitimately is sympathetic.
In addition, Frollo's conflict with the Archdeacon of Notre Dame (who is meant to embody the good aspects of Frollo's character in the novel) has been regarded as mirroring the conflict between pure religion (loving, welcoming and generous) and fanaticism (hateful, oppressive and violent).
An official poll of the Top 30 Disney Villains placed him in the #10 spot, and the Nostalgia Critic gave him the #4 spot on his personal Top 11 list. Also, his Villain Song "Hellfire" is widely praised as one of the very best, greatly contributing to his popularity. Oddly enough, some people even overlook his villainy due to having enjoyed the song so much.
Despite (and, given the absurd nature of the phenomenon, likely because of) being such a dark character, Frollo is the second most popular Disney character in the Youtube Poop community, next to Gaston. The "Hellfire" scene, in particular, is a very popular source, again despite and perhaps because of being so dark. The most notable YTP work starring Frollo is "The Frollo Show" by YouTuber Chincherrinas where he is portrayed as the main protagonist and is best friends with Gaston.
"Quasimodo, can't you understand? When your heartless mother abandoned you as a child, anyone else would have drowned you. And this is my thanks for taking you in and raising you as my son?" ― Frollo lying to Quasimodo about his origins.
"A baby? (uncovers the blanket and gasps at the infant's deformed head) A monster! (Frollo spots a nearby well and attempts to drown Quasimodo before the Archdeacon stops him)" ― Frollo despising Quasimodo's looks, accusing him of being a demonic monster before trying to drown him.
"Even this foul creature may prove one day to be… of use to me." ― Frollo plans to keep Quasimodo, but only because he fears eternal damnation.
"Remember Quasimodo. This is your sanctuary." ― Frollo to Quasimodo.
"Ease up. Wait between lashes. Otherwise, the old sting will dull him to the new." ― Frollo supervising his torturer on whipping his previous Captain of the Guard.
"Ah, so this is the gallant Captain Phoebus, home from the wars. (Phoebus: Reporting for duty, as ordered, sir.) Your service record precedes you, Phoebus. I expect nothing but the best from a war hero of your category. (Phoebus: And you shall have it, sir. I guarantee it.) You know, my last Captain of the Guard was, um… a bit of a disappointment to me. (Whipcrack followed by a loud scream of pain. Phoebus cringes while Frollo smirks) Well, no matter. I'm sure you'll… whip my men into shape. (Phoebus: Well…th-that's a… the-tremendous honor, sir.)" ― Judge Claude Frollo conspiring with Phoebus.
"Look, Captain. Gypsies. The gypsies live outside the normal order. Their heathen ways inflame the peoples' lowest instincts, and they must be stopped! (Phoebus: I was summoned from the wars to capture fortune tellers and palm readers?) The real war, Captain, is what you see before you. For 20 years, I've been taking care of the gypsies… (crushes some ants under a finger with each word) one by one. And yet, for all my success, they have thrived. (lifts up the tile to reveal a colony of ants crawling underneath) I believe that they have a safe haven within the walls of this very city. A nest, if you will. They call it the… "Court of Miracles". (Phoebus: What are we going to do about it, sir?) (Frollo smirks and smashes tile back down, crushing every single ant underneath) (Phoebus: You make your point quite vividly, sir.)" ― Frollo lies to Phoebus about "the real war" and tries to convince him to stop the Gypsies.
"Look at that disgusting display! (Phoebus: Yes, sir!)" ― Frollo orders Phoebus.
"(Phoebus: Sir, request permission to stop this cruelty.) In a moment, Captain. A lesson needs to be learned here." ― Frollo refuses to let Phoebus stop the crowd from torturing Quasimodo.
"You! Gypsy girl! Get down at once! (Esmeralda: Yes, Your Honor. Just as soon as I free this poor creature.) I forbid it! (Esmeralda pulls out a dagger from her leg and cuts Quasimodo's bonds) How dare you defy me! (You mistreat this poor boy the same way you mistreat my people! You speak of justice, yet you are cruel to those most in need of your help!) SILENCE! (Esmeralda: JUSTICE!) (Esmeralda helps Quasimodo up to his feet) Mark my words, Gypsy! You will pay for this insolence! (Esmeralda: Then it appears we crowned the wrong fool. The only fool I see is YOU! (She tosses the King of Fools crown at Frollo's feet while the crowd laughs at him) Captain Phoebus, arrest her! (Guards surround Esmeralda) (Esmeralda: Let's see… [counts the guards] one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine… so there's ten of you and one of me. [pulls a handkerchief out of her blouse] What's a poor girl to do?) (She blows her nose and literally disappears in a cloud of smoke) Witchcraft!" ― Frollo furious to see that Esmeralda freed Quasimodo.
"(Guard: Minister Frollo, the gypsy has escaped.) What? (Guard: She's nowhere in the cathedral. She's gone.) But how? I… Never mind. Get out, you idiot. I'll find her. I'll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris!" ― Frollo plans on hunting Esmeralda and talks to a guard about it before resuming Hellfire.
"But she will be mine or she… will… BURN!" ― Frollo finishes Hellfire.
"Find the Gypsy girl." ― Judge Claude Frollo ordering his soldiers to hunt down Esmeralda.
"We found this gypsy talisman on your property. Have you been harboring gypsies? (Miller: Our home is always open to the weary traveler. Have mercy, my lord.) I am placing you and your family under house arrest until I get to the bottom of this. If what you say is true, you are innocent and you have nothing to fear. (Miller: But we ARE innocent, I assure you! We know nothing of these gypsies!)" ― Frollo interrogating Miller if he and his family are refuging gypsies
"(Frollo locks the miller and his family in their own home with a spear. He turns to Phoebus.) Burn it. (Phoebus: What?!) Until it smoulders. These people are traitors and must be made examples of. (hands Phoebus a torch) (Phoebus: With all due respect, sir, I was not trained to murder the innocent!) But you were trained to follow orders! (Phoebus angrily douses his torch in a water barrel. Frollo snarls with rage!) Insolent coward! (Frollo grabs another torch and touches the flame to the windmill. The entire structure is quickly engulfed in flame. Phoebus dives through the window and brings the family outside to safety. Then one of Frollo's soldiers strikes Phoebus on the back of the head with the hilt of his sword. Phoebus falls over and the other soldier grabs him by the arms.) The sentence for insubordination is death, such a pity. You threw away a promising career. (Phoebus: Consider it my highest honor, sir.) (The soldier holding the sword raises the blade preparing to behead Phoebus when a disguised Esmeralda picks up a pebble and hurls it from her sling. The stone hits the butt of Frollo's horse, who rears up in pain, throwing Frollo off the saddle. Phoebus punches Frollo's guards and takes off with Frollo's horse.) Get him! And don't hit my horse! (As Phoebus rides off, he is showered with arrows. One of them goes through his shoulder, and he falls off the horse and off the bridge, and into the river. Esmeralda gasps. The soldiers continue firing their arrows into the river.) Don't waste your arrows! Let the traitor rot in his watery grave! Find the girl! If you have to burn the city to the ground so be it! (Frollo and his guards continue on their siege. As soon as they're gone, Esmeralda dives into the water and drags the unconscious and wounded Phoebus to safety)" ― Frollo attempts to kill Phoebus after the latter refused to kill an innocent family, and later believes he is dead and continues planning on hunting down Esmeralda.
"I had the entire cathedral surrounded. Guards at every door. There was no way she could've escaped. Unless…" ― Frollo deducing that Quasimodo had something to do with Esmeralda's escape.
"(Esmeralda: You took a terrible risk coming here. It may not exactly show, but we're grateful.) (She hugs Phoebus, who turns to a frowning Quasimodo) (Phoebus: Don't thank me. Thank Quasimodo. Without his help, I would never have found my way here.) (A voice suddenly rings out) Nor would I! (Frollo and his men appear in the doorway. The soldiers surround every gypsy and hold everyone at spearpoint.) After 20 years of searching, the Court of Miracles is mine at last! Dear Quasimodo, I always knew you'd someday be of use to me. (Quasimodo: No!) (Esmeralda: What are you talking about?) Why, he led me right to you, my dear. (Esmeralda: You're a liar!) And look what else I've caught in my net--Captain Phoebus, back from the dead! Another "miracle", no doubt. I shall remedy that. (Frollo turns to his captives) There'll be a little bonfire in the square tomorrow and you're all invited to attend. (to his guards) Lock them up. (Quasimodo, grabs Frollo's robe begging: No! Please, Master!) (Frollo gives Quasi a ruthless glare; Quasi let's go in despair and slumps.) (Quasimodo: No…) Take him back to the bell tower. And make sure he stays there. (The guards drag Quasi away as well.)" ― Frollo raiding the Court of Miracles having secretly followed Quasimodo there. The evil judge then takes all of the gypsies hostage.
"QUASIMODO! (On the balcony, Quasimodo holds Esmeralda above his head, while the crowd cheers) (Quasimodo: SANCTUARY! SANCTUARY! SANCTUARY!) (turns to the Brutish Guard) Captain! (Brutish Captain: Sir!) Seize the cathedral! (Quasimodo drops a large wooden dream onto Frollo's carriage) (Frollo snarls, and walks towards his men) Come back, you cowards! (Frollo snatches the Brutish Guard's sword) You men! Pick up that beam! Break down the door!" ― Frollo orders his men to lay siege to the cathedral.
"(Archdeacon: Frollo, have you gone mad?! I will not tolerate this assault on the house of God!) Silence, you old fool! (tosses the Archdeacon down the staircase) The Hunchback and I have unfinished business to attend to! And this time, you will not interfere! (locks the door behind him)" ― Frollo encountering the Archdeacon before trying to kill Quasimodo.
"There, there, Quasimodo. I know it hurts. But now, the time has come to end your suffering… forever. (*Frollo tries to kill Quasimodo, but the latter pushes him back*) Now, now. Listen to me, Quasimodo… (Quasimodo: No, you listen! All my life, you have told me that the world is a dark, cruel place. But now I see that the only thing dark and cruel about it is people like YOU!) (Esmeralda: Quasimodo…) She lives! (Frollo draws out his sword.) (Quasimodo: NO!) (Quasi grabs Esmeralda and runs out onto the balcony. Frollo follows them in hot pursuit, his sword in his hand.)" ― Frollo tries to kill Quasimodo, only to have the Hunchback stand up to him. After realizing Esmeralda is alive, Frollo chases them.
"Leaving so soon! (tries to slash his sword on Quasimodo and Esmeralda but hits the gargoyles and blocks Quasimodo when he climbs one) I should have known that you would have risk your life to save that gypsy witch, just as your own mother died trying to save you. (Quasimodo: What?!) And now, I'm going to do what I should've done 20 years ago!''" ― Frollo attacking Quasimodo and Esmeralda for the last time.
- He has the most screentime of any major Disney villain; Frollo is shown for roughly a third of the movie's total runtime.
- In the original book by Victor Hugo, Frollo is the Archdeacon of Notre Dame. He is actually caring towards Quasimodo, whom he adopted out of genuine mercy, and his good-for-nothing brother Jehan. But when Esmeralda comes along, Frollo's lust for her results in a slow descent into villainy.
- Frollo's genocidal agenda against Gypsies mirrors the Nazi's own genocide against Gypsies (which occurred concurrently to the genocide against European Jews). Like Hitler, Frollo is also an oppressive dictator who rules through fear and intimidation and has a complete willingness to kill anyone who gets in his way.