First thoughts right after watching the Movie
My thoughts after watching the movie is that I do not think that they are completely in love, but I do not think that they are supposed to. Think about it, they do not know much about one another except that they know that he is a soldier, she is a gypsy, they are feisty, but there is no implication in their ending of marriage and they never say that they love one another, unlike most other Disney couples that know one another in an equal or a less amount of time. They know that they have feelings for one another, and want to get introduced, but do not pretend that they are in a stage that they are not. Their relationship is not in the forefront of the movie, and I think that with the way the movie is moving, their relationship is exactly supposed to be that. You know why they like one another, but they do not know too much about one another, and are infatuated with one another, which they are aware of.
He “apologizes” to them, telling them that his horse is naughty, and she looks at the situation giggling, either because she is impressed by Phoebus, the guards get their comeuppance, or both, and then leaves. The guards thinks he is a peasant and tries to start a confrontation at him, but when he pulls out his sword, they know that he is a captain, and starts kissing up to him. He asks them to take him to Frollo, and while they do so, he sees a mysterious person (Esmeralda in disguise), and gives her another few coins that he picked up off the ground (that she initially earned). He might have known it was her, but is undetermined. She gives him this “oh my gosh, he is hard to figure out” look, and is definitely interested in him. It is clear that they lustfully like one another (but not extremely), and she thinks that he is really nice and funny.
It is the Feast of Fools, and she is the dancer (stripper to some). She does her thing on the dance floor (impressing all of the men), and Frollo disgustingly says “look a that disgusting display”, and Phoebus lustily says “yes sir”, and looks with no issue. When she finishes her dance, he happily tosses a coin at her, with his lust in the forefront. After Esmeralda frees Quasimodo, Frollo considers a criminal, and tells Phoebus to send the guards after her, which he has no issue doing; showing that hew did not care that much for her at that point in time. Being the badass that she is, she makes a grand escapes, and take out a bunch of the cops, impressing him and saying “what a woman”, so he likes that she is badass. He sees her disguise going inside Notre Dame, and goes in to talk to her, meaning he did know initially that the disguise was her. The biggest thing that I can say that they like about one another is that they are both badasses and fun. They are not unimpressed with one another’s looks either.
He says that she is hitting below the belt with that comment, and she literally tries to hit him below the belt, but fails and then hits him on the head. Djali runs up to him and hits him with his head, and he says that she never knew that he had a kid, and she says that Djali does not take kindly to strangers. He tells her his name and saying that it means “sun god”, which her and Djali exchange an “are you kidding me” look. She being irritated asks that if this is an interrogation, and he says that it is an introduction, which is the entire reason why he went up to her in the church before she took her anger on him.
She is shocked that he is not arresting her, and compliments him, saying that he is not like the other soldiers, so in other words, she says that he is nice. Because of the fact that he is not arresting her, she asks him what he wants from her, and he says that he just wants her name, which she gives him. He compliments her saying that her name is better than his. They move closer to one another and it is undetermined what they are about to do, but Frollo pops in and tells him to arrest her, and Phoebus tells her to claim sanctuary.
Esmeralda’s anger quickly returned because of her distrust of guards, and thinks that he tricked her, completely ignoring what he told her to do. He tells Frollo that she claimed sanctuary, and he tells him to drag her out, before the Archdeacon comes to kick them out. After Esmeralda escapes with the help of Quasimodo, Phoebus returns to Notre Dame, and asks him about Esmeralda, and Quasimodo, quickly shoos him off. He wanted to tell her that he is sorry for trapping her at the house, and that it was the only way to save her life. He tells him that he is a good friend before leaving. At this point, it is clear that Esmeralda’s opinions about Phoebus goes back and forth, but she still cares about him and likes him a bit. He likes her a lot, and cares fro her safety. It is clear that they are not in love, but they are interested in one another, despite Esmeralda’s flip-floppy opinion about him.
So, it is the next day, and Phoebus joins Frollo to get Esmeralda, while slowly losing interest in his position. They end up at a house where a family lives, and when Frollo confronts them about gypsies, they tell him that they know nothing about these gypsies. Frollo then tells him to burn the house with them in it, which he refuses to do. He decides to burn the house himself, and Phoebus enters the burning house, and saves them, which caused worry to a disguised Esmeralda. One of the guards hit him on the head which makes him fall, and they almost behead him, but she hits Frollo’s horse with a rock, and it runs off, making him fall. This gives Phoebus enough time to elbow both of the guards, and jump on the horse to run. They hit him in the back with an arrow, causing him to fall in the river, with a bunch of arrows following him. She leans up against the side of the bridge to avoid being seen, and jumps in to save him after Frollo and the guards left.
They and another gypsy return to Notre Dame, with him barely being able to walk. Esmeralda asks Quasimodo if Phoebus can stay there until he is about to move, which he agrees to because of his crush on her (which she did NOT know about, I will explain later). Her and the other gypsy place him down on the floor, and the two are left alone (or so they thought). He tries to speak, and she hushes him, saying that he will stay there until he is able to move. He comments saying that whenever they are together, he always ends up bleeding (which is not true; maybe he bled after she hit him on the head with the candle holder). She pops out a bottle of alcohol, which he says that he could use a drink. She pours it on his cut, which causes him to groan. She compliments him by saying that he is either the bravest or craziest soldier that she has ever met, and he bitterly replies saying “ex-soldier”. She then says that the arrow almost pierced his heart, and he says to her that “he is not so sure if it didn’t”, which is the closest thing that is said which resembles love the closest, but this could also mean that he has a huge crush on her.
Frollo is quickly approaching Notre Dame, so she and her gypsy friend leaves quickly. After Frollo interrogates Quasi, Phoebus wakes up, and goes to the Court of Miracles to warn her and the other gypsies, which Quasi refuses to go because she has her knight in shining armor”, but he ends up doing so anyways.
Quasimodo and Phoebus go to the Court of Miracles, and are trapped by Clopin and the other gypsies “Court of Miracles”, and they are about to be hung by the neck, but Esmeralda tells Clopin to stop, which he does (the 3rd time she saves him). As soon as he is free, he tells the gypsies that Frollo is coming with 1000 men to attack at dawn, and they all decide to leave immediately. She rushes to hug him, and thanking him for sending the message, completely unaware of Quasimodo’s awkwardness, which Phoebus notices when he looks sideways, and stops to not make him any more uncomfortable. Esmeralda is quick to catch certain things, and if she was aware that he liked her, she would not have run up to Phoebus like he is a god. Frollo comes, and traps all of them. In the climax, after Quasimodo saved her, she “dies”, and Frollo dies, Esme is trying to hold Quasi and to pull him up, but her grip is not strong enough to hold on, and screams as he falls.
So, my final thought about this couple is that no, they are not one of the most developed couples in the canon, but they are not supposed to be. They do not know much about their pasts, but the audience do know what they like about one another. They do talk about themselves a little, and they have a lot in common. Unlike their immediate predecessor, they are somewhat underdeveloped, but these two know that they are not dangerously in love with one another, which Pocahontas and John Smith is guilty of saying they are in love. And unlike the compared couple, these two WANT to get introduced properly, and we know what they like about one another. They could have developed developed more, but then it would be Esmeralda’s story and not Quasimodo’s (though I do think she should have been the protagonist). They do have lust in their relationship, but it is not so much in the forefront, like it is with Pocahontas and Smith, and even Aladdin and Jasmine, and Ariel and Eric. I say this because when Phoebus and Esmeralda interact, they so not look at one another like they are a piece of meat MOST of the time. Their relationship is not one of the better ones, but it is good for what it needs to be in the movie.