Like Anastasia a year later, Hunchback has a strong story that is done in by ’90s animation’s insistence upon cutesiness. Luckily the talking and singing gargoyles take a backseat to most of the action, and their one song is actually pretty fun. That’s part of the problem though; Hunchback already had plenty of fun with the devilish Clopin, and the brand of silliness the gargoyles bring to the table doesn’t mesh with the darkness hovering over the rest of the plot. With strong characters like Quasimodo, Esmerelda, and Phoebus, all of whom offered plenty of comic relief on their own, and a great villain in Judge Frollo, your movie can stand on its own. If Disney had taken some cues from their earlier films, they might have realized that children can handle a little darkness in their movies. That being said, the story and animation are enough to catapult this movie over those gargoyles to qualify it as a Disney classic.
Quicker take: If you want gargoyles, see Gargoyles. If you want to be moved, see Hunchback.