The Gargoyles of Notre Dame

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February 2, 2021

Written by: Jim Smith

In Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, what are the names of the three gargoyles living in the Notre Dame cathedral who befriend Quasimodo?

Image: Disney

And the answer is: Victor, Hugo, and Laverne

Why are their names Victor, Hugo, and Laverne? As you may guess, Victor and Hugo are named after Victor Hugo, the French poet, novelist, and dramatist who wrote the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame (as well as the novel Les Miserables). Laverne was named after Laverne Andrews – one of the Andrews Sisters singing trio who were popular in the swing and boogie-woogie music eras.  The Andrews Sisters had previously performed for Disney in short segments in the films Make Mine Music and Melody Time.  They may be most well known now to today’s generation as the backup singers to Bing Crosby in his popular rendition of Jingle Bells).

Victor was voiced by Charles Kimbrough, Hugo was voiced by Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander.

Image: Sony Pictures Television

Laverne was voiced by a combination of Mary Wickes and Jane Withers (who stepped in to complete the role after Wickes passed away during production).

Bonus question: Who was originally cast in the role to voice Laverne?

And the bonus answer is:

Cyndi Lauper! Originally, Laverne was imagined with a spritely, youthful presence, which fit Lauper’s 80’s pop icon personality perfectly. However, the personality of the gargoyle changed throughout the production of the film to better fit the story line, and the gargoyle took on a more motherly, mentoring role.  The voice role was recast to Mary Wickes to better fit the part.

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