During the 1482 Festival Fools in Paris, Quasimodo, the hunchback bell oringer, is elected the Pope of Fools for being the ugliest person in Paris. He lives in the bell tower of the Cathedral of Notre Dame under the protection of his adoptive father, Claude Frollo.
Frollo,despite his vows as priest, is madly in love with La Esmeralda , a beautiful, young street gypsy dancer with a kind heart. On the night of festival, he orders Quasimodo to take her by force. And because of his love and devotion to the priest, Quasimodo obliges.
Quasimodo arrested. While being tortured, he begs for water but no one likes to help him, until La Esmeralda comes forward and gives him something to drink. He falls in love with her. But La Esmeralda is not interested in any man except Captain Phoebus, a handsome military man who only has a passing admiration for her.
In a jealous rage, Frollo nearly murders Phoebus. Instead, La Esmeralda is accused with murder and is sentenced to death by hanging. Quasimodo saves her by bringing her to cathedral.
But all effort of Quasimodo seem to have gone waste.