Tony Jay did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Now we are given the broader evil, however even this Jay's work leaves a striking impact in specific intensity. This as a careful rage that seems to define the man's hate of the other. Frollo's evil though has far more to it than many a Disney villain, who are usually born evil, connected to the character of the novel, who is actually even more complex, however still notable to see that all complexity was not lost in this technically kid minded version. This is as even at his most evil, Jay delivers this proper conviction of a true zealot feeling his crusade has some divine purpose despite it obviously being to the contrary. This being the calm in his evil so often. This though he undercuts so effectively though as we see Frollo at his worst, with this more emotional venom, alluding to less a servant a God, and more a weak man defined by his own personal demons. The greatest depth though comes within his kept fascination with Esmeralda, and the lust that entails. Jay is outstanding in delivering this element most notably through he all time great song "Hellfire". Jay's singing is already terrific, but his performance of the song goes beyond technical skill. It is amazing the complexity Jay finds in the delivery of just one song. This as he opens with the solemn delivery of a faithful man of prayer. This slowly segues into this brilliant mix of genuine fear of the thoughts, with a desperate need related to them, along with a vindictive hate towards the temptation all the same. The detail and intensity of the emotion is simply incredible, as Jay manages to find, through his voice, a rawness within Frollo's mental state that goes beyond a generalized evil. Jay's work is not just an excellent villainous turn, as much as it is that, as he grants depth even oddly enough a distinctly flawed humanity to the hypocrite.
John Hurt who did not receive an Oscar nomination or Christopher Benjamin for portraying Snitter and Rowf respectively in The Plague Dogs.
But back to Michael Graham Cox again, who I love in his realization of Bigwig's arc. This as his initial performance carries the sort of inherent strength you'd expect. His voice creating just the since of a force of the rabbit with a tough stiffness. This though with a bit lacking in emotion other than anger towards some of Hazel's decision. Cox suggesting this potential bully even in the sort of force of his voice, but also a sense of confidence as well. Cox suggests Bigwig as a figure to be feared, even as he is on Hazel's side, and the sense of strength in every word he speaks as the larger rabbit. This suddenly changes however as Bigwig is trapped in a snare, a gut wrenching scene if there was ever one, that Cox also adds to in his harrowing haggard voice as he whispers out of his lines of the dying Bigwig. Bigwig manages to survive, and Cox is excellent in creating the sense of change in the rabbit in both in terms of respect for his company as well as general care for others. Cox is terrific in portraying this greater urgency and sense of warmth in his words. There is still this sense of strength, particularly as he takes lead later on in taking on the villainous Rabbit General Woundwort. The sense of determination that Cox delivers creates a sense of real passion that makes Bigwig stand out as this true hero. Cox brings this forcefulness that is remarkable in his voice though as it is underlined by a real care concern of that hero, rather than the seeming bully he might've been mistaken for early on. I in particular adore his vocal work in the final fight with Woundwort, where he brings such powerful sense of righetous distaste and intensity in every word he utters in the fight. This making quite honestly Bigwig was a proper, for the lack of a better word, badass, even as a rabbit. The moment of this that is the greatest in Cox's work is as he seems cornered but refuses to leave the smaller rabbits at the General's mercy. Cox is amazing in his voice manages to capture such desperation, still a striking defiance, and charity all with the same words. It is excellent work and with the best vocal turns it is that ability to create such a fluid and complex emotions, while never seeing the performer's face that is so notable.
Speaking of, Hurt and Benjamin are particularly unique, and I'm not sure the circumstances of their recordings, but there is a such strong dynamic the two form with their voices. This is as Hurt is no stranger to exasperation, however his hardened voice only keeping that as an underlying factor makes it all the more moving in his portrayal of the consistently optimistic Snitter dreaming of an island paradise and a hope for the future. This is against Benjamin's work that offers an as moving portrayal of the bent nature of the dog, as his voice evokes the years of hardship and the waning belief in any chance at a real life. The two together though craft a warmth in between the two as their words to each other evoke a friendship and concern. A differing concern for each mind you, however Hurt haunting disjointed optimism along with Benjamin's broken resignation creates such a poignancy in each dog, but most importantly their friendship. Hurt's delivery is fascinating as in the optimism there is this bit of an intensity, a randomness at times, alluding to a mind that technically isn't quite right. In Benjamin there is a contrast in a bluntness of despair, but also still a passionate wish for survival with his friend. The ending scene is perhaps the best work from each as the two create a role reversal as they attempt to swim away from the authorities intending to kill them both. In Hurt you have that underlying exasperation brings itself to the surface in his voice that creates this heart wrenching hysteria as his certain madness is noted by despair rather than hope, however this is against Benjamin's work now of encouragement. His encouragement though is as blunt as his former despair, though now pushing his friend to push on. Their consistency though now with a different philosophy in the end, is brilliantly realized by each actor who creates this incredible moment. This of the two keeping part of their nature but changing this outlook. Both John Hurt and Christopher Benjamin's work makes the film as hard to watch as it is, though only because it is as affecting as it is, as they grant not only humanity and personality to the dogs, but a real sense of kinship and love.