Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame Surges in Popularity After Cathedral Fire

Paris's historic and beloved Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire on Monday, causing extensive damage to the 856-year-old building. All over the world, people have been sharing memories of the cathedral and finding ways to express their grief, and some have turned to a different kind of art: Disney's animated Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Major streaming platforms, including Netflix, DirecTV, YouTube, Hulu and Amazon Prime, reported the movie was the most popular piece of content being streamed in the world -- an increase of 306 percent -- according to KNNP-TV. In addition, the classic novel by Victor Hugo that inspired the film became Amazon France's best-selling book.

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame, written in 1831, is a romantic adventure set in medieval Paris, featuring a disfigured young man who lives in the cathedral's bell tower and serves as its bell ringer. The story is credited with fostering new interest in the cathedral, which had been left in disrepair but was restored after the book's publication.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of Europe's most iconic and visited sites. The cause of the fire, which burned for seven hours at the beginning of the Catholic Holy Week, is currently unknown but is not believed to have been a deliberate act. Although much of the church was saved, including its facade, towers and organ, the interior and spire have been destroyed, and over $700 million has been pledged for its repair.

Disney's adaptation of Hugo's novel was released in 1996 and is one of their most lauded animated classics. A live-action musical version of the film is currently in the works; whether the fire will affect filming is yet to be seen.

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