Tony Jay - The Voice Of Frollo
2 February 1933 - 13 August 2006
When Tony Jay passed
away on the 13th of August last year after failing to recover
from complications due to cancer surgery, I was attending
Pennsic War XXXV. It had been several years since I had last
worked on a story based on the Hunchback, and I had no idea
at the time that one of film animation's most treasured voices
had hung up his microphone for the last time. I had bought
a slit-sleeved royal purple dress (fitting, ironically) on
Friday and I reveled with dancers, fools, royalty and drunkards
througout the day and night, many of them attired in dress
fitting the period of Esmeralda, Frollo, Clopin and Phoebus.
Perhaps it was an unconscious tribute to my love for Victor
Hugo's story of a hunchback and of Notre Dame, but that year
I had decided that my persona would have lived precisely in
the era described in HoND as a late 15th century French noblewoman.
I now remember it as a tribute.
Not only did Tony
Jay embody the spirit of the villain Frollo that he played
so masterfully, but he also brought to his animated productions
an aristocratic mischief, one that has defined the roles of
three-dimensional characters beyond the staid, archetypal,
single-minded antagonists of popular culture. I hope that
the creativity Jay possessed survives in the imaginations
of those who have heard his voice -- and dreamed.
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(c) The Frollo Zone © 2007.