There were no male heros with facial hair in Disney movies until a 1996 film. Think you know what it is?
Disney has produced quite a collection of classic films over the years. Notably, all of the male heroes were clean-shaven until ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ was released in 1996. Finally, the streak was broken!
The man who was the first to reverse that trend in a Disney film was the character of Phoebus, when he appeared with blond hairs on his chin. Perhaps it would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that the animators saw him as attractive, in a rugged way, which justified breaking tradition with the usual method of doing things.
In the movie, Phoebus is leader of the King’s Archers. Later, his loyalties change, and he chooses to help Quasimodo and Esmerelda. Of course, being a hero, it seems fitting that he should fall in love. And so, that’s just what happens between him and Esmerelda.
Apart from a facial hair first, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is famous for a few other reasons as well. For example, the movie contains many darker elements and harsher language than typically found in Disney movies, for which it’s been criticized. The film has plenty of defenders, though, including former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who considered it his favorite.