- The Notre-Dame Cathedral has served as the inspiration and setting for many movies.
- Many important movie moments take place with Notre-Dame Cathedral as the backdrop.
- The intricate landmark has been animated for movies like “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Aristocats.”
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The centuries-old Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris experienced massive damage after a fire raged through the 12th-century icon on Monday. The 295-foot tall spire collapsed and much of the wooden interior has been destroyed, but the two towers and many works of art inside have been spared thanks to the quick action of responders.
Completed in 1345, the Notre-Dame Cathedral has served as the inspiration and setting in many works of art, including classic and modern films.
Here are 14 times the historical landmark has appeared in popular movies and when you can spot it.
Notre-Dame Cathedral provides the setting for big decisions in “Midnight in Paris.”
“Midnight in Paris” (2011) is the ultimate love letter to Paris. Each night, Owen Wilson’s character is transported to Paris in the 1920s. While there, he rubs elbows with iconic literary figures and artists like Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Gertrude Stein.
After these astounding experiences, he re-evaluates his life on a bench in the shadows of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Van Helsing battles Dr. Jekyll on the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Set in the 19th century, “Van Helsing” (2004) tells the tale of monster hunter Gabriel Van Helsing and his quest to keep the world safe from dangerous creatures.
Early in the film, Van Helsing battles Dr. Jekyll on the roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral, setting the scene for the rest of the movie. The landmark is also seen in a few establishing shots.
Notre-Dame Cathedral serves as the home to Quasimodo in “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
Possibly the most iconic usage of Notre-Dame Cathedral in art is Victor Hugo’s classic novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The story has been retold in film many times and Notre-Dame Cathedral is always the home for the protagonist, Quasimodo.
In 1996, Disney created an animated version of this classic story.
Notre-Dame Cathedral can be spotted in the live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast.”
The 2017 live-action “Beauty and the Beast” mostly stayed true to the animated version of the Disney film, until Belle and the Beast time travel to Paris.
In a new scene, the Beast uses a magical book to transport the pair to Belle’s childhood home, where the Notre-Dame Cathedral can be seen in the distance.
A tightrope walker spans the distance between the two towers of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in “The Walk” (2015).
Prior to his attempt in New York, Petit successfully did another walk between the two towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
The “Charade” murder mystery is discussed near the cathedral.
A murder-mystery classic starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, “Charade” (1963) features many iconic locations in Paris, including Notre-Dame Cathedral.
As characters talk about who might have murdered Hepburn’s character’s husband, the Notre-Dame Cathedral looms in the background.
The landmark can be spotted in the background of “Ratatouille” (2007).
Set in Paris, Pixar’s “Ratatouille” focuses on a rat’s love for cooking and delicious food. But while the characters aren’t in the kitchen, the rat’s human friends can be seen roller skating over a bridge over the Seine River with Notre-Dame Cathedral in the background.
You can see the famed landmark behind Chef Skinner as he reads a newspaper.
A couple reconnects with Notre-Dame Cathedral as the backdrop in “Before Sunset” (2004).
In “Before Sunrise,” two people briefly meet on a train in Vienna, share an intense connection, and part ways. In the sequel, “Before Sunset,” the pair meet again in Paris for another shot at love.
During a romantic scene, the couple rides an excursion boat in the Seine River and enjoy a sweeping view of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
“An American Werewolf in Paris” opens with dramatic detail shots of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Notre-Dame Cathedral is the focal point of the opening scene in the 1997 film “An American Werewolf in Paris.”
The film starts with dramatic close-up shots of the gargoyles, statues, and intricate details of the landmark during a stormy night, setting the tone for the rest of this horror movie.
In “The Three Musketeers” (2011), fighters duke it out on the roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
The 2011 film “The Three Musketeers” is based on the classic novel by the same name.
In this retelling, one of the swashbuckling heroes finds himself in a sword fight on the roof Notre-Dame Cathedral. The scene was filmed on a set with additional visual effects, but the landmark still plays a role in the film.
A tragic accident happens at Notre-Dame Cathedral in “Amélie” (2001).
The French cult-classic film, “Amélie,” follows the unusual life of Amélie Poulain as she schemes to improve the lives of those around her.
During a particularly tragic scene, a young Amélie visits Notre-Dame Cathedral and her mother is killed by a person who had jumped from the roof of the building.
Notre-Dame Cathedral can be seen zipping by in “The Aristocats.”
In Disney’s “The Aristocats”(1970), the butler of a Parisian, upper-class woman learns she’s leaving her entire inheritance first to her cats and then to him, so he plots to leave the cats in the country.
As the butler starts to carry out his scheme, he drives his motorcycle past the iconic cathedral.
The famed Cathedral can be seen in “The Muppets.”
In the 2011 film, Kermit is determined to gather all of his Muppet friends back together with the help of Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams)
The mission takes him to France and the Notre-Dame Cathedral can be seen in one of the establishing shots of the film.
A wedding at Notre-Dame Cathedral is thwarted in “Rugrats in Paris: The Movie.”
The babies and parents from the classic Nickelodeon TV show “Rugrats” take a trip to Europe to visit the EuroReptarland theme park in the 2000 film “Rugrats in Paris: The Movie.“
During the trip, Chuckie’s father meets an ill-intentioned woman and decides to marry her at Notre-Dame Cathedral. The babies use their Reptar robot to crash into the landmark to break up the wedding.
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