When Captain Phoebus is called home from war by Minister Frollo for the sole purpose of eliminating the gypsies, he finds a conflict of interest, especially when he meets the fiery, dancing gypsy Esmeralda. He persuades Esmeralda into to the cathedral Notre Dame, where she can claim sanctuary. She meets Quasimodo, the deformed, but gentle and kind-spirited bell ringer. When Quasi helps the girl escape, Frollo, mad with passion for her, he goes on a rampage through Paris, in desparate search of her. Phoebus defies Frollo to his face on their search, causing the minister to set the guards on him, with orders to kill him. He escapes, with Esmeralda's help, and she hides him in Quasimodo's bell tower. When he comes to, he and Quasimodo go in search of the gypsy girl, inadvertently leading Frollo and his men to the gypsies' underground hideout, The Court of Miracles. Phoebus leads the gypsies and Parisians in a revolt against the psychotic Frollo, and catches Quasimodo as he falls from the cathedral, and Frollo falls into the river of molten lead below. Phoebus and Esmeralda appear at the entrance of the cathedral victorious, and Quasimodo is welcomed into the public with open arms.
The voice of Phoebus is portrayed by Kevin Kline.
Phoebus can be seen in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as well as the sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II.
Frankly, folks, the character of Phoebus from Victor Hugo's novel was shallow and cocky... If you ask me, it's a good thing Disney gave him a little makeover. He may not be THE hero of this movie, but he definitely has positive and admirable qualities. A sort of standard hero, with common sense, a good heart and a strong will, Phoebus is a good guy with good intentions, and won't do anything when it comes to his standards. This film is a masterpiece, ground-breaking on so many levels. As a musical theater production, currently only in Germany, Phoebus's character has been expanded, including giving his some songs. Here's hoping they bring the thing to the US, or at least release an English recording... You can read more about this film on Quasimodo's page.
Frollo: Look at that disgusting display.
Phoebus: (lifts the visor of his helmet to get a clear view) Yes, sir!
Phoebus: You leave town for a couple of decades and they change everything.
Quasimodo: Is this the Court of Miracles?
Phoebus: Offhand, I'd say it's the Court of Ankle-deep Sewage.
Phoebus: You fight almost as well as a man.
Esmeralda: Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you.
(after the night with the visions)
Phoebus: Good morning, sir. Are you feeling all right?
Frollo: I had a little trouble with the fireplace.
Esmeralda: Shh. Shh. Shh. You'll hide here until you're strong enough to move. (Esmeralda pulls out a flask)
Phoebus: Great. I could use a drink. (Esmeralda pours it on his wound, and Phoebus cries out in pain) Yes! Hmmm. Feels like a 1470 Burgundy. Not a good year.
Phoebus: Why is it, whenever we meet, I end up bleeding?
Esmeralda: You're lucky. That arrow almost pierced your heart.
Phoebus (taking Esmeralda's hand and putting it to his heart): I'm not so sure it didn't...
Phoebus: Speaking of trouble, we should have run into some by now.
Quasimodo: What do you mean?
Phoebus: You know, a guard, a booby trap... (his torchlight promptly goes out, leaving them in darkness) ...or an ambush.
Phoebus: Citizens of Paris! Frollo has persecuted our people, ransacked our city. And now he has declared war on Notre Dame herself! Will we allow it?
Frollo: The sentence for insubordination is death. Such a pity. You threw away a promising career.
Phoebus: Consider it my highest honor, sir.
Frollo: The Gypsies live outside the normal order. Their heathen ways inflame the people's lowest instincts. And they must be stopped.
Phoebus: I was summoned from the wars to capture fortune-tellers and palm readers?
Frollo: Eh, the real war, Captain, is what you see before you. For 20 years I have been taking care of the Gypsies (squashes ants in the ledge) ... one by one. And yet, for all my success, (lifts block to expose a swarm of bugs) ... they have thrived. I believe they have a safe haven within the walls of this very city. A nest, if you will. They call it the Court of Miracles.
Phoebus: What are we going to do about it, sir? (Frollo smashes the block over the bugs) You make your point quite vividly, sir.
Phoebus: (holding up Esmerelda's Map) Good, good good. Ahhhh, great... what is it?
Esmeralda's Animated Heroines page