Not the egregious foul it seemed to be in theaters, Hercules stands up as an entertaining spritzer of an animated feature. The continual peppering of in-jokes and cultural references becomes less irksome on video. That the... more »re's no majesty or awe invested in the beloved Greek legends also seems less of an error. Also on the plus side is the bounciest Alan Menken music since Little Shop of Horrors. With Zeus's blood in his veins, young Hercules's amazing strength makes him an outcast (sorry, that still doesn't fly), so he trains with a satyr named Phil to become a hero. Along the way Herc meets Meg, a common mortal who falls hard for him. They're both against the jocular Hades, who has to destroy Hercules to take over Olympus. The hydra is the computer-animated set piece for this little number, a no-chance attempt to beat that wildebeest herd from The Lion King. --Keith Simanton« less
Nick Alimonos | Tarpon Springs, FL USA | 12/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am in graduate school for my masters in history and I know just about EVERYTHING there is to know about mythology and Greek culture and let me tell you, I LOVED this movie! All the people who hated it because of its inaccuracies should know that not ONE Disney movie has EVER been accurate. Cinderella's step-sisters cut their toes off to fit into the glass slipper. The Little Mermaid is supposed to DIE in the end. There is NO Gaston or dancing pots and pans in Beauty and the Beast. There is no wise-cracking genie in Aladdin. Hercules is NO different. But unlike those movies, the "true" story of Hercules is just plain awful. The story goes like this: Hercules is born after Zeus cheats on his wife. Zeus then has the baby feed on Hera's breast when she is sleeping. Then Hercules in a fit of anger kills his whole family, and spends his whole life killing monsters for his cousin as penance. In the end his second wife gives him a magic coat with which he burns himself to death because he cheated on her. Oh, what a great movie that would make! Honestly, the revamped story is VASTLY superior, and Disney did everything right as far as the geology of Greece, the architecture, the clothing, and many other little anecdotes. That's much more than I can say for any other version of Hercules including that god-awful Kevin Sorbo show. I see the movie more as a humorous look at ALL Greek myths. I think any student of Greek myths would agree. Sure the Gospel music was a bit much, but it fit the story beautifully."
Stylistic & Comical Disney Romp
Bruce Aguilar | Hollywood, CA | 03/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great film for the kids and anyone interested in animation. The use of gospel music was a masterstroke and adds much to the livliness of the film as does the input from Gerald Scarfe, the mastermind behind Pink Floyd's "The Wall". His influence and artistic stlye are seen in every frame of the film and give it the most distinctive style and look of any Disney film since Sleeping Beauty. Highly original and beautiful. I espicially like the character design of Meg, they've made her to look like a walking grecian vase!Story wise we've seen this a million times before, especially in all the recent Disney films. That said though, I still enjoy this film more than Aladdin, it's competitor for the funniest Disney film ever (that was until The Emperor's New Groove knocked them both out of the park). Children are sure to love the outragous humor, bright colors, music and light tone as well as the comical sidekicks (Pain and Panic) and monsters. Frankly, I'm confounded by the negative reviews here. Everything is done top notch except for the predictable Disney formula plot.The DVD presentation is fantastic. The film is presented in widescreen, the colors are bright, blacks are deep and dark and the sound is crisp and clear. You couldn't ask for a better presentation. However, it lacks for extras. There is a 12 minute making of short that is somewhat insightful and a music video of Ricky Martin's Spanish version of "Go The Distance". Also included are a simple triva game and the storybook mode that's found on most Disney DVD's. The crisp bright look of the DVD is enough to warrant a buy for a Disney fan, but add in the gospel music, humor, fantastical setting and daring animation style and you've got yourself a winner for anyone!"
One of the top five best disney films
P. Smith | anonymous | 07/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I've always been a crazy fanatic about greek and roman history and mythology. Even with the gross inaccuracies (sp??) it's maybe my second favorite disney movie beneath the lion king.
The chorus is perfect for classical literature and fits in well. There are a bunch of witty little lines and actions. For instance in one scene hercules is posing with a lion skin over his shoulder, which is obviously Scar from the lion king. The love story is very cute. Phil is a little annoying, but he's always very funny. Alotta greek monsters which are comically animated. Hades is hilarious and my favorite role for James Woods. Pain and Panic are great comic relief. Meg is a beautifully created character and presents a story of redemption. The ending is also very heartwarming.
If you can watch the film without whining and pointing out the mythological flaws (while still knowing enough mythology to understand some of the jokes) I would definitely suggest it."
Great teaching tool
HMS | Vermont | 07/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Precisely BECAUSE of the complete disregard for the original mythology, this movie is a superb teaching tool for middle schoolers. After a unit on Mythology, the kids can identify for themselves the many creative changes Disney opted to make, and even better, they can figure out for themselves why Disney made those choices. It makes the kids savvier media consumers, they enjoy spotting the "mistakes," and the music is terrific and holds their attention. We all enjoy the fact that nearly every time the Muses sing "and that's the Gospel truth!" they're referencing something completely FALSE. And the group scene at the christening makes a great "test" of those symbolic identifiers--the kids like being able to identify the gods and goddesses based on the clues in their appearance."
Zero to Hero
Robin M Goffinet | Richmond, IN United States | 06/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When the evil Hades, god of the underworld, learns that if Zeus and Hera's newborn son Hercules fights his world takeover plan, he will fail, Hades' idiotic helpers Pain and Panic kidnap the tyke in an attempt to turn him mortal and kill him. But before baby Herc could drink the last drop of the potion, a middle aged couple intersept. They take young Hercules in and raise him as their own. The only problem Hercules has is his god like strength, which he retained because he did not drink the last drop of the potion.Hercules grows up feeling like he doesn't belong and goes on a journey to find his true identity. When he discovers that he is the son of Zeus, he is told that the only way he can regain entry to Mount Olympus is to become a true hero.So with the help of Phil, a satyr, and Pegasus he begins training to become a hero. He ends up meeting Meg, a young woman who sold her soul to Hades, and falling in love with her. Meg is torn between loyalty to Hades and her growing love for "Wonder Boy".When Hades strikes a deal with Hercules to give up his strength for 24 hours, Hades frees the Titans to take over Olympus. Due to one technicality in the deal, Hercules regains his strength and defeats Hades. But when he learns of Meg's death, he strikes a deal with Hades to rescue her and take her place in the underworld.A little bit too modern for a story set in Ancient Greece but this movie contains all the essential elements of a true Disney classic."