The son of Zeus is turned into a human and must find a way to be a hero so that he can once again become immortal and return home to Mount Olympus in “Hercules.” Hercules is raised by a couple in ancient Greece, finds Philoctetes to learn how to be a hero, fights Hades and the Titans and is willing to give up his life to save Megara and becomes the hero he needs to be. In the end, he decides that he would rather be on Earth with Meg than an immortal on Mount Olympus, which is the true choice of a hero.
This is one of the most fun films of the Disney Renaissance. The sound of Charlton Heston saying “You Go Girl!” to the Muses when they tell him they are going to take over telling the story of Hercules is hysterical. This film features some of the best songs in the Disney canon in “Hercules,” “Go the Distance,” and “I Won’t Say I’m in Love.” James Woods does a wonderful job as the voice of the villain, Hades; who really sounds menacing when he needs to be and friendly when he needs to be.
My only real complaint about this film is that it sanitizes Greek mythology a little too much. I’ve studied a little bit of Greek mythology and understand that a film meant to be entertaining for kids can’t actually cover the actual story of Zeus. It’s definitely not what you want to show a child. At the same time, making Zeus seem like a devoted family man who was always true to Hera and just wanted his son back on Mount Olympus doesn’t really work when you watch it after studying a little bit of Greek mythology. I admit that I don’t have any suggestions to balance between the two, it just sits with me more as an adult than it did as a child. Granted, I’m sure Disney didn’t care about then and don’t care about it now.
This is one of my favorite Disney films of all time. I love the music. I love the animation. I love the voice acting. I like the story. I used to love the story, but I’ve become jaded over time, I guess. That being said, I still have fun every time I watch it and that’s all I need.
Rating: 4 stars
What do you think of “Hercules?”