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Hercules (A Walt Disney Masterpiece) [VHS]
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Product Description

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 there'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

Customer Reviews:

  • hercules
    i loved this movie when i was little, so i had to get it on dvd to watch again....more info
  • Another great one from Disney
    Very well done. I enjoyed the way the storyline was written (which differe ENORMOUSLY from the myth, out of necessity) and there are some fun hidden gags in the dialog. I thought Danny DeVito's voicework in this film was perfect. Overall, a lot of fun....more info
  • Zero to hero
    Disney released its 35th full-length film in early 1997 and much like all Disney films be prepared for musical numbers to tell the story.....but they are done by Alan Menken....so it isn't all that bad. The plot is set early in the film: Hades wishes to over-throw Mt. Olympus and imprison the legendary gods that live atop the mystical mountain. So Hades summons the sisters of fate to predict the outcome - their forecast is anything but reassuring. A child will be born on Olympus that will defeat Hades' plot - if Hercules fights Hades will lose. So Hades sends his to loyal henchmen, Pain and Panic, to steal the baby from Zeus and feed him an elixir that will remove the young Hercules' godhood and allow Hades to kill the newborn. Well, in typical style, Pain and Panic, botch the assignment and Hercules retains his godly strength. This is a key event in the movie....since it is Hercules' strength the makes him an outcast among the mortals.....and during his teenage years he heads toward the Temple of Zeus looking for answers. This is when the young Herc learns of his true heritage....but before he can join his father on Olympus, Hercules must become a true hero. To aide him, Zeus returns his companion Pegasus, a flying white steed and tells him to find Philoctetes.

    After receiving these instructions, Hercules seeks out the guidance of Philoctetes - the trainer of heroes. Shortly after his departure, Hercules finds a satyr spying on two wood nymphs - wouldn't you know it, this peeping Phil is the goatman he's been looking for. After a little encouragement from Zeus, Phil accepts the young student as his pupil - this is no small task, however, Hercules may have monstrous strength, but he's as coordinated as a dancer with two left feet. After Hercs' training we meet another key character in the film, Megara, who made a deal with Hades that allows him to keep her soul. Stumbling upon the River Guardian, Herc takes it upon himself to rescue this damsel in distress. We soon learn that this was no chance meeting.....Hades has made another deal with Meg - if she can manipulate Herc...Hades will release her soul - but this path soon finds a fork in the road when Meg and Herc fall in love.....this becomes a major problem since the deadline to attack Olympus is drawing near. This sets up the next key event in the movie....Hades schemes up a dubious plot that uses Meg's own life as bait to force Hercules to relinquish his strength for twenty four hours. The two strike the deal but with one stipulation: if Meg gets hurt Hercules will regain his strength. I don't think I'll go any further...I don't want to spoil the film for those who haven't seen it....and if your anticipation levels are high, the rest of the film promises to raise them even more. Will Meg get hurt and allow Hercules to regain his strength? Will Hades defeat the twelve gods of Olympus? Will the film end with a happily ever after? ...more info
  • Loved it!
    The DVD I purchased was in great condition! I've always loved this film and I'm so happy to have it as a part of my collection!...more info
  • Good Fun - the Kids and I Liked It
    This is a great show and very entertaining. The story isn't the Greek classic, but it's a fine riff on it. The songs are good, and they grow on you as you watch. I take issue with the reviewer who thought there was gratuitous sexuality in the Meg character - it's just a cartoon, for pete's sake.

    Like some other reviewers, I was also annoyed with Michael Bolton singing "Go The Distance" over the end credits, but this DVD has a music video of the Spanish language version, "No Importa La Distancia," sung by Ricky Martin, and it is killer! This one is well worth the money!...more info
  • Not suitable for younger children
    As was pointed out in a recent Journal of the American Medical Association some G rated films are entirely too violent. This is one of them. It is not suitable for younger children at all. There are complicated themes of Hades (Hell), evil, and about one quarter of it is pure violence. On top of all of that it is not even good. It's clunky, and lacks a truely engaging story. Some of the voices in the film are wickedly annoying, though I thought James Woods wasn't bad....more info
  • The legend reworked...
    To be fair, the legends of Herakles, as they were originally written, have little to do with this movie, but maybe that's for the best. Having grown up on Superman, Batman and the Justice League, I have a hard time calling a person like Herakles a hero. In the original legends, he was a warrior, but also a brute who eventually wound up killing his wife and children in a fit of rage. He also wasn't, as far as I can tell, as strong as in this version.
    Therefore, interpretations of Herakles are, I think, to be judged not on whether or not they deviate from the legend, but on where and why.
    Disney has attempted to take Herakles (or Hercules, in the Roman) and make it a story about a true hero, and a perfect one at that. There's nothing I like more than perfect heroes. They inspire me. Conceptually, I like the idea.
    Instead of Herakles being the illegitimate son of Zeus and a mortal woman, he's conceived in love by Zeus and Hera and turned mortal by a potion. Not bad. As changes go, it works better than most.
    Herc meets Meg at the beginning of his hero carreer and falls instantly in love with her and she with him (another deviation from the legend, and a very good improvement.) Of course, because Hera is his mother in this version, she can't be Herc's enemy, so they make his opponent Hades; lord of the dead, which could be worse, as changes go. I've never seen Hades as being all that bad of a guy, but that's how it goes. Then there's the Hydra, which is, if anything, much larger and more powerful than it was originally, so that's good too. Aside from this, however, I have to say I was disappointed with most of the changes.
    The titans, to start with, were underplayed considerably. It might have been premature to mention that they were Zeus' predecessors, but they could at least have given them powers similar to what they actually had, and a roughly-similar appearance. Oceanus, for example, lashing out with blasts of water from his hands like a fire hose, or Cronos reversing the movements of his olympian enemies would have made for an excellent action sequence, particularly since Hercules didn't beat the titans alone in the original stories, nor does it make sense that he should in this one (grabbing a whirlwind? Come ON now.)
    I actually didn't mind Hades' used-car-salesman demeanor all that much, though I didn't see a reason why he should have flame-based powers when that's clearly Apollo's territory. Further, I thought most of the Gods and Muses were given no credit at all in terms of their innately glorious nature.
    Why is this the case? I think Disney made the mistake, in this film, of not just trying to make the legends clean, but FUN as well, and there's nothing fun about war. I'm not saying they couldn't have made the concept work. In fact, I'm saying they could have made it work if they'd toned down the comedy and given the characters a bit of respect (Justice League style.)
    Still, for what it's worth, this is one of the few movies left in the world that isn't afraid to dwell on the concept of a hero, and for that it's worth at least one viewing. Rent it from your local video store, in my opinion, before you make your decision....more info
  • Amazing...
    And That's The Gospel Truth.

    I'm a big fan of all the Disney movies. The Disney Corporation has for just under a century, entertained generations with their loveable, funny and downright memorable characters and films. Historically, most people will prefer the old Disney film to the modern movies, but there's no doubting they still have their place.

    Hercules was released during the rebirth of Disney ignited by the entirely computer animated Toy Story thanks to its collaboration with Pixar. You will be forgiven for thinking that Disney may have taken a bit of a step back reverting to the traditional hand drawn animation, but I'm sure there's a reason for that and it isn't entirely in 2D drawn animation. This particular movie was part of the Disney renaissance in which Disney reverted back to its classic ways of making movies based on classic characters and stories. Along with Hercules, other films in the Disney Renaissance were The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Mulan amongst others.

    The plot tells of the ancient Greek myth of son of Zeus, Hercules, half God and half mortal. On his birth, the bitter and evil brother of Zeus, Hades lord of the Underworld is forging a plan to become ruler of all the Gods. He is approached by the fates who tell him that he will win in his plan as long as Hercules does not interfere. Because of this, Hades sends his stupid minions, pain and panic, to kidnap baby Hercules and feed him a potion that will turn him mortal, once he's mortal the plan is then to kill him. All does not go according to plan as Hercules doesn't drink every last drop of the potion and playfully disposes of pain and panic. Alone and stranded on Earth, Hercules is adopted to be brought up as a mortal.

    We fast forward to his teenage years and Hercules is a klutz struggling with his own sense of identity and due to his god like strength, he simply doesn't fit in. He is told by his adoptive parents about his relation to the Gods and Hercules goes on a quest to find his true calling and become a true hero. Along the way, he meets his trainer, Philoctetes, a feisty girl by the name of Megara and fights the harrowing Hydra. These people all shape the man he eventually becomes to create a magnificent Disney classic about self discovery.

    The animation is very unique in terms of drawing style and the flowing of lines and the brightness of the colours. It is drawn in the style of the paintings on the side of an Ancient Greek vase. The introduction of the Muses to sing in particular scenes add a musical individuality not seen before in a Disney movie. There is a combination of CG animation and 2D animation to make the experience more realistic and immersive, especially in the case of the fight between Hercules and the Hydra. The voice casting is absolutely perfect, with the exception of Hercules himself as I wasn't crazy about whoever voiced him. James Woods as Hades is almost perfect in him putting across the touchy lord of the Underworld prone to unpredictable outbursts of anger. Susan Egan as Megara is also a perfect match even though I'm not familiar with Egan's past or even current work. Of course, the real voicing legend is Danny DeVito is perfect for the touchy, down on his luck Philoctetes.

    It's overall an absolutely amazing film and I was 11 years old when I first saw it. I'm now 22 and I reminisce about the first time I saw it and how much I appreciate it. If you're a parent, then this is a good film to introduce to your kids as although it's not in the slightest bit historically accurate, it's still a great way to introduce a new generation to Greek Mythology. The messages conveyed within are that of discovering ones own identity and remaining true to yourself and those you care about. It conveys this message with such subtlety that an adult can watch it and just enjoy the odd sly adult joke without feeling a bit patronised....more info
  • Disney does its magic!
    Another Disney classic just like Pocahondas, Shrek, Snow white, Alandin and Lion King. These are cartoon figures and films that are never forgoten....more info
  • A Disney View of Greek Mythology
    Disney has tackled Greek mythology before, most notably in "Fantasia." However, in this feature film Disney combines a lot of humor with a tale inspired by the story of Hercules to create a new fantasy.

    We meet baby Hercules at the beginning of the movie. We also meet Hades, wonderfully voiced by James Woods. Hades is upset because he must remain in the underworld rather than being on Mount Olympus with the other Greek gods. Hades manages to have his henchmen Pain (Bob Goldthwait) and Panic (Matt Frewer) give Hercules a potion that removes nearly all of Hercules' immortality. Unfortunately for Hades, Pain and Panic fail to eliminate baby Hercules, who ends up being cared for by mortals.

    Hercules (voiced by Tate Donovan) grows up and becomes a menace because he is unable to control his great strength. Philoctetes (Danny De Vito) mentors Hercules with the intent of turning him into a hero. Hercules soon encounters beautiful Megara (Susan Egan), unaware that she is actually working for Hades.

    The plot moves along generally quickly, with Meg conflicted between her debt to Hades and her liking and then love of Hercules. As with the best Disney movies, it is the conflict between love and evil that forms the clever and enjoyable end of this movie.

    This animated movie boasts an all-star cast in addition to those actors listed above. Charlton Heston is the narrator. Amanda Plummer is the voice of one of the Fates. Rip Torn voices Zeus, Hercules' father. Other voices include Paul Shaffer, Hal Holbrook, and Barbara Barrie.

    This movie received 8 awards and another 10 award nominations, one of which was an Oscar nomination.

    My only complaint is that the Muses were more filler than anything. Disney Studios could have eliminated the Muses and the movie would have lost nothing. Indeed, the movie might have moved along quicker.

    I found this film generally enjoyable and I am glad to have it in my collection. I think that people who enjoyed "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" will probably find this movie similarly enjoyable. Enjoy!
    ...more info
  • Hercules-The Musical
    Hercules is one hour and thirty-three minutes and was released on June 27, 1997. This was one of the few animated movies not based on any fictional story, but on Greek Mythology. The story begins with the party Zeus and Hera giving a party to the birth of their son Hercules. Later that evening, Pain and Panic kidnaps Hercules and steal them to the mortal world and try to make him human so they can kill him. Pain and Panic work for Hades who is trying to overthrow Mount Olympus. They fail in their attempt to kill him and Hercules is turned into a human with only his strength left in him. He is found and adopted by Amphitryon and Alcmene. Hercules grows up to be a young man and is somewhat of an outcast do to his strength. Amphitryon and Alcmene one evening tell Hercules the truth and he sets off to find his father, Zeus. Zeus tells Hercules that the only way to become a god again is to prove himself a real hero and only then would he be allow to enter Mount Olympus. Zeus tells Hercules to seek out Philoctetes, a trainer of heroes. Phil is reluctant at first, but in the ends he trains Hercules to become a Hero. Hercules first fights a centaur in order to rescue Megara. Phil, Hercules, and Pegasus (a winged horse) reached Thebes. Hercules fights off the Hydra sent by Hades to kill him. After a lengthy battle with the Hydra, Hercules wins the fight. Hades would continue to send one monster after another to kill Hercules, but all of the monsters fail. The people of Thebes think of Hercules as a Hero. When Hercules confronts his father as to why he is still not a god, Zeus tells him that a true hero comes from the heart. Hades sends Megara after Hercules to try to find his true weakness, when she tells Hades that he has none, Hades sets the wheels in motion. Hades shows himself to Hercules and tells him that he has a deal for him. If Hercules would give up his strength for twenty-four hours he would allow Megara her freedom. Hercules reluctantly agrees only if no harm comes to Megara. Hades agrees to the deal and Hercules strength is gone. Hades begins his take over on Mount Olympus along with the Titans. During a fight with one of the Titans, Megara is seriously injured and Hercules regains his strength. Phil stays with Megara, while Hercules heads to Mount Olympus to free the gods and fight Hades and the Titans. Hades is defeated and retreats back to the underworld knowing that Megara is dying. When Hercules gets back to Megara, it is too late. Hercules heads toward the underworld and demands Megara soul back. Hades tells Hercules that Megara soul is trapped in the River Styx. Hercules strikes a deal with Hades his own soul for her. Hades agrees and tells Hercules that he must retrieve Megara soul himself, leaving out the part that he must be dead first to enter. Hercules enters the River Styx and begins to age. While aging, he starts to become immortal and rescues Megara. Hercules emerges from the River Styx (show his youthful self) with Megara and knocks Hades into the River Styx where the dead attack him. Hercules returns Megara soul to her body and lives again. A cloud lifts Hercules and Megara to Mount Olympus where Zeus tells him that he is a real hero. In the end Hercules gives up being a god for a life of a mortal to be with Megara. Hercules is done in a style of a musical almost, which is a change of pace. Hercules gets an AAAA++++.

    Chapter Selections
    Bonus Material
    A) No Importa La Distancia-Music Video with Ricky Martin
    B) Film Recommendations
    C) The Making of Hercules
    Set Up
    Play...more info
  • Not the real Hercules
    I know that this movie is a great hit and all that blabber, but they took too much away from the real myth of hercules. In this film he is quite smart and intellegent, but in the myth that told his truth: he was a dum brute who killed Meg resulting in to the twelve labors of hercules, wich we get a glympse of in the song: Zero to Hero. I know that if a child knew the truth he would get a terrible shock, but its better that they know the truth about their hero ...more info
  • Love It!
    I'm nineteen years old... and I STILL love Disney, this movie especially. Historical re-tellings are the best Disney movies. They provide a bit of culture to the audience, whom are usually children. It's a great way to sneak education into their entertainment. While the history isn't always exactly accurate, or the re-telling of the myth... it still has value. Ignore the poo-pooing of the accuracy and animation buffs. IT'S A CARTOON. For entertainment! Lighten up, folks. Hercules gives us the buildings-roman part of the story and is obviously the main focus... but really, the other characters are the best. Meg is wise-cracking and street-smart, Hades is smooth-talking and evil, Phil is a crabby yet lovable mentor, the Muses are sexy and snappy, and the Fates and that eyeball are way too cool. This movie is a bit gorey and I wouldn't recommend it for young-young children, older ones would probably get a kick out it. This movie is a bit gorey and I wouldn't recommend it for young-young children, but the older ones would probably get a kick out it. ...more info
  • Hercules
    This movie is one of the best Disney movies created in animation. First off, Megara was there making all the other Disney Heroines cower at her feet because she is more tough and witty then they would ever be, and she is so different from all of them. Sure, this story is totally off the original myth, but it teaches kids to compare and contrast from the real thing if you put it that way. I absolutly love the style of music, with the Muses and all the other inspirational songs such as Go the Distance. I Won't Say (I'm in Love) was sung beautifully by Susan Egan. Her voice brought out the attitude and sass in Meg, and how perfect the hunky naiveness in Hercules is. The romance between those two is amazing, better then other Disney Classics. The colors and animation is one of the best seen, and I have to say nods to Disney on this. It's a true shame, it didn't get more welcoming then it should have. Way to skip it's tenth annaversary in 2007 also Disney, no offense. But come on, this DVD needs more EXTRAS!!!!!!! ...more info
  • Hercules (Disney gold Classic Collection)
    The animation is very good & detailed. The story has a lot of action. It is a good hero movie with a great romance. There is lot of comedy in it. The voices of some of the characters are well known so it is great to listen to them. It is quite easy to watch many times. My boys have watched it so many times that they can quote whole scenes by heart. The joy my boys have gotten from watching it has made it a worth while purchase.
    DLP...more info
  • Disney Goofed!
    I can't tell the number of hours my daughter and I sat in our big chair with a big bowl of pop-corn watching and rewatching this movie. She always loved it at five and, now at twelve, she still does.

    Some people pick this movie apart as if it is supposed to be somehow "accurate" to the mythology. Sheesh! It's a disney film. Just enjoy the beautiful colors, more than tolerable story line, exceptional music and campy laughs. I did rewatching it for the first time on dvd.

    One final point: Disney goofed in that they being one of the most left-wing liberal organizations out there mistakenly presented the Gospel to the world in cartoon allegory.

    Think about it: The only Son of the Most High becomes human, and dwells among men, "discovers" himself, all the while perfoming a myriad miraculous feats. How does he become a "True Hero"? By sacrificing himself for the one that he loves...His bride.

    Alright, it's a bit of a stretch and surely unintentional, but it still works. It's a beautiful thing!
    ...more info
  • A Great Disney Version Of The Greek Myth
    This as most of you will know is the story of a half man, half god Hercules but with a unique twist that only Disney can provide for the whole family to enjoy.
    For the Disney movie Hercules is the born son of Zeus who is kidnapped by the henchmen of Hades lord of the underworld to remove Hercules god powers, making him mortal and then killing Hercules but the henchmen don't do the job properly and instead of killing Herc they just remove his god like immortality but Herc still keeps his god like strength and as a young baby he fights off the henchmen.
    Because Hercules loses his immortality he is no longer a full god and cannot return to the heavens with his real parents so Hercules is adopted by a family on Earth.
    The adventure begins from there and i don't wanna spoil anything for you so i'll just say that this is an incredible Disney favourite of mine and that is down to the superb animation, fun script and great music inbetween.
    Get this movie it is truly great....more info