|Hercules (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
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Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 12/26/2008 Run time: 92 minutes Rating: G
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
- Witty Disney
An unusually clever and satisfying movie, suitable for both children and literate adults. The plot is a Disney template: Hercules must discover his identity, learn the true nature of heroism, do his parents proud, and win the girl, all of which he achieves by an act of self sacrifice.
A run of the mill coming of age story, then, but several things make the film more than a boring rip-off of ancient themes. First, the drawing has an elegantly fresh look to it, with many witty visual references to Greek vase paintings, sculpture, architectural lines and so forth. There are also quite a few quips and puns for grownups (Thebes is the Big Olive, for example, its residents speaking in New York accents) including plenty of cute jokes about the classics. Pedants can enjoy cataloguing the allusions and "mistakes".
The music is pleasant, a lot of it sung by an updated "chorus" of gospel singers. Finally, the characters are vividly sketched, with Hades really stealing the show. Some of the animated figures amusingly caricature their real life voice actors. (See The Making Of supplement.) The rich background of the myths gives the story more depth and darkness than it would otherwise have.
Bottom line: appeals to a different audience than some Disney favorites, but a very smart production with many original aspects. Too much neglected....more info
- good but not great
It is not easy to actually come to a conclusion about this movie. It does lack the enchantment that it could have had, given the material it was dealing with.
But the first movie in the Disney series to substitute enchantment for cheap humor, peppering in jokes and modern references, was The Sword In The Stone (1963).
The complaints about Hercules are similar to what can be said about The Sword The Stone.
This was not Disney's best offering, but the kids do love it, and they do laugh a lot wile watching it.
The music is good, if not quite like classics such as The Lion King, Prince of Egypt and Anastasia.
The scenes of the battle against the hydra and the Titans, and the singing gospel girls on the vases, where superb. Hercules (Tate Donovan) and Megara (Susan Egan) and Philoctetes (Danny De Vito) where not bad. Zeus, Hera and Hades where portrayed badly. Though that is not the fault of those who read their parts, Rip Torn, Samantha Eggar and James Woods respectively but rather the script and animation.
And I did like the way those three witches with the one eye between them (Hades' minions) where done.
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
I really enjoyed this movie and so did my pre-teens and toddlers. The toddlers are watching it right now. It's funny and bright. You have to watch it at least twice to catch all the funny stuff....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++++.
A) No Importa La Distancia-Music Video with Ricky Martin
B) Film Recommendations
C) The Making of Hercules
- Not so accurate....
Though this movie is great for an hour and forty five minutes of entertainment its accuracy is something from another planet. If your looking to educate your children about the gods this isn't the right movie. However, if you want a little play-off on the gods and goddesses this is perfect. Its packed with humor and adventure, perfect for any ages. If you want some fun stories to read to your child I would recomend the D'AULAIRES book of greek myths.
From a middle school student in MA....more info
- One of the top five best disney films
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....more info
- Zero to Hero
First, let me start off by saying that I am quite aware that this movie very much alters the original story of "Hercules". But I have learned over time that Disney does that with movies. They sugar-coat the story until it is simple and appropriate enough for children to enjoy. They did it with "Pocahontas", "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", and probably some other movies that I don't know of. In the true story of Pocahontas, Pocahontas was just a young teen when she met the older John Smith, and the original "Hunchback of Notre Dame" ended up being one of the most disgusting, disturbing books I've ever read in my life...okay, now that I've said that, on to my review!
"Hercules" is a really good movie! It has comedy, romance, great animation, a good plot, and great songs. "Hercules" used to be one of my favorite movies, even though Hades, God of the Underworld, scared me (I was three or four). I loved the romantic parts with Megara and Hercules, and I thought the part where Zeus makes Pegasus was cute, and...if you like Disney cartoon movies, then I suggest just seeing it for yourself! And don't be surprised if some of the songs get stuck in your head! ...more info
- Good, not great
This was good, not very good, not great, but good. After reading the Amazon review, I was hoping for some great songs, but only one song really did it for me. I was not a fan of the way the characters looked, a style that looked a bit annoying to me, with a modern art type look.
I have to say I did get bored with parts of this movie. Only one animated scene blew me away-- the river of dead souls that Herc had to jump into to try to save his love. Very cool scene, but unfortunately one of the scary scenes that will keep me from showing this movie to my kids until they are older (as with almost all movies, I'd recommend pre-viewing this film because you are the best judge of what your kids can handle with action and scary characters).
I am borderline if I regret purchasing this or not... if only it wasn't so pricey......more info
- Not the best Disney, but it's still excelent.
I am a somewhat animation aficionado and I would like to put some things in pesrpective regarding this movie.
First off, I would like to say to all of you that wrote a review based on the way Disney follow the true story of Hercules: GET A GRIP. Everybody knows already that Disney has the right to take their own approach when it comes to stories. If you want to learn about Greek Mythology, GO TO THE LIBRARY. If you don't like to read, then you can always buy one of those horrible and boring to death movies with real actors. (Kevin Sorbo as Hercules? Talk about imagination!
About the animation, I would like to say that Disney's animators are the some of the best out there. The studio reached its peak when it comes to technique with the Lion King.
The only thing I can criticize about this movie, is the scene with the computer monster. In my opinion, it looked pretty plastic. I would have tried to make it into regular animation, but I understand, they got excited about trying something new. Oh well!
I think this movie is excellent for kids and adults. It's funny, the songs are great, the design of the characters is appealing, it's fast-paced and, why not?, inspiring....more info
- Hercules Review
The only problem with the movie is the sound is messed for the first 5 minutes. It's really quite then all of a sudden it's really loud....more info
I never recieved this product, even though I paid for it. I realize it was just a video tape, but I still should have gotten it by now right? It never got here....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
- The Villain steals the show!
Children of any age can be transported to an era of Gods and Heroes. Great songs with a Gospel feel to them and great references to today's marketting (MCDonalds, American Express etc.). Yet, what really steals the show is Hades.
Not a classic like Pinnochio or Snow White, but a new classic fit for this generation....more info
Our 7 year old daughter loves this movie! It was #1 on her Christmas list as we lost our original. Danny DeVito is hilarious! It's a great little movie about doing your best and "Going the Distance". Great message, great music, subtle adult humor, too....more info
Funny movie but be warned that it has some slow parts that kids might not do well with....more info
- Who put the glad in gladiator?
i love greek mythology , and I don't care how "inaccurate" the story line is!! Its a kids movie!!! Everyone seems to go haywire if anything is inaccurate, please save it for the people who are snobs like you. This movie has an awesome score and is hilarious. I think it's a great adaption of the Hercules Legend, why are you even reading this?!!? go see it!! make your own opinion!! "Whose daring deeds are great theater?"...more info
- hercules movie i payed for and never recieved
I never recieved this movie...and its been a mounth and two ays since my purchase had been made. I hope amozon banns the seller from selling items because all the reviews this person recieved wer awful....more info
- Love this movie...
Price was great etc. The only thing is though it seems like it needs to be a bit enhanced. Worth a watch!...more info
- Great movie, terrible video quality.
This review specifically refers to the Gold Collection DVD. The transfer to DVD is one of the worst I've ever seen - I upgraded from a VHS tape and the video quality of both are about on par. It's watchable and the younger kids may not care, but very disappointing considering what it could have been. If you have a larger TV expect to be underwhelmed....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
- A Walt Disney Masterpiece HERCULES
Disney's 35th animated flick which isn't the best but its but it's pretty good.@ x's funny & it can be boring but it has a great score with great songs.I think Alan Menken is one of the best composers ever.Buy this Limited Issue!...more info