Animation | Comedy | Fantasy | Musical
John Musker | Ron Clements
Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Frank Welker, Rip Torn, Lillias White, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Patrick Pinney, Hal Holbrook, Amanda Plummer, Carole Shelley, Paddi Edwards, Paul Shaffer, Jim Cummings, Charlton Heston
Newborn Hercules (Tate Donovan), the son of Zeus (Rip Torn), is turned into a half-god, half-mortal by Hades (James Woods), the God of the Underworld, and he's raised by mortals. Years later, he has become a strong young man who is confused about where he belongs when he finds out he is the son of a God and must become a true hero to reclaim his immortality.
Growing up I was one of those kids really into mythology, not any mythology, but Greek mythology, and rewatching "Hercules" made me realise it is the reason for that. I mean, this film is so fun and enjoyable it's impossible not to fall in love with mythology after watching it.
The story is pretty much like any other Disney film - therefore it's predictable - with its main character looking for his place in life and stuff like that, but the dysfunctional Olympian family makes it work. Of course it is not mythologically accurate, but it's definitely a different, and fun way to arouse children's interest towards this subject.
Just like any other Disney movie, this film's strength lays in its characters. Maybe scholars were offended by it - and frankly I don't care -, but this naive and parodic version of Hercules integrates seamlessly with the humour and immediately inspires sympathy. But he is not by far the most interesting character, that role goes to Phil who is simply hilarious, Hades who makes for a great villain, and Megara, a sassy, cynical and sexy woman who provides the film with an independent heroine.
The other important aspect of the film is obviously the music. It is mainly Gospel. Now, I know it doesn't exactly fit into this film, but it's still amazing and catchy, and those five Muses singing and dancing were actually my favourite thing about this movie when I was a kid. And they still kinda are.
On the other hand there's the colourful animation that fits the film beautifully because it's done like Greek art.