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  • Apr 11, 2009
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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. Comment

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More Hercules reviews
review by . February 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Hercules' Shows Surprising Strength
Hercules is an unexpected surprise.  Besides sporting old-fashioned animation,which is flowing and not rubbery like much of the computer-generated full-feature films; it is a witty, fun, exhuberant, and visually solid experience.  Hercules is given the same, famiiliar story treatment of old Mythology, but this time he is the enemy of a blue-flamed Hades (played expertly by James Woods) as he sorts through love (as presented by Nut Meg) and all the labyrinthine tasks he must provide to …
review by . May 14, 2009
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 …
About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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