“Hercules” (1997)

Hercules (1997) movie review


Grade: B+

For fans of myths and monsters, Disney’s Hercules is a fun animated adventure that provides good songs and cheerful thrills. A few more notes on Hercules:

  • Directing – Several of the characters in Hercules are expertly drawn (e.g., the flaming blue Hades, the frightening corpses known as the Fates, the red-headed femme fatale Meg), but many of the background settings do not feature Disney’s usually vivid attention to detail.
  • Acting – Just like the animation, some of the voice cast is excellent (notably Danny DeVito as Phil, Susan Egan as Meg and James Woods as Hades). The rest of the voice cast is merely decent. Unfortunately, Hercules (in both voice and storyline) is the least interesting character in the movie.
  • Writing – A loose adaptation of the most famous ancient Greek myth, Hercules follows our favorite demigod as he goes from zero to hero. The various action vignettes are what drive the film, but there isn’t much in the way of valuable lessons learned. Why should Herc aspire to join his absentee father Zeus on Mount Olympus when an earthbound satyr named Phil has been a better parent all along?
  • Music – Utilizing a Gospel-tinged Greek chorus as its framing device, Hercules features several catchy songs, typical of the ’90s Disney renaissance. I thoroughly enjoy Phil’s comedic “One Last Hope” and Meg’s virtuoso vocal “I Won’t Say (I’m in Love).”
  • Ending (SPOILERS) – Hades is defeated, Hercules saves the day, he falls in love, all is well, etc. The movie ends exactly as predicted, but doesn’t it all feel just a tad bit underwhelming when compared to previous Herculean tasks like slaying the Hydra? Oh well.
  • Quote“Dreams are for rookies.” – Phil

“Hercules” (1997)

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