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Hercules [1997] (2 discs)

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Director:John Musker
Ron Clements
Writer:Bob Shaw
Don McEnery
Irene Mecchi
John Musker
Ron Clements
Composer:Alan Menken
Songs:David Zippel
Length:93 minutes
(1 hour 33 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Sorting Category:Kids
IMDB Rating:7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:84%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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Classifications:
  • Fantasy
  • Kids
  • Cartoon
  • Comedy
  • Family
  • Action
  • Romance
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: The son of Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.


Reaction: Stylistic and charming. Not my favorite, but still pretty funny.


Personal Rating: 7/10

Select Cast and Crew
John Musker => Director / Writer
Ron Clements => Director / Writer
Bob Shaw => Writer
Don McEnery => Writer
Irene Mecchi => Writer
Alan Menken => Composer
David Zippel => Songs
Amanda Plummer => Clotho (voice)
Bill Farmer => Additional Voices (voice)
Bob Bergen => Additional Voices (voice)
Bobcat Goldthwait => Pain (voice)
Carole Shelley => Lachesis (voice)
Charlton Heston => Narrator (voice)
Cheryl Freeman => Melpomene (voice)
Corey Burton => Burnt Man / Tour Bus Guide (voice) / Titans / End-of-the World Man
Danny DeVito => Phil (voice)
Debi Derryberry => Additional Voices (voice)
Erik von Detten => Additional Voices (voice)
Hal Holbrook => Amphitryon (voice)
Jack Angel => Additional Voices (voice)
James Woods => Hades (voice)
Jan Rabson => Additional Voices (voice)
Jim Cummings => Elderly Thebian (voice) / Nessus the River Centaur / Tall Thebian
Josh Keaton => Young Hercules (voice)
Kathleen Freeman => Heavyset Woman (voice)
Keith David => Apollo the Sun God (voice)
LaChanze => Terpsichore (voice)
Lillias White => Calliope (voice)
Mary Kay Bergman => Water Nymph / Wood Nymph / Earthquake Lady / Teenage Girls (voice) / Earth Nymph
Matt Frewer => Panic (voice)
Mickie McGowan => Additional Voices (voice)
Paddi Edwards => Atropos (voice)
Patrick Pinney => Cyclops (voice)
Paul Shaffer => Hermes (voice)
Phil Proctor => Additional Voices (voice)
Rip Torn => Zeus (voice)
Rodger Bumpass => Additional Voices (voice)
Roger Bart => Young Hercules (singing voice)
Roz Ryan => Thalia (voice)
Samantha Eggar => Hera (voice)
Sherry Lynn => Additional Voices (voice)
Susan Egan => Meg (voice)
Tate Donovan => Hercules (voice)
Vanéese Y. Thomas => Clio (voice)
Wayne Knight => Demetrius the Pot Maker (voice)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • [?] Terrence Mann, Michael Ironside and Martin Landau auditioned for the role of Hades.
  • Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson who were both considered for the role of Hades had previously costarred in Tim Burton's Batman as Batman (Keaton) and Joker (Nicholson). Coincidentally, James Woods was also a candidate for the role of The Joker. Danny DeVito played the Penguin in Batman Returns.
  • The role of Hades is one of James Woods' all-time favorite characters. So much so, any time Disney needs him to reprise the character for any cartoon show and video game, such as [Hercules: The Series] or Kingdom Hearts, he has agreed to do so. When this film was about to go over-budget, he offered to refund his salary and finish the film for free. Disney decided against this, and finished the film anyway.
  • Hades was scripted as a slow, menacing character until James Woods took the role and impressed the crew with his rapid-fire style. Even after the script was rewritten, Woods ad-libbed many lines.
  • When Phil and Hercules first enter Phil's hut, Hercules bangs his head on what Phil tells him is the mast of the Argo. In Greek mythology, Jason, the captain of the Argo, was killed when the mast hit his head. In the myths, Hercules was one of the heroes/sailors on the Argo.
  • In Greek mythology, there were nine Muses. The five shown here are: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), and Thalia (comedy).
  • On his way to Thebes, Hercules meets Megara after he saves her from the River Guardian, Nessos. While this is not the story of how Hercules came to know Megara in Greek legend, it IS (almost exactly) how he came to know his second wife, Deianira.
  • The "Air Herc" sandals brand is a reference to the Air Jordan footwear line. Moreover, the Hercules mosaic showing Hercules running resembles an actual Nike print ad. Nike was the Greek goddess who personified triumph and inspired the shoe company's name.
  • Phil cleans himself up using a lion's skin. The skin once belonged to Scar from The Lion King (1994).
  • While the movie is about Greek myths, Hercules is actually the protagonist's Roman name. Heracles is his Greek name.
  • [?] The Spice Girls were originally approached to portray the Muses following an invitation to sing one of the songs, but declined the offer due to scheduling conflicts.
  • The film's interpretation of the character of Hades is said to be based on [?] Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, who left the Walt Disney Company on bad terms to form DreamWorks Pictures.
  • The role of Pain was written with Bobcat Goldthwait in mind, although the actor confessed he still had to audition for the role despite playing himself.
  • Jack Nicholson, Willem Dafoe, and David Bowie were all considered for the voice of Hades. John Lithgow was originally cast as Hades and recorded all of the dialogue, but was ultimately replaced with James Woods in the final film.
  • The film was released due to backlash against the previous two Disney releases of Pocahontas (1995) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). The major criticisms of the two films where that they were "too dark" and dealt with "serious issues" that Disney shouldn't be addressing in their animated films. Hercules (1997) was released to lighten things up.
  • In the version for Latin America, the voice of Hercules is played by [?] Ricky Martin and Megara is voiced by singer [?] Tatiana.
  • Danny DeVito declined to audition for Phil, so Edward Asner, Ernest Borgnine, and [?] Dick Latessa were brought in to read for the part. After Red Buttons had auditioned, he left stating "I know what you're gonna do. You're gonna give this part to Danny DeVito!" Shortly after, the directors and producer [?] Alice Dewey Goldstone approached DeVito at a pasta lunch during the filming of Matilda (1996), where DeVito signed on to the role.
  • In mythology, Heracles (the Greek name of Hercules) is the son of Zeus. Zeus is the brother of Poseidon. Poseidon has a son named Triton. In The Little Mermaid (1989) one of Triton's children is Ariel, making the two Disney heroes first cousins once removed.
  • During Hercules' training montage, Phil, Pegasus, and Hercules balance on logs at a beach. This is a reference to a training exercise used by Mr Miyagi and Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid (1984).
  • The Greek god Hades was not evil - in fact, he was one of the more personable deities of Ancient Greece, despite his job as lord of the dead. However, many other versions (for instance Clash of Titans) depict him as a villain, like the Disney version. While in Rick Riordan's novels like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, he is adept to bargains and holds a slight, brotherly spite over Zeus that he does not act upon at least not in an villainous fashion. Another detail regarding Hades that was left out of the film was that he was married to Persephone, the goddess of spring. In addition to this, Hades and Persephone were said to genuinely love one another; Persephone helped govern the job of ruling the Underworld when she was with him and in turn Hades was fiercely loyal to her and hated seeing her sad.
  • In the Greek Myths, the Hydra when one head is cut off, two more grow back, not three as seen in the movie. Also in the Myths, Heracles is the Greek version while Hercules is Roman. The name Heracles is given to him to try and please Hera.
  • John Goodman, Jim Belushi, Jeffrey Tambor, Gregory Peck, and Patrick Stewart were all considered for the role of Zeus. All of them but Gregory Peck would later however star in Future Disney Animated Films: -John Goodman would voice Pacha in The Emperor's New Groove (2000), James P. Sullivan in Monsters Inc (2001), Baloo in Jungle Book 2, and Big Daddy in The Princess and the Frog (2009), which is also directed by John Musker & Ron Clements. -Patrick Stewart would voice Mr. Woolensworth the Sheep in Chicken Little (2005). -Jim Belushi would voice Benny the Squirrel in The Wild (2006). - Jeffrey Tambor would voice the Big Nose Thug in Tangled (2010). John Goodman and Tate Donovan (voice of Hercules) would appear together in Argo (2012)
  • The project was originally going to be an adaptation of [?] Homer's Odyssey. It got scrapped because it didn't fit the animated-comedy formula Disney had in mind for Hercules.
  • Donny Osmond originally auditioned as the speaking voice of the title character, but he was turned down because his voice was considered too deep.
  • According to Greek mythology, Heracles' actual mother was Alcmene not Hera.
  • On July 5, 2019, it was reported that Walt Disney Pictures is developing a live-action remake of Hercules, with the studio reportedly considering Alexander Skarsgård for the title role, and considering "outside the box" directors and writers for the film, based on the box office success of Guy Ritchie's 2019 live-action remake of Aladdin.
  • Zeus is voiced by Rip Torn, who is the husband of Geraldine Page, the voice of Madame Medusa in The Rescuers (1977), another Disney animated film released 20 years prior.
  • James Coburn, Kelsey Grammer, Steve Buscemi, Jason Lee, Phil Hartman, Michael Keaton, Michael Ironside, Benjamin Bratt, Martin Landau, Ned Beatty, [?] Terrence Mann, Christopher Plummer, Ron Silver, Kevin Spacey, Bill Hunter, and [?] Rod Steiger auditioned for Hades. Ten of these actors that auditioned would later get parts in Pixar Films.
  • The first theatrically released animated film for Keith David, later he'd go onto voice one of the council members in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), the cat in Coraline (2009), Dr Facilier in The Princess and the Frog (2009), and Chief Broadbeak the Turkey in Free Birds (2013).