Hercules (1997 film)

Hercules
Directed byRon Clements
John Musker
Produced byRon Clements
John Musker
Alice Dewey
Written byRon Clements
John Musker
Barry Johnson
StarringTate Donovan
Josh Keaton
Roger Bart
Danny DeVito
James Woods
Susan Egan
Rip Torn
Music byAlan Menken
Distributed byWalt Disney Pictures
Release date(s)June 15, 1997
Running time92 minutes
Country United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$70,000,000
Gross revenue$250,700,000
Followed by (1998)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile


Hercules is a 1997 animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 14, 1997. The thirty-fifth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, the film was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, and stars the voices of Tate Donovan, Rip Torn, Susan Egan, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Samantha Eggar, Josh Keaton, Lillias White, Paul Shaffer and Charlton Heston. The movie depicts the adventures of Heracles (known in the movie by his Roman name, Hercules), the son of Zeus, in Greek mythology. The storyline also draws much of its inspiration from Superman, as well as The Karate Kid and Rocky. Though Hercules did not match its predecessors, it still took over $99 million in domestic revenues[1] and over $252,700,000 worldwide. The movie was later followed by , focusing on Hercules during his time at the Prometheus academy and , a direct-to-video movie. Hercules was the successor to the fairly adult The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This film is yet to receive an updated DVD release which comes to a surprise being that it was a commercial success.

Summary

A demigod, mortalized by Hades and his minions as an infant, tries to find what it takes to be a true hero in order to regain immortality and his rightful place among the gods.

Overview

In the film, Hercules is the son of Zeus and Hera. In the Greek myth, Heracles (or Herakles) is the son of Zeus and a mortal, earth-born woman, Alcmene. Alcmene and her husband, Amphitryon, appear in the Disney's Hercules version, as Hercules's "foster parents", like Jonathan and Martha Kent to Superman.

Hades, voiced by James Woods, is cast as the villain, although he more closely resembles the Christian devil than the Greek god of the underworld, who has never been depicted as particularly evil, but more as cold and unfeeling, feared by gods and men alike, yet still just. This idea is similar to that of the Hades of the Marvel Universe, who wanted to overthrow Zeus and was an ambitious, scheming god. In the movie Hades is a fast-talking, manipulative deal maker with a fiery (literally) temper, who hates his job as lord of the underworld and plots to overthrow Zeus.

Disney took considerable liberties with the "Hercules" myths, since some of the original material and characters were deemed inappropriate for younger viewers by the Disney studios moral standards, such as Hercules being conceived through a god posing as a mortal woman's husband, and of his stepmother Hera's attempts to kill him. Disney also made use of stereotypes when designing the look of the characters, particularly the gods, such as depicting the Moirae as demonic hags (merging them with the Graeae), the Muses as divas, and the Titans as brutish giants.

Due to the name's prominence in Western culture, they went with the Latin Hercules rather than the actual Greek Herakles (Ἡρακλῆς).

The Disney version of Hercules has almost nothing to do with the Heracles myths, and should not be regarded as the actual stories about the mythological hero; rather, it is a spin on the character and the culture of ancient Greece. (The film does contain a brief reference to The Twelve Labors and other myths pertaining to the character, however, such as the Erymanthian Boar. In the movie, Hades sends these monsters to him, rather than their being encountered as they are in the myths). Some other Greek myths are appropriated, as well. One is the myth of Bellerophon, from which was taken the winged horse Pegasus and the scene where Hercules is swallowed by the Hydra (for Perseus it was the dragon Cetus) and cuts his way out. Another is the myth of Orpheus, who goes to the underworld to try to bring back his love, Eurydice. The most obvious is when Hercules is fighting a titanic battle with the Hydra, a lizard-like monster who regrows three heads for every one severed. According to Apollodorus it regrows two heads instead of three.

Because noted British caricaturist Gerald Scarfe (who contributed the animated segments for the film adaptation of Pink Floyd's album "The Wall") designed the characters, the film has a quirky visual style unusual in recent Disney films.

Plot

The film begins with the five muses "Goddesses of the arts and proclaimers of heros" telling the story of how the almighty Zeus came to power and prevented the monstrous Titans from ruling the world ("The Gospel Truth"). This leads to the day Hercules is born to Zeus and Hera, much to the pleasure of the other gods... all except Hades, who receives word from the Fates that Hercules will one day rise to power and prevent Hades from taking control of the world. He sends his minions, Pain and Panic, to kidnap Hercules and feed him a potion that will strip him of his immortality; however, they are interrupted and, while Hercules becomes mortal, he retains his god-like strength.

Hercules grows up to be a misfit, challenged by his incredible strength and unable to fit in with other people. His adoptive parents finally tell him that he was once a son of the gods and that he must go to his father, Zeus ("Go the Distance"). Zeus tells him that he must prove himself a true hero before he can join the others gods on Mount Olympus. Along with his flying horse Pegasus, Hercules goes to Phil, an unhappy satyr who has failed to train a true hero yet; he decides to take on Hercules as his final attempt ("One Last Hope").

After training with Phil, the three of them attempt to save Meg, a damsel in distress, from a centaur. A smitten Hercules barely succeeds and Meg returns to the forest, where she is revealed to be a negative girl who sold her soul to Hades in order to save her lover's life; in turn, her lover abandoned her and now Meg must do Hades favors in order to avoid an eternity in the underworld. When Hades learns that Hercules is alive, he is enraged and plots to murder him again.

When Hercules tries to prove himself a Hero at Thebes, Hades sends to Hydra to kill him. After a lengthy battle, he prevails by using his strength to cause a landslide. He soon becomes a national, multi-million-dollar celebrity as a result ("Zero to Hero"). Realizing that his plans are jeopardized, Hades sends Meg out to discover Hercules' weaknesses, promising her freedom in return. Hercules is disappointed to learn that he isn't really a hero and then spends the day with Meg, who finds herself falling in love again ("I Won't Say I'm in Love"). When Hades intervenes, she turns from him, much to his dismay.

Phil learns of Meg's involvement with Hades and tries to warn Hercules, who blatantly ignores Phil and knocks him to the ground in an outrage. Discouraged, Phil plans to leave for home. Hades arrives along with a captured Megara and makes Hercules a deal: If he surrenders his strength for the next twenty-four hours, Meg will remain free of harm. After making the deal, Hades frees the Titans from their prison and sends them to attack Olympus; one Titan, however, is sent to kill Hercules, but ends up hurting Meg. As a result, the deal is broken and Hercules' strength is returned. Hercules, along with Pegasus and Phil, saves Olympus from certain doom and Hades returns to the underworld. Meanwhile, the Fates cut Meg's thread of life, killing her in the process.

Hercules arrives and demands for Meg to be revived, but Hades shows him that she is currently trapped in the River Styx, a river of souls. Hercules tempts Hades into trading his soul for Meg's, hoping to return Meg's body to the surface before he is killed within the river. Hercules jumps in and his lifeline is about to be cut by the fates, but his amazing courage proves him a god, preventing the line from being cut, and he successfully returns Meg to the surface. Hades tries to talk his way out of the situation but Hercules punches him, knocking him into the Styx. The other souls grab him and pull him down into the stream.

Hercules revives Meg and goes to Olympus, but when Meg's entrance is denied, Hercules chooses to become mortal and stay on Earth with her. Nevertheless, Phil is remembered for being the one to train Hercules, who is still remembered as a hero ("A Star is Born").

Credits

Voice cast

Actor Role
Tate DonovanHercules
Danny DeVitoPhil
James WoodsHades
Susan EganMegara
Rip TornZeus
Samantha EggarHera
Bobcat GoldthwaitPain
Matt FrewerPanic
Josh KeatonYoung Hercules
Jim CummingsNessus
Additional Voices
Paul ShafferHermes
Hal HolbrookAmphitryon
Barbara BarrieAlcmene
Amanda PlummerClotho
Carole ShelleyLachesis
Paddi EdwardsAtropos
Keith DavidApollo
Lillias WhiteCalliope, Muse of Epics
Vanéese Y. ThomasClio, Muse of History
Cheryl FreemanMelpomene, Muse of Tragedy
LaChanzeTerpsichore, Muse of Dance
Roz RyanThalia, Muse of Comedy
Charlton HestonThe Narrator
Wayne KnightThe Pottery Salesman


Singer Role
Roger BartYoung Hercules

Crew

Crew Position
Directed byJohn Musker
Ron Clements
Produced byJohn Musker
Ron Clements
Alice Dewey
Written byJohn Musker
Ron Clements
Bob Shaw
Don McEnery
Irene Mecchi
Songs byAlan Menken
David Zippel
Original Score byAlan Menken
Associate ProducerKendra Haaland
Art DirectorAndy Gaskill
Production DesignerGerald Scarfe
Film EditorTom Finan
Artistic SupervisorsBarry Johnson (Story supervisor)
Rasoul Azadani (Layout supervisor)
Thomas Cardone (Background supervisor)
Nancy Kniep (Clean-up supervisor)
Mauro Maressa (Effects supervisor)
Roger L. Gould (Computer Graphics supervisor)
Artistic CoordinatorDan Hansen
Supervising AnimatorAndreas Deja (Adult Hercules)
Randy Haycock (Young & Baby Hercules)
Eric Goldberg (Phil)
Nik Ranieri (Hades)
Ken Duncan (Meg)
Ellen Woodbury (Pegasus)
Anthony DeRosa (Zeus & Hera)
James Lopez (Pain)
Brian Ferguson (Panic)
Michael Show (The Muses)
Dominique Monfrey (Titans & Cyclops)
Richard Bazley (Alcmene & Amphitryon)
Nancy Beiman (The Fates/Thebans)
Oskar Urretabizkaia (Hydra)
Production ManagerPeter Del Vecho

Annie Awards

Result Award Winner/Nominee Recipient(s)
NominatedAnimated Theatrical Feature
WonIndividual Achievement in ProducingAlice Dewey (Producer)
John Musker (Producer)
Ron Clements (Producer)
WonIndividual Achievement in DirectingJohn Musker (Director)
Ron Clements (Director)
NominatedIndividual Achievement in Character AnimationKen Duncan (Supervising Animator - Meg)
WonIndividual Achievement in Character AnimationNik Ranieri (Supervising Animator - Hades)
WonIndividual Achievement in Effects AnimationMauro Maressa (Effects Supervisor)

Soundtrack

Main article:

Awards and nominations

Trivia

  • When Hercules walks into Phil's house on the island, he hits his head on the mast of the Argo. Phil tells him to be careful. This is a reference to Jason of the legends of Jason and the Argonauts, who died when the mast of the Argo fell on him.
  • The Pillars of Hercules were spotted on Phil's Island.
  • The animators spent 6 to 14 hours to render a frame of the Hydra depending on how many heads it had.
  • It's been rumored that a direct-to-video sequel, Hercules II: The Trojan War, was once planned but later cancelled.http://homepage.usask.ca/~jjs142/hercules2.htm
  • After Hercules defeats Nessus and saves Meg, Phil tells him "Next time, don't let your guard down because of a pair of big goo-goo eyes". Phil's original line was "Next time, don't let your guard down because of a pair of big blue eyes". However, by the time the scene was in color, Meg's eyes were purple.
  • Hercules, Meg, and Phil appear at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as meetable characters.
  • The movie is featured as a world, Olympus Coliseum, in the Kingdom Hearts videogames. There, Hades tries to use the Heartless to take over Mount Olympus, so Sora, Goofy and Donald team up with Hercules to defeat him.
  • Hercules, Megara, Philoctetes, Pegasus, Zeus, Hera, Hermes and the Fates were featured as guests in House of Mouse, and Hades was one of the villains in Mickey's House of Villains.
  • The Wilhelm Scream is a sound effect.

Anachronisms

Many events of Greek mythology are mentioned by the various deific characters within the film in the past tense, either explaining the events to Hercules or referencing an example. However, several of the events mentioned occurred either during or after the life of the mythological Heracles. These include:
  • The quest for the Golden Fleece: The quest for the Golden Fleece, featuring Jason and the Argonauts, took place during the life of Heracles and featured him as a member of the Argonauts. However, the Argo itself has apparently been disassembled and Hercules has no first-person knowledge of its adventures.
  • Orpheus: In the beginning of the movie, Hermes flies in and says that Orpheus made the floral arrangement in the bouquet he is carrying. However, Orpheus was a contemporary of Heracles.
  • The Trojan War: The war occurred a generation after the life of Heracles, and in fact featured his son as a participant, but Hades makes a reference to the defeat of the Trojans with the Trojan Horse.
  • Achilles: In addition to referencing the Trojan War, several characters mention the mythological figure of Achilles, who lived a generation after Hercules and took part in the Trojan War. This is also true of Odysseus, who is mentioned as having lived before Hercules, and, as is additionally implied, dying after Achilles.

Pop-culture references within the film

  • Hades refers to Zeus as Mister "Hey You, Get Off My Cloud", which is a reference to the Rolling Stones song, "Get Off My Cloud."
  • Hermes gives Hera a bouquet of flowers, a play on FTD, who use him as their mascot.
  • "Go the Distance" is a term from boxing, meaning to last all fifteen rounds. It is also a quote from Rocky.
  • A beverage that Hercules sponsors is named "Herculade", a spoof of Gatorade. This also works as a pun in Britain where many carbonated drinks are named with the "-ade" suffix, particularly Lucozade.
  • "Air Herc", a brand of sandal seen throughout the film, is a spoof of the shoe brand Air Jordan.
  • When the Tornado Titan appeared there was a sheep caught in its winds, similar to the cow in Twister.
  • During the "Zero to Hero" sequence, next to the Hercules store is a shop called "Aphrodite's Secret", a spoof of Victoria's Secret.
  • During the song "I Won't Say I'm in Love," the Muses are portrayed as singing busts with one bust laying broken on the ground. This is a direct reference to Disneyland's The Haunted Mansion.
  • During 'Zero To Hero', a constellation of Marilyn Monroe can be seen. However, in the original trailer, it was Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.
  • During the scene in the movie where Hercules is rescuing two children from a cave-in in a gorge (which was actually a staged calamity to lure Hercules into danger), one of the children can be heard saying; "Someone call IX I I", which are the Roman numerals for 9-1-1.
  • During the final number, "A Star is Born", Hermes can be seen playing the piano, a reference to Paul Shaffer, who is the voice of the character and the piano player on The Late Show With David Letterman.
  • Meg makes a reference to a "Peloponnesian minute", a play on the New York minute.
  • Phil refers to Thebes as "The Big Olive," a reference to "The Big Apple" (New York) but with a Greek twist (olives are a well-known product of Greece).
  • When Phil and Hercules arrive in Thebes they are immediately side-swiped by a speeding chariot. The driver yells at them and Phil responds "Hey, I'm walking here!"; a reference to the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy
  • Meg refers to "the greatest thing since they put the pocket in pita." Pita is a Greek pocket bread, a reference to "the biggest thing since sliced bread"
  • In the scene where an artist is doing a painting of Hercules on the vase, the lion skin Hercules is wearing is really that of Scar from The Lion King. This can be seen most clearly when he takes it off. This is also a play on Zazu's line in the Lion King, "He'd make a very handsome throw rug", referring to Scar. Hercules' supervising animator Andreas Deja was also the directing animator of Scar.
  • Also in the scene Phil is listing off things for Hercules to do but is actually naming off the Twelve Labors Hercules had to do in Greek mythology; included in the list are the cleansing of the Augean Stables and the Retrieval of the Girdle of Hippolyta. The film makes many other references to the labors, including a shot of Hercules fighting the Erymanthian Boar, his entrance into Tartarus on the back of Cerebus, and the featured battle with the Lernaean Hydra.
  • When Meg was walking in the forest to find Hades, she spotted Pain and Panic, disguised as a rabbit and a gopher. The rabbit and the gopher are designed exactly as a reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • In the sequence where Hades takes over Olympus, he yells down to Zeus "Zeusy, I'm Home." This is a reference to Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy.
  • When the cyclops is invading the city, all its civilians are running and screaming in terror. A random civilian emits the Wilhelm scream in the 2nd shot containing many civilans running in many directions.

External links



Preceded by
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Walt Disney Pictures
1997
Succeeded by
Mulan
Ron Clements (born April 25, 1953 in Sioux City, Iowa) is an American animation Director.

He is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with John Musker. Clements began his career as an animator for Hanna-Barbera.
..... Click the link for more information.
John Musker (born November 8 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) is an American animation director.

Musker is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with Ron Clements.
..... Click the link for more information.
Ron Clements (born April 25, 1953 in Sioux City, Iowa) is an American animation Director.

He is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with John Musker. Clements began his career as an animator for Hanna-Barbera.
..... Click the link for more information.
John Musker (born November 8 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) is an American animation director.

Musker is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with Ron Clements.
..... Click the link for more information.
Alice Dewey is an animation producer.

She produced Home on the Range and Hercules.

She was also an associate producer for The Lion King and a production manager for Aladdin.
..... Click the link for more information.
Ron Clements (born April 25, 1953 in Sioux City, Iowa) is an American animation Director.

He is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with John Musker. Clements began his career as an animator for Hanna-Barbera.
..... Click the link for more information.
John Musker (born November 8 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) is an American animation director.

Musker is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with Ron Clements.
..... Click the link for more information.
Tate Donovan

Birth name Tate Buckley Donovan
Born September 25 1963 (1963--) (age 44)
New York City, New York, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Birth name Joshua Luis Wiener
Alias Joshua Wiener, Josh Wiener
Born January 8 1979 (1979--) (age 28)
Pasadena, California
Occupation(s)
..... Click the link for more information.
Roger Bart

Roger Bart in Desperate Housewives

Born September 29 1962 (1962--) (age 45)
Norwalk, Connecticut
Died

Years active
..... Click the link for more information.
Danny DeVito

Birth name Daniel Michael DeVito Jr.
Born November 17 1944 (1944--) (age 64)
Neptune, New Jersey, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
James Woods

James Woods at the 1995 Emmy Awards
Birth name James Howard Woods
Born March 18 1947 (1947--) (age 60)
Vernal, Utah, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Susan Egan (b. February 18, 1970) is an American actress and singer best known for her work on the Broadway stage. An unknown at the time, she won the coveted role of Belle in the original Broadway cast of Beauty and the Beast.
..... Click the link for more information.
Rip Torn

Rip Torn at the 47th Emmy Awards (1994)
Birth name Elmore Rual Torn
Born January 6 1931 (1931--) (age 76)
Temple, Texas, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Alan Menken

Born July 22 1949 (1949--) (age 58)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Walt Disney Pictures

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Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. It is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in a number of ways.
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Walt Disney Animation Studios

Subsidiary
Founded 1934
Headquarters Burbank, California,  United States

Key people Ed Catmull
John Lasseter
Area served Feature Animation
Industry Entertainment
Parent The Walt Disney Company


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Walt Disney Pictures

Subsidiary
Founded Burbank, California, USA (1983)
Headquarters Burbank, California, USA

Key people Dick Cook, Chairman
Oren Aviv, President

Industry Motion pictures
Revenue
Operating income
..... Click the link for more information.
June 14 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

In common years it is always in ISO week 24.
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20th century - 21st century
1960s  1970s  1980s  - 1990s -  2000s  2010s  2020s
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Year 1997 (MCMXCVII
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Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. It is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in a number of ways.
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This is a list of theatrical animated feature films produced and/or released by Walt Disney Productions/The Walt Disney Company:

Official canon

The following is a list of the forty-nine feature films that are part of the Walt Disney Feature Animation (WDFA) canon, also
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Ron Clements (born April 25, 1953 in Sioux City, Iowa) is an American animation Director.

He is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with John Musker. Clements began his career as an animator for Hanna-Barbera.
..... Click the link for more information.
John Musker (born November 8 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) is an American animation director.

Musker is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with Ron Clements.
..... Click the link for more information.


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