Another classic; Disney Classic number 35. Again one of my favourites. A story with a God as our hero; a God who was kidnapped from Olympus taken away from his parents. Hercules! We follow Hercules’ life, from a young age unable to control his own strength and is disregarded by the people as a “freak” or “jerk-ules”. So Hercules makes it his mission to discover who he is, finding he is the son of Zeus and the only way to claim his place on Olympus once again is to become a “true hero”.
This film is a great way for children to get a small grip onto the Greek Gods; well I did anyway. Ok, so it’s not the exact story of truth, but the characters reflect the Greek Gods. For example, God of the Sky, Zeus, messenger God, Hermes, etc… So there is some truth and learning of the Greek Gods in this Disney film. However, not forgetting, the God of the Underworld, Hades. And Hades is our villain. A villain who is actually quite invested in this film, he has a lot of screen time on his own, more than other Disney villains I might add. Hades is a very clever character, he brings in the evil villain very well, but he’s also quite comical, just with snarky comments or his uncontrollable mood swings. The audience knows everything about him, but obviously as there can’t be any surprises in a children’s film. But this doesn’t make any difference, as trust me, Disney knows how to do this well. We also know the mood of Hades, signified by the colour of his hair, flashing from blue (calm) to red (angry).
‘Hercules’ is a musical, so like I’ve said before, if you hate the emotional random bursts of singing expressing their feelings and thoughts, then sadly put this film away and never return to. Saying this though, there isn’t as many songs in this film as there is in other Disney films, but there is still singing. My favourite people that bring the best songs into this film have to be the Muses! Their songs are enjoyable and upbeat, they are truly fun songs, obviously sang amazingly. The Muses are also brilliant in that they create the narration of the film, and make it a different way for the audience to learn about Hercules’ life before the story begins, through song.
There are also other elements of this film, such as a bit of romance and comedy. Not only does Hades bring some comedic comments, but there are also some other parts to find quite comical and make the film that much more enjoyable; for example Pegasus’ jealously. The romance is the immediate love that Hercules feels for the “big tough girl” that can look after herself, this being Meg. Meg is actually quite a complex character, one that older audiences can appreciate, perhaps more than children do. Her complicated past comes to bite her on the butt when she sold her soul to only Hades himself… This means she has to do everything for him, when Hades one mission is to destroy Hercules as he is the only one in his way of becoming the God of the Sky. Meg of course, has to do everything he says; while Hercules defeats every monster Hades puts in front of him, Meg can’t not be impressed. Cute. There surely is something there in “wonder boy”.
I would definitely recommend this film. It’s one where lighting changes for mood and everything is not a secret to the audience. But it’s one of sacrifice and deep morals. Of a God trying to find his place in the world, going through his highs and lows. The meaning of a true hero comes to light in the very end as we discover what it means to be a good person. Also a message to not give up on your dreams, this shown through Phil, voiced by Danny DeVito by the way! Children would love this movie of course, but I also think it’s a good family film. Watch Hercules on his mission in controlling his strength and fighting against the God of the Underworld, yet falling in love and rising to fame at the same time.