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Hercules
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Reviews & Ratings for
Hercules More at IMDbPro »

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76 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

Disney's funniest

8/10
Author: ntadema from Austin, TX
12 December 2000

I'm shocked to see this movie with a rating below 7. As a big Disney fan, I'll go out on a limb and say this is one Disney's top 5. There isn't a Disney movie out there with wit as sharp as this one's with much of it probably lost on the audience guessing by the rating given to this movie.

"Meg" definitely emerges as my all-time favorite female Disney role. Breaking from tradition, her character is not all that lady-like in her biting wit and sarcasm, but it works, serving to make the movie funny and her character lovable despite working with questionable motives.

The set-up and plot is typical for the movie but the script, animation, and music are most original AND good. IF I had to register a complaint, I would say that it's perpetual humor kept the movie from being emotionally wrenching. However, this movie remains one of the most entertaining I've seen. 8.5/10

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57 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious, great fun for kids and adults.

Author: crazy_child_of_the_south from Southampton, England
17 June 2004

I think this film is wonderful. It is sheer entertainment for kids and hilarious for adults.

I first watched this movie age 7, and i loved it...now i watch it again age 14 and I'm howling with laughter. The 'You wanna buy a sundial?' sequence renders me unable to breathe for laughter, whilst when i was younger it got not so much as a giggle.

As with all Disney films, the jokes are for the 'big kids' and the entertainment value is for the little ones.

This film has been criticized for not staying true to Greek Mythology. My response is, it doesn't matter. This a witty, sarcastic and enjoyable film. Accuracies play no purpose.

The characters are wonderful, particularly Phil and Hades. Also, Megara provides a feisty, totally non 'princessy' female character, which is wonderful!

Overall - 8/10

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51 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

The last of the new classics

Author: Lady Jasmine
14 June 2002

Although I know I have heaped praise on several other Disney films...Hercules stands out as my favourite among them all. After this movie the Disney features once again seemed to slip downhill. However I can watch this movie again and again, it has a spectacular Greek chorus, gospel type score, which will ring in your head for days (and you will like it!). The characters are all likeable, even the villain and it is absolutely hilarious!

I have never understood the panning this film got from Disney fans, as I have never comprehended what there is to dislike. The animation is beautifully done, although it is done in the style of Greek art, which may not be to everyone's taste (very similar situation to Sleeping Beauty which was disliked by some because it was animated in the style of a medieval tapestry), but it works wonderfully for the film.

Take a chance and watch it...and when you're done watching it for the sixteenth time, go out and buy the soundtrack!

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49 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

God-like

9/10
Author: (jdpoole@hotmail.com) from London, England
17 July 2000

"Hercules" is a cracking Disney film and for once it's not just for the kids. The animation is more like the "old-school" Disney, before the cute, big-eye syndrome and the characters are hugely entertaining. It has sly humour and in-jokes, but what sets it apart are the songs; soul, RNB, jazz and not a drippy sugar-song in sight. Quality entertainment!

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42 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

The BEST Disney movie I have ever seen!!

10/10
Author: (black_white_clouds_r_pretty@hotmail.com) from Australia
18 July 2006

Oh my gosh I can't believe that people are complaining about this movie. It is amazing with great art, jazzy music and awesome characters. I am 14 and first saw this movie at 5. I liked the movie then and absolutely love it now.

I love the songs and even though it is not true to mythology, so what?? It's a movie so get over it!! Shesh!! This movie has got heaps of bad reviews but has anybody looked at the good ones?? The characters in this movie are great. Hercules is great and Phil adds some laughs. The villains in this story add soo much humor. Hades, Pain and Panic add soo many laughs and James Woods is perfect for Hades who is one of the best villains yet!! Megara (or Meg) has to be the best heroine from all the Disney movies. For one she is not looking for love, is independent (she can tie her own sandals and everything) and can stand up to her boss. She doesn't let anyone push her around. I think that Susan Egan did Meg's voice perfectly.

Honestly I just want to say that this movie is great for both adults and children and the songs are unforgettable.If you haven't seen go to the video shop and rent it! You wont be sorry!!

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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Hey mythology lovers, get a grip!

8/10
Author: rapier7 from Ajax
29 June 2004

I have seen many Disney movies, animated and not, and this one has more action than most, has no cute animals and is more humorous (ala Aladdin) than a typical Disney movie--Pixar films not included. This one also has a male lead (no princesses). If you are looking for typical Disney fare, then you may not appreciate this one. We enjoyed it thoroughly--from 4 to 40 years of age, male and female.

As for all the criticism regarding the liberties Disney took with Greek mythology, get a grip. I love Greek mythology too but hey, IT'S FICTION! It's not historical fact. Even the ancient tales themselves are not consistent, containing contradictions. There were many authors. But the characters are interesting, and Disney used some of them to create a good story for kids about an outcast looking for his place in life. It also explores what makes a hero a true hero (perhaps the more useful lesson of the movie). Yes, it's a shame they took so many liberties with this picture but it still encourages interest in Greek myth. Don't believe me? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were not historically accurate either but they got kids interested in the Old Masters!

8 / 10

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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

An Olympian achievement

10/10
Author: LeonStyloroy from A hot air balloon, somewhere over Rwanda
10 January 2008

This is possibly my favorite Disney movie ever. With a razor-sharp wit, perfect comic timing and a fresh plot that transcends most other Disney fairy tales, this one's definitely a keeper.

You'll be enchanted right from the first number, in which the five Muses (from Greek mythology) set the stage of ancient Greece in a powerhouse gospel number which gives a whole new meaning to a Greek chorus. Recalling the three ladies in Little Shop of Horrors or Motown groups like the Supremes, the Muses appear randomly throughout the movie to narrate the story of Hercules with jazzy musical numbers that you'll be humming for days. The songs (by Alan Menken) are certainly a twist from the classic Disney musical, but there's enough variety to create a great, well-rounded musical. The writing is the wittiest in any Disney movie ever, with constant in-jokes and hilarious references to Greek mythology to reward the amateur scholar. The lyrics, too, are witty and full of tricky rhyme schemes that must have been a doozy to write but play out perfectly on screen. (You'll be flat-out awed by how many things rhyme with the phrase "gospel truth".)

Another of the highlights is the heroine, Megara or Meg. She's in no way a typical Disney princess. She's sassy, sexy, cynical and dangerous - and more winning by far than any warbling Cinderella or whiny little mermaid. The villain, Hades, is also a fun, witty character, although plenty dangerous in his own right.

Of course liberties have been taken with Greek mythology. The dysfunctional Olympian family has been cleaned up (No more Zeus having affairs or Hera trying to kill people) and the story has little in it of the original Greek legend. Instead, it's really an archetype, a modern retelling of all the Greek legends at once. Appearances are made by the Muses, the Hydra, satyrs, the Fates, Pegasus, the Titans, Narcissus, and of course all of the Olympian gods. Scholars may take offense, but since legends evolve and are to be taken with a grain of salt anyway, I didn't have a problem with it.

Yes, it's cheesy, just like other Disneys. But when nobody else is around, there's no resisting the corn. The third act is absolutely heart-wrenching, and even if it's over-the-top, it never truly goes over the top, and the constant bombarding of wit keeps things from getting too touchy-feely. Besides, tied together with a golden Disney score, who couldn't resist a dose of adventure, heartache, redeeming love, and most of all, heroism? Just let yourself be carried away to ancient Greece and you'll forget the movie's problems in a Pelyponnesian minute. As the Muses would say, that's the gospel truth.

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30 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

the best since Aladdin!

9/10
Author: Indy-45 from amsterdam, netherlands
11 September 1999

wow! This movie was really a pleasant surprise! I went to the theater expecting another below-par Disney film (like Pocahontas and Hunchback), but it turned out to be the most funny and enjoyable one since Aladdin (The Lion King was good, but there's just no contest between Timon & Pumbaa and the Genie )! And a good laugh from a Disney cartoon is just what i needed. You just must see this movie!

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

A great villain

Author: Judith Wolper from Chicago, IL
13 June 1999

I don't usually like villains, even in Disney movies, because they're too scary, but I loved James Woods as Hades. He was so funny. I loved the way he called Megara "my little nutmeg." I also loved the way they depicted Thebes like New York and they called it "the big olive." I loved Meg's cynical and sarcastic attitude. Hercules himself was rather bland. I loved the song "Go the Distance." Paul Wylie skated to it and showed how powerful the song is. I really enjoyed this movie and I don't care if it departs from Greek mythology. It was really about our time anyway. I'd watch it again in a Pelopenisian minute.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Sometimes Funny, But Greatly Flawed

5/10
Author: Joshua Mitchell from Here
9 May 2013

A Disney musical revolving around Greek mythology seems like a great idea. And in Disney's Hercules, the house of mouse makes great use of the famous characters and setting of Greek mythology. There's some hip, gospel songs and plenty of successful humor. So much works in this movie, but it's all sadly counter-balanced by everything that doesn't work.

Hercules is born to the god and goddess, Zeus and Hera respectively. And while there is joy at his arrival, Hades wishes to do away with the baby, as his fortune reveals Hercules as a potential threat. Hades sends his two dim-witted minions, Pain and Panic to turn Hercules mortal, and then kill him. Unfortunately for Hades, Pain and Panic slip up when Hercules transformation from god to mortal gets stopped part way through, causing Hercules to retain his supernatural strength, but remain mortal. Hercules longs to be reunited with his parents and the other gods, though he cannot until he becomes a hero, which will then allow him to be turned back into a god.

The set up for this story is extremely rushed, and feels almost tacked on. It's like Disney didn't want to spend much time developing the opening, and were more interested in cutting to the action. As a result, there isn't much at the beginning that's of interest, with the exception of one excellent gospel-style song, but I'll get to that later.

The characters are mostly uninteresting. Hercules and the romantic interest, Megara (known as Meg) are almost completely personality-less, while Philoctetes (known as Phil), Hercules' trainer, is just a big grump. Only the villain, Hades, is at all interesting, even if he's basically just a hipper version of Jafar or Scar.

Focusing less on story, Hercules relies on humor to get by. And while most of the humor is successful and funny, there aren't many big laughs here. Disney's next attempt at a hip comedy (The Emperor's New Groove) is a much more successful and enjoyable film.

There's some curious character oversights, and some muddled messages here and there. There are dull stretches, and the action at the end is a bit excessive. Flaws are not hard to find.

The songs are of ranging success. The majority of the songs are jazzy gospel tunes, complete with a group of African-American women singing the lyrics. Not only are these songs an innovative and refreshing concept, but the songs are fun and energetic too. It's hard to suppress a smile during these delightful numbers.

And yet, there are two songs that don't fit into the gospel theme. They are entitled "Go the Distance" and "Our Last Hope." Both are relatively terrible and instantly forgettable. "Go the Distance" exists only to explain Hercules' desire to go home. This is the kind of song that could've been written in 5 minutes over lunch. "Our Last Hope" has a terrible rhythm and bland lyrics and is ultimately, a mess.

It surprises me that a song was not provided for the villain, Hades. Just about every Disney films has had a song for the villain, so why did Hades have to miss out? His slick and sly personality would've been perfect for a nice jazzy beat.

The voice cast is a mixed bag. Tate Donovan provides a bland voice for Hercules, and Danny DeVito does the same for Phil. Susan Egan's voice for Meg is much more unique. It's a shame there wasn't an interesting character to go with it. James Wood is wonderful as Hades, providing a perfectly sly and confident voice for the villain.

The animation is detailed enough, but the animation style is a bit of a problem. The flat, geometric look just makes the animation appear cheap and lazy. CGI is occasionally integrated into the animation, and it looks great.

Alan Menken's score is superb, if a little shy of his work in other Disney films of the time. Grand melodies and exciting action music make this score a success, even though it sounds a bit familiar to Menken's score for Aladdin.

Sometimes funny, but riddled with flaws, Hercules is a disappointing Disney feature. As much as I wanted to like Hercules, there's just so much that doesn't work here. I felt uninterested in the characters and the story, and for most of the film, I was just waiting for the next toe-tapping gospel tune. The 90's was a great time for Disney, but Hercules may not be the best example of such success.

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