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Mighty Zeus brings Hercules' mother, Alcmene, to Mount Olympus, and Hercules, believing she has been kidnapped, leads a rescue mission to save her. Zeus' jealous wife, Hera, decides that it should now be her time to rule the universe. Hera steals the Chronos Stone, source of the God's power, and unleashes the four Titans from their eons of imprisonment. With these angry behemoths on the loose, only the combined forces of Hercules and Xena, together with their trusty sidekicks Iolaus and Gabrielle, can save Mount Olympus. Written by
David Mullich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sam Raimi's Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995) and Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) of the same year has left fond memories for many small screen audiences. Kevin Sorbo had a way of being a very macho convincing Hercules, while Lucy Lawless gave something for nerds to drool at. Both series combined action, wit, likable characters and story lines that reeled in fans. Interestingly enough, some people aren't familiar that Universal Studios released an animated cartoon feature of these two famous characters. And compared to many other animated features that have been released, it does have its flaws but it still is fun.
The title, (although a mouthful) explains itself. Xena and Hercules will battle for Mount Olympus. Simple as that. Just like Disney's Hercules (1997), the four elemental titans attack the Immortal Gods and its up to Earth's mightiest heroes to fend them off. However, what differs is that John Loy (the writer) was smart and stuck to Sam Raimi's story line where Hera (Hercules' immortal mother) is the one who unleashes the titans. Why - because Hera hates Hercules - not Hades. Hades minds his own business in this film.
Thankfully, along with the writing, the actors who play the characters in the live-action series came back to voice their cartoon counterparts as well. That's a very good thing. Imagine if the studio hired new actors to voice the characters. That wouldn't be wise. And because the actors are playing their respective characters, the dialog comes naturally making the listening experience easy as well. This also helps make the comical scenes funny too. Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Michael Hurst (Iolaus) and Kevin Smith (Ares) carry much of those parts. Even Lucy Lawless (Xena) has some rather unconventionally funny scenes.
The last couple of parts that help make the watching experience enjoyable were the action and music. The title doesn't lie, there is plenty of battle moments in this movie. And for a PG film, it has some tense moments. Either way that's effective. And since this is a Raimi production, composer Joseph LoDuca should be expected to be on board - which he was and his score is effective for each scene. But here's where some people may be turned off. First, this animated feature also contains musical numbers sung in the intro, by Xena, and even the titans. Since this isn't a Disney production it may seem avant garde, considering the TV series didn't have musical numbers.
Also some viewers may not appreciate the animation. At points it can look choppy even though the action scenes are exceptionally good. The main characters are drawn appropriately but it also seems like that's the only other place all the effort that was put into. Everything else from the background pieces to the minor characters weren't given much attention. Some characters from head to toe are one full color. That can come off as cheap and lazy. The dimensions of this world are very flat and too squared off in some areas. Along with that are some very strange flaws in continuity. It's not always obvious, but when noticed, it is baffling. It really depends on the opinion of the viewer and what you're interested in seeing.
For the most part, fans of the Hercules and Xena TV series should enjoy this animated feature. It's animation certainly isn't as polished like Disney's but the voice cast makes it work along with some fun action and music.
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