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The Amazing Feats of Young Hercules (1997)

Not Rated | | Animation, Adventure, Family | Video
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Zeus send Hercules off to complete various tasks. If he completes them, he will get his freedom.

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(story adaptation), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
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Credited cast:
...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Jack Grimes ...
Zeus (voice)
Paul Hecht ...
(voice)
Barbara Jean Kearney ...
(voice)
Marcus Lovett ...
(voice)
Richard Naran ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Alice Playten ...
The Gorgon (voice)
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Zeus send Hercules off to complete various tasks. If he completes them, he will get his freedom.

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1.33 : 1
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The Non-Amazing Feats of Young Hercules
30 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The good news is that The Amazing Feats of Young Hercules is not quite as bad as Young Pocahontas, it doesn't feel quite as dumbed down and none of the characters are as poorly written as the Medicine Man in that.

In The Amazing Feats of Young Hercules, there are some decently rendered backgrounds (like right at the start) that have more detail than most of UAV Entertainment's output, a rousing incidental score that is particularly striking in the Gorgon scene (though generally The Secret of Anastasia and The Secret of Mulan have more memorable soundtracks of UAV Entertainment's work) and the appropriately stern but regal character of Zeus. So it's not without its redeeming merits.

However, The Amazing Feats of Young Hercules has a lot wrong with it, and its problems are worse and far more glaring than bowdlerising Greek mythology and the Herculean legend. Some nice backgrounds are not enough to make up for a lot of flat and over-saturated colours, very roughly drawn character designs and less than smooth (in fact very stiff) movements, so on the whole the animation is not that great or even good. The King of the Gods song is more tolerable than the Medicine Man's song in Young Pocahontas, at least the lyrics didn't make me cringe anywhere near as much, but it is instantly forgettable as soon as the story kicks in and didn't serve that much of a point to the story other than to show how annoyingly irresponsible Hercules was and that could have probably been done better with dialogue.

Despite some well-intentioned parts, the dialogue sounds really corny and dumbed down, especially with Falina and it even happens in places where it detracts from what's happening (the scene with the Hydra) and contains some ham-handed moralising at the end as well. The story, as well as being fairly thinly plotted and with not much point to it, felt too rushed and definitely could have done with being 10-15 minutes longer which could have been dedicated to more of Hercules' challenges or a little more time on the challenges seen. Most of the challenges don't work either, suffering from being rushed through and a lack of fun, tension or suspense, with the one notable exception suspense-wise being the bit with Hercules refusing to look at the Gorgon in her beautiful woman guise. The Stymphalian birds scene had some awkward and quite robotic animation on the birds especially and suffered from the worst of the pacing, the Hydra has some distracting dumbed down dialogue (so did the Gorgon scene too admittedly to start with) and a Hydra that is not fearsome enough and the Golden Apple scene was rushed and heavy-handed with an ending that can be smelt a mile off. The Gorgon scene is the best executed of the four, thanks to the score and that one suspenseful bit but feels a touch out of place as well, considering it is not a Herculean labour and actually part of the legend of Perseus.

Of the characters, only Zeus works and he doesn't feature in the story much. Hercules is a rather bland hero, with him starting irresponsible and then heroic with all these clever skills just like that. Hera's role in the story is completely downplayed and wasted, but the worst character is the incredibly obnoxious Falina, a character meant to be funny and sassy but ending up annoying and not adding an awful lot to the story other than a little team work in the Hydra scene and plot convenience. The voice acting doesn't sound very involved, apart from Zeus who is voiced with great magisterial dignity, with Falina's voice really getting on the nerves well before the end of her first scene.

All in all, not unwatchable but The Amazing Feats of Young Hercules is not so amazing after all. 3/10 Bethany Cox


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