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Hercules (1997)

Hercules

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 43
Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and packed with dozens of pop culture references, Hercules might not measure up with the true classics of the Disney pantheon, but it's still plenty of fun.

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and packed with dozens of pop culture references, Hercules might not measure up with the true classics of the Disney pantheon, but it's still plenty of fun.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 386,115

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Movie Info

Disney's animation team dipped into the rich well of ancient mythology for this musical comedy. The son of Greek gods Zeus (voice of Rip Torn) and Hera (Samantha Eggar), Hercules (voice of Josh Keaton) is stolen as a boy by the minions of Hades (voice of James Woods), lord of the underworld. Forced to live among humans, Hercules is turned into a half-god and half-mortal after drinking a forbidden potion brewed by Hades' right hand men, Pain (voice of Bob Goldthwait) and Panic (voice of Matt … More

Rating:
G
Genre:
Animation , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
,
Written By:
Ron Clements , Don McEnery , Irene Mecchi , John Musker , Bob Shaw
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Nov 9, 1999
Runtime:
Buena Vista Internationa


Cast


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Critic Reviews for Hercules

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (9) | DVD (17)

[An] insipid, lifeless, animated feature.

Full Review… | November 16, 2009
Washington Post
Top Critic

Chock-full of celeb cameos, puns and contemporary camp, the movie is annoyingly hip.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic

This is a bright movie, in both senses of the word.

Full Review… | September 1, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

It's a winning tall tale, cleverly told and wonderfully voiced...

Full Review… | September 1, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Another benchmark achievement for the Aladdin team of Musker and Clements.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

What fun!

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

'Hercules' may be second-tier Disney, but it's TOP second tier, not far behind the studio's best animated work.

Full Review… | August 14, 2014
Movie Metropolis

[Blu-ray Review] Isn't one of the Mouse House's absolute best, but it is an astutely written entertainment with a keen aesthetic sense and a fun ensemble of characters. For Disney collectors, picking "Hercules" up is a no-brainer. Highly recommended.

Full Review… | August 13, 2014
TheBluFile.com

...compiles pop-culture references and genre tropes that are not only crudely envisioned, but often downright contradictory to the story at hand.

Full Review… | June 21, 2014
LarsenOnFilm

The most flat-out childish film of the Disney Renaissance: this is both its great triumph and ultimately the reason that it's so hard to care about it all that much.

Full Review… | December 2, 2009
Antagony & Ecstasy

Amusing, yes. Fluffy, definitely. But with no more staying power than those Hercules action figures that were already resigned to Odd-Lot by last Christmas.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Flick Filosopher

Prepare to spend the summer stepping on plastic satyrs and winged horses.

Full Review… | September 1, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Scarfe's pointed faces are smoothed out to a drab degree, yet not so they become characters as warm as Disney is capable of.

Full Review… | September 1, 2008
Film4

One of the best of the modern Disney animation efforts to date.

Full Review… | April 9, 2005
Reeling Reviews

Remind one of My Little Pony...mental pictures of all the plastic "Hercules" toys that soon will be littering floors and crippling barefoot adults.

Full Review… | June 25, 2004

while all the customary ingredients are at hand -- the dreamy hero, the curvaceous heroine, the comic sidekick, the smarmy villain -- the magic is missing this time out. ...a minor addition to the Disney pantheon.

Full Review… | July 15, 2003
Kalamazoo Gazette

Disney's 35th animated feature may be based on a timeless tale, but it's no classic.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

It entertained me much more than I thought it would.

Full Review… | November 7, 2002
Netflix

The animation is kinetic and witty; computer effects are integrated to good effect without overwhelming the hand-drawn figures.

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Cincinnati Enquirer

Hercules fires off mythology in-jokes and pop culture references at a speed that would dizzy the Animaniacs.

Full Review… | July 3, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Woods as the ever-exasperated Hades is the comic highlight, bringing an acrid wit to the proceedings, thereby balancing out some of the over-the-top feel-good elements indigenous to the genre.

Full Review… | June 25, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Hercules

"Hercules (1997)" is a very fun kids film that get's pretty dark and mysterious at times, and is also very bright and colourful family fun. Having all of these elements and being able to do them well is definitely an accomplishment, so just leave it to the team at Disney to do it. This film is ultimately about love and strength and both ideologies are represented very well here. Although the films premise dwindles from it's core every now and then, it still makes for a very entertaining and well-written Disney film. It is not among Disney's best, but it is one of the most fun. "Hercules (1997)" is a blast!

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KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

For some time the animated Disney films didn't really hit me with much inspiration, by that I mean none of their outings grabbed my attention, the ideas just didn't excite me. Then along came this adventure based around the magic of Greek mythology and I was hooked. An animated Disney version of Harryhausen's mythic visions? count me in. So off I went on the day of release back in 1997, Swiss Cottage Odeon, North London (for some reason I remember, probably because this Odeon was unusually HUGE!).

A simple tale of Hercules life from birth up to his teenage years. The loss of his immortality and God status at the hands of Hades, his young life as a mortal and how he manages to become a God again with the help of various friends in typical wide eyed Disney manner.

The two things that attracted me to this kiddie flick were 1. the Greek mythology as already said, and 2. the visuals on display. Disney seem to go through different styles over time and this films style is really nice in its stark angled way. It comes across like a Geddy Tartakovsky project, reminiscent of his 'Star Wars: Clone Wars' series but with less CGI and generally a bit softer in tone. The colour palette is really vibrant too, so rich and alive, its really beautiful to watch going from the warm pastel golds, yellows and beige of Mount Olympus and Thebes to dark shades of blues, purples and black of the underworld. Loved the underworld!, wanted more time down there.

Apart from the animation the characters are a big part of any film like this and would it be any surprise if I told you the bad guy was the best?. Yep its true, once again the villain shines through and in this case James Woods makes Hades a very likeable guy. Not only does he look really cool with a brilliant design and a virtually monochromatic colour scheme, he also has a really awesome flaming blue hairdo which is such a sweet touch. It is of course the deadpan sarcastic fiery verbal from Woods that he's famous for and he doesn't disappoint here...minus the profanity of course.

The only other character that stood out for me was Philoctetes perfectly voiced by De Vito, casting genius. In general the Gods all looked quite good visually but I was unsure about that heavenly glow they all had, I see what they were going for but it kinda looked tacky. The Titans were a tad cliche looking (dunno what I expected) and didn't blow me away, also a shame they used full CGI for the Hydra which looked awful. Not sure why Hercules was drawn the way he was because he looked a bit pug ugly to me, anyone notice how big his ears were?!. Also I didn't really like the little imp minions of Hades, typical stereotypical Disney sidekicks purely in there for silly laughs, oh wait its a kids flick isn't it...dang!.

Talking about the Hydra, not sure how that worked, Hercules was cutting off its heads one after another yet it kept on coming back for more. In the end some falling rocks killed it? even though it had its heads cut off multiple times?. On the same note, Hercules is suppose to have retained his super strength BUT he's mortal (watch the film), yet in the film he's still comes across as immortal even after that was drained from him.

All in all I did enjoy this Greek outing as I expected I would. Yeah sure its not perfect by any means, the animation is a wee bit dated now naturally but I can't complain about that really. The CGI moments were obvious and terrible...down to age again. I didn't like the soppy songs throughout, yeah I know its Disney but they really felt unnecessary and jammed in...plus they sucked!. I really think these lovey-dovey songs are no longer required for these type of films, its a very old fashioned concept which to be honest I'm glad is fading out...call me uncultured I guess. But I did quite like the little montage showing Hercules victories and his merchandise taking off, Air-Herc hehe nice touch.

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phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

½

Now I know a lot of people are indifferent to this movie and either really love this movie or really hate it. Me personally I love it. For a couple reasons, first the villain, Hades is my favorite Disney villain ever and one of my alll time favorite villains, and that is mainly due to how James Woods plays him. He doesn't sound evil, I always thought he sounded like a lawyer or agent which I find kind of interesting. Next the animation, this film has probably the most colorful and interesting animation I've seen in a Disney film, which is understandable seeing how the animation was lead and handled by Gerald Scarfe who did the animation for Pink Floyd's the Wall and he does a fantastic job at doing this animation, my favorite being his design of the Hydra in the film. Also I really do enjoy the music and comedy in the film for as weird as the musical choice of Gospel is for a movie about ancient greece.

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michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

½

I've never liked Disney much but towards the late 90's it was definitely at it's worst. When it wasn't releasing horrible straight to video sequels to their most celebrated films, they continued to pillage classic literature and make half-hearted versions of, with the same old characters they used time and time again. Kids watched these films thinking they now know the stories but they don't, they know the sickly-sweat versions of but not the Authentic ones. Disney has been ruining children's imaginations since the 20s.

More
SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Hercules Quotes


Phil:
Yeah, I had a dream. I dreamed I would train the greatest hero there ever was. So great the gods would hang a picture of him in the stars for everyone to see. And everyone would say, "That's Phil's boy." That's right. Ah, but dreams are for rookies, kid. A guy can only take so much disappointment.
– Submitted by Jazen H (54 days ago)
Hades:
Well, Well! It's small underworld after all!
– Submitted by Manuel R (8 months ago)
Meg:
Ugh, What's the matter with me? You'd think a girl would learn.
– Submitted by John B (9 months ago)
Hades:
I have 24 hours to get rid of this bozo while the entire plan I've been planning goes up in smoke and you are wearing his MERCHANDISE!
– Submitted by Pavlina B (22 months ago)
Meg:
Well, you know how men are. They think no means yes and get lost means take me im yours.
Hercules:
[looks cluelessly at pegasus]
Meg:
Don't worry, Shortie here can explain it to you [looks at Phil]
– Submitted by Pavlina B (22 months ago)
Meg:
For a true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)

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