Hercules (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hercules (1997)

Hercules (1997)



Critic 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.

Hercules Photos

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 Frewer). Now Hercules has the remarkable strength of a god, but is trapped in the body of a human, and before he learns how to use his power properly he goes through a typically adolescent awkward period. In order to become a god and return to his home on Mount Olympus, Hercules must prove himself a true hero on Earth. With the assistance of Philotes (voice of Danny De Vito), a plucky satyr known as "Phil," the grown-up Hercules (voice of Tate Donovan) learns to use his strength to his advantage and becomes a famous and benevolent protector of those around him, successfully battling a variety of gods and monsters. However, Hades, wanting to cut Hercules down to size, sends his secret weapon after him -- Megara (voice of Susan Egan), a seductively beautiful woman under Hades' control, who is to win Hercules' heart and render him helpless against the forces of the underworld. Acclaimed British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe served as production designer for this project, while Alan Menken wrote the musical score. Incidentally, for the Spanish language version of the film, Latin pop singer Ricky Martin provided the singing voice of Hercules, two years before he became a chart-topping sensation in America with his hit single "Livin' la Vida Loca."
Animation , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Buena Vista Internationa

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Tate Donovan
as Hercules
Josh Keaton
as Young Hercules
James Woods
as Hades
Matt Frewer
as Panic
Rip Torn
as Zeus
Barbara Barrie
as Alcmene
Hal Holbrook
as Amphitryon
Paul Shaffer
as Hermes
Amanda Plummer
as (The) Fates
Carole Shelley
as (The) Fates
Paddi Edwards
as (The) Fates
Charlton Heston
as Narrator
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News & Interviews for Hercules

Critic Reviews for Hercules

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (14)

[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
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

Audience Reviews for Hercules

Disney saw another franchise opportunity in Greek myth and, using cues learned from pop culture quick riff artist Robin Williams in Aladdin, endeavors to set it off, borrowing heavily from the Superman origin tale. Insert random love interest and voila! Character actors James Woods and Danny DeVito very nearly move the light idea into heavyweight contender status. Entertaining but often too strident.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


It is irritating enough that they alter most of the original legend just for the sake of doing so, but the real problem here is that the jokes and pop references to modern times and American culture are far from smart and get tired fast, with the third act being a silly, unexciting mess.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

"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!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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