Hey Guys! Gerawallstar here, and I am here to review the 35th Walt Disney animated film called Hercules, which was released in 1997, the year I was born. When Hercules was released it didn’t do well financially and critics/audiences reactions were mixed. Some people didn’t like the film because it was inaccurate towards Greek Mythology plus the real Hercules story. And most people criticized this film for being too silly. I unfortunately agree with the critics who didn’t like this film. This film is….. okay.
The story is about Hercules, the son of god, who was send to earth from Mount Olympus after being kidnapped by Hades minions, and so it’s up to him to become the true hero in order to be capable of going back up into Mount Olympus with his father. The criticisms from this film as I stated before comes from how Disneys Hercules is inaccurate to the real Hercules. Look guys, this is DISNEY’S adaptation to Hercules. They cannot put In a lot of gruesome stuff when catering a family-friendly audience. However it doesn’t excuse the fact that the story of Hercules is so bland. The biggest problem with the story is that it’s all over the place, and there are a lot of plot holes. Another big issue with the plot is the humor being hit or miss. I get that they were trying to go with the Aladdin route with the comedy, but they missed the mark mostly because the humor is either way too silly or not funny. I also felt like during the second half after Hercules received fame for killing a hydra, his storyline was kind of over. Him trying to be the TRUE hero despite getting recognized from killing a hydra was honestly a poor excuse for the film to fill in the 80 minute gap, and that causes a plot hole especially when Hercules was renowed from saving a lot of people from the evil hydra. *sigh*. With all of my complaining of the story, I will admit I did chuckle at a few scenes, and I thought it was funny during one of the song montages, there was a scene where a lot of people brought the Hercules merchandise at the Hercules store. As dumb and stupid as the pop culture references are in the film, that did make me laugh a lot because of the way they mocked Disney’s Merchandise craze despite this film doing that itself. The story is just bad. That’s all I have to say. I give the story four stars.
On the bright side, the animation looks great. I loved the color palate, and the cartoony visuals the film has to offer. I liked how this is different compared to the other Disney Renaissance animation styles in the films out there. The animation was done by scarfae who have done amazing visuals in movies such as the wall. His animation style brings in a lot of greek symbolism and interesting designs of most of the characters. If the animation is good, what could possibly go wrong? Despite being great having interesting visuals, the animation is kind of a step down compared to the other Disney renaissance films. It’s not grand like you see in The Lion King, or Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s not even that colorful compared to Pocahontas. So, it feels a little on the cheap side. But like I said, the animation is great, but not Disney level of greatness. I give the animation eight stars.
I have mixed feelings of the characters. There are some that I dislike, but there are surprisingly a few that are good. Let’s start with the main character Hercules. Hercules is my least favorite Disney Protagonist, mainly because he is not that memorable. He is bland, and pretty much a combination of Superman/Rocky. I didn’t think he is that funny. Phil is very annoying. I dont know why but I despised him as a character. Although I did liked Danny Devitos performance as him. I’m gonna get some hate for this, but I don’t like Megara. I get that she is sassy and a mockery of the Damsel in Distress Princesses, but she is just forgettable that not even those traits make her interesting to me. As for Zeus, I think Disney did him really dirty, because the actual Zeus slept with women, but in here he is a family man and his only purpose is to help Hercules complete his quest of being up there in heaven. What? WHAT?!! I get that this is a kids movie, but wow Disney, I guess you didn’t learn your lesson from watering down history in Pocahontas, didn’t you? Oh, and Zeus in the film is bland. The characters that I enjoyed in this film is Hades. He is by far the best Disney Villains out there. What makes him so superior is that he doesn’t talk or act like a villain. He talks more like a professional, and he is hilarious. James Woods does a perfect job voicing Hades. Props to you. The villain sidekicks Pain and Panic also get a few laughs from me
The Muses are amazing. I love their personality, and sass. Whenever they are not singing they still become memorable characters. The characters are Mediocre. I give the characters five stars
The songs are the second highlight of the movie. Alan Menken did an outstanding job with the music. I love the catchy gospel music in this film. However, it does confuses me thinking that why didn’t this film just stick to Greek Music since this is based off of Greek Mythology? Anyways I loved the beginning song “The Gospel Truth.” Its a great opening song. “Go to the Distance” is a great “I want” song. It’s a good motivational song that it really does help you feel motivated. “Zero to Hero” is by far my favorite song in the movie. Its catchy, upbeat and it is played in a hilarious montage in the movie. It was my favorite song to listen to as a kid. “I won’t say I’m in love” is a great romance ballad with Megara and the muses in the background singing. I thought Megs singing voice was good, and I loved how the Muses were in the mix. The song that I despise is “One last Hope.” Its a stupid and forgettable montage song. I hated that song. The songs are great despite some odd choices and one bad song. I give the songs eight stars.
It may not be as boring as Pocahontas, but Hercules is still a misstep from the Disney library so far. It has great animation/songs and a perfect villain. But it suffers a lot from inconsistency in the choppy story, middle of the road characters, and very odd choices. I appreciate this a little better than Pocahontas, because it does feel more fun. But like Nostalgia Critic said “with a the Disney renaissance films that started the decline with Pocahontas, this wasnt a good film to return to their roots.” I’ll be generous and give this movie a 6.5 out of 10.