Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hercules (1997)

Number Rolled: 14
Movie Name/Year: Hercules (1997)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: G
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi, Kaan Kalyon, Kelly Wightman, Randy Cartwright, John Ramirez, Jeff Snow, Vance Gerry, Kirk Hanson, Tamara Lusher, Francis Glebas, Mark Kennedy, Bruce Morris, Don Dougherty, Thom Enriquez
Actors: Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Rip Torn, Samantha Eggar, Barbara Berrie, Hal Holbrook, Paul Shaffer, Amanda Plummer, Carole Shelley, Paddi Edwards, Charlton Heston, Patrick Pinney, Lillias White, Vaneese Y. Thomas, Cheryl Freeman, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Corey Burton, Keith David, Jim Cummings

Hercules is born to Zeus and Hera, as a full-blood god upon Mount Olympus. After learning from the fates that the new born was on track to destroy a plan set to hatch eighteen years into the future, Hades has the boy kidnapped and turned into a human, then killed. His peons get something wrong though, and manage to turn him human, but not strip him of all his powers. Because of that error, Hercules survives in the care of his adopted family.

I’m in love with mythology. Greek, Roman, Celtic; the origin of said mythology doesn’t matter. Since I was in elementary school I would pick up any book I came across with any myth, any legend, any fable. I recently finished reading all the available books in the Percy Jackson series (the next one comes out in the fall and I’m twitching for it). There was a lot I didn’t like about the mythology of those books, but I think they mostly got it right. With Disney’s “Hercules” I know I should hold a lot less against it. After all, the old Greek myths were not G rated. This movie is for kids, so a lot of the story had to be watered down; which I expected and I prepared for and I still was unhappy with.

The origin they went with was just horrible. I couldn’t really get past it, especially since they based the entire rest of the storyline on it. In the end they made it fit, but I still cringe. The creation of Pegasus, however, was just adorable.

The animation was alright. I could have guessed Zeus and Hercules from their concept art. On the other hand if someone would have stuck a picture of Hera from this movie in front of me, there would have been several goddesses I would have guessed and not one of them would be her.

With those issues in mind, the movie wasn’t bad. I just expect more out of Disney originals. When you put this up against other 90’s originals (like Pocahontas, The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) it just comes up short. The music was good, but not exceptional. The story wasn’t as memorable when compared to the other instant classics Disney was putting out at that time. None of this means it was bad.

Disney is still a powerhouse company, putting out more movies per year than audiences can even digest, but back in the 90’s they were just starting to become what they are now. Every movie they put out was original, unforgettable and pretty much genius. Hercules is a really good movie that kind of loses itself among the rest of those amazing films.

I loved the Meg character though. There’s no secret that I love that sass.

Overall Opinion – 4/5

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