The only animated feature length film release of 1997 by Disney was Hercules. I heard the name before but that’s about it so lets start.
The movie begins with a Voice Over voice overing about a time long, long ago. We get a shot of some vases and on one of them, four women kind of come to life to sing us a song and transport us into Greece. First song, less than a minute into the movie, oh brother.
We find ourselves on top of Mount Olymp where the greek gods reside. They celebrate the arrival of Zeus and Hera’s son Hercules. The parents are enormously proud of the little critter. Hera is all glitter-y and glowing, lol. Zeus creates a baby Pegasus out of thin air so Hercules has someone to play along with, I’m not sure but the two of them are beyond adorable.
The fun is interrupted when Zeus flame-y haired brother (Hades) appears to rain on their parade.
Cut to Hades singing while getting back to his underworld. There he talks to his less than stellar minions, Pain and Panic. The most interesting thing about Hades is that he can change his flame-y hair colour according to his rage. Anyway.
Some women/witches (???) appear to deliver a prophecy to Hades now that Hercules is born. This can only go wrong, look how splendidly this worked out for Harry Potter. They get out a disgusting looking eye oracle and begin. In 18 years, the planets will align so the Titans can be unleashed. Proud Zeus will fall and Hades will rule all. Something like that. They spoke in rhymes.
Now Hades problem is how to kill a god but he already has an answer to that. Make the god a god no more and then kill him. Easy Peasy.
Cut to Baby!H and Baby!Pegasus sleeping in the same crib. IT IS ADORABLE! But the cuteness is interrupted when a shadow appears. Then, as we see Zeus and Hera waking up, there is noise and when they get to the crib, Hercules is gone.
Somewhere else, Pain and Panic are forcing the potion into Hercules. They fail their mission though because Hercules doesn’t drink every last drop of it so he is not dead yet but instead gets found by mortal villagers who have prayed for a baby for many years and now the gods have answered their prayer. They adopt Baby!Hercules. I think he could have done worse.
Time jump to almost 18 years later, H is older and mighty strong. He is pulling the carriage his father and the horse/mule whatever are on. Hercules also seems to be really clumsy. In German, I’d call him a Tollpatsch. He also has giant feet and not the best stand with the other boys his age. They don’t to let him play along.
Cut to father and son bonding time. Hercules tells him that he never feels like he fits in so he sings a song about it because OBVI.
Later, the parentals tell their son that he was adopted and had a name plate around his neck (that I forgot to mention earlier) which is a sign of the gods. So Hercules stets out to discover himself and find his real parents.
In a temple (?) (I’m clearly rubbish at my greek mythology) he prays in front of a giant Zeus statue which then becomes alive, sort of. This movie is utterly ridiculous but so much fun. We get a short rundown through the entire story up until this point again. Hercules can’t come and live with the others up on Mount Olymp because he is not a god anymore and he has to prove himself a hero to become a god. Zeus makes Pegasus appear and the two have a cute reunion. Then off they go so H can prove his herodom. Okay.
The dream team lands somewhere ominous, it looks a little bit like a battle ground and they find Phil peeking at the nymphs. I can’t blame him, he seems like there is nothing else to do around there. Phil says he won’t help Hercules because he is retired and all his previous recruits turned out less than stellar. Hercules reassures him that he can go the distance and I now have a Bon Jovi song stuck in my head about going the distance. Thanks a lot, bro.
Hercules tries to persuade Phil by saying Zeus is his father but Phil isn’t having any of it so he sings a song instead. We get a training montage and Hercules is still a clumsy idil but strong. All the training is basically about saving damsels in distress and I roll my eyes so hard, they may have gotten stuck.
It’s time to prove himself, so they find a real damsel in distress with a centaur. Hercules tries his best but the woman says she can handle herself. Her voice is deliciously deep and if I hadn’t already been fictional married to Pocahontas, I would so fall for Meg, because that’s her name. But, just like every other man, Hercules can’t take no for an answer and fights the centaur. At first he gets his ass handed to him but later manages to succeed.
Hercules and Meg talk, meanwhile Pegasus gets really jealous and Phil is also not as happy with this whole development as could be.
After Hercules left, Meg gets stalked in the woks by Hades because she apparently is owned by him. Fuck this, you can’t own another person! She was supposed to secure the centaur for some games but thanks to Hercules that didn’t work out so well. It takes Hades a moment to make sense of the name Hercules because he thought the kid was dead but SURPRISE! He isn’t!
Cut to Hercules and his posse in a city that’s been riddled with every natural disaster there is. Hercules offers his hero services but the people don’t care because he is such a greenhorn. Hercules is having a crisis of faith but don’t worry, Meg is there to deliver his chance to prove himself. Two little boys are in danger so off H goes to help them.
He lifts a giant rock off of their heads and they go their merry way. It turns out they were Pain and Panic in disguise. OF COURSE!
Next up, Hercules fight some snake-dragon hybrid. It looks bad for him but he slays the thing from within it’s large neck! So disgusting! Only, the separating of the head created a whole bunch of new ones so he has to fight them all. I’m not entirely sure about what is going on at this point but okay. Very tired Hercules manages to fight them all, huzzah!
Sing-song-monatge with the vase ladies. Hercules is da bomb and Hades isn’t pleased with this. He sends Meg to interfere but she says she “swore off manhandling” and I laugh too much at this because me too sister, me too. But Hades makes a compelling offer, saying she will be free if she delivers Hercules. What’s a gal gotta do, right?!
Hercules and his stone papa are having a discussion because his hero business is still not enough to make him a god. Being a hero doesn’t equal being loved by everyone and H needs to listen to his heart #deep
Another crisis of faith, this time, Phil digs deep, telling Hercules he has something he never saw before.
Fangirls fangirl over Hercules but get sent out of his house/residence. Only Meg stays behind and they have a cute get together. On a whim, they say adios to all the plans and spend the entire day together. I know Meg has an ulterior motive but she seems to be really into Hercules instead of just pretending to be. She still has a job to do so she inquires about his weaknesses but Hercules doesn’t have any. Sigh.
Then Hercules bears his heart and they almost kiss!!! This is so romantic. After he leaves she sings my favourite Disney song ever I Won’t Say I’m In Love.
Unlike the movie that I had basically no knowledge about, I’ve been singing this song and all its background vocals for years now. I love it to bits and pieces.
Next up, Meg tries to stand up for herself with Hades and Phil overhears only that part that makes him go all SHE SO BAD AND IN CAHOOTS WITH HADES, YO! Because contrivance reasons.
Phil tries to tell Hercules but he won’t listen. After they separate, Hades appears and he has found Hercules’ weakness, it’s Meg *sobs* This also reveals that Meg was working for Hades and OMG TOO MANY EMOTIONS!
The planets have aligned, Titans are freed which makes Zeus and the other gods all get their panties in a twist over. Meanwhile I’m sitting here, not getting the significance because I have no idea what the titans did or who they really are. This is because I never read the greek mythology books my uncle gave me when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I wanted to read them but never got around to it, now is the time I really regret that.
Meg turns to Phil for help, there is fighting and lots of going on that I don’t understand because taking notes and watching simultaneously is difficult. Hercules saves her though and he starts glowing. I’m sure this means he has turned into a god because he listened to his heart.
Meg gets injured which means he is free from Hades because otherwise she couldn’t have gotten injured. Okay. She seems dead to everyone which makes all of us very sad.But fear not, Hercules has taken it upon himself to bring her back from the dead so he marches up to Hades because he is now a god and invincible. Everything turns out the way it should be, Meg is saved, the Titans are gone and I sigh a big sigh or relief.
OH MAH GAHD! You guys, I really enjoyed this utterly craptastic movie. I’m sure it is a terrible representation of greek mythology, so over the top but god I loved it. The animation was really nice, Meg was fabulous and it features my favourite Disney song. What more could I ask for?!