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An outrageous odyssey of fun, fantasy, and adventure unfolds in the hilarious hit film HERCULES, Disney's 35th animated triumph "brimming with comic surprise!" (Entertainment Weekly) Taken from the gods as a newborn, adopted on earth, Hercules becomes an awkward teenage pillar of strength. Trying to fit in, he discovers his dad is Zeus and home is Mount Olympus -- if he can move from "zero" to true hero! Hercules teams with babyhood pal Pegasus, the flying stallion, and Phil -- a feisty personal trainer -- for the mission. But it's no easy task as he must match wits with Grecian beauty Meg and a comical hothead named Hades. With the help of Pain and Panic, Hades plans to rule the Universe with only Hercules standing in his way! With a bold animation style, colossal voice cast, and spectacular music, HERCULES is unmatched in strength -- delivering something for everyone with "pinwheeling, knockabout fun!"
Not the egregious foul it seemed to be in theaters, Hercules stands up as an entertaining spritzer of an animated feature. The continual peppering of in-jokes and cultural references becomes less irksome on video. That there's no majesty or awe invested in the beloved Greek legends also seems less of an error. Also on the plus side is the bounciest Alan Menken music since Little Shop of Horrors. With Zeus's blood in his veins, young Hercules's amazing strength makes him an outcast (sorry, that still doesn't fly), so he trains with a satyr named Phil to become a hero. Along the way Herc meets Meg, a common mortal who falls hard for him. They're both against the jocular Hades, who has to destroy Hercules to take over Olympus. The hydra is the computer-animated set piece for this little number, a no-chance attempt to beat that wildebeest herd from The Lion King. --Keith Simanton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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A run of the mill coming of age story, then, but several things make the film more than a boring rip-off of ancient themes. First, the drawing has an elegantly fresh look to it, with many witty visual references to Greek vase paintings, sculpture, architectural lines and so forth. There are also quite a few quips and puns for grownups (Thebes is the Big Olive, for example, its residents speaking in New York accents) including plenty of cute jokes about the classics. Pedants can enjoy cataloguing the allusions and "mistakes".
The music is pleasant, a lot of it sung by an updated "chorus" of gospel singers. Finally, the characters are vividly sketched, with Hades really stealing the show. Some of the animated figures amusingly caricature their real life voice actors. (See The Making Of supplement.) The rich background of the myths gives the story more depth and darkness than it would otherwise have.
Bottom line: appeals to a different audience than some Disney favorites, but a very smart production with many original aspects. Too much neglected.
But Disney's Hercules does a hack-job on Greek mythology which passes the most generous bounds of adaptor's license. I am tempted to say that "Disney's Hercules leaves Greek mythology looking like a chimera after a bad night in a procrustean bed" or some kind of nonsense like that, but I will refrain.
Hercules represents far worse than poor screenwriting -- it constitutes a serious disservice to children and parents alike, systematically mis-educating American youth as to the fundaments of Western culture. ...In a first draft of this review, I listed some of the more egregious examples, but on reflection I don't want to reify the false memes the film has surely injected into the American mainstream knowledge base by enumerating them here.
Bottom line: if you don't fall into the "pig-ignorant and proud of it" category, I urge you to take my advice and boycott this poor showing, thus sending a message to Disney that Americans aren't as dumb as market statistics imply, and simultaneously doing your children the favor of not filling their heads with information tending to increase rather than decrease their ignorance of classical culture.
[These points made, I liked James Woods' powerful stage presence and I liked the gimmick of making the muses (although why there should only have been three muses I cannot guess) African-American. I liked essentially nothing else about the film. Disney should be ashamed of this one.]
It Teaches Girls What the Qualities of Male Loyalty, Patience, and Courageous Deeds can Accomplish in a Girl's Life, and What to Look for In A Serious Man, and It Teaches Boys What Real Love and Devotion towards A Girl of His Heart Should Really Be "By his Actions for Her", Rather Than "By His Words to Her".
I Don't Rate Anything In Life As Perfect, As Everything In The Universe Is Eternal And Continuously Changing.......
.....But This One Gets a 9 Out of 10 from a Very Ethical, Moral, Serious and Very Analytical Scientist of Spartan Warrior Origin.
"One Word Frees Us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is LOVE."
Sophocles (c.496-406 BC)
"And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation".
Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)
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