Hercules had a really tough act to follow. The early 90s had been amazing for Disney with Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King all doing massive numbers as well as getting a ton of critical acclaim. Hercules never quite caught on in the same way, but it is still a fun Disney movie and one that may be better than you remember it being.
How to Download Hercules (1997)
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
The Movie Review
I have a bit of a strange history with Hercules. You see when I think of Hercules, it is the PlayStation game that was released around the same time that springs to mind. This and the sections that were in Kingdom Hearts II and III. Or, I just think of Hades as one of the more iconic and awesome Disney villains, the actual character, or the movie in general very rarely come to mind.
That right there is the problem with this movie, it is good and well-made, but it is very forgettable. It tells the story of Hercules, but with a Disney twist as you would expect. Hercules is raised on Earth as a half-mortal and half-god being and he learns that he is really the son of Zeus!
Hercules is thrilled to hear this, but if he wants to join his family and the other gods on Mount Olympus, he will have to become a true hero on Earth first! It is a fun premise and ultimately, Hercules is a very likable character. What I think makes us warm to Hercules is his relationships with others.
We get to see him try and help many people in his quest to be a hero. However, it is the way he is with his trainer Phil who is voiced by Danny DeVito that I always get a huge kick out of. Of course, things are not going to be all plain sailing for our hero Herc as there is something big standing in his way.
The villain of Hercules is Hades. Hades is played by James Wood and I would argue that this is one of Woods’s most iconic roles and also that Hades is one of the greatest Disney villains of all time! He wants to overthrow Zeus and he along with Meg is throwing some major obstacles in Hercs way on his quest to become a real hero.
The characters in the movie, in general, are all great, but Hades is such a great character and he along with Pain and Panic are the best things about this movie and would be the reason I would watch it again. I think that Disney really nailed the characters here and while the plot is not bad, as I said earlier, it is a kind of forgettable movie.
I will say that it looks fantastic! The way they brought ancient Greece to life is a lot of fun and I love the scenes with the Muses and the funky effects that are used here. It is one of the brighter Disney films of the time and it has a really upbeat and fun soundtrack that I think has some underrated classics on it like Zero to Hero which is awesome.
While Hercules is never going to make my top 10 Disney movies of all time list, I still think that this is a fun movie. I recently watched it again for this review and I feel like Hercules is one of those movies that gets that little bit better each time I watch it. If you missed out on this one back in the day, be sure to give it a watch on Disney Plus!
- Hades is one of the best Disney villains of all time
- Phil along with Pain & Panic are some of the best side characters in a Disney movie
- The animation and the way the movie looks hold up very well to this day
- I want to shout out the PlayStation game that came out in 1997 which is awesome!
- While the characters are great, the plot is a little thin and basic
- I sound like a broken record on these classic Disney reviews, but where is the 4K?????