The whole movie is historical revisionism by Zeus himself.In some stories the end of the Age of Heroes (specifically the Trojan War) was engineered by Zeus to get rid of his illegitimate children, so it's not like this is beneath him. Zeus overthrowing the Titans in the backstory is portrayed as unambiguously good when in the original myth it brought about the end of the Golden Age. The Titans are portrayed as inhuman forces of nature instead of being more or less the same as the Olympians. Hercules is now Hera's child, which eliminates the cheating Zeus part of the story. Since that would mean Hercules is all god we need a reason for him to not be in Olympus, hence the kidnapping and the "you need to become a true hero" BS. Since it wouldn't make sense for his own mother to be his enemy, Hera gets replaced with Hades, who can't exactly leave the underworld to give his side of the story. Hades also replaces Gaia in the Titan rebellion story to cover up the complicated relationship between the Olympians and their ancestors.
- Continuing on this theory, this is Zeus' attempt to survive in the Christian era. Thus why it's Hijacked by Jesus: partly to fit in with conservatives, and partly to enter the wonderful and powerful world of Disney. One wonders how painful it would be for him to fit in with the radical change in values.
- The Muses are helping him, or rather, five of them are. They're the ones telling this story, they interupt the narrator, and assure the audience several times that what they speak is the "Gospel Truth".
- Alternatively, the movie is canon and the "original" Greek myths where lies spun by Hades as a petty way of revenge. Surely it is not coincidence that in the original myths Zeus was a dick and Hades was more reasonable.
- This definitely explains Hades' vilification: he's one of, if not the most even-tempered of the gods. Back in Ancient Greece, Zeus' boorish, whoring ways were awesome and Hades was considered frightening. Nowadays, Hades would be seen as a better ruler. Zeus could've demonized his son Ares(especially considering he's The Unfavorite), but ever since his role as Mars Zeus got to respect his son. Hades is the villain so that people will like him more.
- Further evidence for this theory-the Muses retelling the story are, in the original mythology, Zeus' children by the Titan Mnemosyne. They may be doing a favor for their father.
The whole movie is a Fix Fic by Hercules.While he did earn his happy ending, his position in Mt Olympus didn't alleviate his trauma over what he went through on Earth. He looked for the Muses, his half-sisters, and asked for a revisionist take on his legend. One where he didn't kill his family in a fit of madness and his life was Lighter and Softer, so as to feel better about everything. Zeus got Adaptational Heroism because he wanted his dad to look better. Hera is his mother partly because they have come to terms with one another, and partly because he felt a bit embarrassed about being the result of a one-night stand that was also rape by deceit on Zeus' part. As for why Hades is a villain? Probably just because he was trying to think of a villain, and Ares would get all pissy if he chose him and rage while his uncle didn't really care.
Megara has more issues in her life than what's revealed in the movieIt's implied that she's had some not so great experiences with dudes who won't take no for an answer. "They think "No" Means "Yes", and 'get lost' means 'take me I'm yours'."
- You see Hades getting up close to Meg and invading her personal space a couple of times, which she's clearly uncomfortable with. He was one of the guys who didn't take no for an answer.
- They don't talk like friends, or even a boss to his employee. Instead Hades talks to her almost like a bullying boyfriend, both when he's giving her orders and sweet-talking her.
- In the Animated Series, as a teen her dress is a lot shorter. As an adult her dress is much longer and not as tight - because she doesn't like Hades looking at her.
Meg selling her soul made her invulnerable - AND immortal
- She sold her soul to Hades. He's always losing his temper so, like Pain and Panic, she is in some way immune to his flames. She dodges because, like them, burning hurts her. Heckaroonies, Hades blows the top off a mountain at one point and she doesn't get a scratch.
- On the second part, after selling her soul to Hades, she had been alive for years at the same age, which also added to her embitterment - and that Pain and Panic were in a similar situation. Anyway, as soon as she got her soul back, she was mortal again. Immortality is clearly not so great when you're gonna spend it in enslavement to a Jerk Ass.
The film was originally planned to have Typhon as the monster unleashed by Hades, and Ares would have been the Big Bad.Consider this: in the original myths, Typhon was one of the few monsters that scares Zeus, and Ares' two minions, Phobos and Daemos, were repurposed into Pain and Panic. The inner mythology buff would have loved the film even more if this is how it ended up - Typhon could be the biggest example of Nightmare Fuel in a Disney film since Ursula, and it would have been fucking metal.
The filmmakers were fans of Dungeons & Dragons.Because the Titans are totally Ogrémoch, Yan-C-Bin, Cryonax and Imix.
Zeus put Persephone in charge of the Underworld.Zeus needed someone to run the Underworld, but couldn't just let Hades go. So he asks Persephone to do it, since it's not like she's doing anything during Winter anyway.
Meg is much older than Hercules.When they first meet, Meg calls Hercules "junior", which suggests she's notably older than him. At that point, Hercules must be something like 16 or 17; the time difference between the beginning of the movie (where Hercules is a baby) and the finale is said to be 18 years, and the heroic tasks and fame-building Hercules does between the first meeting with Meg and the finale must've taken him at least a year. Meg, on the other hand, is portrayed as an adult woman right from the start. She doesn't talk or act like a teenager, and her mannerisms and voice are much more mature than Hercules'. Also, she has already been in an adult relationship with a guy, the one for whom she sold her soul to Hades. The familiar tone with which Hades and Meg talk to each other suggests that their deal has been going on for quite some time already, it's not something that happened in the recent past. Now, all this information implies Meg is about 10 years older than Hercules; she's probably in her late twenties or early thirties. There's nothing wrong with this age difference. On the contrary, it's refreshing to see a couple in a Hollywood movie who's age difference goes this way, instead of the usual older guy/younger woman pairing.
- In the seriers because Meg appears as New Transfer Student at Herc's school but this can explained as her staying the same age physically. When you work for Lord of the Dead, that sort of thing can happen.
The prophecy about Hercules defeating Hades was self-fulfilling.Since Hades was trying to recruit the river centaur for what he claims is his assault on Mt. Olympus, presumably all the other monsters that Hades had at his disposal would've been used for attacking Mt. Olympus, in addition to the Titans. Hercules had little trouble killing them in one-on-one combat, but if he had to face them all at the same time at Mt. Olympus, he wouldn't have stood a chance.
Hercules' thread.When the Fates try to cut Hercules' thread of life, it suddenly turns golden and breaks the scissors, much to their dismay. Many assume it's because he saved Meg's soul before they could do it, and he became a true hero and thus returned to Godhood status. Alternatively, he didn't make it to her in time... and the universe recognized his act of knowingly and willingly putting his own life on the line for the life of another is what his ascension was caused by. So he failed to save Meg, but became a true hero and God as a result of going that far, and was essentially ALLOWED to rescue her on his own terms from there.
Icarus (and maybe even Daedalus) is the embodiment of Jealousy (and possibly even Lust)He is a gigantic Crazy Jealous Guy, when somebody falls in love and successfully charms Cassandra, and in the episode where the living Jealousy appeared, Icarus unknowningly powered him with his envy. To distract Jealousy from Hercules going in his belly and saving Icarus, he is put with Cassandra on a date, much to his delight. Now, who else has the hots for her? Icarus. And who is a jealous, obsessive stalker? Icarus.
Had the original, more myth accurate, pitch been used the designs would have been more Fantasia basedJust a belief, nothing to really justify it. Given how accurate the Fantasia Zeus was, it would have been quite a good idea to reuse that design. Since the Zeus in the final film is of a different personality it was only fitting he have a different design to differentiate himself from his Fantasia counterpart.
Had the Muses not interrupted the narrator at the start, the movie would have told a more serious and myth-accurate version of Hercules' story......in which Hera would have been the main antagonist, there would've been more of a focus on the Twelve Labors, and it either wouldn't have had musical numbers or, if it did, they would be more along the lines of those found in its Disney Animated Canon predecessor, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- This is pretty much my thinking. They said "He's making it sound like some Greek tragedy", which suggests that the narrator's version of the story—had we been allowed to hear it—would have been, at the very least, a lot more light on the comedy.
Hercules will become the new god of the dead.Hades would be hard-pressed to keep his job after trying to overthrow the pantheon. Hercules will eventually die due to his mortality, and when that happens Zeus will decide to make him the new lord of the underworld. Megara will be his Persephone, and Pain/Panic will keep charge of the dead temporarily (under lock, and as "community service") in-between. It's even possible that Pain and Panic will switch sides and support Hercules and Megara, possibly because both of them had enough of Hades' verbal tirades and years of abuse.
- And Herc, Meg and the obviously outgoing Pain and Panic will turn the Underworld into a much nicer kind of afterlife, too.
Hades has a "Then Let Me Be Evil" mindset.Historically speaking, the Ancient Greeks didn't like Hades because he was the God of the Dead, and the Ancient Greeks didn't like death. Perhaps Hades got fed up with it?