Western Animation / The Mighty Hercules


The Mighty Hercules is a cartoon based rather loosely on the legendary greek hero Hercules.

Hercules comes down from Mount Olympus to battle monsters and villains like the wizard Daedalus, Wilhamene the Sea Witch and the Mask of Vulcan. Because on Earth his godly strength would vanish, Hercules must don a magic ring to maintain his power. At his side are the beautiful Helena, Newton the Centaur, Tewt the satyr and young King Dorian of the kingdom of Caladon.

This series is best remembered by Johnny Nash's Bragging Theme Tune. Also it partially inspired Superman's look for Superman: The Animated Series, particularly his head shape and facial features.


  • The Ace: Well, Hercules himself, but in one episode Newton found himself replaced as Herc's sidekick by a much more competent centaur named Notwen. The whole thing turns out to be All Just a Dream, of course.
  • Audible Gleam: Mostly with Hercules' ring
  • Beard of Evil: Daedalus.
  • Day Old Legend: Even though the Mask kept having the Mask of Vulcan taken away from him, he could just craft another one. (In one case, he made one not only for himself, but for the Nemean Lion)
  • Distressed Damsel: Helena.
  • Evil Sorceror: Daedalus, though the actual powers he displayed could range anywhere from controlling the weather, to making potions, to just relying on some gadget he found or stole, depending on the episode.
  • Good Is Dumb: In many an episode Hercules only bothers to put on his magic ring after finding out the hard way he can't actually tackle the menace of the day without it.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: Hercules employs this in The Magnetic Stone to catch Daedalus, using a magnetic stone and a large iron kettle. He throws the kettle at Daedalus, which lands on Daedalus' head, and drags him back over to him, from outside a window, with Daedalus flying through the air, with the pull of the magnetic stone.
  • Magic Skirt: Worn by Hercules himself, no less. (Well, it's usually magic)
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Hercules can't budge anyone wearing the Mask of Vulcan even if he has his ring on. It's pretty easy to remove once the heroes think to try, though.
  • Once an Episode: After Hercules accomplishes his heroic deed, he flies off shouting "Olympi - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
    • Hercules' donning his ring to retain his god-like strength also qualifies. Even on the rare occasions when he puts the ring on twice, the Stock Footage ring sequence is only used the first time.
  • Origins Episode: the very first episode (which had a very different animation style and character design) shows how Hercules received the magic ring and was first sent down to earth.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Daedalus' own cat, Dydo.
    • Sea Witch Wilhelmina has a pet parrot, Elvira. Unusually for a cartoon parrot, it couldn't talk.
  • Rogues Gallery: The wizard Daedalus, the sea witch Wilhelmina, The Mask (who was invincible so long as he wore the Mask of Vulcan), General Diomedes and Otis the Chameleon Man.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: The mythological Daedalus was a cunning craftsman, but he wasn't really evil and certainly didn't plan on conquering any part of Greece.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Definitely showy, mostly invincible. Nothing kept Herc down for long, though.
  • Stock Footage: A lot of the show, as you might imagine. Not only for the ring sequence, but every time Hercules rides Pegasus, and every time he's shown dragging a villain away at the end of an episode (regardless of which villain it is - there's a reason they all dressed in the same purple robes).
  • Stock Sound Effects: The Monster of the Week always tended to make the same noises.
  • Strictly Formula: Villain/monster appears, Hercules puts on magic ring, capture villain/beats the stuffing out of the monster, returns to Mount Olympus with a shout of "OLYMPIAAA..!"
  • Tagalong Kid: Newton. Tewt also qualifies (though Tewt is also more helpful). Sometimes the human boy Timon.
  • Un Evil Laugh: Daedalus gives it his best shot, but it ends up being pretty narmy.
  • Verbal Tic: Newton tends to say everything twice. Everything twice.
  • The Voiceless: Tewt can only communicate by playing his pipes.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Otis the Chameleon Man could turn into anything he wanted. Not that it ever helped him beat Herc, of course. He usually found himself acting as hired muscle for one of the other villains rather than coming up with a scheme on his own.
  • The Wise Prince: King Dorian wants to be this.
  • The X of Y: The show tended to do this with whatever monster or magic item drove the plot of the episode.