Hooo boy, Hercules. I have a love/hate relationship with this film - no, wait, hate is too strong a word. Love/dislike seems more fair.
I am a mythology buff - or at least, I try to be. And that's why I'm conflicted over this film. This film defines In Name Only
- the thing is, this actually works to the film's advantage. Even though my inner mythology buff is screaming "HERESY!", the movie is still an enjoyable and fun Disney flick. First off, we'll talk about Hades. Now, Everybody Hates Hades
is one of my least favorite tropes. Ever. Hades, along with Hephaestus, is the Nice Guy
of the Jerkass Gods
in the Greek pantheon. Luckily, Disney manages to make this complete and utter heresy into something good - by making Hades their most Affably Evil
villain since Ratigan. Hades steals the show more than any other Disney villain, ever.
Herc himself is also pretty fun - he's one of the most Adorkable
protagonists of any animated film, ever. He's expressive, he's loveable, and he's human despite being a super strong demi-god.
The soundtrack. Holy CRAP, I love this movie's soundtrack. The only song that's just good is I Won't Say I'm In Love
; the rest of the soundtrack is phenomenal, with Alan Menken
throwing back to his work on Little Shop Of Horrors
. Hell, it actually managed to make a good Michael Bolton
song before The Lonely Island
The humor is pretty similar to Aladdin
, which is by the same directors. However, it's a little bit more hit-or-miss - everything Hades, and, to a lesser extent, Phil
says and does is either laugh-out-loud funny, or chuckleworthy. However, some of the Anchronism Stew
, like the credit card during the otherwise awesome Zero to Hero number... Well, it doesn't work that well.
The plot is also a mixed bag. It's definitely Hijacked By Jesus
to the extreme, but the things that make the plot stand out is that it's Superman in ancient Greece
! While it's really got nothing to do with the original Hercules, it still manages to stand on its own merits.
Ultimately, while it has more than a few flaws, the soundtrack, the characters, the art design by Gerald Scarfe
, and, of course, the sheer hilarity that is Hades
make this film a worthy entry in the Disney Animated Canon
. I give it a B+.