Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Disn-A-Thon: Hercules (1997)

Hercules, son of the Greek God, Zeus, is turned into a half-god, half-mortal by evil Hades, God of the Underworld, who plans to overthrow Zeus. Hercules is raised on Earth and retains his god-like strength, but when he discovers his immortal heritage Zeus tells him that to return to Mount Olympus he must become a True Hero. Hercules becomes a famous hero with the help of his friend Pegasus and his personal trainer, Phil the satyr. Hercules battles monsters, Hades and the Titans, but it is his self-sacrifice to rescue his love Meg which makes him a True Hero. [imdb]
"What have we here at Disney yet to cover?"
"Greek mythology."
"Alright... sounds good. What sort of music goes well with Greek mythology?"
"How about Southern Gospel?!"
"Do it!"


Yes, I still don't quite get the connection there, and it will always annoy the shit out of me. A very obviously Christian-infuenced style of music as a method of telling the strory of a traditional Greek demi-god. Yeah, that makes sense.

As for artwork and animation, there really is nothing ground-breaking or even breath-taking about this one... which is alright I guess, but there were several times I felt I was watching a Warner Brothers movie, not Disney.  There is one bit of solid detail, in the floor of Zeus's temple or whatever... Lots of detail in the little tiles, and it seems very out of place considering there's no other form of close detail in the entire rest of the movie.

Now for the story... While Disney has been well known for changing stories and "dumbing them down," this is really the only one that truly annoys me. They took a good story that really already had a good moral or point to it, and they changed it to an overused coming-of-age story with the moral of "to be a true hero, follow your heart" or some shit like that.  Once again, it wouldn't have been quite so bad if they hadn't blatantly drilled their point home on so many occasions throughout the film.  I found myself sighing and rubbing my face on more than one occasion, simply because of how tedious their moral felt.  You don't need to have every one of the characters state the moral of the story directly and openly every fifteen(15) minutes.  It just starts getting dumb.

While I will admit to not being very fond of this movie, I won't say it's not enjoyable.  There are some fun parts, and it's not a waste of time.  It's just not the best film they've made, by far.

I was hoping the "making of" featurette would shed a bit of light onto some of the purpose behind why this movie even exists, but it really didn't....
There was also a Ricky Martin music video.