Hercules is an animated fantasy comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation that was originally released in 1997. It was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. The story is loosely based on the Greek mythological hero Heracles.
The film starts with the imprisonment of the Titans under the sea by the Olympian Gods. Afterwards, they all gathered on Mount Olympus, as Zeus and Hera said they had a son named Hercules. Hades, the jealous brother of Hades, wanted to overthrow Zeus and take control of the throne; he asked the Fates how he could implement his plot, and they told him that in eighteen years' time, the planet would align in such a way that it would be easy for Hades to locate and free the Titans. With their help, Hades would be able to get control of Mount Olympus, as long as Hercules did not interfere. Going ahead with his plot, Hades sent his agents Pain and Panic to get rid of the boy; although the two succeeded in kidnapping him and giving him a potion that turned him mortal, they were unable to remove his unnatural strength. The baby boy was then found by farmers Amphitryon and Alcmene and was adopted.
When Hercules became a teenager, he started wondering where his strength came from. After asking his foster parents, they showed him a necklace that he had had when they had found him years before. Seeking answers, Hercules visited the temple of Zeus, where the statue of the god came to life and told the truth to the young man. He was also told he could become a god again if he showed the qualities of a true hero. Afterwards, Zeus sent Hercules and his friend Pegasus to find the satyr Philoctetes, who would be able to train him.
Years later and having been trained as a hero, the group travelled to Thebes; on their way, Hercules saved Megara, a young lady, from the centaur Nessus; Megara joined the group but it was revealed to the viewers that she was in fact an agent of Hades. In Thebes, Megara said that two boys, who were Pain and Panic in disguise, had been trapped in a gorge. Hercules saved them, but Hades was able to summon the monster Hydra against Hercules. The hero started fighting Hydra and cutting its heads, but new heads sprang up; eventually, he killed the monster by causing a landslide. The Thebans welcomed Hercules as a hero, but Zeus told him he still hadn't done enough to be a true hero.
Depressed, Hercules was consoled by Megara, and the two gradually fell in love. Afraid of this and being the eve of the planetary alignment, Hades said that he would hurt Megara unless Hercules gave up his strength for 24 hours. Hercules agreed and lost his strength, but was depressed when he was told Megara was an agent of Hades. Hades then freed the Titans who attacked Olympus and incarcerated the gods. A cyclops was sent against Hercules; the hero successfully killed the monster, but in the process, Megara was crushed by a pillar. Hercules' strength returned to him and he went to Olympus to free the gods and banished the Titans to space. Returning to Megara to help her, he realised she had died already and decided to go to the Underworld and claim her back from Hades. There, he said he would give up his life to save Megara from the life-draining river Styx, and Hades agreed. This action turned Hercules into a true hero, and his godhood was restored before he was taken by the river. The hero went to shore and punched Hades into the Styx; he then revived Megara and the two returned to the surface.
Written by: The Editors of GreekMythology.com. GreekMythology.com editors write, review and revise subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge based on their working experience or advanced studies.
For MLA style citation use: GreekMythology.com, The Editors of Website. "Hercules 1997". GreekMythology.com Website, 28 Mar. 2016, https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Movies/Hercules_1997/hercules_1997.html. Accessed 14 May 2021.