Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Hercules

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Some scary scenes, characters in peril, references to the underworld
Diversity Issues:All-white characters (except the muses)
Movie Release Date:June 14, 1997

According to Disney, Hercules was the adored son of gods Zeus and Hera, stolen by Hades, ruler of the underworld, and made mortal. He must become a true hero to become a god again, so he can live with his parents on Mount Olympus. To do this, he seeks out a grouchy satyr (voice of Danny DeVito), who trains him in fighting techniques and strategy. When he saves some children (so he thinks) and defeats the hydra (its many heads masterfully provided by computer animation), he becomes an instant celebrity, with action figures and “Air Hercules” sandals. He goes on to his other labors, but finds that is not enough to be a real hero — that comes from the heart, not the muscles.

Kids will need some preparation for this movie. What little exposition there is is provided by Spice Girl-style “muses” as a sort of gospel Greek chorus, fun to watch, but hard to follow. The role of the three fates, who share one eye between them and cut a thread when a human’s life is ended, is particularly confusing.

The love interest in this movie is Meg, who sold her soul to Hades to save the life of her boyfriend, and must now try to find Hercules’ weakness, so that Hades can take over Olympus. She is tougher and braver than the traditional DID (as damsels in distress are referred to in the movie), but still very much on the sidelines in the big moments. Parents may want to talk to both boys and girls about her choices. They may also want to talk about the absence of people of color (other than the muses).

The movie’s other weakness is its lackluster score. As in “Aladdin,” this movie’s white-bread, “aw, shucks” teen-age protagonist is utterly outshone by a star turn of astonishing verve — this time, James Woods as bad guy Hades, who will join Cruella DeVille in the pantheon of unforgetable villains. Sidekicks Pain and Panic (Bobcat Goldthwait and Matt “Max Headroom” Frewer) are wickedly funny as well.

Families who watch this movie should talk about who the real heroes are, and how society treats its heroes. Why do we buy products endorsed by athletes (or movie tie-ins)? It is also worth talking with them about Hercules’ motivation — is wanting to be a god a good reason to want to be a hero? Do we see any evidence that he (or anyone else in the movie) has much concern for the well-being of the community?

NOTE: While the tone of the movie is light-hearted, parts of it may be too scary and intense for smaller children. Some may also be confused or even upset about the underworld and what happens when people die.



  • Allison

    Movie Mom, thank you for all the great reviews. I also loved Hercules, but I would just like to remind you that it was released in 1997, not 1999.

  • Dominic

    Released after All Dogs Go To Heaven 2.

  • Pingback: List: Hercules Movies - Movie Mom

Previous Posts

Comic-Con 2014: Days 3 and 4
Want to know what it looks like inside the legendary Hall H, the biggest venue at Comic-Con, the one where people camp out for days in advance to see the biggest stars and the coolest advance previews? When LAIKA CEO and animator Travis Knight asked the audience to send get-well love to "The Boxtrol

posted 11:02:02pm Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Behind the Scenes Clip: Adam Levine in "Begin Again"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RhZTVijgpb8?rel=0" frameborder="0"] I have one copy of the wonderful soundtrack to give away!  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Levine in the subject line and tell me your favorite song of the summer.  Don't forget your

posted 3:59:43pm Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Thunder Levin of "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2"
One of the highlights of Comic-Con was the chance to catch up with Thunder Levin, screenwriter of the sensation, "Sharknado" and the sequel, "Sharknado 2," which premieres tonight on Syfy.  The original was remarkable for its over-the-top storyline and even more for the Twitter-nado it inspired.  

posted 7:37:17am Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Contest Winner -- "Earth to Echo's" GoPro Camera
Thanks to all who entered!  This contest had far more entries than any other I've ever run.  Congratulations to the lucky winner! WINNER OF THE GOPRO CAMERA: Susan D. Burkburnett, TX  

posted 11:54:55pm Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Intuition -- A Short Film from Danielle Lurie
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/101953117[/vimeo]

posted 10:09:01am Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.