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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Edition No 912 
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HERCULES

SYNOPSIS:
An irreverent comedy based on the Greek myth, following Hercules on his journey from zero to hero. Son of Zeus, baby Hercules, born with enormous strength, is stolen from his heavenly home on Mount Olympus by side-kicks of Hades, Lord of the Underworld, who has been secretly plotting a hostile take-over. In a bungle of their mission, the side-kicks fail to administer the last drops of the potent Grecian formula, which leaves the infant with god-like strength but human mortality. When Hercules grows up, discovers his origins and is reunited with his childhood gift, winged horse Pegasus, he locates sarcastic satyr Phil in an endeavour to learn how to become a hero, enabling him to restore him to God-status. But slaying monsters and rescuing damsels isn’t enough… it doesn’t take the evil Hades long to discover that beautiful temptress Meg is Herc’s weakness…..

"The world will fall in love with Hercules. This new full-length animated feature from Disney is a delight. It will refresh you and renew your enthusiasm on the most jaded of days. With a fresh, innovative script combined with great voices and colourful images that will amaze, Hercules will no doubt emulate the success of its forerunner Aladdin. The ancient classic tale of Hercules is inspired and eminently suitable for this medium - allowing the skill of the animator to create fantasies beyond our expectations, while letting our imagination soar. The script is fast and witty, the music will keep your toes tapping; the humour infectious; I smiled throughout. The characters are to dream-for; Pegasus, the stunning white steed created from clouds with blue mane, tail and attitude; Hades (James Wood, sharp scene stealer), the Lord of the Underworld with flaming blue hair, fiery orange eyes and a crispy sense of humour; majestic God Zeus (Rip Torn) epitomising beauty and good; Meg (Susan Egan) - the shapely damsel desperately seeking to reclaim her soul; hero-trainer, sarcastic satyr, Phil (Danny De Vito at his spritely best); Hercules (Tate Donovan), from cute angelic babe to gawky youth to Big Time Hero. There is much to enjoy on many levels. From the superficial to the deep and meaningful, there’s something for everyone. Do yourself a favour - treat yourself to Hercules. You deserves it."
Louise Keller

"While the Batman franchise may have gone from hero to zero, the reverse can be said of the Disney animation industry. Despite the successes enjoyed by this arm of Disney since Little Mermaid, the films have become stronger, and this is further evidenced by animated film number 35: Hercules. What is essentially the story of a gawky teenager trying to find his place in a confused world, this Hercules has in its strength a script that bursts forth with a sense of irony, wit and intelligence. The result is a toe-stopping, frenetically paced jewel of an entertainment, a delicious romp through Ancient Greece. This Hercules is kind of like an ancient Superman, and the film cleverly pokes fun at what the studio is master of: merchandising, as well as the whole notion of heroism and hero-worship. Technically, the Disney artists have done themselves proud, adding depth and clarity to all aspects of the film's design, from background to characterisation. On a visual level, Hercules is a cinematic feat, mainly due to the inspirational work of British designer Gerald Scarfe. Then there are the vocal facets of this movie, all performers creating such memorable characters. But it's James Woods who steals the film as the fast-talking and demonic Hades. Many past Disney villains never had much of a sense of humour, but Woods' Hades jets along with a barbed and bristling humour. He's hilarious to listen to, even following the closing credits. The music enhances the film's overall atmosphere, and the writing of this film is what helps bring it alive. OK, so purists of Greek mythology may not approve of the way the film deals with a legend, but hey, loosen up guy, this is the nineties, and this Herc is a hero for today. This is the kind of action movie that we need more of, one that doesn't insult its audience."
Paul Fischer



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HERCULES (G)
(US)

VOICES: Danny DeVito, Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Rip Torn, James Wood and Charlton Heston

PRODUCER:

DIRECTOR: John Musker, Ron Clements

SCRIPT: John Musker, Ron Clements

CINEMATOGRAPHER:

EDITOR: Tom Finan, Jeff Jones

SONGS: Music - Alan Menken; Lyrics - David Zippel

PRODUCTION DESIGN:

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 18, 1997







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