About two years and a month ago the Disney animated movie Hercules was playing on tv. The first time I saw the movie, at my cousins’ house on VHS back when the movie was still new, I really did not like it. I thought it was absolutely disgusting and gross and not at all pretty pretty princess like Disney animated movies should be. I also thought at the time that Disney was terrible and getting worse, the normal opinion of your average cynical teen.
That was how it stuck in my memory all that time. But when I saw it was going to be on tv, I decided to watch it again, see if it lived up to my memory or if I should give it some slack. (I even bothered to take notes on my thoughts for future reference, if anyone’s wondering why I’m writing this two years and one month later.)
My first impressions, I like the Greek art that’s apparent in parts of the movie, and how that style inspired other parts of the movie as well. It reminds me of Sleeping Beauty, how that movie was animated to look like medieval art.
I like the muses, even back when I first saw the movie I liked the muses. I did back then what I always do, I analyzed the girls’ outfits and hair styles and picked my favorite ones. ahaha. (My favorite back then: the one with the long hair, of course.)
I also, surprisingly, like Hades. The first time around I didn’t like him, for reasons I can’t remember. Was he too loud? Was it because he was the Greek equivalent of Satan? I don’t know. I can’t remember why I like him now, either, since I didn’t write notes on that… Maybe he was funny.
The second viewing, I found that I don’t like Hades’ two sidekicks. One guy’s voice just grates on my ears. (Oh man, I’m looking through Wikipedia at that actor’s filmography, and he was the sandman in Are You Afraid of the Dark?! So that’s where I remember his voice from. Creeepy.) The both of them I find to just be bumbling idiots, not funny at all but annoying.
Philoctetes, I never liked him. He’s ugly and annoying and gross and I don’t enjoy his scenes at all. blegh.
Another complaint I had when I was a kid was that Disney mangled the Greek mythology! I did not like the old stories being changed just to fit the current story. For example, why is Hera all nice and motherly with Hercules? She isn’t even his mom in Greek mythology! Now, though, it’s just a minor complaint. After all, I did decide to take movies at face value. Of course it wouldn’t have fit into Disney’s storyline that Hera, who is most undeniably Zeus’ wife, isn’t Hercules’ mom. There has to be a bad guy, and it can’t be Hercules’ own “mom”!
Now for my favorite part of the movie, now and even back then: Megara! And her song “I Won’t Say (I’m in Love).” Megara wasn’t like other female Disney characters at all, and that’s exactly why I liked her then and now. She was sassy, cynical, and she wouldn’t have cared for anyone’s wounds (Belle) or wanted to sacrifice herself for others (Pocahontas, Mulan). And her voice is so un-Disneylike as well, it’s so low, not like a certain high-voiced sixteen-year-old (Snow White).
Overall, the plotline is pretty standard fare for Disney, and some characters I like, some I detest. I don’t think of this movie with distaste anymore, though. And I don’t feel guilty about liking Megara and her song while hating the rest of the movie, because I don’t hate it anymore!
(But what’s number one on my disliked Disney movie list now…?)