100 Facts About Hercules

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

The story of Hercules was one of my favourite myths when I was a child. I loved this movie as it just added to the story of Greek mythology. As a child I watched the Hercules and Xena television shows religiously and always got books out of the library on Greek myths and legends. I was fascinated.

I really enjoyed the research for this post as I learned so much about this film from reading these 100 facts!

30. Hercules

  1. Hercules was released on June 27th
  2. It was the thirty fifth animated feature in the Disney animated canon.
  3. It was also the eighth entry into the Disney Renaissance Era.
  4. The film was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
  5. Hercules is loosely based on the myth of Heracles, son of Zeus.
  6. The role of Hades is one of James’ Woods all-time favourite characters.
  7. Every time Disney needs James Woods’ to return to voice Hades, he has agreed to do so.
  8. When the film was about to go over-budget, he offered to refund his salary and finish the film for free.
  9. Disney decided against this and finished the film anyway.
  10. Hades was scripted as a slow and menacing character until James’ Woods took the role and impressed the crew with his rapid-fire style.
  11. Even after the script was written, Woods ad-libbed many of his lines.
  12. When the hydra monster is reborn, Phil puts the sword in Hercules’ left had but in the next shot, it’s in his right hand.
  13. When Hercules first enters Phil’s hut he bangs his head on what he is told is the mast of Argo.
  14. In the myth, Jason, the captain of the Argo, was killed when his mast hit his head.
  15. Hercules is the protagonists Roman name and not his Greek name.
  16. Phil cleans himself up using the skin of Scar from The Lion King.
  17. The ‘Air Herc’ sandals brand is a reference to the Nike Air footwear line.
  18. The Hercules mosaic showing Hercules running resembles an actual Nike print ad.
  19. When Hades is I the boat on the river Styx at the beginning of the movie, he throws a small steak to the three headed dog, however in the next scene, the steak is much bigger.
  20. Animators spent 6 to 14 hours to render a frame of the Hydra, depending on how many heads it had.
  21. In the scene where the two kids are trapped under a boulder, they said ‘someone call IXII’ which is the roman numeral equivalent of 911; the emergency phone number in the United States,
  22. Hercules can be seen as the first Disney animated feature to be fully inspired by mythology and not fairytale.
  23. The way Hercules meets Megara in the movie is not how he met her in the Greek mythologies.
  24. In the film, Pain and Panic turn into snakes to try and kill baby Hercules, but are simply grabbed and tossed about.
  25. This is a reference to Hera sending two snakes to kill Hercules who simply grabbed and choked them.
  26. When Pain and Panic are flying down with Hercules he is face up but in the next shot, he is face down.
  27. In Greek mythology, there were nine muses but in the film, there are only five.
  28. In the scene where Hades is eating worms, James Woods ate a watermelon to make the slurping sounds more authentic.
  29. Pain and Panic are named for two of the four minions of Ares, Phobos and Deimos which roughly translates to Pain and Panic.
  30. The Spice Gils were considered for the role of the Muses.
  31. When Hercules first meets Phil he says, ‘Two words, I am retired’ which in Greek is actually only two words.
  32. Andreas Deja, who is best known or animating villains, requested the task of animating adult Hercules.
  33. There are many references to the Tragedy of Oedipus throughout the movie.
  34. The story of Hercules’ birth and adoption in this movie is not true to the myth and more mirrors the story of Oedipus.
  35. Hercules was released due to the backlash the previous two Disney films had received for being too dark.
  36. The muses appear as busts during the song ‘I Won’t Say I’m In Love’, which are similar to those in the Haunted Mansion ride at Walt Disney World.
  37. Phil’s physical appearance was partly inspired by Danny DeVito’s.
  38. Jack Nicholson, Willem Dafoe and David Bowie were all considered for the role of Hades.
  39. John Lithgow was originally cast as Hades and recorded all of is dialogue.
  40. Hercules was the first Disney movie since Oliver and Company where the villain does not sing.
  41. In the Latin American version of the movie, the voice of Hercules is played by Ricky Martin.
  42. Megara is voiced by the singer Tatiana in the same version.
  43. The statue Hercules hits when skipping stones is the famous Venus de Milo.
  44. When the cyclops titan first starts crushing buildings looking for Hercules, a Wilhelm scream can be heard.
  45. When Meg talks about her weak ankles, she sticks her left leg out in front of Hercules but in the next shot, it is her right leg.
  46. Thebes is portrayed very similarly to New York City.
  47. In the scene where Hercules rushes into town on the cart, hitting the top of the entrance, the two men carrying the stone block are caricatures of John Musker and Ron Clements.
  48. Pain calls the potion that turns Hercules mortal as Grecian Formula, which is a real product and is used for colouring greying hair.
  49. John Goodman, Gregory Peck and Patrick Stewart were all considered for the role of Zeus.
  50. The wall painting in Alcmene and Amphitryon’s bedroom is the famous Spring Fresco from the Greek island of Thera.
  51. Phil’s line ‘If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’ is part of the lyrics from the Frank Sinatra song ‘New York, New York’.
  52. Disney debuted the movie in a two week exclusive run for the grand re-opening of the New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street, New York City
  53. Hades says ‘relax, it’s only half-time’ right in the middle of the movie.
  54. Production designer Gerald Scarfe worked with Pink Floyd multiple times and is best known for his artwork and animations for The Wall.
  55. At the end of the song ‘I Won’t Sat I’m In Love’, the muses can be heard singing the tune to ‘Kiss the Girl’ from The Little Mermaid.
  56. As Meg and Hercules are falling in love in the park, Meg gets poked in the back by Cupids arrow.
  57. Originally, when Hades has the Titans trap Zeus in ice and lava, after he says ‘Hades, you’re behind this’, Hades was going to reply ‘and speaking of behind, no one’s going to save yours’ whilst doing a Groucho Marx impression.
  58. It was cut for pacing.
  59. During the training montage, Phil, Pegasus and Hercules balance on logs at a beach, which is a reference to a training exercise in the Karate Kid.
  60. Wayne Knights cameo appearance makes him the second Seinfeld cast member to do voice work in an animated Disney film.
  61. Currently, this is the only Disney Animated feature released in the 1990s to not have any sequels, prequels or midquels.
  62. When Meg finds Hercules behind the curtain, he is missing a wrist band on his left wrist which reappears next time we see him.
  63. After Pegasus refuses to give Meg a ride, she says ‘I don’t think your Pinto likes me very much’ which is a negative comment as Pinto’s were a Ford subcompact car which received much criticism.
  64. When Zeus is creating Pegasus as a gift to Hercules, he is using ‘clouds’ to create Pegasus – Cirrus, Nimbostratus and Cumulus are different types of clouds.
  65. The promotional ads featured Hades saying ‘two thumbs way way up’ which Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel believed they had uniquely invented and trademarked to use in their film reviews.
  66. The phrase was pulled from future ads.
  67. When Hercules is talking to Zeus in the temple, you can see the red ribbon of the medal, but when Pegasus flies in, the ribbon is no longer around Hercules’ neck.
  68. When Pain and Panic bow and cry ‘We are worms! Worthless worms!’ it could be a reference to Waynes World.
  69. The girls seen scaling Hercules’ front gate are the same girls who break in his door and mob him.
  70. The bottle that pain and panic were feeding Hercules with disappears after it breaks.
  71. When Hercules is pulling the wagon into town because Penelope the donkey has twisted her ankle, in one shot she is not wearing a sling to support her leg but in the next shot, she is.
  72. Zeus is voiced by Rip Torn who is the husband of Geraldine Page, the voice of Madame Medusa in The Rescuers.
  73. When Phil tells Hercules he always dreamed of training the greatest hero there ever was a star constellation of Hercules appears on the roll of sheet Phil rolls out, foreshadowing the end of the film where a constellation of Hercules is created by Zeus.
  74. At the Pecs and Flex gift shop near Hercules villa, you can pick up a 30 minute workout scroll called ‘Buns of Bronze’
  75. In Greek myths, the Hydra when one head is cut off, two more grow back, not three as seen in the movie.
  76. When Phil eavesdrops on Hades confronting Meg, the way he sticks his nose on the corner of the wall is similar to how the Seven Dwarfs react when they first meet Snow White.
  77. There are many differences between the film and the original myths.
  78. Hercules had a budget of $85 million.
  79. The movie is featured in a world, Olympus Coliseum, in the Kingdom Hearts video game series.
  80. Hercules, Megara, Phil, Pegasus, Zeus, Hera, Hermes and the Fates were featured as guests on House of Mouse.
  81. Hades was one of the villains in Mickeys House of Villains.
  82. Disney had plans to make a sequel to Hercules but it never happened.
  83. This film was Alan Menkens last project in the Disney Renaissance era.
  84. Hades say’s ‘It’s a small Underworld after all’ parodying both the ride and the song ‘It’s a Small World’.
  85. In Meg’s song, I Won’t Say during the phrase ‘It’s too cliché…’, her eyes are blue and not purple.
  86. Megara calls Pain and Panic (in disguise), ‘a couple of rodents looking for a theme park’ which alludes Mickey and Minnie and Disney Parks.
  87. Susan Egan provides the voice of Megara.
  88. Roger Bart provided the singing voice for Hercules.
  89. Egan and Bart did not meet whilst recording their dialogue for Hercules.
  90. The songs were written by Alan Menken and David Zippel
  91. On Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic, One last Hope is on the purple dic and I Won’t Say I’m In Love is on the orange disc.
  92. Disney’s Greatest Hits includes I Won’t Say I’m In Love on the blue disc and Go the Distance on the green disc.
  93. I Won’t Say I’m In Love was also used on the short lived Disney musical revenue, On the Record.
  94. Near the end of the movie, Hercules is at the top of the stairs talking to his parents but then suddenly appears at the bottom with Meg.
  95. Go the distance was nominated for the Academy Award for the Best Original Song as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
  96. Both lost to My Heart Will Go On from Titanic,
  97. This Disney version of Hercules has little relation to the Heracles myth and should not be regarded as the actual stories about the mythological hero.
  98. Gerald Scarfe, a well known British caricaturist, designed the characters and so, the film has a quirky visual style unusual in recent Disney films.
  99. CGI was used to create the Hydra and the clouds in Olympus
  100. When Hercules throws the giant discus, the ground is rock; in the next short, he ground is grass.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below



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