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Hercules represents the classic recipe of recent Disney animations: A hero, a sexy girl, a seemingly unbeatable wicked enemy, and the world's fate hanging in the balance.
The story begins when baby Hercules (Tate Donovan) is kidnaped by the evil Hades (James Woods), the god of death. A poisonous potion is fed to the baby, but alas, he misses the last drop, thereby becoming mortal but maintaining his super strength. All Herc can do now is be a big help on the farm of his foster parents. But one day he discovers that his real father is supergod Zeus (Rip Torn), and that he can become a god again if he does something truly heroic. With Philoctetes (Danny DeVito) as a coach, Herc learns how to fight an assortment of evil beasts, but his greatest challenge is Meg (Susan Egan), a sexy woman who is a secret agent of Hades.
With a hero who must resolve every conflict through aggression, the film is a fight to the finish. Hercules is continually confronted with computer animated beasts, like a huge lizard that grows three heads for every one he cuts off, and giant mutant Transformer-style monsters. These villains are in keeping with b-grade Saturday morning cartoons and present plenty of scenes that will be frightening to young children.
Sex plays a prominent role in this movie, too. Meg tries to seduce Herc and keep him from doing anything heroic while Hades completes his plan of world domination. She's a curvy vixen who perfectly fits the mold of Disney women from the last decade.
Although Zeus tries to teach Herc what a true hero is, all young viewers are likely to learn is that ?A hero is only as good as his weapon,? as Herc puts it. But as a parent, I expect more from Disney. With the studio's preoccupation with needless violence and curvy women, and with other companies producing animated features, Hercules's fall from godhood may be ironic foreshadowing of Disney's fate as the god of animation.
Hercules is rated G:
Cast: Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, Rip Torn