Hercules (1997 movie)

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Hercules is the thirty-fifth film in the Disney animated feature canon. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, and released by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution on June 14, 1997.

The movie depicts the adventures of Heracles (known in the movie by his Roman name, Hercules), the son of Zeus, in Greek mythology. The film was followed by an animated television series based on the movie characters, and Hercules: Zero to Hero, a direct-to-video movie.

The movie received one Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Go the Distance". The lyrics were written by David Zippel and the music was written by Alan Menken. It did not win.

In the movie, Hercules is the son of Zeus and Hera (the myths had him as the son of Zeus and a mortal, earth-born woman).

Character design was by noted British caricaturist Gerald Scarfe, and as a result the film has a quirky visual style unusual in recent Disney films.

Disney took considerable liberties with the myth of Hercules, since some of the original material and characters were inappropriate for younger viewers, such as Hercules being conceived through a god posing as a mortal woman's husband, and of his stepmother Hera's attempts to kill him. Disney also made use of stereotypes when designing the look of the Greek gods, such as making Poseidon into a fish.

The movie Hercules has almost nothing to do with the myth of Heracles, and should not be regarded as a true legend about the mythological hero. Rather it is an entertaining spin on the character and the culture of ancient Greece. (Note however that the film does contain a brief reference to The Twelve Labours and other myths pertaining to the character.)

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