Hercules 1997 movie poster

Hercules is a 1997 animated comedy-family film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. The film is loosely based on the legendary hero Heracles (known in the film by his Roman name, Hercules). It is the 35th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Feature Animation and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures. The film was released on June 27, 1997.


After the defeat and imprisonment of the notorious Titans, the Greek gods gather at Mount Olympus to celebrate the birth of Zeus and Hera's child, Hercules. The ruler of the underworld, Zeus' brother Hades, is displeased by Hercules' birth and converses with the Fates, who reveal that in eighteen years, a planetary alignment will allow Hades to locate and free the Titans. However, the Fates warn Hades that if Hercules intervenes, he will fail. To rectify this, Hades orders his minions Pain and Panic to abduct Hercules and feed him a formula that takes away his godhood, reducing him to a mortal. However, Hercules retains his superhuman strength and is adopted by farmers Amphitryon and Alcmene.

In the years that follow, Hercules becomes an outcast due to his superhuman strength, and visits the temple of Zeus to seek answers. Hercules and Zeus reunite, and Zeus reveals that Hercules will be able to retain his godhood by proving himself a true hero. After Hercules is reunited with his infanthood friend, Pegasus, he sets off to find the satyr named Philoctetes, who is retired from training heroes. Hercules inspires Phil to train him to become a true hero. Years pass and Hercules and Phil set off to Thebes, encountering a woman named Megara on the way. Hercules rescues Megara from a centaur named Nessus, unaware that Megara is a minion of Hades, having sold her soul to him to save her unfaithful lover.

In Thebes, Hercules is rejected by the citizens until Megara directs him to a gorge, where two boys are trapped. However, upon freeing the children, they turn out to be Pain and Panic. The Hydra is summoned from the gorge and battles Hercules, but is killed when Hercules causes a landslide that buries the Hydra. Hades responds by sending more monsters to battle Hercules, but these result in failure. Hercules becomes a hero and celebrity, but Zeus explains that he isn't a true hero yet, driving him into depression. Hercules and Megara begin to fall in love, but Phil discovers Megara's alignment with Hades. Phil attempts to warn Hercules, but Hercules refuses to listen to him. Hades, discovering Hercules' affection towards Meg, decides to use this to his advantage.

On the eve of the planetary alignment, Hades confronts Hercules and convinces him to temporarily give up his superhuman strength in exchange for Megara's safety. Hercules agrees and Hades removes his strength. Hercules is left heartbroken when Hades reveals that Megara was working for him. Afterwards, Hades releases the Titans, who converge upon Mount Olympus and take the gods prisoner while a Cyclops is sent to Thebes to kill Hercules. Phil and Megara inspire Hercules to fight back and kill the Cyclops, but in the process, a pillar is knocked down towards Hercules. Megara pushes Hercules out of harms way and is crushed herself. As a result, Hercules regains his strength and sets off to Mount Olympus. Hercules frees the gods and subdues the Titans, throwing them into space, where they explode. Hades flees to the underworld, but Megara dies from her injuries.

Hercules journeys to the underworld, where he offers his own life in exchange for Megara's. Hercules then dives into the Styx to retrieve Megara's soul. This proves Hercules a true hero, and he retains his godhood, allowing him to survive in the life-draining Styx. Hercules successfully retrieves Megara's soul and punches Hades into the Styx when he attempts to bargain with Hercules. Hercules restores Megara's life and the two arrive at Mount Olympus, where the gods celebrate. However, Hercules chooses to remain with Megara, and returns to Thebes with her, where he is hailed a hero.


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