Hercules: Zero to Hero
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -1

Disney bills this 70-minute, straight-to-video cartoon as three superhuman adventures. Each of three segments describes how the legendary Hercules of Greek mythology became a hero. In the first, he is a shy teenager in a new school. Hercules quickly learns that the handsome, egotistical Adonis is threatened by the sudden appearance of a possible competitor as the teenage hero. But when the two-headed, man-eating monster, Cyclops, comes looking for someone important to eat at the school, its Hercules who saves Adonis. In the second segment, Hercules travels on Pegasus, his flying horse, to Athens to stop a raging bull monster from destroying a temple. Again, he saves the lives of his contemporaries. When he returns to visit his wise father, Zeus, Zeus decides he must disguise himself as a teenager to understand why Hercules is under so much stress. When he sees Hercules facing a life-threatening encounter with Hades, there is no doubt about his sons superhuman strength and bravery. HERCULES: ZERO TO HERO has a lot of comical characters, including his faithful sidekick, Icky. Its definitely targeted for the under 7 set, who will probably enjoy the action and humor.

While the two-headed monster, evil Hades and other villains might be too scary for very young children, parents also need to explain the difference between gods and God. Since the story of Hercules is based on Greek mythology, there are many references to gods such as Hades, Zeus and Aphrodite, who have magic powers. The two-headed Cyclops refuses to eat Hercules because "you cant be somebody if you eat a nobody," a concept that might upset some youngsters. A particularly scary 3-headed pit bull protects evil Hades from intruders. Theres non-stop slapstick violence as Hercules hurls villains across a room, Icky is crushed in a crumbling building, and others thrown against walls. The Greek chorus of voluptuous women dressed in revealing costumes narrate the story in a rhythm and blues style and Cassandra predicts the future. HERCULES: ZERO TO HERO uses violence to entertain and introduces children to a pagan culture.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Disney Home Videos, Buena Vista, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521, (818) 560-1000

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Many timesModerate (2-headed monster threatens to eat human, 3-headed snarling pit bull threatens strangers, people thrown across room, falls off cliff, boy crushed in collapsed building)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None; Near Nudity - Few times (voluptuous women in revealing costumes)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (women dancing with sensuous movements)
Drug Abuse: None
Other: With with magic eyeball; woman predicts future; pagan gods have magical powers; good wins over evil
Running Time: 70 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 5 to 7

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