Hercules (1997)

MPAA Rating: G

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1

This extraordinary, animated adventure-comedy is based on the tales of Hercules (voice of Tate Donovan), a hero of ancient Greek mythology. Born the son of Zeus on Mount Olympus, baby Hercules is kidnapped by the comical henchmen of the evil god of the underworld, Hades (voice of James Woods). Hercules is forced to drink a magical potion which makes him almost human, but still leaves him with enormous strength. He's raised by a kindly couple, but Zeus eventually reveals to him that he is a god and must prove himself a hero before he can return home to Mount Olympus. To do this, he performs great feats of valor and strength, as well as sacrificial deeds. These include ferocious battles with monsters and daring rescues of persons in danger. He is coached by a comical creature called Phil (voice of Danny DeVito) and, along the way, falls in love with an attractive woman named Meg (voice of Susan Egan). Although filled with many intense battles and action, the story is a fun adventure with jazzy musical numbers and clever and comical dialogue. HERCULES will appeal primarily to youngsters, although adults will likely find it very entertaining.

Since hand fighting and battles rage throughout the story, it may be too intense for young children, particularly those under six. A series of scenes in which Hercules battles a Hydra monster with many heads is particularly severe. Also, some dark, foreboding scenes of the underworld and its River of Death with floating dead bodies could be disturbing to children. Happily, the dialogue is almost free of offensive language or crude humor, except for one moderately crude word and one rapidly spoken profanity. In a garden scene with Hercules, Meg engages in some mildly suggestive remarks and movements. The story is based on the myths of pagan gods and Hercules even prays to the god Zeus in a temple. However, there is no attempt to portray the adventures or the gods as real. Hercules is an honorable hero who endangers and sacrifices his life for others. It should be noted that the Disney company produced the film, and those in sympathy with the current Disney boycott may want to avoid it. However, those not participating in the boycott will enjoy this reasonably wholesome family film.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, 3900 W. Alameda Ave, Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once - Moderate (butt)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Once - Regular (J-rapidly spoken)

Violence: Many times - Mostly moderate, few times severe (ferocious hand fighting and battles, striking and sticking, monsters killed by cutting off heads and rock slides, dead persons thrown into River of Death, massive destruction of property by monsters)

Sex: None

Nudity: none

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (slightly suggestive remarks and movements by woman, slightly suggestive song and dance numbers, comical creature chases nymph goddesses)

Drugs: Few times (alcohol drinking implied)

Other: : Story based on honorable hero of pagan mythology; term 'oh god' used few times, also 'jeez'

Running Time: 86 minutes
Intended Audience: Persons over 6 years of age

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