Mythologies are fantasies that have the power to endure in people’s minds and culture through time. For this, mythological stories and characters have been part of substantial themes of films in the history of filmmaking. They have a significant place in the world of filmmaking because mythological stories and characters have the ample amount of mystery and magic that has the ability to capture the audience’s attention and imagination. Storylines may differ or be similar to the myths itself but the essence of the mythological character exudes. One such mythological character is the half-man half-god Greek hero, Hercules.
This mythological character with extraordinary physical strength has been featured and appeared in numerous films in the big screen and television. With the different depictions of Hercules, this paper then is an assessment on how he was portrayed and presented in films. The materials considered for this study were Disney’s animated film “Hercules” released on 1997 and Roger Young’s miniseries entitled “Hercules. Half Man. Half God. All Power. ” released on 2004 by the Hallmark Channel. The Story of Hercules comes from ancient Greek Legend. Hercules is the son of Zeus.
He was robbed of his divine birthright by the evil Hades who stole him from his cradle and fed him a potion that made him mortal. With only his great strength and his trusty flying horse, Pegasus, Hercules must prove himself a true hero to regain his rightful place among the gods on Mount Olympus. Around every corner lurks the evil Hades. Hercules adventures include — wrestling ravenous serpents, blinding the dreaded cyclops, and beheading the multi-headed Hydra. The cynical citizens of disaster-prone Hercules on Disney’s Animated Film According to the Big Cartoon Database (n. d. )
“Hercules” was a “Disney update on classic mythology”, an animated film about his journey towards finding a place where he belonged. Here, Hercules, the son of Greek gods Zeus and Hera was born god-like strength in Olympus, the home of the gods. When Hades, the God of the Underworld, learns that his plan of domination in the future will be affected because of Hercules’ existence, he summons his two followers, Pain and Panic, de-immortalize the child Hercules and kill him in the mortal world. Pain and Panic, failed in their mission and only succeeds in making Hercules mortal.
No mortal beings are allowed to dwell in Olympus, which leaves Hercules in the care of Alcmene and Amphitryon, the childless mortal couple who found him on the bushes. Hercules later grows into a misfit adolescent because of his extraordinary strength that always gets him in the center of chaos. His adoptive parents later tells him of his past and a medal found with him that is a link to Zeus, his father. Hercules then journeys to the temple of the gods. Zeus appears and confirms Hercules thoughts. Zeus tells him that the only way that Hercules can enter Olympus again is that if he becomes an earthly hero to gain his godliness.
The adolescent Hercules then goes on a pursuit of a hero status with the help and instructions from the satyr, Philoctetes. He achieves the hero status later in adulthood but is perplexed because he still is not a god. When Hades learns that Hercules still lives, he orders his soul-bound follower Megara to deceive Hercules. Hades tries to block his path to being a God with calamities and creatures like the multi-headed, Hydra. Hercules becomes a God when he sacrifices himself for Megara. The animated film ends with Hercules choosing to stay in the mortal world to be with Megara.