Galatea is a minor character from the Disney animated series, Hercules. Inspired by the classic Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, she is a clay statue that was sculpted by Hercules and brought to life by Aphrodite so she could be Herc's perfect girl and date for the Aphrodesia Dance.
Role in the series
In "Hercules and the Dream Date", when Hercules looks for a date for the Aphrodite Dance, he takes inspiration from the stories of Pygmalion, the aging art teacher of Prometheus Academy that sculpted himself a beautiful wife who absolutely adores him, Hercules sculpts himself a date with mediocre results and asks Aphrodite to bring her to life after improving on her figure. Taking looks as a greater priority over a personality, Hercules only specifies that Galatea is crazy over him. However, things get out of hand as Galatea becomes over-protective of Hercules and paranoid over him talking to any girl other than herself. It escalates to a point where Hercules and Pegasus drop her off on a small island off the coast and dump her.
However, absorbing sediment and walking on the seafloor of the Mediterranean, Galatea makes her way back to Athens and crashes the Dance in a more statue-like form, creating various weapons from her hands and using her abilities to merge with the stone in the building. But a fire breaks out and dries Galatea out while Hercules makes a rescue attempt. Aphrodite arrives finding the party in ruin and brings Galatea to life after Hercules learned his lesson and gives her a free will. No longer interested in Hercules, Galatea chooses to date Ajax instead.
Aphrodite also comments that not everyone learns the lesson, pointing gesturing to Pygmalion who is quite happy to have such a beautiful wife despite her being as crazy as Galatea was, his wife is indeed the mythological version of Galatea.
- During the making of the episode Galatea first starred in, Lisa Kudrow (Aphrodite) and Jennifer Aniston (Galatea) were also working together on Friends.
- In her episode, Galatea was briefly Hercules's girlfriend. Coincidentally, Jennifer Aniston (Galatea) and Tate Donovan (Hercules) were dating each other at the time the episode aired, and so were their characters in Friends briefly.
- While it is established that this Galatea is just similar to another incident with Pygmalion, in the original Greek mythology both Pygmalion and Galatea were quite happy together to the point that they have a daughter named Paphos. In some versions however, Paphos is their son and their daughter is Metharme.