Hera is the Queen of the Gods, and the wife of Zeus in Disney's 1997 animated feature film, Hercules. In contrast to the mythology, the Disney version portrays Hera as a loving and kind mother to Hercules.
Hera appears on Olympus with Zeus as they celebrate the birth of their newborn son, Hercules. She appears to be somewhat overprotective of him, as evidenced when she objects to her husband Zeus letting the newborn Hercules play with his thunderbolts. She also suggests that Zeus provide a gift from themselves to Hercules, resulting in Zeus creating Pegasus.
Later, when Hera and Zeus are awoken to noise coming from the nursery where Hercules is, they arrive too late to find the nursery ransacked and Hercules gone. Hera breaks down in tears over her son's disappearance, while Zeus erupts in fury. Together, they dispatch the other Olympian Gods to find Hercules, but they find him too late to return him to Olympus as he had been turned mortal and thus was barred from returning to Olympus as he was no longer immortal like them. Hera and Zeus had to watch Hercules grow up in the care of Alcmene and Amphytryon for the next eighteen years.
Eighteen years later, Hera and Zeus are alerted by Hermes that the Titans have broken out of Tartarus and are heading for Mount Olympus. Hera is captured with the other gods, but is freed by her son Hercules, who then does away with the Titans once and for all before going after Hades. Shortly after Hercules saves Megara's soul from the River Styx and regains his god-hood, Hera and Zeus are waiting at the gates of Olympus to welcome him home. Hera embraces her son, telling him how proud she and Zeus are of him as he was willing to sacrifice his own life to save Meg's. As Hera and Zeus step aside and open the gates of Olympus to welcome Hercules home and he is surrounded by the other gods, Hercules tells them that while he is glad to be back home on Olympus, an immortal life without Megara in it doesn't seem right for him. He asks to be allowed to return to Earth to live with Meg instead, and despite exchanging some concerned looks, Hera and Zeus accept their son's decision and grant his request, watching proudly as Hercules, Meg, and Phil return to Thebes on Pegasus to be congratulated by Alcmene, Amphytryon, and the Thebans.
Hera appears in the series watching over Hercules along with Zeus. In the episode "Hercules and the Tiff on Olympus", it is shown that Hera, despite having a loving relationship with Zeus, can become extremely bitter with her husband when he forgets things such as their anniversary. Hera does not seem to be as unfriendly to Hades as the other gods in the series, as shown when she persuaded Zeus to attend Hades' pool party.
- In Greek mythology, in addition to being the Queen of the Olympians, Hera was also the goddess of marriage and women. She was both Zeus' wife and his sister.
- Hera was one of the most heavily re-interpreted Olympian Gods in Disney's version of the story. In the original Greek Myth, she was not Hercules' mother, but rather his stepmother, after Zeus had an affair with his mortal mother. She was known to have hated Hercules with a passion, going so far as to try to kill him on multiple occasions; one of which was sending snakes to kill an infant Hercules, which was incorporated into the film as Pain and Panic's attempt on Hercules' life. She was ultimately the cause of what caused Hercules to begin his 12 labors.
- This makes her one of the very few originally villainous characters to be reinterpreted as good for a Disney movie, others being Phoebus from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Elsa from Frozen.
- As portrayed in the movie, while she loves her husband, Hera often serves as both Zeus' conscience and his voice of reason, persuading him in matters that he approaches with less than appropriate actions.