- “Excuse me. It, uh, seems to me that what you folks need is a hero. I'm Hercules, and, uh, I happen to be...a hero.”
Hercules is the titular protagonist of Disney's 1997 animated feature film of the same name. The son of Zeus and Hera, Hercules was taken away from his home on Mount Olympus as a baby and turned mortal by his evil uncle Hades, though he maintained his mighty strength. Along with Pegasus and Philoctetes, Hercules set out on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance to prove himself from klutzy "zero" to true hero and reclaim his place among the gods.
Despite his incomparable power and fame throughout Ancient Greece, Hercules initially believed being a hero would simply be battling monsters and rescuing damsels. It wouldn't be until his chance encounter with the femme fatale Megara that Hercules would come to understand the true measure of a hero.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Live-action appearances
- 4 Printed media
- 5 Video games
- 6 Disney Parks
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 Trivia
- 11 References
- 12 External links
- “A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.”
- ―Zeus to Hercules
Born on Mount Olympus, Hercules is the vibrant, tenacious and optimistic son of Zeus. Hercules maybe a demigod, but after drinking a mortal potion, he was still considered a mortal. Throughout his life, Hercules is portrayed as gawky and awkward, but mostly clumsy because of not having control of his godly strength which tends to accidentally cause destruction. Among his tics, Herc has an energy and a sort of naïveté quality, having been raised as a polite, hardworking farm-boy in the country. His insecurity stemmed from how hard it was for him to find his place in the world because of how alone and out of place he was. Hercules had often dreamed of a far-off place where crowds would cheer when they saw him, instead of running in the opposite direction. Sometimes he felt like hitting the road to search for that place. He'd go the distance, walk every mile without complaining, and go almost anywhere to feel that he belonged. Hercules searched the sky with the shooting star as if he might find the answer somewhere among the clouds. After learning the truth about his true parentage and godhood, Hercules's head began to fill with dreams of becoming a true hero. As such, Phil and Pegasus did everything in their power to help the klutzy boy turn from a "zero" to hero, though he would unknowingly become the pawn of schemes from Hades, who sought to destroy Hercules for his own personal gain. While his strength is well above average, Hercules isn't all that intelligent, but what the starry-eyed hero lacks in outstanding brains and wits, the more he makes up for it in his compassion and the desire to do good. His "fearless and proud" heroism and "daring deeds" are especially appreciated in a world with constant turmoil around every corner, be it by the hands of a man or beast, or the Lord of the Dead himself. Whether he was the scrawny teenager or the muscular hero, Hercules is compassionate and polite. Even though Herc is very brave, he can still be sensitive, with strong but gentle features. Without any doubt, Hercules's most dominant trait is his innocence and massively kind heart, in spite of being treated like a "geek", "freak", or a "nobody" earning the name "Jerk-ules" by his peers and those around him (except his foster parents) throughout his childhood and adolescent years. His teenage years were difficult with his lack of coordination and tendency to break things. Hercules had tried to do what was right for his family, but it hadn't worked the way he had hoped. When he grows into an adult strongman and a first-class hero, Hercules still retains flaws of which he never quite grew out, such as an "innocent farm-boy routine" as Megara once called it, as well as his optimism. Even after becoming a worldwide phenomenon, Hercules still had his honest, sweet, cheerful and friendly nature, not once letting the fame dangerously inflate his ego. This makes Hercules one of the purest of heart as a Disney character.
Before training with Philoctetes, Hercules a courageous youth but clumsy and inept, where even if he accidentally slips or trips on his too-big feet, losing his balance, he ended up humiliating himself in blunders or goes about inadvertently destroying things. Indeed, when a group of boys throw a discus into the marketplace, Hercules catches it, but stumbles back and causes the destruction of the entire marketplace. Like most teenagers, Hercules was also wide-eyed, shy and timid, having a tendency to stammer when he speaks, fidget with his hands, flinch when startled or frightened, and stand or stagger in a pigeon-toed stance. He beamed or brightened when he gets happy about something, or if dazed, he develops a goofy lopsided grin. When the giant statue of Zeus came to life reaching for Hercules, his first instinct was to scream and tried running away from the towering figure, terrified and unable to help himself before being picked up in the statue's massive hands, feeling like an insect as he tried to escape the god's enormous fingers. Hero-training with Phil was so difficult that Hercules often thought of quitting, but in the end he refused to give up and kept on working to reach his goal, committed to seeing this through, such as practicing swordplay and archery, because he had his eyes on that prize. Hercules' naïvety, clumsiness and not being agile continued throughout his training and while attending Prometheus Academy, as Phil once told Meg that it wasn't the most graceful period of Herc's life. As a hero-in-training, known for his unbridled strength and bravery rather than intelligence and wisdom, Hercules can be reckless, cocky and gets confused easily or distracted, being in way over his head. Sometimes Hercules passes his tests, whereas other times he fails in foolhardy efforts, such as his training to fight a dragon, only for tomatoes (Phil's makeshift dragon fire) to start flying and hit him. On his cousin Triton, Herc described him as a "bumbling, stumbling, uncoordinated goof", which his friends Icarus and Cassandra compared to Herc's own flaws in his attempts to become somebody important. Despite becoming the model of physical perfection as an adult, Hercules retains teenage flaws of which he never quite grows out seen by his various expressions he makes throughout his encounters and exciting adventures. Underneath his heroic bravado, Hercules can be shy as seen when he presented himself to a crowd of Thebans who initially dismiss him as an amateur. In addition, as he faced large creatures like the Hydra, Hercules gaped dumbstruck, staring wide-eyed with his jaw dropped in horror or screaming in terror as his arms flail in panic, having never been so afraid in his life as the monster attempts to eat the young hero. After cutting his way out from inside the Hydra, Hercules was momentarily weakened from the ordeal; dazed, swaying on his feet, exhausted and covered head-to-toe in green slime, he drops his sword with a clang, then collapses to the ground. Lastly, in spite of his reputation and accomplishments at being a handsome hero, muscular, and seemingly confident, Hercules had no idea how to talk to women. When Hercules first tried introducing himself to Megara, he stared at her curiously, smiled a goofy smile, and became tongue-tied, unable to speak as he is smitten with her. Hercules was also nervous when visited by a group of fangirls. Having escaped his fangirls, Meg found the sheepish-looking hero, who tried to cover himself with his hands in an awkward knock-kneed position and round shouldered position of embarrassment. But the more time Hercules got to know Meg, the less nervous he became.
Optimistic and vibrant, Hercules had dreams becoming a true hero, battling monsters, rescuing damsels, and other acts of heroism. He barreled himself into situations without thinking, and got into trouble. And even when outmatched physically and mentally, Hercules would stand his ground and was determined to prove that he isn't afraid. Whenever he confronted a foe, Hercules tried to act bold, sometimes with bravado or by using good manners, but words failed him. He would try and mask his alarm, but that only made it more obvious and he begins to doubt his abilities. Enemies would already had the jump on Hercules, the former usually by being angry at this nuisance or if the naïve hero lets his guard down, causing him to get slammed, dunked, sent flying or beaten in a series of blunders. And yet each time, Hercules had gotten back up, equally as angry and more determined than ever. He would fight as hard as he could as long as he could. But once he concentrated, focused, analyzed the situation and controlled his strength, Hercules would come out victorious. His versatility also allows him to find his way out of situations by unorthodox methods. Upon completion of his training, Hercules became less gawky and klutzy but more athletic and skillful in his heroics, albeit eager and sometimes reckless. However, Hercules does get arrogant, swaggering and puffing out his chest, his brash confidence growing. Phil does berate Hercules for the sloppy rookie mistakes he made in the fight with Nessus, such as being distracted and losing his sword, but Hercules scoffs and pays him little attention, since he did win. His overconfidence and lack of experience is also noted during his battle with the Hydra when the enormous creature manifested legitimate fear within Hercules as the beast initially swallows him whole, and while a swarm of heads close in on the helpless young hero, Hercules tells Phil that he didn't think they covered this in basic training. Varying fighting techniques, albeit clumsily, Hercules used all his skills and ingenuity to attack and avoid falling prey to the multi-headed monster's appetite. Despite the odds against him, Hercules was desperate yet not ready to give up and was willing to sacrifice himself by burying the monster under a mountain of rocks. Though he was weakened from the ordeal, battered, his sword lost, his tunic and cape torn, Hercules impressed the crowd of Thebans having found inspiration in their new champion accomplishing the unsavory yet heroic task and emerges triumphant over what appeared to be a very unbeatable foe. Afterwards, Hercules showed great skill when he was able to win against a boar with a bow and arrow as well as beating monsters with his bare hands. There are instances, such as when he temporarily gave up his mighty strength, Hercules would strain for that last ounce of strength that might go the distance, that might make the difference.
Notably, whilst usually on the bright side, Hercules has a headstrong and assertive side, having an effective sternness and frustration to his personality. For instance, if Hercules was no match for the monsters he battled, struggling to hold them back or wrenching himself free from their grip, it would take all of his might or sometimes desperation to hold his own and keep them at bay. It is also notably seen where the actions of Hades take a turn for the worse, killing and threatening the entire world of Olympus, as well as Megara. This can be seen again when his trainer and close companion, Phil, questioned Megara's affections towards the handsome hero after witnessing her plotting against the latter with Hades (though it was a misunderstanding at that point in the movie).
The primary lesson Hercules learns throughout the film is what it takes to be a true hero. While Hercules defeated many monsters, it was something his father Zeus explained he had to learn for himself, having confused real heroism with being famous. After meeting and falling in love with the beautiful Meg, Hercules would learn a true hero is measured by the strength of his heart, as opposed to the strength of his muscles.
Hercules has short strawberry-blond hair and blue wide-eyes and wears a brown sweatband on his head. In his god form, while he was still an infant before two of Hades' lackeys Pain and Panic remove his godhood by forcefully drinking a magic potion to stop his crying and after emerging at the River of Styx after he saves Megara's spirit as an adult, his hair becomes golden blonde and lightens up in a golden hue.
As an infant, he only wears a white Roman-type diaper and wears a red necklace with a golden Zeus pendant.
As a adolescent, Hercules was an overgrown farm-boy that awkward and too big for his body. He was a tall and scrawny teenager, with a long skinny neck and oversized ears, broad but stooped shoulders, extraordinarily long arms and legs, big hands and too-big pigeon-toed clumsy feet. Hercules wore a white single sleeveless Roman garb and brown warrior sandals. When being trained heavily by Phil, where he sometimes wore a brown sweatband with his tunic, Hercules became a little more athletic. In the animated series, Hercules was regarded as "strapping, smooth-skinned son of Zeus" by Clotho, and as a hero-in-training, occasionally had a helmet to accompany his hero gear.
When he becomes a grown adult and a fully-trained hero, Hercules is handsome, robust, and very masculine. He is bronzed, not just "filled out" but square-jawed, chiseled faced, broad-shouldered, top-heavy, muscular and brawny, gaining larger biceps and pectorals and thickened neck, with his chest puffed out and his feet now nicely turned out. Herc has a sharp jawline and an extremely broad neck, conveying his immense strength. While he is the pinnacle of physical perfection, with muscles rippling all over his body, Hercules retained some of his flaws from his awkward teenage years of which he never quite grows out. He is still sensitive with strong but gentle features. As a hero, Hercules wears a brown Roman warrior armor gear with a dark brown belt, brown wristbands, and matching warrior sandals. He also gains a long light blue cape on the back of his tunic and wields a warrior sword and shield.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Half-mortal and half-god, Hercules possesses high level superhuman strength. This was his sole remaining godly power after being rendered mortal and appears to be higher than most other gods or titans. In the Disney Universe, only Zeus, Bill Cipher, and Genie can rival or surpass the strongman in strength.
- Enhanced Durability and Stamina: Despite his clumsiness, Hercules is very resilient and durable. Although being incomparable to that of immortal Gods, his stamina and entire body including skin are seen to be strong enough to withstand his own actions that are beyond of normal humans on many occasions both in the film and in the animated series. Some creatures like Orthos attempt to eat Hercules but call him "stale", whereas others like Ladon and the Hydra were able to briefly swallow him whole, enjoying the pleasant flavor of the young hero's durable body and longed to devour him.
- Enhanced Speed: Among his skills, Hercules is seen to be surprisingly fast and is able to disappear being unnoticed by people in physical contacts. He had the build and foot speed that surpassed Achilles. In some occasions, Hercules has demonstrated that he is able to quickly dodge attacks or outrun giant monsters.
- Trained Hero: By imposing hundreds of Philoctetes' hero rules, and constant days of practice, Hercules transformed from klutzy boy into hero material, tempering his great strength with incredible precision and control. Hero-training was so difficult, but Hercules refused to give up and kept on working to reach his goal. As a hero-in-training, Hercules is known for his strength and bravery, rather than intelligence and wisdom, as at times he can be reckless, cocky and gets confused easily or distracted, sometimes being in way over his head given his lack of experience. Still, Hercules would keep going and fight as hard as he could as long as he could. He is able to use a variety of attacks and weapons from Ancient Greece including swords, spears, and archery. His versatility also allows him to use his wits to find his way out of situations by unorthodox methods. Hercules is trained to save people, fight monsters, handle dangerous situations and come up with strategies to win battles. However, despite having been taught every trick in the book by Phil, Hercules didn't think they covered a multi-head Hydra in basic training. In the animated series, he is seen to be skilled with various weapons and is able to spy and sneak on subjects diving underground.
- Immortality and universal divinity capabilities (formerly): During his brief times as a god, Hercules was completely immortal. Therefore, he would not age, grow sick, or be permanently harmed by any force known. He first lost this power when Hades tried to make him mortal as a baby, and again when he chose to live his life with Meg. Although he was born a god, Hercules was considered a demigod during his time at Prometheus Academy. When Hades tampered with the Tapestry of Fate, one change made was Hercules being amongst the gods, which prevented him from being eaten by the Tapestry's original guardian Arachne, until the Tapestry was fixed.
Hercules is born on Mount Olympus with all the powers of a god to his loving parents, Zeus and Hera. He is born with super strength that makes him strong enough to lift his father in the air. On the celebration of his birth, during which the Olympian Gods present the infant god with a multitude of gifts, Zeus himself creates the winged-horse Pegasus as a gift. It seems to be a joyous occasion, although one god is not happy about the new arrival: Zeus' brother and Hercules' uncle Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Hercules' evil uncle Hades tried to give his gift, a spiked skull-shaped pacifier, by attempting to stick it into the baby's mouth. However, Hercules managed to squeeze Hades' hand in order to get him to drop the pacifier before it almost went into his mouth.
Unbeknownst to the other gods, Hades wants to take control of Mount Olympus and the world, but according to the Fates' prophecy, while Hades has a chance in eighteen years, if Hercules chooses to fight, his plans will be ruined. Knowing that as a god, Hercules is immortal, Hades sends his two lackeys, Pain and Panic, to kidnap Hercules and turn him mortal by means of a magic potion. Although they succeed in the first part of the plan, carrying Hercules down to Earth, they are interrupted by two human peasants (Amphytryon and Alcmene) before Hercules finishes drinking and the final drop falls wasted on the ground. Pain and Panic nevertheless try to attack baby Hercules in the guise of snakes. But before the snakes can strike, they discover that because Hercules did not drink the last drop he has retained his godly strength, and they are beaten back. Amphytryon and Alcmene adopt the child, considering his arrival a gift from the gods since they are themselves childless. Too late, Zeus and the other gods discover the kidnapping. Because Hercules is now considered a mortal, however, they are unable to take him back to Olympus.
Years later, Hercules is raised as a polite, hardworking farm-boy and tries to be a good son to Amphytryon and Alcmene. However, he grows into an overgrown clumsy teenager who cannot control his unbridled strength, and only ends up causing havoc and alienating those around him. When Hercules accidentally flattens the local marketplace after catching a discus, this causes a commotion and triggered anger in the townsfolk, with one of them, the pottery salesmen Demetrius, calling him a "freak", breaking his spirits. Amphytryon tries to comfort Hercules by telling him not let what everyone said to get to him, but Hercules concedes that no matter how hard he tries, he simply cannot fit in with normal people, and questions if he truly belongs on Earth. He'd go the distance, walk every mile, and go almost anywhere to feel that he belonged. That night, his foster parents decide to finally come clean to him about the circumstances of his adoption, showing him a medallion they find that bears the symbol of the gods (Zeus' lightning bolt). Hercules sets off to find his place in the world and goes to the Temple of Zeus for guidance. Inside the temple, a giant statue of Zeus came to life with a flash of lightning. As the giant figure picked him up in his massive hands, a terrified and confused Hercules froze when Zeus revealed himself as his father. Explaining his origin, Zeus tells Hercules that the only way the god-turned-mortal can rejoin his parents on Mount Olympus is to prove himself a "true hero" on Earth. Zeus then presents a grown-up Pegasus to join Hercules as a constant companion. Hercules jumped onto the winged horse, and they fly off. As of that moment, Hercules' journey to restore his godhood has begun.
Riding on his winged horse, Hercules goes to seek out Philoctetes, the trainer of heroes Zeus sent him to find. Arriving on an island, Hercules was surprised to discover that Philoctetes (or Phil) was a wisecracking little satyr, and asked for his help to become a true hero. Phil initially refuses to train Hercules, having been let down too many times by previous would-be heroes who could not go the distance, but changes his mind after Zeus zaps him with a bolt of lightning as punishment for doubting his son. As time passes, Hercules slowly masters all the rules Phil can teach and transforms from klutzy boy to hero material. When he has reached adulthood and passed his training, Hercules wants to go to where the action was. Full of confidence and sure that he would be a hero, Hercules sets off with Phil to the city of Thebes. On his way, Hercules encounters Megara, who is being pursued by the lecherous centaur Nessus. Despite Meg's insistence that she didn't even need the uncertain hero's help in the first place, Hercules is eager to use his new skills and intervenes. After a couple of disastrous missteps, Hercules beats Nessus and rescues Meg. While the distracted Hercules is smitten and quickly develops romantic feelings for Meg, both Phil and Pegasus immediately dislike her and set off. Unbeknownst to them, Meg is working for Hercules' uncle Hades. Upon hearing from her that Hercules is still alive, Hades plots once again to kill the eager young would-be hero.
Meanwhile, Hercules and Phil arrived in Thebes to prove their worth, one as a hero and the other as a trainer. Hercules shyly introduced himself to a group of Thebans, who rolled their eyes, seeing Hercules as an amateur and wouldn't give him a chance. Suddenly, Meg appears and tells Hercules about two little boys trapped and require rescuing. Lured to a canyon, Hercules lifts a massive boulder from the mouth of a cave, freeing the boys, but only a few people applauded, still not willing to believe Hercules is a hero. Despite his bravado, brimming with confidence, Hercules got cocky too quickly as he was oblivious to the unintended consequences. Hercules thinks he rescued the "boys" (Pain and Panic in disguise) but instead releases the Hydra, a giant serpent-like creature, which has been set up as a fixed battle by Hades. Though afraid, Hercules bravely fights the Hydra with just his sword and his wits. Hercules scrambles to defeat the monster until it threw him into the air and swallowed him whole. But after a moment, Hercules slashed his way out from inside the Hydra. He became more confident in his heroics, having also impressed the Thebans enough to give him better applause, but falls to the ground, dazed and covered in green slime, momentarily weakened from the ordeal. Although Hercules thought he did great, three heads oozed from the Hydra's wound. As Hercules retreated from the three-headed monster closing in on him, he whistled for Pegasus. Flying around the Hydra, Hercules sliced off one head, only for more heads to grow back. Hercules ends up inside a living jungle of Hydra necks, horrified as snarling heads gang up to attack him, until the enormous creature pinned the desperate hero to a cliff with its clawed foot. Thinking quickly, Hercules smashed his powerful fists into the cliff, causing an avalanche, burying him and the multi-headed Hydra under a mountain of rocks. However, a bruised and battered Hercules emerges from the Hydra's foot unharmed. Bursting into wild shouts and cheers, the crowd rushed in as the light shined on Hercules, eager to congratulate their new champion by hoisting him on their shoulders. Having accomplished the unsavory yet heroic task, Hercules earned newfound fame and adoration.
As word of Hercules' deeds spread, the grateful people of Thebes found inspiration in him as he continued his heroics. During the song "Zero to Hero", Hercules put the "glad" in gladiator and his daring deeds were great theater, some of which the hero has attended. Hercules is shown to dispatch every variety of monsters Hades sends to defeat him, enraging Hades with each victory Hercules attains against the beasts, saving the town and overcoming disasters. By the time Hercules and Pegasus again paid a visit to the temple of Zeus, Hercules has become the toast of Greece: famous, rich, and believes himself a true hero. However, Hercules is distraught when Zeus tells him he has not quite gotten there yet, unsure of what more he can do. Meg, on assignment from Hades, convinces him to play "hooky", or truant for the day, going on a date. The date is ended by Phil, irate at Herc for skipping training. Phil is knocked off Pegasus and wakes up in time to learn of Meg's involvement with Hades. He leaves to tell his sure-to-be-devastated protégé, not hearing Meg's refusal to help hurt Hercules. Hades then discovers that Hercules loves Meg and uses that knowledge to attempt to take the hero out of the picture while he attempts to overtake Olympus.
Hercules, ecstatic from the date, refuses to believe Phil's warning about Meg, even accidentally hitting him in a flash of blind anger, prompting Phil to quit as his trainer, with Hercules, still in a state of anger, telling him to go ahead and leave, but becomes remorseful over his actions after Phil has departed. As soon as he is gone, Hades confronts Hercules, offering Meg's safety if the hero will give up his godly strength for 24 hours (long enough for Hades to conquer Olympus). Hercules is reluctant to see anyone hurt, but Hades vows that no harm will come to Meg. Herc agrees, Hades takes the opportunity to reveal Meg's role in his scheme, in that Meg had been working for Hades all along (only for Herc to realize that Phil was telling the truth about Meg working for Hades and should have listened to him all along) thereby leaving the hero shocked, humiliated, and heartbroken. Enacting his plan, setting free the Titans from Tartarus, Hades sends a Cyclops to destroy Hercules so that he can't get in the way later on. Hercules has been so disheartened and demoralized by learning the truth about Meg that he doesn't even try to fight the Cyclops. Meg hurries to fetch Phil, who convinces Hercules not to give up. Using his wits, he seizes a nearby torch as a weapon. He is able to defeat the Cyclops, which he does by burning its eye and sending him hurtling off a cliff.
The monster's fall causes a pillar to topple towards Hercules and Meg pushes him out of the way, taking the impact of the pillar. This, in turn, causes Hercules to regain his strength because Hades' end of the bargain is now broken. Meg, however, is gravely injured and Hercules leaves her in the care of Phil while he rushes off to thwart Hades' invasion of Olympus. His first move is freeing the Olympian Gods from their shackles, then his father Zeus from his imprisonment by the Ice and Lava Titans. He immediately engages the Titans. Ultimately, he wins the battle by using the Wind Titan to suck up the other three Titans, then uses all his strength to hurl them into outer space. There, the group of Titans explode and are forever silenced. After thwarting the invasion, Hades shouts to him that he's got Meg's soul as his 'consolation prize', and Hercules rushes back to Meg's side, only to find that she had died moments before he got there, her Thread of Life cut by the Fates.
However, he then travels to the Underworld to rescue Meg's soul. Hercules manages to capture Hades' dog, Cerberus, and ride it to Hades' lair. Hades is undisturbed by this, even going so far as to taunt him. When Hades points out that Meg is dead and belongs in the Underworld now, Hercules makes a deal that he will trade his soul for Meg's. Hades agrees to this - IF Hercules can get her out. To do so he must dive into the River Styx, which swiftly ages mortals upon contact, killing them if they spend too long in there. Hercules nevertheless enters the pool to rescue Meg's soul. Although he begins to age as Hades forewarned, he does not die, as his selfless act fulfills the requirement for being a true hero and, thus, Hercules regains his godhood, rendering him immortal moments before the Fates could cut his Thread of Life, leaving them stunned that Hercules is immortal again. He then beats Hades by punching him into the River Styx and returns Meg's soul to her body.
With his immortality restored, Hercules is brought to the other Gods, including Zeus and Hera, both of whom express how proud they are of their son. Zeus invites Hercules to live in Olympus, which was originally his wish, but Hercules decides to live his life on earth as a mortal with Meg. Although he will eventually die, he believes that even an immortal life without Meg would be empty. Zeus and Hera respect this wish, and Hercules is turned back to his mortal self as he and Meg kiss. Returning to the city of Thebes, everyone witnesses Zeus creating a picture of Hercules in the stars, thus achieving Phil's dream as well.
The animated series follows the adventures of young Hercules, set in the period between his teenage years and his first journey to Thebes as an adult, while he is still in training as a hero under the tutelage of satyr Phil on his island. With Hercules is still in "geek god" mode, before his "Zero to Hero" transformation, it expands upon the Greek demigod's feats during his formative, adolescent hero-in-training years, Hercules attends the Prometheus Academy, a high school for both gods and mortals, on Zeus' instruction. While there, Herc befriends fellow students Icarus and Cassandra and gains a rivalry with Adonis. Hercules also battles various monsters like Orthos and meet characters like Alexander the Great. Many of the Olympian Gods and Goddesses only glimpsed during the film pay visit to young hero-to-be and help or hinder him in his adventures.
In a special crossover episode, Hercules and Aladdin meet and battled prior to joining forces against Hades and Jafar, who met after the latter ended up in the Underworld. When Hades and Jafar initially teamed up, they each try and fail to defeat each others' foes, with Jafar losing to Hercules. Afterwards, the villains kidnapped Icarus and blamed it on Aladdin as well as Aladdin's monkey Abu and blamed it on Hercules. After a battle in Agrabah, the heroes learn that they've been duped by the villains and travel to the Underworld to take the fight to them. Aladdin and Hercules work together to eliminate Jafar once more, forcing Hades to simply give up.
In the animated sequel to the film and extension of the series, Hercules and Meg are revealed to have since married, moving into a new home together. During the move-in, however, Hercules' old yearbook from his high school years at Prometheus Academy was uncovered. Not wanting Meg to learn the truth of his embarrassing past, Hercules ordered Hermes to send the book back to Phil's island, to keep it away from Meg at all times. Later on, though, Hercules finds that Megara flew off to the island on Pegasus, and persuaded Phil into revealing the stories of Herc's youth. Once Hercules himself arrives, he decides to give in and explain some of the stories himself. Afterwards, Hercules believed Meg would see the strongman as pitiful as his peers did back then, rather than wanting her to see him as a hero, only to find out Meg couldn't care less. She accepts that part of his life as an awkward phase and her love for him was still as strong as ever. However, this does not stop Hercules from having Hermes retrieve Meg's own yearbook where it is revealed Meg was a cheerleader and in the glee club.
He also appears in the television series House of Mouse. Hercules can also be seen during the opening song with Phil and Megara.
Hercules can also be seen along with Phil sitting at the table in Mickey's House of Villains right after the Lonesome Ghosts' debut short ended. During the Disney Villains' takeover, however, both Herc and Phil are nowhere to be seen whatsoever.
In the series finale of At Home With Olaf, a short clip of his film featuring a younger version of himself appears during a montage of heartwarming moments from Disney films playing in Olaf's song "I Am with You".
Like in the movie, he was on a quest to return to Mount Olympus. While on his last quest (to defeating 12 beasts and collect 12 labors) he stumbled across Snow White. He listened to Snow White's troubles and decided to train her to become a hero, and taught her to shoot arrows. She faced a group of bandits traumatizing a village but failed. Hercules then knocked on the ground to cause an earthquake as a warning for the bandits to leave her alone. Snow White wanted to quit, but Hercules convinced her to try again by telling her how he almost died when facing his first labor, but nevertheless succeeded. The day next, Snow White manages to face the bandits valiantly and the villagers were inspired to help. Hercules and Snow White then parted ways with a kiss, with Snow going back to become a better princess and Hercules to slay his last beast: Cerberus. He met Megara, who was being chased by the monster and tried to slay it. Unfortunately, the beast proved too powerful for him, and he met his demise in the fatal battle. His soul was then sent to the Underworld, where he remained for decades due to his failure to finish his quest.
A grown-up Snow White, now named Mary Margaret, comes across Herc and asks him to help them defeat Cerberus so they may find Killian Jones. He tries to face the beast, but the fear and memory of failure prove too strong. Mary Margaret, after encouraging words from Regina, convinces Herc to try again by teaming up instead of facing it alone. They find a frightened Megara seconds before Cerberus appears, and the three slay it together. While resting at the Underworld version of Granny's Diner, Meg and Herc recognize each other from their last moment of life. There is clear affection between the two. Herc and Meg then ascend to Olympus together.
Hercules is one of the primary characters featured in the Kingdom Hearts series. Appearing in the first game, Hercules is encountered by Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Cloud Strife after the group runs into Cerberus. Upon the defeat of Cerberus, Hercules is impressed with the trio and encourages them to continue training. When they leave, Hercules reveals to Phil that he had already worn out Cerberus by the time Sora and company came to fight him.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Hercules has continued fighting monsters, but when Megara is captured by Hades, Sora, and the others go off to find her so that Hercules can deal with the attacking Hydra. After defeating it, he joins the others in the rescue but is shocked to discover that the Hydra had caused destruction to the coliseum after Hercules had left it unconscious. The failure causes Hercules to fall into depression. With this opportunity, Hades kidnaps Megara to force Hercules into joining the tournaments in the Underdrome. In the finals, Hercules faces off against a brainwashed Auron and is almost eliminated by the swordsman until the fight is stopped when Sora and the others restore Auron's free will.
Angered by the outcome, Hades throws Megara into the Styx. Like the film, Hercules rescues her and his strength is restored and helps the group defeat Hades. In the credits, it is shown that Hercules has successfully rebuilt the Coliseum with the help of his friends.
In Birth by Sleep, set 10 years prior to the first game, Hercules appears in his younger incarnation from Hercules back when he was still enduring Phil's training to become a hero. He meets Zack, and witnesses the actions of Terra, Ventus, and Aqua when each had visited the Coliseum, each, in turn, inspiring Hercules and allowing him to continue training with Phil after Hercules helped Ventus fight an Unversed.
Hercules also makes appearances in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a figment of Sora's memories and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Coded is the first game in the series in which Hercules appears as a party member, where he teams up with Sora in order to find Hades.
In the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage- for Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Yen Sid sends Sora to train under Hercules in order to regain his lost powers. He returns in Kingdom Hearts III as a party member.
Hercules used to appear at the Disney theme parks for meet-and-greets but is now a retired character.
Hercules also appears in Fantasmic!, making a cameo during the floating bubble montage alongside other characters from his film. He also appeared on the Steamboat Willie riverboat during the show's finale but has since disappeared.
Despite not appearing in the interactive attraction itself (as Hades, Pain, and Panic are the only characters from Hercules appearing in the attraction), Hercules has a spell card known as "Hercules' Tower Topple" in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
In 2018, Hercules was added to It's a Small World along with other Disney characters.
He had his own stage show on the ships called Hercules: The Muse-ical. He is most likely to be seen on the long-running live show The Golden Mickeys.
On the Disney Fantasy ship show Wishes Hercules and the Muses meet three high school graduates. The Muses perform Zero to Hero whilst Hercules battle some of the Titans during the show.
Although never seen in Villains Tonight!, Hercules is mentioned several times, usually to make Hades angry for the reminder of his defeat in the 1997 film.
- In one episode of the series, a messenger asks for Hercules but mistakes the name as Heracles. Hercules is the Roman equivalent of the Greek name Heracles.
- He is the only one in the movie that is called by his Roman name.
- In the original myths, Hercules is driven mad by Hera's jealousy of another step-son and kills his own wife and children.
- According to the original myths and legends, Hercules may have been the founder of the Olympics. There is also some evidence that Hercules may have been a real person as well.
- In the film, when posing for a pottery painting, Hercules is seen wearing a lions' head and skin cloak resembling that of Scar. This is a tribute both to one of his labors (slaying the Nemean Lion) and to the line in The Lion King where Zazu says Scar would make a handsome throw rug.
- The last full line Hercules speaks in his movie is "I finally know where I belong." However, he does say "Ma, Pa" during "A Star Is Born".
- If mythology is taken into consideration, Hercules and Ariel are related: Hercules' father is Zeus; Poseidon is a brother of Zeus; one of Poseidon's many sons is Triton; and, of course, Ariel is Triton's seventh daughter. This means Hercules is Triton's first cousin, and Ariel is Hercules' cousin once removed. However, if this were true King Triton's lifespan would be called into question as the Little Mermaid takes place in the 1800s and Hercules takes place well over 3000 years in the past. (Though King Triton is a god, and of course, gods are immortal.)
- In the original myth, Hercules had a twin brother named Iphicles by Amphitryon. This is called heteropaternal superfecundation when two different males father fraternal twins by one woman. This was left out when Disney made Hercules, Zeus and Hera's son instead of Zeus and Alcmene.
- When Hercules is made human, his coloring is duller than other humans. This may be because he was not actually a mortal, but a god.
- It is unclear why he had to turn back from immortal life to live on Earth with Megara, and what would happen to him when his life as a mortal comes to an end. Regarding the afterlife, it remains unknown whether he will join the other gods on Olympus and regain his immortality as he did in the Greek legends, or if his soul will enter the Underworld and remain there. Considering that Megara is a mortal and her soul will likely go to the Underworld upon dying, it's likely Hercules will choose to go there as well once he dies to be with her forever due his love for her.
- Unlike in myth, all Olympian or deities of other regions (e.g. Egyptian) including demigods and demigoddesses seem that their superhuman physical capabilities are much restricted (possibly). Demigods and demigoddess are actually capable of matching pantheons.
- Marvel Comics has its own version of Hercules as one of their superheroes, the Marvel version of Hercules has appeared in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
- He had been mentioned in School of Secrets and has a son named Herkie in the franchise.