- “We are the Muses! Goddesses of the arts and proclaimers of heroes!”
The Muses are presented in Hercules as the five lovely goddesses whose domain lies in the arts, and they sing of the tales of ancient Greece in a gospel choir style. They claim to be Hercules' biggest fans, narrating the movie and singing in four of the six songs.
- Calliope (voiced by Lillias White) is the muse of epic poetry. She leads the muses and is the tallest of the five with high hair.
- Clio (voiced by Vanéese Y. Thomas) is the muse of history. She has a small ponytail and carries a scroll.
- Thalia (voiced by Roz Ryan) is the muse of comedy. She is the shortest of the five, full-figured, plays the trumpet, and is often causing mischief.
- Terpsichore (voiced by LaChanze) is the muse of dance. She is the second-shortest of the five, with Bantu knots in the front and loose curls in the back.
- She is the only muse that has ever come in contact with Hercules teaching him how to dance in "Hercules and the Muse of Dance".
- Melpomene (voiced by Cheryl Freeman) is the muse of tragedy. She has long, curly hair to her waist and carries a mask with a frowning face.
Powers and abilities
As goddesses, the muses possess the natural powers and abilities of Olympian deities such as immortality, omnipresence, high-level of durability, vast stamina and speed and strength with excellent reflexes and balancing and insight and responses, acrobatic skills beyond of normal humans, and the potential to do Magic, such as the ability to shape-shift, teleport, and to manifest as objects. As the goddesses of the Arts, they possess the natural ability to charm and entrance those who hear their hypnotically beautiful and soft melodious vocalizing melodies and songs.
As their domain lies in the arts, they exist virtually anywhere they are presented or portrayed as a work of art (like paintings, statues, etc.) This is most evident when they use this power to communicate with Megara.
They first appear when they find the original narrator's way of telling the story of Hercules as being too depressing. They sing all three parts of "The Gospel Truth", telling the tale of how Zeus defeated the Titans, Hades' plot to take over Mount Olympus, and of Hercules being unable to return to Olympus.
They then sing "Zero to Hero", narrating Hercules' victories over many monsters and his rise to fame.
Soon after, they manifest in statues, busts, and engravings to sing backup with Megara to the song "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)", during which Megara initially denies but finally accepts her love for Hercules.
Finally, they appear in the finale, singing the song "A Star Is Born", in which Hercules is declared a true hero, and everybody gets their happy ending.
The Muses often appear in the series. They sing a shorter, altered version of "Zero to Hero" and have many speaking roles.
- There are in fact nine major Greek Muses. The ones who weren't used are:
- Erato - the muse of love poetry.
- Polyhymnia - the muse of sacred poetry.
- Euterpe - the muse of music and sound.
- Urania - the muse of astronomy.
- During the musical number "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" the Muses attempt to convince Megara that she's fallen in love and it is a good thing. However, the goddess of Love, Aphrodite, would be more likely to try to convince her than the goddesses of the Arts. Though the Arts have long been used as expressions of Love; and a statue of Aphrodite appeared briefly.
- At one point during "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)", the Muses appear as the Phantom Five, the singing busts from the Haunted Mansion.
- In most myths, the Muses are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. This would make them half-sisters of Hercules.
- In "Hercules and the Drama Festival", Mnemosyne (under the alias "Memory") is mentioned.
- British girl group Spice Girls were originally considered for the roles of the Muses due to their massive popularity and worldwide success at the time.