Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hercules (1997)

**This is an except of an article I published for Worthy of Note. For the full article, please click here

Although I believe this movie qualifies for Disney Princess status--heck, marrying a demi-god beats marrying a lousy old prince any day--it's usually not included on the list because a) it wasn't that successful in theaters, and b) Megera isn't technically a princess in Disney's version of the story, though she certainly was a princess in the Greek myth. I also really think she should be included because she was the very first anti-princess character in a Disney movie, and it always speaks both to the influence and weaknesses of the type when an anti-type is produced.

Obviously the most appropriate person to review a Disney film making fun of Greek mythology would be a Greek-American, and fortunately I am both genetically and culturally qualified for the daunting task. As a child I was both strangely attracted to this movie by my ethnic ties and repelled by the subject's dark moments. In fact, when I first heard that Disney was going to make a children's movie out of a Greek myth, I thought it an impossible task considering everyone short of the two virgin goddesses is promiscuous in those stories. Somehow Disney manages to alter the narrative in order to weed the gratuitous sex out, and they make everything look and sound superficially Greek,  neither of which is any mean feat. Still, the movie is so blatantly anachronistic in order to put in pop culture references that we can never suspend our disbelief and think it's really Ancient Greece. But I must admit that I enjoy the mention of food like pita and mousaka enjoyable along with the casual mention of other myths. It's not Greek, but it's a very pleasing imitation, especially since Greek Mythology is such a ripe subject for satire.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait for the long review because even though I thought Megera was a great character I didn't care for the movie at the time. I haven't seen it for a long time though so who knows, maybe I would like it today!