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This review is from: Hercules [DVD]  (DVD)
Disney's foray into the gods and legends of Ancient Greece sees the vindictive Hades (a superbly arch James Woods) hatch a nefarious plot to remove Zeus newborn son Hercules from Olympia and render him human, consequently releasing the monstrous Titans and usurping Zeus' position as ruler of the gods.
Told via a `Greek chorus' of comely maidens, the 35th Disney animated feature follows Hercules (from the Greek Heracles) rise from super-strong village reject to his rightful place as Zeus' son and heir. With voices by the likes of Woods, Danny DeVito as the satyr `Phil' whose task is to train Hercules to be a champion, Rip Torn as Zeus and Susan Egan as the wily love interest Megara, and Charlton Heston as the opening narrator, the film is stacked with quality and Disney's usual fine animation.
The makers of the film have edited the original story of Hercules - too dark for Disney's liking, but have used many of the original names and occurrences. Critics of the film have described it as being too `hip' and reliant on cultural references and celebrity cameos, however the 1997 film marked the beginning of a Disney renaissance that lasted over a decade and is a winning combination of old-style Disney musical dialogue and contemporary knowingness. Although not as successful as the likes of Aladdin, The Lion King or Pocahontas, the movie has garnered a large positive following since its DVD release, and although the story is a little more lightweight than some of its peers, this is still an immensely enjoyable family feature.