|Also known as||Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series|
by Walt Disney Animation Studios
|Developed by||Tad Stones|
|Directed by||Phil Weinstein|
|Theme music composer||Alan Menken|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||65 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Tad Stones|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production company||Walt Disney Television Animation[a]|
|Original release||August 31, 1998 –|
March 1, 1999
Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series (commonly referred to as simply Hercules) is an American animated television series based on the 1997 film of the same name and the Greek myth. The series followed Hercules as a teenager, in training to be a hero, prior to the events of the film.
The series premiered in syndication on August 31, 1998, and on ABC through its Disney's One Saturday Morning block on September 12, 1998. The syndicated run lasted 52 episodes, while the ABC run lasted 13 episodes.
The series follows Hercules, as a teenager, training as a hero, as well as trying to adjust to life. With his free-spirited friend Icarus, his future-seeing friend Cassandra, and his trainer Philoctetes ("Phil"), he battles his evil uncle Hades. Like all teenagers, though, Hercules has to worry about peer pressure when the snobbish prince Adonis ridicules him. The series notably contradicts several events and plot points in the original film. A notable example is Hades knowing Hercules is alive when he is still a teenager, when in the film, he found out when he reached adulthood.
Main article: List of Hercules (1998 TV series) episodes
Main article: List of Disney's Hercules characters
A majority of the cast from the film reprised their roles for the series.
The series was produced by Tad Stones, who had previously produced and directed the animated television series Aladdin. The directors of Hercules, John Musker and Ron Clements, jokingly said to him while the film was being produced: "Hey, Tad, we're doing a pilot for a series". The producers decided that the irreverence of the movie would be captured more easily by setting it within the events of the movie, with Stones declaring that "by ignoring continuity and trying to stay true to the elements of humor and adventure in the film, we came up with a much stronger series that really stands on its own". Since James Woods signed to voice Hades again, along with most of the cast of the film, many big-name actors were interested in taking part on the show. Over 150 celebrities took a part in the series, some self-lampooning: Merv Griffin played a griffin talk show host, game show host Wink Martindale played a riddle-expert sphinx and Mike Connors, famous for Mannix, played Athenian policeman Chipacles (named after CHiPs).
Disney's revamping of Greek legend moved to the small screen in the late summer of 1998. Disney's Hercules had the Greek god still in "geek god" mode, before his "Zero to Hero" transformation. In the series, "Herc" was enrolled at Prometheus Academy, a school for both gods and mortals. Since events occur before young Herc meets and falls for the lovely Megara (Meg), he is joined by two new friends Cassandra (voiced by comedian Sandra Bernhard) and Icarus (voiced by French Stewart).
The animated television series' episodes and the direct-to-video film Hercules: Zero to Hero were animated by Toon City Animation, Inc. in Manila, Philippines, Walt Disney Animation Australia, Walt Disney Animation (Japan), Inc., Walt Disney Television International Japan, Studios Basara, Tama Productions, Delta Peak Productions, Frontier Pictures, Win Wood Productions, Nakamura Productions, Wang Films Productions Co., Ltd. and Thai Wang Films Productions Co., Ltd., Hanho Heung-Up Co., Ltd., Plus One Animation, Inc., Sunmin Image Pictures Co., Ltd., Sunwoo Animation, Korea, Hana Animation, Jade Animations International Co., Ltd. and a New Zealand studio called Slightly Off Beat Productions NZ Co., Ltd. which was also based in the other countries of Seoul, Korea, Xindian District, Taipei, Taiwan and Japan.
In 2000, Hercules moved to the now-defunct channel Toon Disney, where it continued airing until 2009. Disney XD aired the series for the first time in June 2011, when the channel launched in Canada.
Currently, the entire series is available on Disney+, with all episodes being listed as one season.
CommonSenseMedia gave the series a rating of 4 stars out of 5, noting that this "better-than-average spinoff has heart and brawn." Calhoun Times and Gordon County News gave the series 3 stars out of 4.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1999||Jennifer E. Mertens, Robert Duran, Paca Thomas, Marc Perlman, Brian F. Mars, Melissa Ellis, Robbi Smith, Robert Poole III, Rick Hammel, Kenneth D. Young, Charles Rychwalski, Eric Hertsgaard, William Kean, David Lynch and Otis Van Osten||Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing – Special Class||Nominated|
|1999||Casey Stone for episode "Twilight of the Gods"||Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing – Television Animation – Music||Nominated|
|2000||James Woods for playing "Hades"||Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||Won|
|2000||French Stewart for playing "Icarus"||Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||Nominated|
|2000||Marc S. Perlman, Robert Duran and Paca Thomas||Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing – Special Class||Nominated|
|2000||Joseph LoDuca||ASCAP Award for Top TV Series||Won|
Four episodes of Hercules were reformatted into the movie Hercules: Zero to Hero and released to home video in 1999. The episode "Hercules and the Yearbook" serves as the linking narrative, with random clips replaced with the episodes "Hercules and the First Day of School", "Hercules and the Grim Avenger" and "Hercules and the Visit From Zeus". Some of the dialogue between Hercules and Meg was altered to fit the episodes.
In 2003, a further VHS tape titled Hercules: TV Series was released. It contained two episodes of the series, Hercules and the World's First Doctor and Hercules and the Secret Weapon.