When one thinks of Disney and fairytales, Hercules does not come to mind automatically. For one, this is because the protagonist is a male.
Another, the “Damsel in Distress” seems very independent. Although Hercules has some differences it is classified as a fairytale because it still has motifs. In the movie Hercules there is a family member that is full of hatred towards another family member, a male and female fall in love, and someone or something guides the protagonist to his dream. In every fairytale that comes to mind, there is a protagonist and antagonist. Customarily these people are related.
It is commonly seen in most Disney fairytales that the mother has extreme hatred towards the daughter and sometimes even desires to kill her. In Hercules, it is slightly different however, hate still runs in the family. Hercules’s Uncle, Hedes, hates Zeus (Hercules father) because he is a G-d and the ruler of the Heavens. Hedes is the ruler of the under world which is other known as being the ruler of the dead. However, Hercules is the one that is stopping Hedes from accomplishing gaining the control of the Heavens. “Hades horrid plan was hatched before Herc cut his first tooth” (Hercules).
Thus, Hedes desires to kill Hercules. This is not the only motif visible in Hercules falling in love is seen quite frequently in fairytales. Love is a feeling one cannot control. It is like a cold; anyone can catch it. Two characters falling in love is frequently seen in fairytales. These two people are commonly known as “The Damsel in Distress” and the man that saves her.
Meg and Hercules are these two special lovebirds. Meg is the beautiful damsel that is forced to use the power of temptation to distract Hercules from being the hero. She is secretly under Hedes control, the family member mentioned above. Meg sings a song in the movie called “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” illustrating that she is in love with Hercules.
Hercules does not have a song about being in love but he demonstrates it by his googly eyes. Another motif seen is that there is someone who guides the protagonist to achieve his or her dream. As seen in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas, etc. there is a Fairy G-d Mother or some creature that helps the main character toward achieving their dream.
In Hercules, this figure is Phil. Hercules dream is to prove himself a hero so he can become a G-d, the species he was born as. Phil trains him physically night and day to be outrageously strong and to have exquisite technique. This combined helps Hercules to defeat the obstacles schemed by Hedes and become a G-d.
Even though Hercules has many differences when compared to the rest of the Disney fairytales, there are motifs that can still be found. A family member is jealous of another family member and wants to kill him as seen in most fairytales. True love is relevant in this movie as well. In addition, there is someone to guide the protagonist to his or her dreams.
Work CitedRyan, Roz, Cheryl Freeman, LaChanze, Vaneese Thomas, and Lillias White. “The Gospel Truth III.
” Hercules- An Original Walt Disney Soundtrack. Walt Disney Records, 1997. CD.