The most obvious difference of the animated film from the original Greek myth of Hercules is that the dreadful factors of his origins were revised and some components of modern day popular culture were utilized. According to Royalty. nu (n. d. ), Hercules was born to Alcmene, wife of Amphityron, but fathered by the Greek God Zeus. Zeus deceived Alcmene into thinking that he was Amphitryon on a night when the real Amphitryon was away. Hera, Zeus’ wife loathed Hercules and tried several times to try and kill Hercules, much unlike in the animated film, where Hera as Hercules’ mother doted on him.
The animated film focused on Hercules’ early life; the famous ten labors of Hercules and the other half of his life was not included. The circumstances of the Greek myth characters like Megara, Zeus, Hera, Aphitryon, Alcmene and the rest included in the film were greatly modified to fit the storyline of the animated film. Apart from that Hercules’ twin brother, Iphicles was excluded in the storyline.
Greek mythology portrays Hercules as a character with “low intelligence and terrible temper”(Royalty. nu, n. d. ).
Although there was much difference from the original Greek myth, Hercules’ character as half-man half-god hero with weaknesses was still portrayed. Hercules’ character in the animated film was a bit naive but he was not quick to loose his temper. Audiences were also given a taste of Hercules’ famous battles with calamities and creatures. According to FilmAffinity (n. d. ), this Hercules miniseries is about “the gifted child born of a blood greater than mortal who would become the most powerful of all gods”.
Roger Young’s miniseries starts with how Hercules was conceived. Similar to the Greek myth, the dissolute God Zeus deludes the Princess of Thebes, Alcmene, into thinking that he is the princess’ husband, Amphitryon, and then forces himself on Alcmene on a night where the princess was awaiting her husband’s return. When Alcmene gives birth to twin boys, Hercules and Iphicles, Alcmene and Amphitryon are perplexed on which baby is fathered by Zeus and whose is Amphitryon. They later realize that Hercules is Zeus’ son when he kills the snakes with his bare hands an infant.
Hercules develops into a lumbering young man, “rejected by his mother, envied by his brother Iphicles and loathed by Zeus’ wife Hera” (FilmAffinity). Similar to the Greek myth while Alcmene reserves no love for Hercules, he grows up with Amphitryon doting on him and teaching him. Hercules then falls for Megara but was rejected. Their brief connection results to a child. When he lost his temper and accidentally hurt his teacher Linus during a class, Amphitryon sends far away to be taught under the care and instruction of a centaur, Kiron. Hercules becomes an agile adult and more capable to handle his great strength.
He then was married to Megara after he helps the king from the creature Hydra. Megara and her sons, turn out to be “tools of the vengeful Hera, plotting against him and initiating events that lead to his banishment from his people” (FilmAffinity). To atone the punishment that he deserved in killing his own children, Hercules agrees when he was given difficult challenges which were set out to destroy him. With his ally Linus, he travels the Stymphalian Swams to the River styx of the underworld, faced with challenges and monstrous creatures that was arranged to kill him.
Hercules willingly continues on this journey that afterward made him a “legend on Earth and achieve immortality in the heavens” (FilmAffinity). With the storyline of the miniseries, it was clear that the filmmakers focused on the raging politics between the noble mortals and their want of power and control. It is important to note that this miniseries was one of the few productions that embarked on Hercules true conception with regards to the original Greek myth. Hercules’ character of recklessness and short temper was portrayed true to the original Greek myth during his younger adult days.
There were slight alterations unto how certain events happened to the characters but the miniseries was in a way loyal to the Hercules’ myth. For example, Hercules develops a more profound thinking later on the miniseries but there was no hint of that according to the Greek Myth. The Gods Hera and Zeus were not given much attention during the miniseries and only appeared briefly. The supposed raging battle between Hera and Zeus was implied but not shown comprehensively.
In conclusion, both films were individual depictions of Hercules’ character as the legendary Greek hero. Each film represented the filmmakers approach on representing a storyline associated with Hercules’ myth. Disney may have chosen to emphasize more on Hercules’ journey to his fate in a more conducive way that was appealing since their audiences are young people. Roger Young’s miniseries took more of a similar likeness to the original myth although alterations were made on how events were played because the storyline demanded that it be so.