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15 Facts About Disney's 'Hercules' That'll Take You From Zero To Hero

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Released all the way back in the ancient year of 1997, Disney's Hercules took us back to the equally distant time of Ancient Greece, and introduced us to some of our favorite Disney characters of all time.

Between the charming Hercules, the sassy and self-reliant Megara, the manic and unhinged Hades, and the ever-present and fabulous Muses, we all fell in love with the characters from this movie right away (not to mention its slew of excellent songs). It remains a classic today, but we're pretty sure even die-hard fans might not know some of these facts!

Hades is one of James Woods's favorite roles.

So much so that he's voiced every one of the character's appearances, from movies, to TV, to video games.

Woods's performance drastically changed the character.

Hades was written as being much more stoic and menacing, like some of the more classic Disney villains. However, James Woods made him much more manic and fast-paced, and actually ad-libbed a lot of his dialogue.

There's a morbid reference to The Lion King in the movie.


The lion skin you see Hercules wrap around himself in one scene is actually the skin of Scar from The Lion King. Yeesh, guess those hyenas really messed him up in the end.

The movie isn't super accurate to Greek myth.


Hercules is actually the character's Roman name: the Greeks called him Heracles. Also, it's not Hercules, but Bellerophon (the one who fights the Chimera), who rides Pegasus in the original myths. Finally, the way Hercules meets Megara in the movie is actually how he meets his second wife, Deianira.

There's a pretty crazy Nike reference.

Hercules's "Air Herc" sandals are a clear reference to Nike's "Air" line of shoes (especially the Air Jordan shoes by basketball player Michael Jordan). It doesn't end there though! Nike themselves are actually named after the Greek goddess of athletic triumph.

The movie's subject was a first for Disney.


Hercules is the company's first movie based on world myth instead of a fairytale or folklore.

You might have missed a pretty contemporary joke.

The kids who get trapped under a boulder yell "someone call IXII!" While they pronounce it like the letters, they're actually spelling "911" in Greek/Roman numerals: IX-I-I.

The facts just get more unbelievable from here...

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