Hercules the Hero
American children are avid watchers of television and movies. They get a great deal of information and misinformation from these sources. It is incumbent upon parents and educators to see that the information received is factual and truthful and that the messages conveyed are accurate. Walt Disney has long had influence over our children, retelling tales from history, folklore and mythology. Recently, that studio has released a number of old stories, recounted in the most expedient way. This often means that there is a great deal of poetic, or cinematic license at work.. Unfortunately, this is the case with one of Disney’s most recent productions, Hercules. It is fraught with such inaccuracies and embellishments so as to be barely recognizable as the same story. Almost from the beginning of the film there is a confrontation with some foe or other with barely any introduction to the character or lineage of this hero. Without prior knowledge of the myth of Hercules, the story never makes any real sense. It is simply another cartoon filled with gratuitous violence without any sense of who the villains are or what has brought on such monumental challenges. Other portrayals of this hero can be found in the popular live action television series starring Kevin Sarbo where he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time battling angry Amazons. As if this were not bad enough, there is also an animated tale which teams Kevin Sarbo’s Hercules with Zena, the Warrior Princess., an entirely fictional character. Together they face all sorts of dangers and battle assorted foes, but they have nothing to do with the hero of myth, his labors to achieve immortality, or his regal heritage.