"Go the Distance" is a song from Disney's 1997 animated feature film, Hercules. It was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, and originally recorded by American actor Roger Bart in his film role as the singing voice of Hercules. American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton recorded a pop version of the song for the film's end credits. In the Spanish version, the song is performed by Hercules voicer Ricky Martin, both in the movie and in the credits; this version is included on Martin's album Vuelve. Both the song and its reprise featured in a stage production of Hercules, performed upon the Disney Wonder during 2007/2008.
"Go the Distance" is performed in the film by Hercules (age 15) who possesses god-like strength and finds it increasingly hard to fit in with his peers. The song serves as Hercules' prayer to the Gods to help him find where he truly belongs. His prayers are answered, as he is revealed to be the long-lost son of Zeus, king of the gods. Hercules is also told that he must become a true hero in order to rejoin his father on Mount Olympus. The number is later reprised when Hercules sets off on his quest to become a true hero, proclaiming that he wants to "go the distance" in order to prove himself.
Go the Distance was one of two songs written for the film, the second being Shooting Star, performed by Boyzone, which failed to make the final cut. However, Shooting Star is included on the Hercules soundtrack CD. The score for the original version of the song can be found in the Alan Menken Songbook.
Ricky Martin recorded a Spanish-language version of "Go the Distance" from Hercules soundtrack, called "No Importa la Distancia" (English: "No Matter the Distance"). It was released as a single on September 15, 1997. Later, it was included on Martin's 1998 album Vuelve. A music video was also released. The song reached number ten on the Latin Pop Songs in the United States.
In 1998, this song was used for a tribute video to honor New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing of the NBA at Madison Square Garden minutes before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers. The game was Ewing's first at home since returning from a nearly season-ending wrist injury. Ewing, then late in his playing career, had often stressed the importance of winning a championship (in effect, 'going the distance') before he retired. The Knicks won the game 83–76, and Ewing was the game's leading scorer with 19 points.