Go the Distance

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"Go the Distance"
Song by Roger Bart
from the album Hercules: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Released May 27, 1997
Genre Film score, show tune
Length 3:14
Label Walt Disney
Composer(s) Alan Menken
Lyricist(s) David Zippel
Producer(s) Alan Menken, David Zippel

"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.


Hercules' "I want" song, Go the Distance demonstrates his desire to push himself to new heights, and to be adored by others.

"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.

Critical reception[edit]

Ways of Being Male felt that the phrase "go the distance" is a prime example of the way themes are "couched in the language of sport and competition" throughout the film.[1] Den of Geek deemed it "one of Disney's great anthems/motivational mantras for all aspiring athletes and deities."[2] MoviePilot suggests that the shooting star during "Go the Distance" is actually Aladdin and Jasmine's magic carpet ride.[3] The Globe and Mail likened it to Duddy’s Leaving St. Urbain Street,[4] while BoingBoing compared it to Pocahontas's "Just Around the Riverbend".[5] Vulture deemed it "inspiring".[6]

Awards and chart placings[edit]

The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Both awards, however, went to "My Heart Will Go On", a song from Titanic, a film directed by James Cameron. "Go the Distance" peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went to #1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, Bolton's ninth song to top this chart.[7]


Film version[edit]

The song was recorded by American actor Roger Bart in his film role as the singing voice of Hercules.

"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.

Other languages[edit]

Back in 1993, Disney USA loved so much Joël Legendre (fr)'s (Canadian French) Aladdin that he was later asked to come back as Hercules,[8] while Alex Baroni (Italian), together with the whole Italian cast of the movie, received a prize for the best foreign version.[9]

Since its first release, some local TV stations and studios have been dubbing the movie in their local languages, creating some unofficial dubs. Namely: Albanian[10] and Persian.[11]

Michael Bolton version[edit]

American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton recorded a pop version of the song for the film's end credits.

The music video for Bolton's version was directed by Dani Jacobs. It was filmed in New York City, and features Bolton performing the song, intercut with scenes from Hercules.[12] Vocal Spectrum did a cover of this version.

All official pop versions of "Go the Distance"
Language Performer Title Translation
Castilian Spanish David Bustamante "No importa la distancia" "Distance doesn’t matter"
English Michael Bolton "Go the distance"
Japanese 藤井フミヤ (Fuji Fumiya) "ゴー・ザ・ディスタンス" ("Gō za disutansu") "Go the distance"
Latin American Spanish Ricky Martin "No importa la distancia" "Distance doesn’t matter"
Mandarin Chinese 趙傳 ("Zhào Chuán"; Chief Chao) "希望之星" ("Xīwàng zhī xīng") "The Star Of Hope"
Portuguese Ricky Martin "Já não há distancia" "There’s no distance now"
Thai "ไพบูลย์เกียรติ เขียวแก้ว" ("Phịbūly̒ keīyrti k̄heīyw kæ̂w") (th) "สุดฟ้าดิน" ("S̄ud f̂ā din") ?

Ricky Martin version[edit]

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 July 1, 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.

Chart (1997) Peak
US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)[13] 10
Formats and track listings[edit]

European CD single

  1. "No Importa la Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:51
  2. "Já Não Há Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:45

European CD maxi-single

  1. "No Importa la Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:51
  2. "Já Não Há Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:45
  3. "Go the Distance" (Cast Version) performed by Roger Bart – 3:13

We Love Disney[edit]

The song was covered in different languages for the series We Love Disney by:

Other appearances[edit]

In 1998, this song was used in 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 barbershop quartet Vocal Spectrum recorded a four-part arrangement as the last track of their 2008 album, Vocal Spectrum II.


  1. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=gVaMAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA119&dq=%22Go+the+Distance%22+hercules&hl=en&sa=X&ei=g3FyVburKYOf8QWojIGABg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22Go%20the%20Distance%22%20hercules&f=false
  2. ^ http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/disney/35244/lost-in-translation-when-disney-lyrics-turn-italian
  3. ^ http://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/03/18/did-hercules-really-witness-a-whole-new-world-the-night-before-going-the-distance-2792680?lt_source=external,manual
  4. ^ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/adapting-duddy-kravitz/article24649544/
  5. ^ http://boingboing.net/2015/04/17/all-of-disneys-i-want.html
  6. ^ http://www.vulture.com/2014/07/disneys-hercules-is-an-underrated-masterpiece.html
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 36. 
  8. ^ "Aladdin". Charguigou. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  9. ^ a b "Hercules". Charguigou. Retrieved 2016-05-21. 
  10. ^ Lovatic Disnerd (2014-10-03), Hercules - Go the Distance + Reprise (Albanian/Shqip), retrieved 2016-11-01 
  11. ^ Robodl96 (2013-08-28), Go the Distance (Persian), retrieved 2016-11-01 
  12. ^ "Michael Bolton > Music Videos > go-the -distance". MTV. MTV Networks. 2004-09-13. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  13. ^ "Ricky Martin Chart History (Latin Pop Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  14. ^ "We Love Disney di Various Artists su iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  15. ^ "We Love Disney 2 di Multi-interprètes su Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  16. ^ "We Love Disney (Deluxe) di Various Artists su Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  17. ^ "We Love Disney (Latino) di Various Artists su Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 

External links[edit]