Hercules: Zero to Hero

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Hercules: Zero to Hero
VHS cover
Directed by Bob Kline
Tad Stones
Phil Wenstein
Produced by Bob Schooley
Mark McCorkle
Screenplay by Mark McCorkle
Bob Schooley
Greg Weisman
Gary Sperling
Marcy Brown
Madellaine Paxson
Mirith Js Colao
Eddie Guzelian
Dennie Harley
Richard Stanley
David Hemingson
Jan Strnad
Michael A. Medlock
Jess Winfield
Jon Weisman
Starring Tate Donovan
James Woods
Sandra Bernhard
Matt Frewer
Robert Stack
French Stewart
Barbara Barrie
Jodi Benson
Corey Burton
Robert Costanzo
Roz Ryan
Keith David
Paddi Edwards
Susan Egan
Samantha Eggar
Kathie Lee Gifford
Music by Adam Berry
J. Eric Schmidt
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Television Animation DisneyToon Studios
Pattyson/Meadows Productions
Animation production:
Distributed by Walt Disney Home Video
Release date
  • August 17, 1999 (1999-08-17)
Running time
73 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Hercules: Zero to Hero is a 1999 comedy-drama adventure and fantasy animated television film produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, Walt Disney Animation Australia, Walt Disney Animation Japan and Toon City Animation, Inc., Manila, Philippines. The film is a direct-to-video followup to 1997 animated feature Hercules. It was released on August 17, 1999. The film serves as a package film combing three episodes of Hercules: The Animated Series as flashback segments.

The film casts James Woods as Hades, Corey Burton as Zeus, Tate Donovan as Hercules, Susan Egan as Megara, Robert Costanzo as Philoctetes, Frank Walker as Pegasus, Bobcat Goldthwait as Pain and Matt Frewer as Panic.


The film was animated by Walt Disney Animation Australia, Toon City Animation, Inc. in Manila, Philippines, Walt Disney Animation Japan, Studios Basara, Tama Productions, Wang Film Productions Co., Ltd. and Thai Wang Film Productions Co., Ltd., Hanho Heung-Up Co., Ltd., Plus One Animation, Inc., Sunmin Image Pictures Co., Sunwoo Animation, Korea, Jade Animation International Co., Ltd. and Slightly Off Beat Productions NZ Co., Ltd. in Seoul, Korea, Xindian District, Taipei, Taiwan and Japan. The film had no broadcast on Toon Disney and internationally and there was also no broadcast on Disney XD Canada, even though the episodes aired on those channels.


The film briefly gives Hercules' history after defeating Hades for good, in which he marries Meg and revisits his teenage years. In particular, it shows an adolescent Hercules's enrollment and the beginning of his adventures at the Prometheus Academy, a school for gods and mortals, which Hercules supposedly attended during the time when he was training to be a hero with his mentor, the satyr Philoctetes.


The TV series reunited most of the original voice cast from the 1997 film. This was Paddi Edwards' last film, in which she provided the voice of Atropos.


Hercules: Zero to Hero was first released on home video on August 31, 1998.

Critical reception[edit]

Michelle Erica Green of LittleReview gave the film a rating of B+, writing that while the film "lacks the dazzling visuals of the feature film upon which it is based...it's hard not to be charmed", adding "the characters are all clever and original despite their mythic origins".[1] Conversely, Antagony & Ecstasy gave a scathing review, writing that as the film "was assembled of four episodes of the Hercules cartoon that had already aired in 1998 and 1999", it was "perhaps the single grubbiest cash-in of [all the direct-to-video released]", adding "Zero to Hero was already going to be at such a low level of accomplishment even relative to other DTV projects".[2]

In a review, Vern Perry of Gainesville Sun described the Disney formula as "Just give 'em what they like. And keep it up.", noting that's what the company has done with these two 1998/1999 releases. He added that this film benefited greatly from the return of some of the original voice cast including Tate Donovan and James Woods.[3]


External links[edit]