Hercules: Zero to Hero

Hercules: Zero to Hero

VHS cover
Directed by Bob Kline
Produced by Bob Schooley
Mark McCorckle
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
Pattyson/Meadows Productions
Animation production:
Distributed by Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • August 31, 1998 (1998-08-31)

  • August 31, 1999 (1999-08-31)
Running time
70 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Hercules: Zero to Hero is a 1998/1999 comedy-drama adventure and fantasy animated film produced by Walt Disney Television Animation and Walt Disney Animation Australia. The film is a direct-to-video interquel/followup to Disney's 1997 animated feature Hercules and the three episodes from the television series: "Hercules and the first day of School", "Hercules and the Grim Avengers" and "Hercules and the visits from Zeus". It was released on August 31, 1998 and August 31, 1999, and serves as the pilot to Hercules: The Animated Series.

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


The film consists of three episodes that would later serve as episodes from the television series, branched together by additional original animation, The film was by Toon City Animation, Inc. in Malina, Philippines, Walt Disney Animation Australia, 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 Co., Ltd. by Seoul, Korea, Xindian District, Taipei, Taiwan and Japan.


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. Only Danny DeVito was unavailable to reprise the role of Phil, who was played by Robert Costanzo. This was Paddi Edwards' last film, in which she provided the voice of Atropos.

Critical reception

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 of Hercules: Zero to Hero and Belle's Tales of Friendship, 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 Dovovan and James Woods.[3]


External links

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