Hercules: Zero to Hero

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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
Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • August 31, 1999 (1999-08-31)
Running time
70 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Hercules: Zero to Hero is a 1999 direct-to-video followup to Disney's animated feature Hercules. It was released on August 31, 1999, and serves as the pilot to Hercules: The Animated Series.


The film consists of three segments that would later serve as episodes from the television series, branched together by additional original animation, much in the style of a later direct-to-video Disney sequel, Tarzan & Jane.


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", 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 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]


  1. "Hercules: Zero To Hero". Littlereview.com. Retrieved 2014-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Antagony & Ecstasy: DISNEY SEQUELS: NO CHANCE, NO WAY". Antagonie.blogspot.com.au. 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2014-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19990827&id=N0QzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HewDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2811,6764961

External links