Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus
Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: 4.5 Beans
evin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless are currently two of television's hottest stars. Sorbo's "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" has been one of the top-rated syndicated TV shows since its debut in 1995, and it's spinoff series, Lawless' "Xena: Warrior Princess" have proven to be extremely popular has often been its only rival for that coveted number 1 position.
But then they decided to make a direct-to-video cartoon.
The story itself isn't too bad... it plays out much like a typical episode of "Hercules" would with Xena making a guest appearance. Hera (Joy Watson) gets irritated when Zeus (Peter Rowley) brings his mortal mistress (and Hercules' mother) home to Olympus to live. Taking control of a magical stone that provides Zeus with all of his powers, Hera frees the Titans and directs them to attack Olympus. Beaten, Zeus and his family (Aphrodite, Ares, and the rest) are turned into animals and head down to Earth to seek refuge with Hercules and his mom. Hercules isn't to happy with his dad, though, leaving Xena, Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor) and Iolaus (Michael Hurst) to do most of the work to set things right until Hercules gets his facts straight and has a change of heart later on.
The problems with this movie aren't so much in the story as in...
(1) The animation. In a late 1990s world with access to all kinds of wonderful animation technologies, this movie instead looks like a really old episode of "Superfriends". In addition the drawing and coloring is kinda strange... Hercules looks like a cross between Mr. Ed and The Incredible Hulk, while Xena looks like she drowned in the sea, got nibbled on by fish for a day or two, and then was resurrected.
(2) The music. This movie is obviously attempting to cash in in Disney's 1997 "Hercules".. in fact the story is basicaly the same. However, the songs are even worse than the ones in the Disney movie. In particular, the song "We're the Titans" will very likely receive a nomination in the 2nd Annual Bad Movie Night Awards for Worst Song of 1998. In the middle of a scene depicting the near-destruction of Mt. Olympus, the Titans stop what they are doing to sing "Wer're the Titans, we're big and strong... boom shaka-laka-laka boom shaka-laka-laka boom-boom."
Kids will probably enjoy this movie to an extent, but probably like the real TV shows better. Teens and adults will be bored but will enjoy laughing at the ridiculous song sung by the Titans.
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