1997 was a great year for the film industry, and the children’s genre was no exception. Ron Clements and John Musker, the brilliant directing duo behind such productions as Aladdin and The Little Mermaidscripted, produced, and directed Hercules, the animated classic inspired by Heracles, Zeus’ son. The 35th Disney animated feature film centers on mighty Hercules, son of gods Zeus and Hera, who, not long after his birth, is kidnapped by Hades, Zeus’ wicked brother, deprived of his god-given right, and sent to Earth, aiming to clear the way for Hades to conquer Mount Olympus in 18 years’ time. Now a mortal but endowed with his supernatural strength, Hercules has to work hard to become a hero in order to regain his rightful place on Mount Olympus.
In April 2020, Walt Disney Pictures revealed plans to develop on a live-action version of Hercules, with Joe and Anthony Russo as part of the producing team and, per Digital Spy, Guy Ritchie as director. Die-hard fans await for any news about this live-action, theorizing all over social media about which actors would be suitable to portray each character. Meanwhile, producers have stated that they are taking inspiration from the original movie, while giving it a modern twist by incorporating new elements. Undoubtedly, one of the most intriguing elements to contemplate in the upcoming movie is the way they incorporate the songs — if they choose a musical route — bearing in mind how fundamental music was to the narrative of the original film. Although Hercules‘ soundtrack was rather historically underestimated, it is truly one of the most enjoyable ones from Disney and, moreover, complements each character’s storyline wonderfully. This article provides an overview of all the songs from Hercules‘ soundtrack.
6 One Last Hope
Phil is one of the most charming characters in the movie, brought to life by Danny DeVito. Phil was the trainer of aspiring heroes who, over the course of his career, grew disillusioned with each and every one of his trainees. When Hercules first came to visit him, commissioned by his father Zeus, Phil had already given up his days as a trainer, saddened by the fact that he would never fulfill his dream of witnessing one of his trainees triumph. And yet, upon discovering the young man’s origins, he decided to cling to his last hope and take one last shot at fulfilling his dream of training a true hero. “One Last Hope” is the song that sums up everything, his hopes and dreams, and goes along with a scene in which Phil puts Hercules through a myriad of physical and mental challenges, whereby the audience can also appreciate the young apprentice’s growth.
5 A Star is Born
“A Star is Born” is the song that follows the happy ending that Hercules (Tate Donovan) achieved after a journey packed with adversities. After risking his life to rescue Megara from the underworld, Hercules became a hero and thus regained his divine status and his rightful place on Mount Olympus. Upon that triumph, the Muses performed this song while the gods and humans cheered Hercules, who got to reunite with his adoptive parents and excitedly watched Zeus form a constellation in the sky for him. Moreover, Phil also managed to fulfill his lifelong dream, as standing before this new constellation, a townsman acknowledged Hercules as “Phil’s Boy”.
4 Zero to Hero
This is one of the most iconic songs in the movie, and marks the point at which Hercules turned from an outcast and mocked young man into a hero. Having defeated every monster that Hades put in his way during his stay in Thebes, the audience got to witness, thanks to the Muses’ recounting, Hercules’ evolution, who grew to fame and became a presence in the whole city, with statues and merchandising . His parents even got the news of his newfound fame, and purchased a vase with his face on it. However, as Hercules’ triumphs grew, so did Hades’ frustration, who was totally enraged and in a hurry to get rid of the hero in order to conquer Mount Olympus.
3 The Gospel Truth
“The Gospel Truth” is a three-part song performed by Calliope, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Cliolas, better known as the Muses, five characters who steal the show whenever they appear on-screen. Part one of the song introduces life on Mount Olympus, opening the story of Hercules. Part two focuses specifically on Hades, the iconic king of the underworld, and while maintaining the essence of the first part, it has a much darker and gloomier vibe, reflecting the character in question. The final part focuses on the film’s main conflict, with Hades condemning Hercules to become human and banishing him from Mount Olympus.
2 Go the Distance
“Go The Distance” is definitely the most memorable song from this animated classic, and the one that best captures the essence of the character and his struggles to find the place where he feels he belongs. At the beginning of the film, Hercules was down-hearted and sad, clearly sensing that he didn’t fit in with his people. Something in his gut told him that, in fact, he belonged somewhere else, and the lines of this song state how he was willing to go the distance in order to find this place. In the midst of the scene, moreover, Hercules discovered his true origins, and after speaking with his father Zeus, he embarked on an adventure to become a true hero and regain his rightful place on Mount Olympus.
1 I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)
“I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)” steals the first spot of this ranking as one of Hercules’ most beloved songs and, most of all, for its high-energy and fun rhythm. Performed by Megara (Susan Egan) and the Muses, the song followed Meg and Hercules’ date in which she tried, compelled by Hades, to find his weak spot. However, she had a really hard time pulling off the plan as there were definitely emotions involved. After the date was interrupted by Phil, Hercules gifted her with a flower before he left, which led to this song in which the Muses attempted to get Meg to realize her feelings for Hercules, whereas she denied them entirely. Eventually, she stopped denying her feelings, but stated she was not going to voice them out loud.