A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this animated series is based on the 1997 Disney film. The show follows a younger Hercules as he experiences all of the pressures and adventures of being a teenager -- including peer pressure, the desire to fit in, and learning how to be responsible -- as well as the challenges of becoming a hero. Kids can take away lessons about persistence, self-discipline, and friendship.
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What's the story?
Disney's HERCULES isn't as much a prequel to the popular animated film as it is a separate-but-related look at the Greek hero's life during his teen years, as he trains on the Isle of Idra. Joined by his friends Icarus (voiced by French Stewart) and Cassandra (Sandra Bernhard), Hercules (Tate Donovan) learns to balance his training sessions -- led by teacher Philoctetes (Robert Costanzo) -- with having fun with his friends. Of course, like any other teenager, Hercules faces moral challenges like telling the truth, sticking with difficult tasks, and dealing with bullies. And on top of all that, Herc's continually going up against his evil uncle, Hades (James Woods).
Is it any good?
Hercules isn't the first cartoon series to be spun off from a hit Disney movie, and it won't be the last. But with its strong voice cast (most of the actors from the film reprise their roles) and fun, sometimes laugh-out-loud storylines, Hercules stands out from the crowd. Kids will like seeing how Hercules becomes the hero we all know him to be -- and how the challenges he faces as a teen help him be a hero who not only has muscles, but also a strong heart full of integrity.
Although Hercules is a teenage character, his "typical" teen trials and tribulations are decidedly Disneyfied (in other words, no one's pressuring him to get drunk or have sex just yet), which makes this show fine for younger viewers with a more innocent idea of what teen life is like. Viewers of all ages will take away good lessons about being the best you can be.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the challenges Hercules faces as he grows from a "zero to a hero." Kids, have you ever had an important job or chore that needed to be done, but you wanted to have fun instead? How did that make you feel? What did you do? Why is it important for people to follow through on their responsibilities?
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