Common Sense Media says

Better-than-average spinoff has heart AND brawn.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hercules learns what it means to be a hero with a heart. Kids will take away good lessons about persistence, self discipline, and friendship.

Violence & scariness

Some threats from evil Uncle Hades, but nothing graphic or too scary.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:French Stewart, James Woods, Tate Donovan
Network:Toon Disney
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

This review of Hercules was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 February 25, 2011

Very good series

I used to watch this on toon Disney (which is sadly gone), and I really like it. Being more familiar with Greek mythology now, I get all the little references they make. I think it's set during when Hercules is being trained by Phil to become a hero. They made an error (Hades is after Hercules, but this is set before the movie and Hades doesn't know the Hercules is alive). But whatever, this series is good. There's some violence, but it's cartoonish, and rarely does anyone get hurt. There's also a little romance (high school crushes stuff), but it's not too bad.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Adult Written bynduns May 13, 2011

The only show better than its movie counterpart

The big problem I had with the Hercules movie is that the characters were really bland/2-dimensional and the story was predictable as can be. This cartoon, on the other hand, throws that out the window and not only makes Hercules, the BLANDEST lead character in a Disney Renaissance film interesting/likable but also gives us a good cast of other entertaining and interesting characters. Also, the deviations from the original mythology don't annoy me as much in this one.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


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