|Disney’s revamping of Greek legend moved to the small screen in the fall of 1998. Purists who decried the studio’s 1997 Hercules feature were better off staying away from the animated series. As for the kids…Hey, it may not be good mythology, but it sure is good fun.
Disney’s Hercules had the Greek god still in geek god mode, before his “Zero to Hero” transformation. In the series, “Herc” was enrolled at Prometheus Academy, a school for both gods and mortals. Winged stallion Pegasus was still around, as was Philoctetes (“Phil”), who was as feisty as ever. Other carryovers from the film included Herc’s dad Zeus, winged messenger (and now budding journalist) Hermes, god of death Hades, and Hades’ incompetent minions, Pain and Panic.
New to the show (as new as classic mythological characters can get) were downbeat Cassandra, hunky and vain Adonis, and Icarus (“Ike” to his friends). In Disney’s version, the latter character had already made his famous flight too close to the sun, and as a result, he was completely “brain-fried.”
Disney’s Hercules debuted as part of Disney’s One Saturday Morning block, joining such other legendary heroes as Winnie the Pooh and Doug. The show proved to be as big a hit on television as it had been in theaters, still going strong in the early 00’s.