Sunday, March 9, 2014

Daytime Heroes: Hercules: The Animated Series (1998)

Disney thought they were being cute by creating their own version of Hercules to counter the popular live-action series that was airing in syndication. After a 1997 feature film scored big at the box office, the studio moved on to an animated series that aired in syndication on weekdays and ABC on Saturdays as part of the One Saturday Morning package.

As with the movie, Hercules has an all-star cast, but with one change. Robert Costanzo (Harvey Bullock from Batman: The Animated Series) takes over for Danny DeVito as Phil, a satyr who designs spears for a living. Tate Donovan top-lines as Hercules, just as he did in the movie. Film vet James Woods won a Daytime Emmy for his work as Hades, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The cast also included Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Wayne Knight & French Stewart (3rd Rock From the Sun), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), Matt Frewer, Bob Keeshan (formerly Captain Kangaroo), Mike Connors (ex-Mannix), game show icon Wink Martindale, Sandra Bernhard, Tom Arnold, and so many others.

I never watched either the daytime or Saturday series and didn't see the movie. I just wasn't feeling the whole idea of a teenaged Herc. For what it's worth, Scott Weinger (ex-Full House) reprises his role as Aladdin, guest-starring in the episode, "Hercules & the Arabian Night":

No rating.


Scoobyfan1 said...

Yet another show I remember from my middle school and high school years :)

If I remember correctly, the other shows that aired on the UPN weekday cartoon lineup were a revival of the Nickelodeon cartoon Doug, an animated take on the live action Sabrina the Teenage Witch show which was airing at that point called Sabrina the Animated Series, and I think a series called Pepper Ann.

Later on, a TV series version of the Disney movie Tarzan replaced I think Sabrina the Animated series, and one of the other shows on the lineup was replaced by Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, featuring Buzz Lightyear of course from Toy Story.

hobbyfan said...

Let me help you out.

Sabrina lasted until 2001 on ABC, where she was replaced by the Olsen Twins' show (Mary-Kate & Ashley in Action). The Legend of Tarzan came after Buzz Lightyear, IIRC. Doug (Brand Spanking New Doug, that is) I think was an ABC exclusive.

Have to get around to doing Pepper Ann......