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Hercules Disney DeCal Final Presentation

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Stephanie Torres

on 24 April 2013

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Transcript of Hercules Disney DeCal Final Presentation

Men in Disney's Hercules:
-Initially thin and scrawny --> becomes well-built with defining muscular features.
>Clichéd idea of masculinity: being attractive and strong are alluring/ accepted features in our society; Being thin and scrawny are physical features that are looked down upon.
-Extremely handsome: white teeth, golden hair, and dazzling blue eyes.
>Physical features that allured women.
>Sets high standards of physical attractiveness for young males
-Short, overweight, and hairy
-Scares women away with appearance and ill manners toward them.
>Stereotype: short and ugly men seen as creepy, perverted, and undesirable.
Typical Male Roles
- "Zero to Hero" transformation evokes the importance of attaining power/ recognition through violence where he fights monsters in order to win and beat Hades.
>Obsession with masculinity and power could potentially mislead young boys to strive for manliness rather than resort to being seen as a cowardly wimp. -Film is ethnocentric when it comes to Greek culture
>Story nearly diverges completely from the original myths
>Focusing on stereotypical aspects of Greece: The overuse of clay pots and building columns present a narrow-minded view of the Greek culture, history, and background.
-Majority of characters are depicted as Caucasians, but the Muses were an exception:
>Muses have uniform light-brown skin tone colors.
>Represent a stereotypical vision of African American divas who sing Gospel music, which is a type of music that is particularly sung by African Americans.
>The origin of Gospel music dates back to the 18th century, which was a time when blacks were treated as slaves.
>Some may argue that the Muses were enjoyable characters that added life, humor, flavor, sass, and entertainment to the film, but the implied stereotypes can mislead people to think that Disney is being racist toward African Americans. Critical Thinking: Racism/ Stereotypes -Budget: $70 million
-During the first two weeks of the film's release in theaters, box office profits totaled to about $58 million.
-Not very successful:
>In comparison to other Disney films like Pocahontas where they made $80 million and the Lion King which profited $119 million in the first two weeks, Hercules was unable to surpass these box office earnings.
>Did not appeal to all audience members, especially girls.
>Competition with other live action films at the time made it more difficult.
>Greek mythology: ambiguity of subject matter
>Overwhelming promotional tactics
-Total U.S. Box Office Profits during February 3, 1998: $99,111,505
-Total worldwide Box Office Earning by September 1999: $245 million Finances Physical vs. Internal Change
>Hercules becomes more brawny and muscular
>After saving the townspeople by defeating various monsters, he gains recognition, fame, and fortune.
>However, being famous is not the same as being a true hero
>He gains his godly powers after risking his life in order to save Meg.
>His true hero status is not achieved by physical strength, fighting skills, or fame; it is earned through an act of love and self-sacrifice.
>As said by Zeus in the film, "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart."
Message to the audience:
-Self-sacrifice and love should be largely valued over insignificant qualities that define a hero.
>One has the potential of being a hero if they follow their heart, act selflessly, and live with good intentions. Morality: Meaning of a "True Hero" -Gospel infused music:
>Under rhythm, pop, and blues influences.
>Tells a story, provides hope, and often associated with idealism/ larger than life events.
-"Go the Distance"
>Reveals Hercules's emotions: he feels he doesn't fit in, doesn't feel right in any situation he is placed in, and believes that there is more to life than what he is currently living in.
>Emotion and motivation behind song: search for one's true identity and place in the world.
>A dream that one wishes to fulfill and the journey one must take in order to achieve that dream.
-"I Won't Say (I'm in Love)"
>Since Meg has been hurt by love before, this song illustrates how she thinks twice before giving into love.
>Relatable song to those people who have failed with love and are afraid to take the risk again.
>Deviates away from typical love songs sung by Disney princesses. Analysis of Music Women in Disney's Hercules:
-Not portrayed as a typical damsel in distress; Independent and strong female character
-Past experience with love left her broken-hearted, so she is more wary when it comes to men.
>Sets her apart from other Disney princesses, like Ariel and Cinderella, who long for their prince charming.
Unrealistic perspectives of the female body that embody the all-American sex appeal:
-Shapely hourglass figures
-Hips and breasts are exaggerated
-Tiny waists that are smaller than the face
>These stereotypical physical features are emphasized in order to convey a seductive view of women, which reveals artificial high standards of beauty and the ideal body image. Gender Roles and Sexuality -Critic Arthur Rockwell: “the reviews were good, and the buzz was great. But it may have been hurt by such calculated commercialism [...] it loses sight of the story and audience. ‘Hercules’ is seen less as a movie than as a giant marketing venture” (Wasko 80).
-Despite the film's financial disappointment, it was well-received by the public and the critics.
>Still classified as a Classic Disney film.
-Chicago Sun Times critic Roger Ebert states that Hercules “is lighter, brighter and more cheerful, with more for kids to identify with.”
>Believed that the subject matter involving Greek mythology does not confuse the children; instead, it provides fantasy elements, humor, and entertainment. Response from Critics -A classic Disney film functions as the “primary product and serves as the inspiration for the merchandise that flows from it” (Wasko 72).
-The Hercules film would take a different approach:
>Marketing activities were issued months before the release date.
-Targeted audience: families and young children.
-Promotional activities included:
>4 minute trailers before movie theater screenings and found in home videos.
>5 month tour visiting 20 cities where stage shows, games, prizes, play areas, interactive workshops etc. were featured
>Hercules on Ice: first time opening an ice show before the film's movie debut
>Wide range of merchandise products: apparel, toys, books, furniture, etc.
>A World Premiere weekend was promoted in New York, featuring many activities/ events around the city, including the famous Hercules Electrical Parade. Marketing Strategy -Animation began during the year 1995
-Total of 906 artists, animators, and technicians involved with the project.
-Used new animation technology: CGI (computer graphics imagery).
>Creating striking animated images while still making it look hand-drawn.
-Animator Andreas Deja had a difficult time creating the animation for Hercules:
>Trying to portray a character that starts off as naive and awkward but then progresses to be a confident young man, which is seen through Hercules's facial expressions and body language.
>A great amount of visible skin is exposed, so he had to become familiar with the human anatomy in order to know how the knees work and how movement within the muscles operate.
>Nevertheless, when he heard Tate Donovan’s performance for the voice of Hercules, he was able to analyze it, embrace the character, and channel it into his work. Animation and Artwork -Disney's version of Hercules does not follow the story of the original Greek myth.
>Original Greek name: Heracles
>The original legendary tales are more violent and tragic than the Disneyfied version
>Many changes were made to the characters and storyline in order to make it more suitable for children.
>In addition, the main point of making changes to the original myth was to help create the themes and morals that are expected of Disney films in terms of family values, true love, self-enlightenment, etc.
-Ex: Heracles’s real mother, Alcmene, is a mortal earth-born woman who committed adultery with Zeus. Hera hated Zeus for his many affairs and even tried to kill Heracles out of intense animosity. However, the Disney filmmakers changed it by making Alcmene as Hercules’s foster mother and Hera as his real mother.
>They did not want the audience to be disturbed by Zeus's infidelity with Alcmene in order to make it more appropriate. Myth vs. Film Production and Development -Hercules is the 35th full animated Disney film.
-Production took place from 1993-1997
-Released on June 27, 1997
-Written, produced, and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements.
-Project proposal made by Joe Haidar, a long-time Walt Disney Studios animator, to incorporate Greek mythology for a Disney film.
-Preparation for film:
>The directors spent 9 months reading/studying books on Greek mythology
>Producer Alice Dewey, the directors, and the supervising team traveled to Greece and Turkey during Spring of 1995 to hear expert accounts of Greek mythology and gain inspiration/ insight from the beautiful scenery to incorporate into the film's artwork. -Plot:
>Baby Hercules is stolen from Mt. Olympus by Hades's evil minions as a plan to overthrow Zeus from his reign. After drinking a potion that nearly stripped him of his immortality, he is forced to live among humans. In order to become a god again, he must prove himself a true hero on Earth. With the help from his trainer Phil, Hercules builds up his strength and uses it to protect the people around him by battling a series of monsters. Hades sends Meg to lure Hercules and find out his weakness, but they end up falling in love. When Hercules risks his life to save Meg's soul from the Underworld, he proves his heroic abilities and gains his godly powers once more. He saves Mt. Olympus from Hades's take-over and is able to return home. However, he chooses to remain on Earth with Meg by his side.
>Mount Olympus and Ancient Greece
-Main characters:
>Hercules: protagonist and hero of the story
>Hades: antagonist; Lord of the Underworld
>Philoctetes (Phil): Hercules's trainer and friend
>Meg: Hercules's love interest
>Zeus and Hera: Hercules's parents and rulers of Mt. Olympus
-Central idea/theme:
>Becoming of age story
>Quest to find out one's true identity and purpose in life Synopsis Disney DeCal Spring 2013 Final Presentation

By: Stephanie Torres and Hattie (Weixuan) Chen -This training scene where Phil, Pegasus, and Hercules are jump-kicking on wooden stumps is a direct reference to the martial art training used in The Karate Kid. Fun Fact #3 -Hercules is the only character in the film without a Greek name. "Hercules" is actually a name commonly used in Rome. Fun Fact #2 -As Hercules poses for a vase painting, the throw rug on his head is the lion skin of Scar from Disney's The Lion King.
-Andreas Deja: animator for both Scar and Hercules.
>Wanted to incorporate a past creation into the film. Fun Fact #1 Fun Fact #4 When Meg and the Muses are singing at the garden, there is a point where the Muses appear as busts which references the singing busts from the Haunted Mansion. Gender Roles Continued... The End
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