Disney hopes 'Hercules' will have strong appeal
June 27, 1997
Web posted at: 10:14 p.m. EDT (0214 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- It may have come to your attention that the
people at the Walt Disney Co. are releasing another animated
film this weekend.
It is "Hercules," another in a long line of animated films
that began in the distant past with "Pinocchio" and
"Fantasia" and include such recent films as "The Little
Mermaid" and "Aladdin."
Disney wants to think "Hercules" can offer something to every
member of the family: humor, romance, wit, music and
adventure. Hercules, a hero of Greek and Roman mythology, was
renown for his strength and courage.
Actor James Woods lends his voice to the villain of the film,
Hades, Lord of Death, and newcomer Tate Donovan is the voice
"I had never done this kind of work before, so I had no idea
what to do," Donovan admits. "But I knew I really wanted to
do it, so I just came out with unbridled enthusiasm and
There is never a Disney animated feature without a love
angle, and this time it's a tough, sexy heroine named Meg,
whose voice is provided by Susan Egan.
A heroine with a touch of Stanwyck
"She's that fast-talking, 1940s dame who has guys wrapped
around her little finger," says Egan, who had actress Barbara
Stanwyck in mind.
"She looks like Barbara Stanwyck, so she doesn't look like
me," Egan says.
But her mannerisms and her facial expressions -- including
the occasional arch of an eyebrow -- comes from watching
tapes of the actors doing the voices and giving some of their
mannerisms to the characters.
Directors, on the other hand, do something a little
"What they do is, they don't look at you when you're
recording, because they want to know if it sounds funny
instead of it looks funny," says comedian Bobcat Goldthwait,
whose voice is that of a character named Pain, one of Hades'
"So you do something and wonder if it's funny, and you look
back and they're like, lookin' down," Goldthwait says.
"They're doin' anything but looking at you, and I go 'I must
be really stinkin' up the room.'"
Goldthwait gets job playing himself
The part of Pain was written with Goldthwait in mind,
although he didn't know it at the time. When he found out, he
asked about the plan.
"I said, 'Why did you have me audition then?' But I don't
know, if I didn't get the job due to the fact it was based on
me, I would definitely have been liquored up somewhere in my
underwear, going 'Uh, uh, I couldn't even get a job playing
Correspondent Bill Tush contributed to this report.
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