This year marks the 19th anniversary of "Hercules," which was released in 1997, and in honor of that, Disney released behind the scenes footage of “Zero to Hero.” Disney fans rejoice!
"Hercules," for those of you who haven’t seen it, follows the story of Zeus and Hera’s son, Hercules, as he tries to fit in to the mortal world and becomes a celebrity due to his strength. All the while, Hades is trying to lure him into the underworld with a beautiful mortal named Megara (Meg, for short). It is loosely based on the story of Heracles, a demigod whose father is Zeus and mother is a mortal named Alcmene.
The behind the scenes video, released by Oh My Disney, shows real-life models performing the choreography for “Zero to Hero,” a catchy gospel-ish song that tells the story of Hercules’s rise to fame. The women in the video were used as references for the animators as they drew the characters in the scene so that they could accurately determine how a person’s body moves. The video also shows the original drawings that the animators created for the storyboards.
This technique of using real-life models to draw characters was first used by Disney in 1937 in the making of "Snow White." Dancer Marge Champion was hired to act out the role of Snow White and dance while in costume so that the animators could make the character as realistic as possible. Disney continued with this tradition for many of their films, including "Sleeping Beauty" (1959), "Cinderella" (1950), "Peter Pan" (1953), "Alice in Wonderland" (1951), "The Little Mermaid" (1989) and "Beauty and the Beast" (1991). They even studied real animals for "Lady and the Tramp" (1955) and "Bambi" (1942).
Hercules officially turned 19 this past Tuesday, June 27 and, for the record, we love it just as much now as we did in the '90s (and maybe even a little more).