|First appearance||Hercules (1997)|
Ron Clements |
English: James Woods|
Japanese: Kyusaku Shimada Swedish: Dan Ekborg
Hades is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the 1997 Disney movie Hercules, based on the Greek god Hades. Unlike the mythological Hades, who is for the most part a relatively passive deity doing a sometimes nasty job, this version is a fast-talking, evil deity, reminiscent of Satan, as well as sleazy Hollywood Agent types (i.e. his use of words like "shmooze"). Hades later reappeared in Hercules: The Animated Series and the Kingdom Hearts series. In all of his appearances, Hades has been voiced by James Woods. Woods has said that Hades is one of his favorite characters to portray, and he would gladly go on voicing the character whenever asked. His status as a god and cunning mastermind make him one of the more powerful Disney Villains, although he is usually shown as a follower of other villains such as Maleficent in Disney crossovers. He is also known for being one of the few Disney Villains to provide comic relief.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As Hades is an Olympian deity, he has a wide array of mystical powers. These include intangibility, telekinesis, teleportation, limited shapeshifting abilities, the conjuration of monsters, can raise the dead (for a price), and the best known, the ability to manipulate smoke into a physical form and control fire. He is also extremely intelligent and highly strategic, capable of thinking ahead in all his plans.
As a god, he is immortal but he is not invincible as a mortal can defeat him, as shown in Kingdom Hearts game series when Sora, Donald and Goofy were able to defeat him, however through the same series Hades is virtually untouchable within his domain in normal circumstances. His hair is almost always on fire and it changes colour and flares up related to whichever mood he is in.
The character's mannerisms and other tendencies were partly due to James Woods's using "car-dealer"-style speech while providing the voice of Hades. Hades is described as "mean" and "ruthless" by the Muses. He is very hot-tempered, with little control over his flames flaring up whenever he is excited or (more often) angry. When Hades is angry, his face and hair both change their colors to those of fire. He especially dislikes his brother Zeus and is jealous of the idle life that he and the other gods live in Olympus, while Hades is stuck with a "full-time gig" in the Underworld, surrounded by the dead, whom he loathes and looks down upon. The other gods (apart from Zeus) don't seem to care for Hades, evidenced by the way they glare at him when he comes to view Hercules for the first time. Zeus deals with Hades an almost contemptibly joking and listless manner, taking almost nothing Hades says seriously. Zeus seems to see such conduct with his brother as inconsequential, which Hades finds especially irritating. On the other hand, Hades does have a very intelligent, sly, and malicious demeanor. He is able to convince numerous mortals to make deals with him and even the titans to do as he says. This is probably, in most cases, due to his fast and clever speech and keen manipulation of truth. Hades also possesses a sort of cruel wisdom, through which he has developed a way regarding all things as though everything plays out rather predictably, expressing this in his comment on all people having weaknesses. This is also evidence by Hades's often use of sports and game jargon to describe the event of his plans. Hades also enjoys mocking those beneath him. An example of this is his conduct with his (forced) minion, Meg, with whom he speaks in a deliberate (though sometimes seeming inconsiderate) manner, which is sometimes joking, sometimes poetic, and sometimes regarding her like a child. This is similar to the way Zeus treats him (and is perhaps Hades's way of venting his anger and frustration toward his brother), however, unlike Zeus, Hades understands how this makes Meg feel and does in spite of this and in fact because of it. Another example is Hades's treatment of Hercules after convincing him to give up his strength for Meg's safety. Hades reveals to Hercules that Meg was his minion the entire and that without her, he wouldn't have been able to exploit Hercules's weakness. He also reveals that the only reason he wanted Hercules to give up his strength was so he could safely defeat Zeus and take over Olympus, and, in order to flaunt his having known everything about Hercules, satisfy his love of mocking people, and remind Hercules of his foolishnes, Hades says to him "Now you know what it's like to be like everyone else. Isn't it just peachy?"
In the 1997 animated film, Hades seeks to overthrow Zeus and rule Mount Olympus for himself. Upon visiting the Fates, he learns that he could succeed, but there is a catch. If Zeus's son, his nephew, Hercules is to fight Hades, Hercules will win.
Hades sends his two klutzy minions, Pain and Panic, to kidnap baby Hercules and give him a potion that would render him mortal. Hercules needs to drink every last drop for it to work, but when a human couple comes along, the imps drop the bottle, breaking it and losing the last drop. Thus, Hercules, while mortal, retains his god-like strength and spends his life on Earth.
Later, a young princess named Megara, or Meg, sells her soul to Hades so that he will return her lover's soul. He does, but soon Meg's lover ungratefully dumps her for another girl shortly afterwards (in the series it is said that her lover was Adonis). Meg remains trapped as a slave to Hades, and he uses her beauty, charm and intelligence as an advantage to persuade monsters to join his army.
After discovering that Hercules is still alive (Pain and Panic had kept the incident invovling the bottle secret for years), Hades sends numerous monsters to do away with Hercules, such as the Hydra, but none work. When he finds out that Hercules has fallen in love with Meg, he uses this to his advantage and makes a deal with Hercules: Hercules must give up his powers for twenty-four hours (secretly the same twenty-four hours he will use to take over Olympus) in exchange for Meg's freedom. Hercules agrees, as long as Meg will be safe from harm. Hades then reveals that Meg was working for him the whole time, crushing Hercules' will to fight.
However, Meg is greviously injured saving Hercules from a falling pillar. This negates Hades's deal that Meg would not be hurt. Hercules is thus given his powers back and returns to Mount Olympus where he easily takes down the Titans and frees the gods.
Hades loses his temper, but he taunts Hercules that he at least has a parting gift; while Hercules was fighting the Titans, Meg died from her injuries. Hercules travels to the Underworld to rescue her. He swims into the River Styx to retrieve her soul. It almost kills him, when his full Godhood is restored by his being willing to risk his life to save Meg. Hercules emerges from the pit alive and immortal with Meg's soul in his arms.
Hades begs the hero to try and ease things with him and the other gods, but Hercules loses his temper and slugs his uncle into the River Styx, where he is swarmed upon by the Spirits of the Dead and dragged down under the surface, temporarily trapped underneath the River Styx.
Hercules: The Animated SeriesEdit
Later, with the return of Hercules on the form of an animated series, Hades also re-appeared, and had many appearances trying to take over Olympus, and also the secondary antagonist. One episode even had a crossover where Jafar makes a deal with Hades, in order to make Hercules and Aladdin fight each other. While Hades and Jafar had numerous things in common, Jafar's insane laugh consistently got on the more smooth-talking Hades' nerves - at least until he tried it for himself.
This entire series ignores a certain fact about the movie however: in the movie Hades still thought Hercules was dead throughout his high school days, but in the series, they have many interactions during that time.
Hades was called on by The Wicked Queen and Jafar to fight Mickey Mouse in the Disney's Hollywood Studios' version of the nighttime show spectacular. He summons the black god Chernabog from the movie Fantasia, and is eventually defeated (he can't die because he's a god) along the rest of the villains in the end.
Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by SleepEdit
Appearing in the game prequel, Hades attempts to strike a deal with Terra.
He was originally in league with Maleficent, using the Heartless to try to take over the worlds. Hades wanted to dispose of Hercules and tricked Cloud Strife into challenging Hercules in the Preliminaries at the Olympus Colliseum. In return, Hades "promised" Cloud he'll lead him to Sephiroth. However, when Sora arrived, Hades changed plans and had Cloud attack Sora first. When Cloud refused to kill Sora after beating him (or when Sora is victorious over Cloud), Hades sends out Cerberus to take care of Cloud. Cerberus was teleported into the arena behind Cloud, directly on top of him, which pinned him to the ground and stunned him. Hercules arrived to get Cloud to safety while Sora & company dealt with Cerberus. Even though Hades doesn't want Maleficent meddling in Olympus Colisem (telling her it was "his show"), he is seen with Maleficent after sealing the Agrabah Keyhole, showing Riku that Kairi was with Maleficent. After Maleficent's defeat, Hades decided to take care of Hercules AND Sora at the Hades Tournament. In the 10th round of the tournament he himself battles Sora and lost as all his schemes against Sora and the others end in failure. He is last seen after finishing the Hades Cup, where Donald Duck uses his Blizzard magic spell to put out Hades' hair.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesEdit
A facsimile Hades appeared as token of Sora's memory and the darkness in Riku's heart. His plan is similar to the one he attempts in Kingdom Hearts, but with some differences. In this, he sets up a tournament in order to lure Hercules in, and hires Cloud to kill Hercules in exchange for recovering his memories. Cloud and Hercules fight, and while Cloud is too badly wounded to continue fighting, Hercules is also wounded. Hades arrives, easily scattering the two and reneging on his deal with Cloud ("You, my spiky-haired friend, are fired") - despite the fact that this was unnecessery since the deal was that Cloud would defeat Hercules in return for his memories, which he failed to do. However, Sora attacks and defeats Hades.
Kingdom Hearts IIEdit
Hades's desire to kill Hercules is still undeterred. After joining forces with Pete, and probably Maleficent through him, Hades and his imps Pain and Panic, decide to use somebody who has already died to use against Hercules and kill him. Hades brings back Auron, but Auron rebels against Hades, telling him that this is "his story" (this parallels Tidus's character from Final Fantasy X). Hades and Auron duel, only to be interrupted by Sora, Donald and Goofy. They fight Hades, but, due to the Underworld curse ("In the Underworld, heroes are zeroes. Comes with the territory."), he is invincible to their attacks. Hades forces Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Auron into a retreat, and decides to finish off the four by setting Cerberus on them. However, Cerberus was defeated by Sora and Auron. He appears to Hercules, Sora, Donald and Goofy in the Olympus Coliseum and has the Hydra attack in an attempt to destroy Hercules. Upon discovering that Sora's Keyblade could unlock any lock, Hades initially plans to steal the Keyblade and use it to unlock the Underdrome, the Underworld's own coliseum which, according to Hades, makes the Olympus Coliseum itself look like an "Olympic kiddie pool". However, when Pete informs him that the Keyblade will only work for Sora, Hades kidnaps Meg and traps her in the locked Underdrome, forcing Sora to unlock it to rescue her. Pete is defeated by Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Hercules, but, unbeknownst to them, the Underdrome had already been unlocked. However, Hercules had let the Hydra be, unknowing that it had awoken from its defeat and destroyed the Olympus Coliseum. The Hydra was killed by Sora, Donald and Goofy, with help from Pegasus, Meg and Phil in the process.
When they returned, Hades took direct action against them, (this time without the help of Pete) after summoning a new group of heartless, he put a few of them in the Hades Cup, and put the rest on guard duty. He used a statue to rob Auron of his free will. He eventually fought Sora personally, but was still defeated by the team of him, Donald, Goofy, Auron, and Hercules. After his defeat, he fell accidentally into the River Styx and vanished (as he did in the film). However, he survived. He acts as a challenger in the last tournaments, which are unlocked near the end of the game.
Interestingly enough (mostly because he is a god and his death would cause a huge dent in mythology), Hades is the only Disney villain to show in all three games and survive, not including Maleficent who died at the end of the first game or Jafar who died at the end of the Agrabah story in Kingdom Hearts II. James Woods reprises his role for the English versions of the games, while his Japanese voice in all three games is done by Kyusaku Shimada.
Mickey's House of MouseEdit
Hades appears a few times in the House of Mouse full-length spin-off Mickey's House of Villains; however, James Woods only provides the voice for one line ("Ha - love that", in response to Mickey's joke, "Why, I even saw Hades - he was really paintin' the town dead!"). Rob Paulsen provides the singing voice when Hades sings the lines "Where everyone's a friend of mine!" and "What a place for breakin' bread!" in the song "It's Our House Now!" He also appears briefly in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse. During the actual House of Mouse series, Hades serves as a sort of comic relief. In one episode he complains that his coffee was mistakenly ordered as decaf, to which Gaston replied "Nobody makes decaf like Gaston", a running gag that gets on Hades' nerves. In another episode, Mickey runs past him so fast, the flames on his head go out. However, he uses Lumiere to light it again. Yet another episode was dedicated strictly to him, in which Pete breaks the air conditioning, driving away all of the guests except Hades, who comments that it feels "just like home." Mickey and friends then attempt to make Hades as comfortable as possible to prevent him from leaving (The House's contract states that should the place be completely empty, it will be closed down). He eventually leaves after the House is flooded, but thankfully it serves as a perfect environment for the Little Mermaid characters. In this same episode, Hades is greatly pleased to see Chernabog from Fantasia perform what he calls "the old act" (A basic reprise of Chernabog's performance in the actual Fantasia movie).
In another House of Mouse episode, Hades is attracted to Maleficent and does everything to attract her attention. When every idea backfires he scolds Mickey angrily by casting himself in flames. Maleficent notices his rage and 'not nice'ness, and thus asks him to sit next to her.
Hades in the Disney Archives - Villains