Posted tagged ‘Hercules’

Top Ten Conundrums about The Mighty Hercules.

April 9, 2008

1.  Daedalus and the Mask of Vulcan…Separated at Birth? 

Are these guys identical twins…or are they the same person?

You never see the Mask’s face…it’s always hidden behind the trash can he wears on his head.  And you never see Daedalus’ face either.  He wears some cheesy kind of bandit-mask.  (Did they even have cheesy bandit-masks in ancient Greece?)

Both men have the same build, and they wear exactly the same crummy old grey robe.   You never see the two of them together in the same place.    And to top it all off, they both have the EXACT SAME VOICE.

What’s going on here?   Are the animators just trying to save money?  Or are Daedalus and The Mask the same person, and they’re just trying to screw with our heads? 

The world will never know.   

2.  Seriously.  What’s the story with with Newton?  

Sometimes I think Newton must be gay. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)   But he’s quite androgynous, so it’s difficult to pinpoint his lifestyle choice.  

Actually, in the earlier episodes, Newton had a deeper (albeit somewhat more obnoxious) voice, and it was clearly male.   But very soon after that, Newton adopted that whinnying high-pitched tone, suggesting a total lack of testosterone.   It makes you wonder if he got gelded by King Dorian’s Royal Veterinarian. 

Newton has plenty of effeminate mannerisms (especially the way he keeps looking at Herc with those big goo-goo eyes, like a schoolgirl with a crush).  But then again, he also hangs out a lot with with The Beautiful Helena, who’s quite the catch.   He’s also half-horse…(which is a whole separate area I don’t even want to get into). 

So I’m not really sure which way Newton’s gate swings.   At the very least, he must be very gender-confused, not to mention species-confused.

(NOT that there’s anything wrong with that…!)

3.  How come all the monsters sound the same?  

There are so many monsters on this show it’s a wonder anyone can walk through the Learnian Forest without tripping on one.   But whether it’s the Dreaded Beast of Charon, the Nemean Lion, or the Minotaur of Minos, the monsters on the show all bellow or scream in only two different ways.

The first monster sound is a low-frequency angry moan, which sounds like someone wailing through a rolled-up newspaper:    


When you consider the budget of the cartoon, they probably DID used a rolled-up newspaper.

The other monster sound I call “Hissing and Horking”. It’s hard to describe with words, but try to think of an angry cat with with emphysema.  If you’ve seen the show, you’ll know what I’m talking about:


I’m not sure if there is any correlation, but it seems to me the “angry moan” is reserved for the mammal-type of beasts, while the “hissing-horking” is more applicable to reptilian monsters. 

Mabye someone should do a study.   (Are there any 20th Century Popular Folklore PhD’s out there?)  

4. Why does Hercules get beaten up every episode?

Each episode is so predictable that you can set your clock to it.    Someone is in trouble.  Herc flies  down from Mount Olympus, and without even warming up or stretching, he immediately starts to fight with Daedalus and/or Willamena and/or whatever asshole monster happens to be around. 

And in every damned episode,  he gets the crap beaten out of him, because he isn’t wearing his ring, and he only has regular human strength.  Just when you think he’s screwed…just when he’s about to be eaten or blown up,  then (and only THEN), does he put on his ring.  The Thunder of Zeus flashes (Tant-Taraaaah!) , Herc gets his strength back, gets up and goes on to kick some serious ass, and saves the day.

Uh, Herc.  Did it ever occur to you to keep your ring ON at all times? 

Shades of Scorpius!   Why would you ever take it off in the first place?  Maybe if you kept it on, you wouldn’t get clobbered so much…Dumbass!    

Unless it has something to do with batteries that need recharging.  If that’s the case, then at least they should mention this on the show, for the benefit of the viewing audience. 

They owe us that.

5.  How is it possible to run without using your torso?

You can really get a sense of how astutely the animators studied the principles of classic anatomy and  human motion and kinetics, when you watch Hercules run.

Whenever Herc is in an all-out sprint, take a closer look.  His legs are going like crazy, but his upper body remains perfectly motionless.  There isn’t even the slightest pumping motion with his arms. 

Holy Crap.   That really is amazing!  (If you don’t believe me, try to run that yourself.)

Maybe only Demi-Gods are able to run like this.

(And also maybe Rocket Robin Hood…but that’s another cartoon altogether.)

6.  Why doesn’t anyone take off the Mask of Vulcan’s mask?

Every episode, the Mask explains (for the benefit of the audience):  “While I wear the Mask of Vulcan, I am INVINCIBLE and ALL POWERFUL”. 

So?   Big deal.  Just take off his mask, and then just pummel the sonnavabitch.  

But NOOOOooooo.    For some reason, Herc never seems to catch on to this.   He might throw things at the Mask, like wagon, a huge boulder or a barn.  He might try to pound The Mask in the chest with his bare fists.   All this does is make The Mask laugh, and he explains (yet again) that so long as he wears the mask, he is invincible, and all powerful.  (Yeah, we got it the first time.)

Hercules:  Just TAKE the freaking mask off, and kick his ass!

It makes you wonder about Ol’ Herc.  Maybe the lad ain’t that bright.

7.  Exactly who is the “Hercules Song” supposed to appeal to? 

I’m not talking about the famous opening theme song by Johnny Nash that everyone knows.   I’m referring to the lesser-known, somewhat obscure song that Newton occasionally sings:  

“I’m glad.  I’m glad.  To have.  To have.  A friend.  A friend.  Like Hercules.  Like Hercules”.     

Oh.  My.  God.

Can this be any more GAY?   

“I’m not….I’m not.  Afraid….afraid.  When I’m…when I’m.  With Hercules…with Hercules”.

Um…Okay, Newton.   We’ve heard enough, now.

I started watching this show when I was five…and even at that age,  I realized this song was LAME and was meant for younger kids.   

It makes you wonder, just exactly what age group where they trying to target with this song?   (Two?…One?)   It ranks right up there with Barney and the TeleTubbies.

“Whenever… Whenever….There’s trouble… There’s trouble… He gets there.  He gets there.  On the double! On the double! “

Okay, Newton. We get it.  You may STOP now.

“So I sing.  I sing.  To you.  To you.  Be good.  Be good.  Like Hercules.  Like Hercules.  Like Hercules!”

For the Love of Zeus, Newton.  Please stop.  Just STOP!  Won’t someone make him STOHHHHP!?  (Sob!)

8.  Tewt’s Remarkable Communication Skills

Before I start, there’s one thing I want to ask.   WTF is Tewt?   I think he’s supposed to be a satyr (one of those mythological figures that are half-man and half….what?   Goat?…Horse?…Pig?  Whatever it is…it just ain’t right. 

Poor Tewt can’t speak,  but he communicates with his flute.  (I dunno, maybe he’s partially retarded or autistic.)    But whatever the reason, he sure has overcome his handicap.  It never ceases to amaze me how much information he can convey with a few notes of music:  

“Tweet twoo”.

“What’s that,  Tewt?  Helena is kidnapped on Skull Island by Daedalus, and the only way to cross the water is by using the Enchanted Boat of Diomedes that’s docked by the Cave of Doom?”

They must have borrowed this theme from Flipper:  

“Click Clack”

“What’s that, Flipper?  Bud is stranded on Skull Island, a hurricane is approaching, and the only available boat is moored in Coral Harbor?”

Do you know what would be really cool?  Put Flipper and Tewt together and see if they can understand each other.

 8. Why is Helena Single? 

Ahhh, The Beautiful Helena.  (Sigh).   You gotta admit,  she IS pretty hot.  The animation isn’t great, but at least the artists know how to make her look like a woman.   She has some pretty decent curves, when you compare her to other early 60’s animated females (Wilma Flintsone?…PUH-Leeze!)

Though I feel sorry for Helena.  Life isn’t easy.  She’s constantly kidnapped by the creepy old  Daedalus, harassed by Wilamena, tied to trees or chased by countless monsters.   The only regular male companionship she seems to have are Toot, Newton, and occasionally a pre-pubescent Timon.    She looks kinda lonely…what she needs is a REAL man. 

Then, Hercules comes along and sweeps her off her feet to rescue her, and Helena is thrilled  to be with him.  She flirts, drops hints, tries to steal a kiss, and basically does everything but throw her panties at him.  Yet Herc remains totally clueless.

Just when you think things are going to start to heat up between the two of them, each episode invariably ends with Hercules taking off into the sky, screaming “Olympiaaaaaaa”, leaving a puzzled Helena behind, wondering what it is she did that Hercules wont’ even TALK to her.

Come on, Herc.  She’s hot.  And she wants you.   Get with the Program. 

Maybe it’s because Herc has “issues”  with women…(not that there’s anything wrong with that!)   

9..Why does Hercules narrate his own show?

“Meanwhile, back in the kingdom of Caledon, a young king Dorian ponders his future….”

Come on.   I know the show is for kids.  But did they think we WOUDLN’T NOTICE that voice of Hercules and the narrator of the show are ONE and the SAME?

Why does Herc even bother?  Does he need the work that badly?   (He’s a Demi-God and his Dad is King Zeus).  You’d think he’d have enough connections to not need any extra income. 

Who knows?  Maybe he has gambling debts or something.  Or maybe he’s just so egotistical, that he needs to tell stories about himself in the third person, so we all get impressed.

But I don’t think Herc is like that.  I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.   Perhaps they just asked him, because no one else can do it.  Who else are they gonna get to narrate the show?  King Dorian?…He sounds like a wuss!   Or Newton?…Come on! (See comment #2).   

Chances are, Herc is probably helping out by filling in for someone.  (It could be that the Narrator of Ellipsides is off sick and needs a stand-in).  

10.  Where can I get one of those Moonstone Belts?

Where do they come from?  What kind of technology is this?  They look AWESOME.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show,  these are belts that Herc gives out to selected friends.  The belt buckle has a big “H” logo on it, and is about the size of a CD.  Whenever you’re in trouble, you signal Herc by opening up the buckle, and out streams this really bright Giga-Watt beam of light that strangely enough sounds like an electric monorail. 



You wonder why Newton or Toot don’t start screwing around with these belts when Herc’s away.  I’d be using it like a magnifying glass to burn ants.    Or reflecting it off a mirror or a watch glass to piss people off.   Or hey, instead of depending on Herc every time a monster comes, why not shine it in the mostners face to blind them?  (HiCHHHHHHHHHH…!   HiCHHHHHHHH!)

I also wonder about the technology behind the Moonstone Belts.  It might be a laser, but I’m thinking it’s quite a strong beam (it illuminates half the side of Mount Olympus in broad daylight!).  You’d need a battery pack the size of an 18-wheeler just to power it.   

Maybe it’s a nuclear reaction, but that also doesn’t make sense.  In order to generate that amount of visible light from beta-gamma decay, the  radiation fields would have to be enormous.  The belt operators themselves would get fried, unless they were behind several feet of lead. 

Maybe they’ve discovered a source of Cold Fusion.   If so, then come on Herc, and share the technology with the rest of the planet, so that David Suzuki and Al Gore will get off our backs!