In 1995, a television series called, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” aired worldwide. Based on the Greek god, the show stars Kevin Sorbo as the title character, who goes on various adventures with the help of his best friend, Iolaus by rescuing townspeople, slaying monsters & battling his archenemy Hera. The show also introduced Lucy Lawless as Xena. A princess armed with a sword & chakram. Her popularity immediately kickstarted a spin-off series known as “Xena: Warrior Princess.” Xena’s show is about her going on a quest to redeem herself from her dark past with the help of her best friend, Gabrielle. On their adventures they battle tyrannical warlords, slaying monsters, aiding local townspeople & their frequent encounters with Ares, who is Hercules’ brother.
Both shows (especially Xena) co-developed by Sam Raimi & Robert Tapert became cult classics for their cheesiness, action scenes, characters among many other things gaining a fanbase. Both shows spawned merchandise including action figures, costumes, video games, t-shirts etc. Hercules spawned a prequel spin-off titled, “Young Hercules” starring Ryan Gosling during his early career. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys aired a total of 6 seasons from 1995-1999. Xena: Warrior Princess aired a total of 6 seasons from 1995-2001. Young Hercules aired one season from 1998-1999.
Both Hercules & Xena later crossed paths with each other in an animated direct-to-video film called, “Hercules And Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus.”
Hercules And Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus was released on home video in 1998. (same year A Bug’s Life came out)
If you wanna know why I’m looking back at this animated crossover, there’s gonna be an adaptation of a monster slayer named Geralt Of Rivia from “The Witcher” book/video game series streaming on Netflix starring Henry Cavill. What do Geralt, Xena & Hercules all have in common? They fight monsters in an epic fantasy setting.
Today’s review does contain SPOILERS. If you’re not familiar with Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess or never seen the animated crossover film, read at your very own risk.
Mighty & Weak Aspects
Mighty: Kevin Sorbo & Lucy Lawless reprise their iconic as the title characters and they both did a good job for their respective voiceover performances.
Other Cast Members such As Renee O’Conner, Michael Hurst & Kevin Smith (Silent Bob) reprise their roles and they all did a solid job for their respective voiceover performances. I’m surprised Silent Bob played Ares. I thought he didn’t look the part for a stoner.
Sam Raimi served as an executive producer of the film. As a reminder, he co-developed both Hercules & Xena.
Xena creator Robert Tapert also served as an executive producer of the film.
Ted Raimi (Sam’s real life brother) voices Crius. Ted also played Joxer in Xena: Warrior Princess.
Action Sequences were ok from start to finish. They’re bigger than the two shows. We can witness both heroes engaging in huge battles that the shows lacked, due to budgetary constraints. This was way before HBO’s Game Of Thrones’ groundbreaking effects.
Xena retains both her trademark chakram and her war cry.
Like Disney’s Hercules, The Opening Credits gives us context about Hercules, his father Zeus, his stepmother Hera & The Titans.
Weak: The Animation at times look good, but it is ruined by ugly facial expressions as if Hercules or Xena felt constipated when one of them gives an angry look. Other expressions just seem idiotic.
A Plot Hole involving why Zeus or Hercules’ mother never told their son why they wanted to reunite together in the beginning, instead of brushing him off. They’re the worst parents since Chicken Little’s father Buck Cluck. Mr. Enter was extremely critical to Chicken Little in his review of Disney’s stinker. By the way, I dislike Enter.
Despite a powerful god, Zeus is actually a moron who hid Hercules’ mother inside his home where Hera is present. Why didn’t he sent her to his personal panic room in case things don’t go according to plan?
At the 0:32:08 mark, there’s an animation error with one of Xena’s character models misaligned.
A Musical Number with The Titans randomly shows up outta know where. Animation shots are reused & I lost it when The Titans sang the chorus, “Boom-Shakalaka.” Bill Murray, Harold Ramos & John Candy already said Boom-Shakalaka from “Stripes.” Gonna have to Triple Down Points for a pointless musical number, reused animation & stealing Boom-Shakalaka from Stripes! In the words of Nostalgia Critic & Nostalgia Chick, “A Big Lipped Alligator Moment!” Even Hera was annoyed by The Titans singing. Where the heck is Kratos from “God Of War” when you need him!? I hate random musical numbers popping outta place!
Another Musical Number with Xena randomly show up after The Titans god-awful singing. This movie is desperate to trying to be like Disney. I’m sorry, but the last number ruined Xena’s emotional singing. What makes it worse is when Hercules makes a goofy expression killing the mood.
The Final Verdict: D-
In my opinion, Hercules And Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus is a shockingly dumb animated crossover film lacking common sense for intellectual viewers. As a kid, I liked the shows and animated crossover. Now that I’m older, I still appreciate both shows for their cheesy creativity introducing the public the mythology of Greek Gods and a strong female character that girls can look up to. As for the animated crossover, it’s a misguided cluster fudge. If I were you, I would suggest you relive the old days of watching both shows on DVD/Blu-Ray and introduce your kids to both icons.
I hope Netflix does justice with The Witcher. Could this be the next Game Of Thrones? We shall see in the future.