- “Did you forget who you're talking to? I am the Lord of the Dead!”
Hades is the Greek god of the Underworld and the main antagonist of the 1997 Disney animated film Hercules, and its television series. While the Hades of Greek mythology was not particularly malevolent, he is made into an evil figure in the Disney film, where he attempts to steal his brother, Zeus' throne as ruler of Mount Olympus. He is voiced by James Woods.
Hades appears as a blue-grey humanoid with flaming blue hair, wearing a black robe, and a smoky base. When he gets angry his skin turns red and he burst flames (especially his color of his hair turn exact fire color).
Hades is normally evil and cynical, but has a serious anger management problem. As an Olympian God, he is immortal, and specifically has authority over the dead. Though temperamental, he is a fast-talker, and a shrewd bargainer. At some point prior to the film, he took ownership of Megara's soul as the result of one of these bargains. Hades is shown to be jealous of Zeus's position as King of the Gods, and makes long term plans to usurp his brother. Also unlike most villains Hades does not like arrogance but does have mood swings being comedic and laid back one minute and then being short tempered and angry the next. Hades can also be honest saying to Megara that "a deal's a deal." Also, when Megara was harmed and killed by the pillar that she protected Hercules from, Hercules' strength was restored even though it would mean the downfall of Hades' plan.
Hades is first seen in the film appearing on Mount Olympus. None of the gods are happy to see him. Hades goes up to Baby Hercules' crib and attempts to put a spiked skull-shaped pacifier into the baby's mouth. He almost succeeds, but the baby grabs and squeezes his finger, causing him to drop the pacifier and went away in pain. He then leaves Olympus to the Underworld to plan his takeover of Olympus.
Early in the film, Hades consults with the Fates on his plan to take over Mount Olympus. They tell him that when the planets align eighteen years later, Hades will unleash the horrible Titans and that they would lead him to victory. However, if Hercules fights, Hades will fail.
Hades decides to nip the Hercules threat in the bud by having Pain and Panic feed the infant Hercules a potion that will make him mortal. When Hercules is mortal, Pain and Panic would kill the baby. However, Hercules doesn't drink the last drop of the potion, meaning he still retains his godlike strength, allowing Hercules to defend himself. Years later, when Hades discovers Hercules was still alive, he takes matters into his own hands, attempting to recruit an army of monsters to defeat Hercules.
When Hades discovers that Hercules could not be defeated by his monsters, he sends Megara to seduce Hercules and find his weakness. She falls in love with Hercules on their date and forgets about the mission, simply saying that he has no weakness. Hades deducts that Hercules's love for Megara is his weakness and uses her to trick Hercules into giving up his godlike strength for Meg's safety. Hercules agrees and Hades, knowing Hercules will not interfere, not only unleashes the Titans but also sends the Cyclops to kill Hercules while he is powerless.
During the Cyclops's attack on Hercules, a pillar falls on Meg, severely injuring her. This breaks Hades' promise that Meg would not be hurt, causing Hercules to regain his strength. Hercules proceeds to go to Mount Olympus, defeating the Titans and thwarting Hades' invasion. However, Meg has died because of her injuries and Hades claims her soul as his consolation prize, knowing how much her death will hurt Hercules.
Hercules storms into the Underworld, subdues Cerberus and confronts Hades, demanding him to return Meg. Hades smugly explains to Hercules that Meg is dead and he can't have her back. Hercules offers his soul in exchange for Meg's and Hades displays a moment of being genre savvy, seeing the deal as almost too good to be true. However, he decides to agree on the condition that Hercules must retrieve her himself. It is not until Hercules has already dived in that he shouts that he'll be dead before he can get to her. The Fates attempt to cut Hercules' life thread, but are unable to. Hercules' genuinely heroic sacrifice causes him to become a god, making him immortal. Hercules emerges from the river, carrying Meg's soul. Hades, astounded, attempts to smooth-talk Hercules again, who angrily punches him, sending Hades into the river, where he is swarmed by the souls trapped inside and dragged into its depths, presumably trapping him there forever.
During the end credits when the thanks to the staff are shown, Hades' voice is heard saying that everyone's got a happy ending but him. Then asks if anyone's listening and if he's talking to hyperspace.
Contrary to film canon, where Hades was unaware of Hercules's survival until the demigod was 18, the animated series shows that Hades often faces off against a teenage Hercules. Hades tries many different schemes to destroy Hercules and take over Olympus, plans including exposing the other gods to water from the river Lethe- thus making them all forget their original roles and leaving him free to take over -diverting the River Styx into Greece, or killing Zeus when he temporarily made himself mortal to prove a point to Hercules. Despite all these transgressions, he is never expelled from godlyhood, frequently being summoned to Mount Olympus for job-related matters afterwards.
Hades is shown to have a very poor working relationship with those in his service, primarily the witch Hecate, who frequently attempts to usurp control of the underworld out from under him. Despite Hades attempts to frequently abandon the underworld for Mount Olympus, he seems protective of the job when it's threatened to be taken away from him.
In one episode, he notably teamed up with Aladdin's deceased arch-enemy Jafar and used subsequent attempts to defeat each other's enemies. They didn't always get along however and sometimes argued. Hades found Jafar annoying because he hated his puns and evil laugh, thinking of him as a freak. Their evil plans failed when they underestimated the value of Hercules's strength and Aladdin's ingenuity, culminating in the two teaming up to stop Hades and send Jafar back to the Underworld for good.
Thanks to meddling by the Fates, Hades did technically become King of Olympus in an alternate reality, while Zeus became Lord of the Underworld in one of the episodes. They eventually got into a fight nearing the end of the episode, and the reality was undone after Hercules destroyed the tapestry binding the reality together (which also resulted in Hercules getting tickets to a cancelled concert that he had earlier not been able to get due to the prince beating him out of it).
Hades makes many appearances in the animated series House of Mouse. Hades has several notable appearances on the series. In one episode, Hades had a crush on Maleficent. His first attempt to woo Maleficent fails, so he goes to Mickey Mouse for advice. Mickey tells Hades to try to be nice, but this fails too. Hades attempts to take his anger out on Mickey until Maleficent discovers how cruel he is towards Mickey and decides to date him.
Another notable appearance by Hades in House of Mouse is Suddenly Hades, where Pete destroys the House's thermostat and all the guests leave due to the heat, except for Hades, who enjoys the heat. Mickey and friends then try their best to keep Hades in the House (since Mickey's contract states that the House stays open as long as the show goes on, he would be obliged to close the House down if there were no guests whatsoever). One part of Mickey trying to keep Hades is including an act from Chernabog, a sort of fast-forward version of Night on Bald Mountain. Hades loved it ("Hey! It's the old act! I love this guy!!!!").
In the episode House Ghosts, his bloopers reel was shown on the big screen, humiliating him so badly that he tortures his minions Pain and Panic for no particular reason.
Hades is also one of the main villains in Mickey's House of Villains as well, though he does not take part in the initial scheming at the beginning of the film. Hades was also seen in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, alongside Jafar and Captain Hook during the finale song.
Video Game Appearances
Hades appears as an antagonist in the series, although his role is limited to the world he came from. In Birth by Sleep, Hades' first interaction with the Keyblade wielders begins when Terra arrives to test his strength, prompting Hades to convince him to enter the Games to use against Zeus. But when Terra doesn't use his darkness, Hades decides to use Zack instead, only for Zack to lose against Terra anyway. When Aqua arrives, Hades reappears as her opponent and nicknames her "little bluebird" due to her hair color. After he calls Terra a coward for not using his darkness, Aqua battles him so Hades fights with the aid of a copy of Hydros called the Ice Colossus. Hades ends up losing and retreats but vows return.
By the events of Kingdom Hearts, Hades has become a member of Maleficent's council, and has been supplied with Heartless to use in Olympus Coliseum. Like before, he had managed to gain another warrior, Cloud, by promising him a lead to Sephiroth if Cloud kills Hercules and later Sora when the latter begins winning in the Coliseum. When the plan fails, Hades sends Cerberus after them, who also loses. When Maleficent falls due to darkness, Hades decided to defeat Sora and Hercules personally in a long tournament with a battle with him near the end. Ultimately, he is defeated by Sora. However, Hades retaliates by unleashing two of the Titans upon the world like the events in Hercules. Upon Lythos' defeat, however, Hades disappears.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Hades' planning and actions occur within the Underworld instead of the Coliseum. This time, he revives Auron, the "Mother of All Bad Guys", to destroy Hercules, only for the swordsman to refuse this. Hades tries to strike him, but Auron departs with Sora when the Keyblade wielder arrives wishing to talk to Hades (which proves unsuccessful due to Hades' invincibility within the Underworld. However, after Pete reveals that the Keyblade can open any lock, Hades decides to use Sora to reopen an ancient coliseum known as the Underdrome by kidnapping Megara and bringing her to the Underdrome. Sora rescues her, but unseals it as a result. Due to his victory, Hades decides to hold the Hades Cup to try to kill the weakened Hercules, who was filled with guilt after failing to stop the Hydra. Hades creates a statue of Auron to control him and fight Hercules. However, Sora steals the statue back and destroys it, freeing Auron. Like the conclusion within the film, Hades tries to throw Meg into the River Styx, forcing Hercules to dive in and save her, causing Hercules' power to be restored by his willing to risk his life to save Meg. Hades is quickly defeated and falls down into the River Styx, though he manages to escape, but does not continue to cause trouble for the group.
In recent years, despite not having too many live appearances, Hades has become quite the common Disney villain in several spots, mostly for entertainment purposes.
Hades is also used in promos for the Disney Parks along with other major Disney Villains as part of Halloween celebrations, imculding animated commercials and fhe live-action Christmas/Halloween promi that premiered October of 2013.
In 2013, Hades appeared with Megara, Pain, Panic, and several Disney villains onstage for the "Unleash the Villains" Halloween stage event at Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort.
In the Walt Disney World interactive attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Hades serves as the main antagonist again. In this attraction, Hades sets his eyes on the Magic Kingdom for his new summer vacation spot and plans on turning it into a post-apocalyptic wasteland but Merlin's powerful Crystal of the Magic Kingdom prevents him from doing so, as it is powered to keep all evil at bay at the park.
When Hades sends Pain and Panic to steal it, the crystal is accidentally shattered into several pieces with four of them getting scattered around the park. Hades then recruits several Disney Villains to help retrieve them, but in the end, Hades and the villains are trapped and imprisoned in the newly-reconstructed crystal by Merlin and the park guests that helped him on the adventure.
On the Disney Cruise Line, Hades is the starring character for "Villains Tonight!" In this show, Hades has "gone soft" in recent years and if he doesn't regain his evil nature, he will lose control over the Underworld. Hades visits the most powerful Disney Villains to help recapture his infamous cruelty.
Hades is one of the villains summoned by The Evil Queen to destroy Mickey Mouse in the Florida version of Fantasmic!. Once Hades is summoned, he then summons Chernabog. Hades is defeated with the other villains at the end.
Hades does not appear in the actual show itself, but on a poster in the queue area where he sings "Torch Songs".
- "PAIN. PANIC"
- "Just get him out of here will you boys"
- "Game. Set. Match"
- "There's a whole cosmos out there waiting for me. With hey my name on it."
- "I OWN YOU"
- "I've got 24 hours to get rid of this bozo or the scheme I have been planning for 18 years goes up in smoke. And you...are wearing...HIS MERCHANDISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- "What? Are? Those?"
- "I am about to re-arrange the cosmos and the one schlemiel... who can louse it up is waltzing around...IN THE WOODS!"
- "What was that name...again?"
- "Fortunately for the three of you we still have time to correct this."
- "And now that I set you free what is the first thing you are going to do?"
- "Hercules, stop you can't do this to me. You can't- (gets punched). Okay, fine okay, well I deserved that."
- "WHAT! The Fates are here and you didn't even TELL ME?!"
- "I can't believe this guy. I throw everything I've got at him and it doesn't even..."
- "Sit, DOWN"
- "And I think I'm gonna like it here"
- "So you took care of him, huh? Dead as a doornail. Weren't those your EXACT words?"
- "I OWN YOU!"
- "I need an answer like NOW. Going once going twice."
- "Here's the tradeup. You give up your strength for about 24 hours o.k say the next 24 hours. And Meg here is as free as a bluebird."
- "YES. HADES RULES"
- "How dare you get a happy ending?!"
- "How dare you?!!"
"Zeusy, I'm home!"
"Uh guys, Olympus would be that way."
- "Whoa. Is my hair out?"
- "I'm about to rearrange the cosmos, and the one *schlemiel* who can louse it up is waltzing around in the woods"
- "My favorite part of the game: sudden death."
- "We dance, we kiss, we schmooze, we carry on, we go home happy. What do you say? Come on."
International Voice Actors
- Spanish: Pep Antón Muñoz
Jordi Ribes (final episodes of "Hercules")
Pep Antón Muñoz (Mickey's House of Villains)
Jordi Ribes (Hercules: The Animated Series)
- Seeing as Hades is a god and therefore immortal and the fact that no chronological sequel to Hercules exists, as well as the fact that Hades should be able to survive in the River Styx because he is a god, Hades' ultimate fate is uncertain, but so far, his most likely fate is, that he remains trapped in the River Styx at least, until a sequel lets him climb out.
- He is also the second Disney villain to be sent to Hell, although in his case he rules it.
- Unlike other Disney Villains, Hades is 100% sane, aside from a fiery temper.
- Hades is often regarded as one of Disney's funniest villains, alongside Captain Hook, Yzma, Prince John, King Candy, and Ursula.
- Hades is the second villain to trick the main protagonist of a film into trading a certain power or ability of his/hers in order to give them what they want, just for domination over a certain landscape. The first being Ursula where she tricked Ariel into trading her voice for a pair of human legs, and Hades tricking Hercules into trading his strength so he can be with Megara. (But both Ariel and Hercules got they're abilities back, before they were supposed to, from a certain mishap.) Ariel's exchange also involved being with someone she truly loves.
- It is unclear as to why Hades wasn't aware that Hercules hadn't been killed by Pain and Panic back when Hercules was a baby, seeing that he IS the Lord of the Dead.
- Hades' appearance in the series contradicts the film as he believed that Hercules was dead when he was a teenager during the film.
- The Greek god Hades was not evil- in fact, he was one of the more personable gods of Ancient Greece, despite his job as lord of the dead. However, many other versions (for instance Clash of Titans) depict him as a villain, like the Disney version. While in Rick Riordan's novels like Percy Jackson and the Olympians he is adept to bargains and hold a slight, brotherly spite over Zeus.
- This wasn't even the first time Hades was a villain.
- Jack Nicholson and John Lithgow were once considered for the role of Hades.
- Originally, Hades was going to be portrayed as being less comedic and acting more like a normal Disney villain according to Disney standards. It wasn't until James Woods' auditioning for the role that Hades was rewritten as a comic-relief villain with a huge sense of humor.
- Before that, Hades was originally going to he Herc's ally instead of a villain when the film was going to be more faithful to the myth (which was scrapped very early in development), while what became Hades in the final version was originally going to be Eurystheus, Hera's (the originally intended villain of the film, who was retconned into an ally) own son, whose role essentially fulfilled that of Hades in the final film.
- A different version of Hades appears in the Silly Symphony The Goddess of Spring.
- In Hercules, Hades has smoke emitting from the base of his robe; however, this trait is missing in the Kingdom Hearts series. Most likely because it would be hard to animate.
- In all of his appearances, Hades tries using a character from Final Fantasy to get rid of Hercules. In Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts coded, it is Cloud, in Kingdom Hearts II, it is Auron. In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, he does use Zack in this manner, as well as to display the power of darkness to Terra.
- He seems to have a strong hatred for the Goddess of the Night, Hecate, calling her a "witch" at the conference of the Olympians. She in turn wants his throne and steals his power.
- Hades is one of the few villains with historic significance. Others include John Ratcliffe, Chernabog, Arawn and The Hun Army.
- Hades is the only villain to meet another Disney villain in media canon to his film of origin.
- Hades is the first villain since Bill Sykes to not sing a song. However, in the series, he had one called "My Town".
- The world in Kingdom Hearts II based on Walt Disney's 1997 animated film Hercules entitled Olympus Coliseum contains an attribute very similar to that of the world in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep based on Walt Disney's 1950 Animated classic Sleeping Beauty entitled Enchanted Dominion. The similarity is the villain area of the worlds which belong to Maleficent and Hades have a same pathway infrastructure leading onto the antagonist's lair.
- In the movie, Hades is also the only god that lacks the shining aura in his body (all others have an aura with the color matching their skin's) so as the only one with that smoke aspect.
- Hades is also depicted in the Disney movie with control over fire, pyromancy, where the fire, is actually an element not related with Hades, being earth and gold, actually the closest element to Hades, the fire is probably to give him some association with the common idea of the Devil, augmenting the ideal of villain and comically with his "hot-head" personality.
- Because blue flame burns at higher tempature than red/orange flame, the implication that when Hades gets angry he 'heats-up' and turns red is inaccurate. Technically, Hades is hotter when he is calm than when he is angry.
- Hades is probably the oldest of the Disney villains. Mother Gothel, however, would probably be the oldest human villain so far.
- Due to him being immortal, Hades, along with Governor Ratcliffe (who is a human), is the only Disney Renaissance villain that does not die at the end of his film, Jafar, although he did not die at the end of the first Aladdin, actually dies at the end of The Return of Jafar.
- Hades' voice artist James Woods has said that he enjoyed voicing Hades so much he will always be willing to voice him for further appearences.
- He shares a similarity to real life villain Judge Doom as they both hate laughter but Hades only hates laughter at first saying when Jafar was laughing "What is that? Like a bronchial thing?" and then "Look why don't you hold that till we win then you can dance around and just woop it up." but then he started laughing with Jafar as well saying "You know this is kind of funny. I like it. It's cleansing" when they believed both their nemeses were killed.
- James Woods, who provided the voice for Hades, also provided the voice for Dr. Phillium Benedict,who sounds just like Hades.
- In the original myths: Gaia was his grandmother. Cronus was his father. Zeus and Poseidon were his brothers (with Hades being older than Zeus). Hestia was his sister and Hera sister as well as his sister-in-law by her marriage to Zeus (their brother).
- There was a storyline considered for the Disney tale where Demeter was not only his sister but also his ex-wife, with Persephone as his daughter and Dionysus as his son.
- Considering that Disney wanted to avoid all references to spousal infidelity. It is likely that Dionysus would be his son with Demeter, as she was Dionysus' mother in one version of his story, as well as considering that Persephone was going to be rendered his daughter with Demeter, as Zeus' children with Demeter were going to be fathered by Hades in the Disney version.
- In the original myths: Amphitrite was not only his cousin but also his sister-in-law by her marriage to Poseidon. As Poseidon's sons Triton and Otus were his nephews. Apollo was his nephew, Artemis was his neice, Athena was his neice and Hermes his nephew by Zeus. Pan was his great-nephew as Hermes' son.
Aphrodite was his neice by Zeus. Ares was his nephew by Zeus and Hera. Fear and Terror, as well as Cupid were his great nephews by Ares and Aphrodite. Hephaestus was his nephew by Zeus and Hera. Nemesis was his neice by Zeus, according to one version of the mythology. Hercules was his nephew by Zeus (in the show, Hades does sometimes refer to Hercules as his nephew). Megara was his neice-in-law as Hercules's (1st) wife.
- Hades is similar to McLeach from "The Rescuers Down Under" in the sense that both villains planned to find their enemy's weaknesses to use them against them for their own evil goals.
- The enraged Hades was similar to HIM from Powerpuff Girls.