Pain and Panic are two shape-shifting imps who are minions of Hades from the 1997 animated feature Hercules and its 1998-99 television series. They provide comic relief in the film Hercules. Neither are very intelligent or especially loyal to him, and serve Hades only because they fear him and possibly because he owns their souls. They appear to be immortal and capable of regeneration, but being demonic rather than godly, both are capable of feeling pain.
Their shape-shifting abilities extend to being capable of shifting only part of their bodies, shifting into shapes both larger and smaller than they themselves are, and even more importantly, merging into a single form; however this seems to be a more temporary and harder-to-control ability. Their shifting abilities do not seem to extend to voice-mimicking, and they have to do the best they can with their own voices.
Hades uses them as pawns in his schemes, and during the movie, they are also used by him to keep an eye on Megara, shifting into bunnies, chipmunks and birds to do so, and when he loses his temper, occasionally as punching bags.
Pain is the shorter, wider of the two, and is a pink-skinned imp with a large mouth filled with sharp teeth. He has spindly arms that end in four-fingered hands, while his legs are much stockier and end in two-toed feet. His wings, which have purple membranes, seem too small to actually fly with. Pain's hair is maroon and styled into two horns, with his real, black horns sprouting out just behind, and his pointed tail is the same color as his hair. His nose is very small and a darker shade of pink than the rest of his skin. His yellow eyes are set very close together, he has a thin, black uni-brow, and his upper eyelids are a dark purple color.
Panic is a teal-skinned imp and much thinner and taller than his partner. Panic's arms, though just as thin as Pain's, are much longer, as are his legs, which end in two-toed feet like Pain, albeit Panic's feet have navy toenails. His eyes are the same yellow color as Pain's, but his are much larger and even closer together than Pain's. His lower eyelids are a darker shade of blue than the rest of his body, and his nose is enormous and pointed, with prominent nostrils, sharply contrasting with Pain. Panic does not have hair like his friend, and instead has much larger horns that are the teal color as his skin, unlike Pain's black ones. Panic has the same small, seemingly useless wings as Pain, with teal blue membranes, and his pointed tail is also teal blue. Finally, Panic's teeth are very even and straight, as opposed to Pain's jagged, pointed ones.
Both Pain and Panic may be inspired by a few of Chernabog's minions from the Night on Bald Mountain segment of Fantasia, although it has not been confirmed.
Pain is the fat purple-red imp with little horns and a bitten bat wing on the left side. He is repeatedly injured through the film and animated series. When he shape-shifts, it is usually into something short or fat (or both), and generally coloured in red tones. He is the more assertive of the duo, and while more cunning, less likely to think things through properly, which is what gets him into painful situations.
Panic is the thin blue/green imp with long horns. While he is slightly less cunning than Pain, his paranoia means he is very much more cautious and rather cynical at times, so he might actually be the smarter one of the two. However he is easily spooked, which causes accidents and messes up plans. When he shape-shifts, it is usually into something tall or thin (or both) and coloured in blue tones.
In Hercules, Pain and Panic's main role was as comic relief. They were ordered by Hades to kidnap the baby god Hercules. After they managed to do so, they then had to feed Hercules a potion which would make him mortal, and kill him. However they were startled by Aclemene and Amphitrion before they could give the baby the very last drop of potion, and since Hercules retained his god-like strength as a result, could not kill him. However, Pain decided it was better for them to not tell Hades of their failure than to admit it. When Hades inevitably learned about their treachery he was furious at them.
Later on, they shifted into two small, extremely cute children as bait to lure Hercules to the lair of the Hydra. When he defeated it, Hades used them to vent his rage on.
After Hercules had become a celebrity, Pain and Panic were dimwitted enough to further enrage Hades by buying Hercules' merchandise.
When Hercules went on his date with Megara, two cute birds were seen flying around together in the beautiful Grecian garden the date ended in - and making the general atmosphere even more romantic. This became a parody of normal romantic settings, as it turned out that the two birds were Pain and Panic in disguise, having been sent by Hades to keep an eye on Hercules and Megara.
They displayed their merging abilities by transforming into a female winged horse to divert Pegasus and bind him so that he could not help or advise Hercules. Next they showed themselves perfectly willing and happy to help Hades humiliate Hercules after stripping him of his strength.
When Hercules freed the gods from their chains, Hermes kicked Panic and repeatedly spanked Pain with his Caduceus. Pegasus also used them as punching bags as his revenge for deceiving him and tying him up.
Finally, they held a brief discussion on Hades' predicament in the River Styx:
Panic: "He's not gonna be happy when he gets out of there!"
Pain: "You mean, IF he gets out of there!"
Panic: "If...if is good."
Once again their main role in the TV series was as incompetent lackeys, comic relief and Hades' punching bags.
Pain and Panic made various appearances on House of Mouse.
- In the opening song "Rockin at the House of Mouse", Pain and Panic are seen at a table grilling hot dogs with Hades' flamed hair.
- In the episode Jiminy Cricket, they provide a bad influence on Pinocchio that causes Jiminy Cricket to quit being the puppet's conscience. At the end of the episode, The Blue Fairy zaps them into ashes.
- In Clarabelle's Christmas List, they state that they are proud to be a part of the Naughty List.
- In Halloween With Hades, they provide Hades information on who Maleficent (his newest crush) is. Later on, they watch in horror as Hades attempts to act "nice" to win her heart and later rejoice when they see Hades revet to his evil ways.
- In Mickey's House of Villains, the two are seen during the Disney Villains' hostile takeover of the club and even sing a bit.
- In House Ghosts after the screening of Hades blooper reel, a humiliated Hades zaps them mercilessly for no particular reason.
Video Game Appearances
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On the Disney Cruise Line, Pain and Panic play a large role in the musical show. In the show, Hades' evil level has decreased, and the Fates a threatening to retire him as Lord of the Underworld unless his evil meter rises by midnight. Pain and Panic are then sent to find some Disney villains to help Hades retain his title.
The duo play a significant role in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Here, they are assigned by Hades to steal a crystal that can defeat any evil from Merlin the Wizard so that he can take over the Magic Kingdom. In an attempt to follow orders, Merlin is awakened and zaps the creatures away, accidentally destroying the crystal in the process. Four of the crystal's pieces are scattered across the kingdom and a race is on with heroes and villains to retrieve it.
Pain and Panic are seen again to assist Governor Ratcliffe. They morph into an English soldier to battle the park guests, but are defeated. They decide to keep their defeat, as well as Ratcliffe's, a secret from Hades.
After all the villains are defeated, Merlin decides that it's time to reassemble the crystal and foil Hades' plans once and for all. But no sooner does he try to look for the crystal when Pain and Panic (in their cute woodland animal forms) make off with the last piece of the crystal and deliver it to Hades in the Underworld. Eventually, the guests stop Pain and Panic from climbing up the Stairway of the Dead to reach Hades by zapping them with the Sorcerer's Crest.
They are last seen attacking Merlin after he finishes reassembling the crystal and then become trapped in it along with Hades and the other villains.
- At the end of each main Underdrome Cup, Pain and Panic are seen napping on the tournament's respective trophies.
- According to the original myth, Panic was a divine son of Ares.
- Ironically enough, their snake transformations may actually be a reference to one of Hera's first attempts to kill Hercules in the original myth.
- Pain is very similar to Nosy from Lilo & Stitch: The Series. Both share a similar body structure (fat, pink, and round), both share the same irritating personality, and both are voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait. However, unlike Pain, Nosy is good as opposed to Pain who is bad.
- Pain and Panic are also similar to Creeper from The Black Cauldron. Crew are monsters with the same size, they have the somewhat similar goal about to help their boss to kill the film's main protagonists (Creeper wants to help Horned King to get the Black Cauldron to use to revive the Cauldron Born to destroy Prydian and kill Taran and everybody, Pain and Panic wants to serve Hades and kill Hercules). The main differences are that Creeper is a green monster and Pain is a pink monster and Panic is a blue monster.
- In the forms of the children who got "stuck" under the "rockslide" in the gorge, they yelled "Someone call IX-I-I!" IX-I-I would be the Roman numeral equivelant of 911.
- Pain and Panic are similar to Jasper and Horace from "101 Dalmatians" and Fidget from "The Great Mouse Detective" in the sense that they all kidnapped main characters under their bosses' orders, triggering the main stories of their films.