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This article is about the character from Hercules. For the Fantasia character, see Zeus (Fantasia).

Didn't know you had a famous father, did you? Surprise!!
―Zeus


Zeus is a major character in Disney's 1997 feature film, Hercules. He is the King of the Olympian Gods and the father of the legendary hero Hercules.

Background

Zeus is the son of the Titan King Kronos. Based on an offhand remark by Zeus, Kronos feared Zeus might one day overthrow him so he tried to eat him. Following mythology, his mother hid him away until Zeus was old enough to challenge his father and banish him.

Many eons ago (prior to the movie) Zeus imprisoned the deadly Titans, who threatened to destroy the world, deep beneath the ocean where they would remain for the rest of eternity undisturbed. However, he was unaware that the next planetary alignment would reveal the location of the Titan's prison, and his brother Hades planned to free them by the next alignment so he could use them to help him overthrow Zeus and take over Mount Olympus.

Personality

Zeus prefers to keep things easy going and is often seen with a large smile and making witty remarks on things. He also has a tendency to be quite stubborn, and at times even childish when faced with a task he would rather not perform. Zeus' antics are often reigned in by his wife Hera, whom he immediately relents to. Aside from this, Zeus is a worthy ruler, wise and extremely fierce when necessary. This quality makes him a respected king with the combination of fun but maturity when needed. He's protective of Hercules as seen throughout the series.

Despite his joviality, Zeus unfortunately created his own worst enemy in his brother Hades. Zeus often makes fun of his brother and belittles him with jokes. While Zeus' behavior is intended as playful at most, it has nonetheless inspired a great deal of contempt within the God of the Underworld, and is in no short part of what motivates his efforts to take over Olympus. Zeus does seem to be aware of Hades' attempted overthrows but apparently seems to forgive, or downright forget them relatively quickly.

Physical appearance

Zeus has orange skin, a stocky muscular body, long white hair, and a long white beard. Like his son, Zeus has blue eyes. He wears a dark purple chiton with a lavender border, which is held by a round gold pin which displays a thundercloud on it. In the film, he is constantly surrounded by a blinding aura.

In the short time he turned himself mortal, Zeus youthened himself into a teenager, during which he had a skinny but muscular build, long chocolate-brown hair and no beard. Despite this change, Zeus retained his original voice.

Powers and abilities

As an Olympian God, Zeus possesses the natural powers and abilities of an Olympian God such as omnipotence, immortality, omnipresence, omniscience, superhuman strength, metamorphosis, and teleportation. In the Hercules film and TV series, he displays a wide range of magical abilities, such as life-giving to objects or giving supernatural powers to who don't possess it.

As the God of the Sky, Zeus rules the sky, thus he has control over the weather and is responsible for creating storms. His control over storms is notably prominent whenever he loses his temper, where he instinctively summons thunder and lightning when angered.

Appearances

Hercules

During the beginning of the film, Zeus, along with his wife Hera, were celebrating the birth of their newborn son Hercules with their fellow Gods. During this time, Zeus gave Hercules a gift - a baby colt named Pegasus. Soon enough, Zeus brother Hades arrives and grows worried that the newborn might become a threat to his evil plot. Hades consults the Fates who reveal to him that Hercules will indeed foil his plot. Fearing that possibility, he sends out his servants, Pain and Panic to kidnap Hercules from Zeus' palace and give him an evil formula that will turn him mortal thus allowing them to kill him. However, Hercules fails to drink the last drop and manages to retain his God-like strength allowing him to easily dispatch Pain and Panic.

Hercules-br-disneyscreencaps.com-265

Zeus reuniting with Hercules in the form of a spirited statue.

Zeus is devastated by the loss of his son and sends out all the Gods to find Hercules. However, by the time they find him it is too late, as Hercules has already been adopted by a kind and loving mortal couple. Zeus would not interact with his son until his teenage years wherein Hercules sought to find out where he came from by going to the Temple of Zeus. There, the large statue of Zeus is possessed by the real Zeus who proceeds to happily welcome back his long lost son. However, he explains that Hercules cannot go back to Mount Olympus as he has lost his Godhood, and the only way to reclaim it is to become a true hero. For the mission, Zeus' only assistance is returning Pegasus to him and telling him the first step is to visit Philoctetes, trainer of heroes. Hercules goes off and fights off almost every monster and becomes famous. Soon afterwards, Hercules returns to the Temple of Zeus and tells his father that this is the day he has been waiting for which is rejoining the Gods but Zeus tells his son that being famous isn't the same as being a true hero and that in order to become a true hero he must look inside his heart.

Soon, Hades takes Hercules' strength away from him and unleashes the Titans and captures Zeus and the other Gods and starts to rule Mount Olympus. Hercules (who's gotten his strength back from when Meg saved his life) shows up and frees his father and destroys the Titans. Hades takes Meg's spirit into the river of death but Hercules (who willingly gives up his soul to save Meg) jumps in and rescues her and restores his godhood. After defeating Hades and returning Meg her spirit (to which she returns to life) Hercules is reunited with his parents and is told by Zeus for a true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart. Hercules tells his parents this is the moment he's been waiting for, but a life without Meg would be empty and that he wishes to stay on Earth with her to which Zeus and his wife agree. Once Hercules and Meg return to Earth, they reunite with Hercules' foster parents and Zeus paints a picture of his son in the stars.

Hercules: The Animated Series

Throughout the T.V. series that's between his son's childhood times and adulthood times, Zeus plays a major supporting role. He is the one who insisted Hercules be sent to high school. Often he is found either trying to help Hercules or thwart attempts on his throne by Hades.

In "Hercules and the Apollo Mission", when Hercules is given a job that Zeus feels is not worthy, he appeals to the Council of Gods to provide him a worthy job. Hades suggests work in the Underworld for Hercules, but Zeus laughs it off which angers Hades. To the surprise and dismay of Apollo, Zeus then decides that Hercules would drive the sun chariot. When Hercules loses the sun, Hades convinces the council of the gods to vote to dethrone Zeus and decide on a new king of Mount Olympus. When the sun is returned, Zeus finds out that Hades was behind the sun's disappearance which drove him to throw an emergency lighting bolt on him.

Is "Hercules and the Visit From Zeus", Hercules is having trouble dealing with Adonis, so, when he mentions it to his father, Zeus tells him to show him who's in charge. Hercules warns it's not that easy. To prove him wrong, Zeus spends a day as a teenager; at first as a god, then at Hermes' request, as a mortal, under the assumed name "Zach." While he was very popular as a teen god, as a mortal, Zeus is just like everyone else, subject to humiliation - and also, as Hades learns from the Fates, death. In an attempt to be rid of Zeus once and for all, he sends his troublesome dog Cerberus after Zeus while he's still mortal. Zeus gains his godhood back and defeats Hades, but learns a valuable lesson about how hard it is being mortal - though not before getting back at Adonis.

House of Mouse

Zeus made several appearances in House of Mouse and the second most recurring Hercules character after Hades. One notable episode is "Unplugged Club" where Pete cuts the club power so Zeus uses his lightning bolts for power. Another is "Pete's House of Villains" in which Zeus' thunder was stolen.

Once Upon a Time

Zeus makes his only appearance in the series in the Season 5 episode "Last Rites", played by David Hoflin.

After Killian Jones saves the Underworld and helps Emma Swan defeat Hades, Killian passes on to Mount Olympus. As a thank you for defeating his brother, Zeus allows Killian to return to Storybrooke, resurrecting him from the dead.

Video Games

Kingdom Hearts series

Zeus doesn't make any appearance in the Kingdom Hearts games, but in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Hercules mentions to Ventus that Zeus is his father and that he can return to him once he's a true hero. In Kingdom Hearts, Phil tells Sora in speech bubbles that Hercules is visiting his father Zeus up on Mount Olympus, and in Kingdom Hearts II, Hades tells Pete that the Underdrome was locked tight by Zeus.

Zeus is set to make his official Kingdom Hearts debut in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III, in his homeworld of Olympus.

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Zeus (Hercules).

Trivia

  • Actor Rip Torn who provides the voice of Zeus was married to actress Geraldine Page who provided the voice of Madame Medusa in The Rescuers.
  • In the movie, Zeus and his wife, Hera are Hercules' birth parents, but in the actual myth, Zeus is his birth father, and Alcmene, a mortal woman who was seduced by Zeus, is his birth mother, prompting Hera to punish Hercules through his life as revenge for him Zeus betraying her. In the movie, Alcmene and her husband, Amphitryon are Hercules' adopted parents.
  • In Greek Mythology, Zeus is the youngest brother of the trio of himself, Poseidon and Hades, but in the Animated Series, he is the oldest with Hades as the youngest. Zeus is in fact related to every Greek God either by blood or by marriage in actual Greek Mythology, although the Disney version is only related to Poseidon and Hades by blood.
  • Zeus' Roman counterpart is named Jupiter, which is also the name of the 5th planet from the Sun and the Solar System's largest planet. This was referenced in "Hercules and the Romans".


v - e - d
Hercules transparent
Media
Films: HerculesHercules: Zero to HeroVideo

Television: TV series (Episode list) (Aladdin crossover) • House of Mouse
Video games: Video gameKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts IIKingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysKingdom Hearts Birth by SleepKingdom Hearts coded Kingdom Hearts χ Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ/Union χKingdom Hearts IIIDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Music: Soundtrack
Books: Classic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingLittle Golden Book

Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingIt's a Small WorldSorcerers of the Magic KingdomStitch and Friends Summer Surprise

Entertainment: Animazment: The MusicalDisney's Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesHercules: The Muse-icalVillains Tonight!
Parade: Disney Stars and Motorcars ParadeHercules Victory ParadeThe Hercules Electrical ParadeThe Wonderful World of Disney Parade
Firework: Happily Ever AfterWishes
Halloween: Hocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularMaze of Madness: The Nightmare Experiment ContinuesMickey's Boo-to-You Halloween ParadeRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeRock on With The Disney VillainsScream and Shout Halloween ParadeThe Villains WorldVillains Night Out!

Characters
Original: HerculesHadesPegasusPhiloctetesMegaraPain and PanicFatesMusesZeusHeraHermesHestiaHephaestusAthenaAresPoseidonAphroditeOlympian GodsArtemisApolloThebansDionysusTitansCerberusHydraMinotaurSthenoNemean LionNessusFuriesNymphsAmphitryon and Alcmene

TV Series: IcarusCassandraAdonisHelen of TroyTempestCirceTritonGalateaPandoraMedusaEchidnaTyphonEchidna's ChildrenHecateNemesisMr. ParenthesesHomerFear and TerrorIbidAntaeusPrometheusDaedelusMorpheusKronosGaiaAmphitriteAchillesTheseusOrionNestor & MeleagerMelampusLavinaAjaxAndromedaSyrinxElectraMr. GriffKing MinosTiviusOrthosQueen Hippolyte

Songs
Original: The Gospel TruthGo the DistanceOne Last HopeZero to HeroI Won't Say (I'm in Love)A Star is BornShooting Star

TV series songs: Send My Boy to SchoolMy TownPromethean DittyThe AgoraThe BacchanalThe Man That I LovePucker Up or Let Him SnoozeThat's How the Story GoesAphrodesia DanceLove Is In The AirSince the Light Went AwayAin't Life a BeachCan-Do KingKronos StoneWhat's a Mother to Do?Sreamin' Grecian Teenage BluesLethe Water on the Brain!One Good ManYou're My Hero

Locations
Ancient GreeceMount OlympusUnderworldPhil's IslandThebesPrometheus AcademyAtlantis City
Objects
Skull PacifierArmageddon BowLightning BoltsMortal PotionTrident
Miscellaneous
Disney Sing Along Songs: From Hercules


v - e - d
Kingdom Hearts utilized logo
Games
Main series: Kingdom HeartsChain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts II358/2 DaysBirth by SleepcodedDream Drop Distanceχ [chi]Kingdom Hearts III
Remakes and others: Final MixRe:Chain of MemoriesII: Final MixBbS: Final MixRe:codedHD I.5 ReMIXHD II.5 ReMIXHD II.8 Final Chapter PrologueHD I.5+II.5 ReMIXUnchained χ/Union χ [cross]
Disney Parks
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Incorporated Films and Shorts
Aladdin/The Return of JafarAlice in WonderlandBeauty and the BeastBig Hero 6CinderellaFantasiaFrozenHerculesThe Hunchback of Notre DameLilo & StitchThe Lion KingThe Little MermaidMickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three MusketeersMonsters, Inc.MulanThe Nightmare Before ChristmasPeter PanPinocchioPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl/Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndSleeping BeautySnow White and the Seven DwarfsSteamboat WillieTangledTarzanToy StoryTron/Tron: LegacyThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh/Pooh's Heffalump Movie
Characters
Main Characters: SoraRikuKairiKing MickeyDonald DuckGoofyRoxasAquaTerraVentus

Villains: XehanortAnsemXemnasMaleficentPeteVanitasXigbar/BraigXaldinVexenLexaeusZexionSaïx/IsaDemyxLuxordMarluxiaLarxeneTerra-XehanortYoung XehanortXehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy CricketNaminéAnsem the Wise/DiZYen SidXionAxel/LeaMaster EraqusDilanEvenAeleusIenzoLingering WillHaynerPenceOletteKairi's GrandmaRiku ReplicaJiminy's JournalForetellersMaster of MastersLuxuEphemerSkuldChirithy
Original Monsters: HeartlessNobodiesUnversedDream Eater
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen MinnieDaisy DuckPlutoChip and DaleScrooge McDuckHuey, Dewey, and LouieHorace HorsecollarClarabelle CowClara CluckMerlinAliceWhite RabbitDoorknobCheshire CatQueen of HeartsCard SoldiersMad HatterMarch HareTarzanJane PorterClaytonTerkKerchakKalaSaborHerculesPhiloctetesPegasusMegaraHadesPain and PanicCerberusTitansHydraZeusAladdinAbuJasmineGenieCarpetJafarIagoPeddlerSultanRazoulRoyal GuardsCave of WondersArielFlounderSebastianUrsulaKing TritonPrince EricFlotsam and JetsamAttinaAndrinaGlutPinocchioGeppettoBlue FairyMonstroCleoJack SkellingtonZeroSallyOogie BoogieLock, Shock, and BarrelDr. FinkelsteinMayor of Halloween TownSanta ClausSkeletal ReindeerPeter PanTinker BellCaptain HookMr. SmeeWendyLost BoysCrocodileMagic BroomsChernabogChernabog's MinionsWinnie the PoohTiggerPigletEeyoreRabbitOwlKangaRooGopherLumpyPongoPerditaDalmatian PuppiesDumboBambiMulanMushuLi ShangShan YuHayabusaYao, Ling, and Chien PoThe EmperorBelleBeastLumiereCogsworthMrs PottsChipWardrobeMauriceGastonJack SparrowElizabeth SwannWill TurnerCaptain BarbossaGibbsTia DalmaDavy JonesKrakenJacobyCursed CrewSimbaTimonPumbaaNalaRafikiScarShenzi, Banzai, and EdMufasaKiaraPridelandersHyenasTronMaster Control ProgramCommander SarkChicken LittleFlora, Fauna, and MerryweatherAuroraPrince PhillipMaleficent's RavenMaleficent's GoonsSamsonSnow WhiteDocGrumpyHappySleepyBashfulSneezyDopeyThe PrinceEvil QueenMagic MirrorCinderellaPrince CharmingFairy GodmotherJaqLady TremaineAnastasiaDrizellaLuciferGrand DukeStitchGrand CouncilwomanCaptain GantuJumbaExperiment 221QuasimodoEsmeraldaPhoebusJudge Claude FrolloVictor, Hugo, and LaverneKevin FlynnSam FlynnQuorraCLURinzlerBlack GuardsBeagle BoysJuliusWoodyBuzz LightyearRexHammSargeGreen Army MenLittle Green MenSulleyMike WazowskiBooRandall BoggsRapunzelFlynn RiderPascalMaximusMother GothelWreck-It RalphAnnaElsaKristoffOlafSvenMarshmallowRemyHiro HamadaBaymaxGo Go TomagoHoney LemonWasabiFred
Square Enix Characters: LeonCloudMoogleOthers

Elements
Plot Elements: Kingdom HeartsHeartKeyblade WarDark Seeker SagaMore

Game Elements: Gameplay in Kingdom HeartsMagic

Objects
Sea-salt ice creamWayfinderDoor to DarknessKeybladeX-bladeMore
Locations
Original Worlds: Destiny IslandsTraverse TownRadiant Garden/Hollow BastionDisney Castle/Disney Town/Timeless RiverDive to the HeartEnd of the WorldRealm of DarknessCastle OblivionTwilight Town/Mysterious TowerThe World That Never WasCastle That Never WasLand of DepartureKeyblade Graveyard • Daybreak Town

Disney Worlds: WonderlandDeep JungleOlympus Coliseum/Underworld/OlympusAgrabahAtlanticaHalloween Town/Christmas TownNeverlandHundred Acre WoodThe Land of DragonsBeast's CastlePort Royal/The CaribbeanPride LandsSpace Paranoids • Enchanted Dominion • Dwarf WoodlandsCastle of DreamsDeep SpaceLa Cité des ClochesThe GridPrankster's ParadiseCountry of the MusketeersKingdom of CoronaToy BoxMonstropolisArendelleSan Fransokyo

Organizations/Groups
Organization XIIIPrincesses of HeartDisney Villains Council
Songs
Dearly BelovedSimple and CleanSanctuaryDon't Think TwiceMickey Mouse Club MarchSwim This WayPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaUrsula's RevengeA New Day is DawningDestatiThis is HalloweenHe's a PirateBeauty and the BeastBibbidi-Bobbidi-BooIt's a Small WorldNight on Bald MountainWinnie the PoohThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Pastoral SymphonyNutcracker SuiteYou've Got a Friend in MeYo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)
Soundtracks
Kingdom Hearts Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts II Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack CompleteKingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts HD I.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack