I’ve quietly hummed the line, “Who put the ‘glad’ in ‘gladiator’?” at least three times a day for the past 19 years now, unable to extract the lyric or its catchy tune from the depths of my auditory cortex. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has offered permanent residence in the back of his or her head to the musical stylings of Disney’s Hercules, which gave us such numbers as “Go the Distance,” “I Won’t Say I’m in Love,” and, of course, the aforementioned “Zero to Hero.” The film’s most memorable number, in which a theme-appropriate Greek chorus illustrates the titular demigod’s ascent to bona fide celebrity, was exemplary not only for its catchiness but for its accompanying animation.
These many earworm-laden years later, a new video from Oh My Disney offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the developmental process of the scene, placing storyboard art and (even cooler) live action performances of the Greek chorus’ song and dance routine—orchestrated as a model for the eventual animation—side by side with the finished product.
Considering “Zero to Hero” is one of the liveliest and most ambitiously choreographed songs in Hercules, and perhaps in any of the animated Disney films of the 1990s, it’s remarkable to see it undertaken by real (elaborately costumed) human performers. Even if you have seen Hercules a few dozen times by now, this new video will offer an enjoyably fresh spin on the old, familiar number. It’s impressive to see how faithfully the side-by-side videos sync up with one another, but perhaps even more fun to discover where they deviate.
Was Hercules your favorite of the ’90s Disney flicks? Let us know!
Featured Image: Oh My Disney