Hades is the main antagonist in the 1997 Disney animated film Hercules.
Hades is based on the Greek god of the same name. Unlike the Hades from the original Greek myth (who is fine with his job but still on the lower side when it comes to power), this version is a fast-talking evil deity reminiscent of Satan with somewhat of an obsession with overthrowing the gods and ruling Olympus. The character's mannerisms in the final product were due to James Woods use of a "car-dealer"-style voice while the movie was being made. His hair is blue fire which flares up and turns red whenever he is angry or upset. His hair-flame has also been shown to flare when he grows particularly excited (as demonstrated when the Fates tell him he will overthrow Zeus), although in this case it remains blue. At one point it is also shown to be possible to blow his hair out, leaving him bald. Apparently the rest of the Olympian gods don't care for Hades given the glares they give him when he comes to view Hercules for the first time. The exception of this is Zeus who basically treats him as a little brother. He is voiced by James Woods.
Hades later reappeared in Hercules: The Animated Series and the Kingdom Hearts series. In all of his appearances, he was voiced by James Woods. He ranked #8 in the top 30 Disney villains (One better than Lady Tremaine but under Captain Hook.)
In the 1997 animated film, Hades sought to overthrow his older brother Zeus and rule Mount Olympus for himself. Upon receiving a visit from the Fates, he learned that he could succeed, but there was a catch. If Zeus's son, his nephew, Hercules was to fight Hades, Hercules would win.
Hades sent his two demons, Pain and Panic, to kidnap baby Hercules and give him a potion that would render him mortal. Hercules needed to drink every drop for it to work and it almost did. If it not for a human couple coming along and causing the demons to drop and break the bottle and losing the last drop. Thus, Hercules became a mortal but retained his God like strength, and spent his entire life on Earth.
Later, a young woman named Megara, or Meg, sold her soul to Hades so that he would rescue her lover. He did, but soon Meg's lover left her for another girl (in the series it is said that her lover was Adonis). Meg was stuck doing tasks for Hades.
After discovering that Hercules was still alive (Pain and Panic having kept the incident involving the bottle secret for years), Hades sent numerous monsters to do away with Hercules, such as the Hydra, the Minotaur, the Nemean Lion, and others, but none worked. When he found out that Hercules had fallen in love with Meg, he took this to his advantage and made a deal with Hercules. He asked Hercules to give up his strength for 24 hours (when he was set to overtake Mount Olympus) in exchange for Meg's freedom. Hercules agreed, as long as Meg wouldn't be hurt.
Hades attacked Mount Olympus with the Titans and succeeded in overthrowing Zeus without Hercules to stop him. The Cyclops was sent to Earth. Hercules, despite being powerless, managed to take down the monster, using his wits instead of his strength to trip the Cyclops over a cliff.
However, Meg was fatally crushed saving Hercules from a falling pillar. This negated Hades's deal that Meg would not be hurt. Hercules was thus given his strength back and returned to Mount Olympus where he easily took down the Titans and freed the gods.
Hades was furious, but he taunted Hercules that he at least had a parting gift: Meg's soul. Hercules traveled to the Underworld to rescue her. He dived into the River Styx to retrieve her soul, a process that caused his body to age almost to the point of death. However, when he finally reached Meg; his full godliness was restored by his willingness to risk his life to save Meg. Hercules emerged from the pit, a young man again, glowing brightly like the other gods and carrying Meg's unconscious soul.
Hades begged the hero to try and ease things with him and the other gods. Hercules at first decided to simply leave. But when Hades attempted to use Meg to convince him Hercules knocked him into the River Styx, where he was swarmed by the Spirits of the Dead and dragged to the bottom. However, during the end credits of the film, Hades' voice can be heard, and he complains about not getting a happy ending.
Hercules Animated Series
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.
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.
Hades makes many appearances in the House of Mouse. 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 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!!!!"). Hi
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.
Personality and traits
Like most Disney villains, Hades is portrayed as a hot-headed egomaniac with brutal mood swings, even-tempered and hilarious one minute, and flying into a murderous rage the next. A psychopathic character, he is suave, charismatic, witty, and often charming, but utterly remorseless and callous. He is also a Machiavellian individual as shown by his manipulation of Hercules, Meg, and various other characters over the course of the film and TV series. However unlike many Disney villains, he has been shown to keep his promises and deals without twisting them or finding loopholes even though he sometimes tries to intervene to have things his way, when he makes a deal he keeps it (and this eventually led to his defeat).
Hades is one of the most volatile characters in the series. Although others are shown to be temperamental, Hades bursts out in fury on a more regular basis. When Hades gets mad, he explodes into a red pillar of fire and his normal blue colored "hair" burns red (which is ironic since blue fire is warmer than red fire). He can flip from relaxed to infuriated in under a minute.
He also shows this trait when talking to Hercules, most of the time giving indirect answers and eerie hints that usually lead Hercules to danger. Also, unlike other Disney villains, Hades never seems to fib directly, instead never telling the whole truth of the matter. Hades is also show to be something of a ladies' man has he is seen being able to charm the Fates into giving him hints about the future. He's also shown to have a crush on Aphrodite the goddess of love.
It should be noted that even though Hades does not want to be the king of the underworld; he takes his job very seriously and gets extremely mad when someone disrupts the flow of new arrivals to the underworld or in many cases tries to speed it up himself.
He is also shown to be very abrasive towards his underlings mainly Pain and Panic often setting them on fire when he gets mad about whether or not it's their fault. His relationship with Meg, his henchwoman, was a little more complicated. He seemed to value her more than Pain and Panic and never hurting or physically maltreating her like he did to them. Though he still used her and held her freedom over her head and using her dead soul as a weapon against Hercules, he honored his deal and gave Hercules back his powers when she was hurt even though he knew it would probably lead to his defeat.
In many ways, Hades is like Scar and Prince John in that these characters are dark and wicked individuals who are younger brothers of a monarch and envy their brother's power and position, feeling that they deserve it (Though technically in actual mythology, Hades was the eldest and in fact, Zeus was the youngest). Both have clueless henchmen and attempt to murder or send away their brother and nephew. Hades and Scar are also thrown off a cliff by their nephew and set upon by their minions at the climax of their films.
Powers and Abilities
As Lord of the Underworld, Hades has control of the underworld and all its inhabitants. He has control over the element of fire and can blast it at any time. His control over the element is very strong and gets stronger the madder he gets. If he's mad enough he can make a fiery explosion.
Being a god, explicitly, the lord of the dead, he is immortal and can not die. He is very charismatic and good at making deals with others. Being a god, he has reality altering powers that he uses in sealing deals. For example, when he made a deal with a gorgon to turn her into a human by day. He is so charming and charismatic, he could even charm the fates. He, unlike most villains actually takes keeping his word very seriously even if it contradicts his own best interest.
He has a large army of underworld monsters at his command. The two most prominent are his sidekicks, Pain and Panic, but he also includes but is not limited to the Hydra, Harpies, Cerberus, a Gorgon, and a freed Echidna and countless others and briefly even the Titans. Being king of the underworld, he also has access to dangerous weapons such as the Lethe water and the Cronus Stone. In one episode of the anime he rewrites the Tapestry of Fate so he was the king of gods and gained Zeus's thunderbolts.
He can also teleport from place to place in a cloud of smoke. He can also increase the power of others has shown when he turned the Caucasian Eagle into a giant sphinx-like creature with fire breath. He also has the power to spread plagues and diseases, but by law of Zeus, has to make a cure for all of them. He is also immune to disease being a god but has been shown certain cures and magic items can hurt him.
In Kingdom Hearts, like all the other villains he can control heartless, but unlike the other villains does not need to worry about falling prey to the darkness as he is both an immortal god and the lord of darkness. He can also use darkness to take over people increasing their power and making them his puppets. He can also bring people back from the dead (it's implied he can do this in the original but not fully shown) and enslave people with a magic skull sphere.
The biggest new power is he is completely indestructible in the underworld. He cannot be damaged in any way, but once Hercules gets his full hero powers back (the glowing light from the movies).
Kingdom Hearts series
Hades tries to convince Terra to give in to his darkness by having him duel Zack in the Coliseum. He flees when Zack is defeated, but reappears when Aqua arrives. He is surprised to see that the person winning the games is a "little bluebird", and calls Terra a coward for not using his darkness. Hades challenges Aqua, fighting her alongside the Ice Colossus, but flees when he is defeated, vowing to return.
Hades was one of Maleficent's allies, and apparently the most powerful villain on her team. He utilized the Heartless by supplying them as monsters to the Olympus Coliseum, for heroes to battle as per usual. However, he also gained the assistance of Cloud Strife by making a deal: If Cloud kills Hercules, Hades will lead him to Sephiroth (who he apparently does know the location of, as Sephiroth is indeed at the coliseum). Hades additionally provided Sora with a pass to enter the coliseum games. However, when Sora appeared to be winning in the Coliseum, Hades instructed Cloud to kill Sora as well. When the plan failed (either with Cloud refusing to deal the final blow to Sora, or with Sora defeating Cloud; it depends on the result of the battle), Hades had Cerberus attack Cloud. However, Hercules rescued Cloud and Sora defeated Cerberus.
As Sora left the Coliseum, Maleficent warned Hades not to be overcome by the darkness. Although Hades sent Maleficent away, claiming he could handle it, he ironically was not overcome at all (while the rest of Maleficent's followers and Maleficent herself ended up being overcome, with the other exception of Captain Hook). Strangely, Maleficent overlooked the fact that Hades was the immortal god of the dark underworld. This lead to the inevitable irony of Hades outliving Maleficent as well as being currently the only villain in the whole series to show in all the games and survive and will probably continue to survive due to him being a god.
When Hades learned of Maleficent's demise, he put matters into his own hands. Hades, determined on personally defeating both Hercules and Sora, opened the Hades Cup in the Coliseum. The long, grueling tournament had a battle with him near the end. Unfortunately for Hades, Sora defeated him in the battle, knocking him into a cell where he was beaten up by someone, possibly Cloud. After a few more battles in the cup, though, Hades decided on a way for revenge.
In events very much like those in Hercules, Hades unleashed the four Titans upon the world (although only two are seen, it can be guessed that the other two and possibly the Cyclops were as well). When Sora reached the final rank in the tournament, he had to combat The Rock Titan. Upon its defeat, Hades apparently went into hiding.
When Sora and his friends are in Castle Oblivion, Hades makes an appearance as a figment of Sora's memories. He, like before, hired Cloud to defeat Hercules. Hades made a deal with Cloud to restore Cloud's lost memories. Eventually Cloud was unable to defeat Hercules, so the Lord of the Dead was forced to fight Hercules personally. Sora intervenes which leads to a battle against him. Defeating him grants you his character card.
Kingdom Hearts II
- First Visit
Hades is once again an antagonist in Kingdom Hearts II (unlike the rest of the villains, he has an excuse to be able to come back since he's immortal, and wasn't destroyed in the first game anyway). Most of Hades's dealings take place in the Underworld in this game. This time, in an effort to destroy Hercules, he tries to strike a deal with the dead Auron (whom he calls "The Mother of All Bad Guys"), offering him his life back with a clean slate, on the condition that he fight Hercules in the Coliseum to death. Auron refuses, and when Hades reminds him that he is talking to the Lord of the Dead, he responds "No wonder no one wants to die." Hades becomes enraged, and almost strikes Auron down until Sora arrives, needing to speak to him. But it ended up with Sora and gang running for it as Hades is invincible within his domain, and they are weakened by the Underworld's curse.
Pete suggests waiting for the Heartless to take care of Sora and company, but Hades knows better and dispatches Cerberus to take care of them instead. However, Sora and Auron defeat Cerberus and escape when Sora unlocks a door with the Keyblade. Learning that the Keyblade can open any lock, Hades decides to steal it and reopen the Underdrome, a coliseum locked up by Zeus long ago that makes the Olympus Coliseum itself "look like an Olympic kiddie pool". However, when Pete informs him that the Keyblade won't work for just anyone, and the fact that Sora is a lot tougher than he looks, Hades decides to apply "a woman's touch" to his plans. To this end, he kidnaps Meg and holds her hostage in the Underdrome, meaning Sora must use the Keyblade to rescue her, unsealing the Underdrome in the process.
- Second Visit
To celebrate the Underdrome's re-opening, Hades decides to hold the Hades Cup, in the hopes of killing Hercules once again. Trapping Auron's soul in a statue, he ordered him to take care of Hercules and Sora once and for all. But inevitably, the scheme fails, and a furious Hades dumps Meg into the River Styx with Hercules diving after her. Confident they'll be dead within moments, Hades overpowered Sora and gang until Hercules emerged, his full power restored by willing to risk his life to save Meg. Hades was soon quickly defeated and, while attempting to avoid a hit from Sora, loses his footing and falls down into the River Styx. Despite this, Hades manages to escape, though he doesn't appear to cause Hercules and co. much trouble after that.
In Kingdom Hearts coded, a Data version of Hades makes a deal with the Data Cloud: if Cloud destroys Sora and Hercules, Hades will give him the power to go to other worlds by telling him "The Secret of Heroes", and make him become stronger. However, he later double crosses Cloud, and reveals that he isn't the source of Olympus Coliseum's Bug Blox. After the defeat of the Data Cerberus, the real source of the world's Bug Blox, Hades battles the trio of data heroes.
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’s personality is based of Pluto from Marvel Comics.
- Unlike the Disney version, the Greek God Hades is not explicitly evil.
- A different version of Hades (Pluto) 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 Kingdom Hearts series.
- Hades is one of the few villains with historic significance. Others include Governor Ratcliffe, Chernabog, Arawn, and Horned King.
- Hades epitomizes the deadly sin of Wrath, considering his fiery temper, and Envy, for his brother's position of power and respect.
- It is shown in the Kingdom Hearts II that when he is the Underworld, Hades is invincible until Hercules causes him to snap back into his blue form.
- Just like Percival McLeach and Ursula, he looks for a weakness or weak spot against an enemy.
- 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.
- Unlike other Disney Villains, Hades is 100% sane.
- Hades is often regarded as one of Disney's funniest villains, alongside Captain Hook and Yzma.
- 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 holds a slight, brotherly spite over Zeus. He also is content with what he has.
- 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 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 and pyromancy, however fire is actually an element not related with Hades. It is earth and gold that are 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 temperature then 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 then when he is angry.
- In House Of Mouse he falls in love with someone just as evil as him, Maleficent.
- 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 is similar to Twitchy from the Hoodwinked films as they are both fast talkers however Twitchy has a more high pitched squeaky voice and speaks very fast.
- The River Styx seems to extinguish fire because when Hades gets punched into it the fire for his hair goes out and stays out.
- Hades is often considered as the most evil Disney Villain. Those who may think it is not him say it is either Scar, Maleficent, Frollo or Chernabog.
- He is also similar to Scar from The Lion King once they both try to kill their nephew. However Hades revealed in the animated shows and other media to have a good side but Scar is a full monster.