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Posted on August 7th, 2023 in Classics at the Kan-Kan, Events by Elizabeth W. Thill | Tags:

Making the ancient myth of Hercules into a kid’s movie was always going to take some adjusting. Case in point: in making their 1997 movie Hercules, Disney revamped the goddess Hera from “insulted wife desperately trying to kill husband’s bastard child” into “loving mom who mostly just stands there smiling” (presumably she’s also not her husband’s sister any more, although that’s never made clear—looking at you, Disney). But mythology has always changed to fit the needs of the society retelling the stories, from Euripides’ tragic play Alcestis, where Hercules rescues a dead woman from the Underworld because he got drunk at her funeral, to the Roman Emperor Commodus cosplaying as Hercules for the ultimate imperial flex. Disney’s Hercules captures this aspect of mythology precisely. Need to make a children’s movie and (for reasons known only to you and your gods) want to use a character who famously slaughters his wife Megara? Give him a “big innocent farm boy routine,” give her a sassy nickname, and you’re ready to go in a Peloponnesian minute. Euripides would be impressed.

Want to see a kid’s film based on a character who beat his music teacher to death with a harp? Join the Classical Studies Program on Tuesday, October 03, 7:30 PM for a special big-screen showing of Disney’s Hercules at the KanKan Cinema and Brasserie in downtown Indy, sponsored by the IUPUI World Languages and Cultures Department. CLAS faculty Dr. Elizabeth Thill and Dr. Andy Findley will be hosting a pre-show discussion. Just like indoor plumbing, it’s gonna be big.

  • What: Hercules on the big screen
  • When: Tuesday, Oct 03, 7:30 PM
  • Where: KanKan Cinema and Brasserie (1258 Windsor St Indianapolis IN)
  • How: Buy Tickets
  • What Else:
    • pre-show discussion by Classical Studies faculty Drs. Elizabeth Thill and Andy Findley