Though Disney took some liberties with the story of Hercules, the animated storybook closely follows the line of the movie. Narrated by the muses and Mercury, the Messenger God, the Animated Storybook follows the story of Hercules, born to Zeus and Hera, then stolen from Mount Olympus by Hades servants, Fear and Panic.
They are supposed to destroy the baby. They manage to strip him of his godhood, but leave him with his great strength intact. He is found and raised by a mortal couple, who raise him.
Unfortunately, his strength only causes him problems, and he leaves his home to find out where he fits in. Zeus tells him of his heritage and sends him to be trained as a hero. The Satyr Philoctetes, also called Phil, agrees to train him.
After his training, he defeats many of the monsters Hades sends to trouble the world. He also meets a girl named Megarea, who also seems to be working for Hades.
In addition to the story, there are several clickable animations in every scene. There are also 5 games hidden in the pages of the storybook. They are Zeus' Constellations, Hades' Checkers, Hydra Knock Out, The Mount Olympus Maze, and the Monster Creator.
In addition, there are three songs you can play by clicking on the harp in any scene, either to listen to or to sing along with in Karaoke-style. By clicking on the Hat of Hermes at the bottom right in any scene, you can go to pick a page or quit. If you want to quit, you are asked to click twice.
This Animated Storybook goes beyond the usual with extra games and activities built in. Each extra game has three difficulty levels, allowing them to challenge children to adults. While this might not be a game kids will play constantly, it will be a long time before they outgrow it.
Graphics: Just like in the movies.
Sound: Loud and clear.
Enjoyment: Kids will enjoy revisiting the setting of the movie and the games fit in beautifully.
Replay Value: The games will keep them coming back for more.
As in other animated storybook titles, the story has been considerably condensed in order to work as a software program. Crucial details are imbedded in click-on visuals. As with other software programs of this genre, Hercules includes the Disney story told in a series of interactive scenes. This is based on the Disney Studios version of Hercules. The story tells of Hercules being born to Zeus and Hera. Due to the animosity of Hades, Hercules is stolen from his immortal parents and made mortal, though still extremely strong. He is then raised on earth by a mortal couple. Troubled by his great strength, Hercules prays to Zeus for advice and finds out that he is god-born. But, he cannot come back to Olympus until he becomes a hero. A true Hero. So, he is sent to the Satyr Philoctetes, who agrees to train him (after a little convincing from Zeus). Can Hercules become a hero? Each scene features brief text, narrated by two jive-talking Muses. Screen animation and character dialog follow. At this point the screen becomes static and the user has the opportunity to explore, clicking on objects that cause the lightening bolt-medallion cursor to change. Five activities can be accessed, including a matching game; a checkers activity; maze game; a monster-creation activity; and our reviewers' favorite, a viewing of the night sky complete with constellation discovery and descriptions. Also included in the program is a 'Sing-A-Long' section which includes three songs from the Hercules movie that can be enjoyed as sing-a-longs, or sung alone Karoke-style.
People who downloaded Disney's Hercules Animated Story Book have also downloaded:
Disney's The Lion King Animated Storybook, Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame Animated Storybook, Disney's Pocahontas Animated Storybook, Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story, Disney's The Lion King Activity Center, Disney's MathQuest with Aladdin, Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Be Our Guest, Disney's Animated Storybook: 101 Dalmatians
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