When Hercules arrived in Greece, it was quickly criticized by the Greek public, scholars and critics. Indeed, according to these critics (via Desert News). “This film is not for Greece,” said Yiannis Tsedakis, director of antiquities at the country’s culture ministry, adding, “It’s a distorted depiction of the Hercules myth. We take them very seriously.”
Vangelis Migdalis also did not hesitate in expressions. “Modern Greece has never had much, it has never had wealth or colonies. She’s always had history and legends, and Hollywood just made a hell of a lot of fun of them.”
In fact, Disney changed the classic myths, apparently in the name of making the story acceptable to a child audience. The fact that Zeus is the greatest swindler of mythology, and Hercules the child of love between him and the mortal Alcmene, may not have pleased the parents, as well as the story of the demigod about the murder of his wife and children (through Britannica). The changes, however, go beyond adjustments to the point of mischaracterization, especially when it comes to the relationship between Zeus and Hera.
Greek critics regarded the changes as an attempt at profit. “This is yet another case of foreigners distorting our history and culture only for their own commercial interests,” an Athenian Adsmevtos Typos detractor wrote (via Nation). It didn’t help that the movie used the character’s Roman name rather than the Greek Hercules.
Surely all wounds healed when Dwayne Johnson played Hercules in 2014, right?