Shout! Factory sent me the Young Hercules: The Complete Series DVD set for review on my dad blog. The Fox Kids Network series starred a young Ryan Gosling. Yes, the pretty boy from The Notebook. I knew Ryan was on the Mickey Mouse Club when he was a kid, but I didn’t know he also played the part of young Hercules in a TV series too. Considering how young he was, I thought Ryan was fine as a young Hercules. Young Hercules: The Complete Series is available now on DVD (currently $19.93 on Amazon). The set includes all 50 episodes on six discs. The DVD set also includes a bonus featurette called Writing the Legend of Young Hercules.
As you can tell by the title, Young Hercules is about Hercules when he was a very young man. Hercules, along with his two buddies, have a habit of getting into trouble. It also doesn’t help that Ares, Hercules’ half-brother, is jealous of Hercules. Because of that, Ares is constantly scheming to get Hercules in trouble.
My oldest son is a big fan of the Greek gods genre, so he watched the series with me too. As I mentioned previously, there are 50 episodes in the series. Each episode is 20+ minutes long. We’ve only watched five episodes so far and have 45 episodes more to go. While watching the Young Hercules series, I couldn’t help but notice that the style of the show is similar to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys series. As it turns out, the Young Hercules series is a spin-off of the other series. No wonder the style seems similar.
Another thing I noticed is that many of the Young Hercules episodes involve Cheiron and his academy to train warriors. The episodes kinda reminded me of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I can’t help but wonder if Riordan was influenced by the Young Hercules series. Who knows, but maybe he watched the shows when he was kid.
One thing you should know is that the special effects are not spectacular. The effects are OK for a TV show — especially since the series was made in the late 90’s.
More info: Young Hercules: The Complete Series