It may be hard to believe, but it has been 24 years since Disney fans were first introduced to the Greek God kidnapped by Hades and forced to live in the human world with his god-like capabilities. Hercules premiered in 1997 and, in addition to the witty God of the Underworld, the film gave us something that has stood the test of time — the hit song “Go the Distance”.
The song has remained a staple at Disney theme parks, frequently making appearances in various fireworks shows. The motivational song is used by many as a way to build themselves up and give them the confidence to believe in their dreams. While “Go the Distance” was sung by Roger Bart (Good Trouble) in the film, singing superstar Michael Bolton sang the full version for the end credits, and the song was an immediate hit.
The official Disney podcast, D23 Inside Disney, recently sat down with Bolton to talk about a number of things, including the legacy of “Go the Distance” and its popularity that has lasted over two decades. Bolton revealed that he was unable to see the film before he recorded the song, but was blown away when he was finally able to see it in theaters:
“I remember seeing it sitting in the theater. I was like a little kid just watching a film for kids and families basically. The color seemed to be something I had never seen from Disney before, and I understand they’re doing something new that was like a breakthrough. And it just felt so promising the entire time I worked with them. And then I realized, this song is resonating with people beyond the beauty of the music, and the melody and the theme. The lyrics are really hitting home with a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.”
Bolton also shared that he is still asked to sing the song, and it is very popular in a number of Asian countries — he even knows a man who plays “Go the Distance” before company meetings to build his employees up.
“It was a great musical experience. I love the song. It’s an important song to a lot of people.”
The song was so successful that it was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. Disney is also currently in the process of doing a live-action remake of the 1997 film. Hopefully, “Go the Distance” (and maybe Michael Bolton) will be brought back and make an appearance in the remake.
You can listen to Bolton’s full version of “Go the Distance” below.
If this song makes you want to watch the entire film, Hercules is currently available to stream on Disney+.
Do you love “Go the Distance”? What is your favorite Disney song? Let us know in the comments!