Zeus is the King of the Olympian Gods and the father of the legendary hero Hercules. He first appeared in the Disney's 1997 feature film Hercules. He is a very jolly and easy-going person but he does know when to get serious.
Zeus in Greek Mythology is in many ways different from the Disney version. He frequenty cheated on his wife fathering many immortal and mortal children with Hercules as one of his many sons and most famous. Zeus has two godly sons by his wife Hera, Ares god of war and Hephaeteus, god of the forge. In original mythology Zeus killed his father Cronus. Zeus was rivals with his brother, Posiden god of water. Zeus is the man that rules with a "iron fist" and a thunder bolt to smite you.
Zeus is the son of the Titan King Cronos. Based on an offhand remark by Zeus, Cronos feared Zeus might one day overthrow him so he tried to eat him. Following mythology his mother hid him away till Zeus was old enough to challenge his father and banish him.
Many eons ago (prior to the movie) Zeus imprisoned the deadly Titans, who threatened to destroy the world, deep beneath the ocean where they would remain for the rest of eternity undisturbed. However he was unaware that the next planetary alignment would reveal the location of the Titans prison, and his brother Hades planned to free them by the next alignment so he could use them to help him overthrow Zeus and take over Mount Olympus.
During the beginning of the film, Zeus along with his wife Hera where celebrating the birth of their newborn son Hercules with their fellow Gods, soon enough Zeus' brother Hades arrives and grows worried that the newborn might become a threat to his evil plot, so he consults the Fates who reveal to him that Hercules will indeed foil Hades' plot. Fearing the possibility he sends out his servants Pain and Panic to kidnap the baby Hercules from Zeus' palace give him an evil formula that will turn him mortal thus allowing them to kill him, however Hercules fails to drink the last drop and manages to retain his God-like strength allowing him to easily dispatch Pain and Panic.
Zeus is devastated by the loss of his son and sends out all the Gods to find Hercules however by the time they find him it is too late as Hercules has already been adopted by a kind and loving mortal couple. Zeus would not interact with his son until his teenage years wherein Hercules sought to find out where he came from by going to the temple of Zeus. There the large statue of Zeus is possessed by the real Zeus who proceeds to happily welcome back his long lost son. However he explains that Hercules cannot go back to Mount Olympus as he has lost his Godhood, and the only way to reclaim it is to become a true hero. Hercules goes off and fights off almost every monster and becomes famous. Soon afterwards Hercules returns to the temples of Zeus and tells his father that this is the day he has been waiting for which is rejoining the Gods but Zeus tells his son that being famous isn't the same as being a true hero and that in order to become a true hero he must look inside his heart. Soon Hades takes Hercules' strength away from him and unleashes the Titans and captures Zeus and the other Gods and starts to rule Mount Olympus until Hercules (who's gotten his strength back from when Meg saved his life) shows up and frees his father and destroys the Titans. Hades takes Meg's spirit into the river of death but Hercules (who willing gives up his soul to save Meg) jumps in and rescues her and restores his godhood. After defeating Hades and returning Meg her spirit (to which she returns to life) Hercules is reunited with his parents and is told by Zeus For a true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength but by the strength of his heart. Hercules tells his parents this is the moment he's been waiting for but a life without Meg would be empty and that he wishes to stay on Earth with her to which Zeus and his wife agree. Once Hercules and Meg return to Earth they reunite with Hercules' foster parents and Zeus paints a picture of his son in the stars.
Throughout the T.V. series that's between his son's childhood times and adulthood times, Zeus plays a major supporting role. He is the one who insisted Hercules be sent to high school. Often he is found either trying to help Hercules or thwart attempts on his throne by Hades.
When Hercules is given job that Zeus feels is not worthy, he appeals to the Council of Gods to provide him a worthy job, when Hades suggest working in the Underworld, Zeus laughs it off which angers Hades. To the suprise and dismay of Apollo, Zeus then decides that Hercules would drive the sun chariot. When Hercules loses the sun, Hades convinces the council of the gods to vote to dethrown Zeus and decide on a new king of Mount Olympus. When the sun is returned Zeus finds out that Hades was behind the sun's disappearance which drove him to throw an emergency lighting bolt.
As king of the gods, Zeus is the most powerful Olympian god and one of the most powerful Disney characters possibly only behind Aladdin's Genie. Zeus is most famous for his weather control abilities. Over the course of the Hercules film and tv series he displayed a wide range of magical abilities.
As a god he is truly immortal and cannot die. He has lived for eons and has survived things that would be fatal to others. Even though he is immortal he can still feel pain. He can shapeshift, adjust his size, project himself into statues, teleport from place to place, create life from ordinary objects, manipulate clouds and even adjust the stars. Though he has few direct strength feats it is reasonable to think his physical strength is tremendous
Zeus is one of the Big Three, the three oldest and most powerful gods in Olympus, the strongest gods ever to exist. He is surpassed only by Typhon, the Primal Gods such as Gaia, and in some cases, his father Kronos as well the Fates. Of the gods, only his brothers Poseidon and Hades have the power to challenge him, but their power compared to Zeus is a subject of much debate. He has the natural abilities of a god, on a level far higher than most others. As the Lord of the sky, Zeus can summon and control any form of weather he wishes on a worldwide level. He can summon, create and control electricity, lightning, wind, clouds, and thunder.
His primary weapons are lightning bots forge by Hephaestus. It is these weapons that allowed him to defeat the Titans and maintain order among the gods. Despite being unable to kill other gods they are still highly painful to gods and thus feared by them. According to the god Trivia, Zeus's thunderbolts can burn the skin off a god in two nanoseconds.
Role in the series
Zeus is the leader of the High Council, and is THE Big Good in the entire universe, second only to God Almighty.