Boy does Dionysos get around: pop culture edition

Things have been pretty heavy around here lately, so here are some glimpses of Dionysos through the lens of pop culture.

Here he is in The Smurfs:


Episode Paradise Smurfed from Season One.

Bacchus at first offered his paradise realm to the visiting Smurfs for them to enjoy seemingly without charge, but as they evaded his traps during their game of “hide and hunt”, his real intentions became apparent: he was going to have the Smurfs for his dinner. Of the three Smurfs who tried to escape when Bacchus used his powers against them, only Brainy and Greedy escape while Lazy was trapped behind a wall of ice, which enabled Bacchus and his cat to grab him.¬†Fortunately for Lazy, though, the whole thing was a dream, and the only ones who were grabbing him were Brainy and Greedy trying to wake him up.

Here he is in Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters:


Otherwise known as Mr. D.

Dionysus is the Greek god of grape-harvest, wine, madness, parties, and ecstasy as well as theater. He is also known as Mr. D, the camp director of Camp Half-Blood. He was placed as the director by his father Zeus as punishment for chasing after an off-limits nymph. After the decree that Olympus would be closed and that gods would have no contact with their demigod child, he was recalled to Olympus.

Here he is in Disney’s Fantasia:


Pastoral Symphony sequence of Fantasia.

The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven. A mythical ancient Greek world of centaurs, cupids, fauns and other figures from classical mythology is portrayed to Beethoven’s music. A gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus, the god of wine, is interrupted by Zeus, who creates a storm and throws lightning bolts at the attendees.

Here he is in Class of the Titans:


Episode Little Box of Horrors from Season One.

Dionysus is the God of wine and leisure. Pot-bellied and sporting a receding hairline, glasses-wearing resident chemist of the Gods. He manages to develop a cure for the Seeper plague that was released from Pandora’s Box. Dionysus believes that every mistake you make will result you to become more knowledgeable. Odie is slightly doubtful about this.

Here he is in Xena: Warrior Princess:


Episode Girls Just Wanna Have Fun from Season Two and recurring character after that.

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” opens with Xena and Gabrielle running into Joxer, who has a package for Xena. It contains the talking head of Orpheus. Orpheus’s head informs Xena that Bacchus has decapitated him, and that he must be stopped. They arrive at a nearby town, and Gabrielle goes to a party and dances with a group of Bacchus’s bacchae: female vampires created by Bacchus. Meanwhile, Xena defeats two bacchae. Elsewhere, Bacchus plots to turn Xena into an “eternal bacchae”. The next day the protagonists go to the cemetery next to Bacchus’s catacombs to collect dryad bones. These bones are the only thing capable of piercing a bacchae’s heart and killing them. Xena kills one of the skeletal, winged dryads and procures a sharp bone. Gabrielle then turns into a bacchae; she had been bitten the previous day at the party. Gabrielle escapes into the catacombs and the group gives chase. They find Gabrielle, Bacchus, and a large group of bacchae in the middle of a ceremony. Gabrielle is about to drink Bacchus’s blood from a cup and become a permanent bacchae, but Xena knocks the cup to the ground with her chakram. A fight ensues and Xena attempts to kill Bacchus, but he informs her that only a bacchae can kill him. Xena lets Gabrielle bite her, becoming a bacchae, and then kills Bacchus, after which all of Bacchus’ bacchae servants, as well as Xena and Gabrielle regain their humanity.

Bonus pic – here’s the talking decapitated head of Orpheus:


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8 thoughts on “Boy does Dionysos get around: pop culture edition

  1. Teka Lynn

    I’d always assumed it was Silenus making his cameo in Fantasia. Hadn’t thought about him being Dionysos. Could be!


  2. What?!? No True Blood big white bull (even though it isn’t him, really)? Oh well…

    [Kidding. I only knew about a few of these…but you can tell the Smurfs one is just Gargamel in a toga, really. Yeah, huge important insight there that you couldn’t have figured out without my help–aren’t you glad to have me around, foolish plebs?!? ;) ]


  3. Rebecca Buchanan

    I loved that segment of “Fantasia.” Probably one of my earliest exposures to a truly Pagan landscape.


  4. Lee

    One you may not have encountered: Kamigami no Asobi is a trainwreck of the kind only Japan could produce, but an entertaining one… and stars, is that version of Him ever pretty. I was a bit put out to find you couldn’t pursue him in the videogame!


    • A bunch of the tumblr hellenic practitioners had a streaming group watch of the first two episodes of that show. WHAT GLORIOUS HUBRIS. GLORIOUS.


  5. Virginia Carper

    This God shows up in the comic book series “God is Dead,” (2013-14) as one of the survivors of the war between Gods of different pantheons. He gets dismembered daily by his followers in the series.


  6. Pingback: Wine | The Gargarean

  7. Pingback: Wine | The Boukoleon

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