Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – DC Comics’ big three. The men have been subject of countless animated TV series and DVD movies in recent years. After appearing in many Justice League stories, Princess Diana finally gets her own animated movie.
Wonder Woman is a retelling of her origin updated for modern times with a lot more classical mythology thrown in for good measure. Diana (Keri Russell) is still born from clay on Themyscira and the daughter of Hippolyta (Virginia Madsen). Also, ace fighter pilot Col. Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) still crashes on the island which leads to Diana venturing out into the real world.
What this story adds is a failed love affair between Hippolyta and Ares (Alfred Molina) that leads to his eternal imprisonment. Too bad he tricks Hera into falling in love with him and he escapes. All the war on the earth makes him stronger than ever and a formidable foe for Wonder Woman.
It’s an okay story that supped up with PG-13 violence and a whole lot of really bad dialogue. The story is laden with many obvious messages ranging from the inequality of the sexes to the evils of war. Die-hard Wonder Woman fans are sure to love it and parents are sure to frown at how much violence there is. There are several beheadings throughout the film just for starters.
The best thing this film has going for it is the stellar vocal cast. On top of those referenced above you also get Rosario Dawson as Artemis and Oliver Platt as Hades. The entire cast does a great job even when the dialogue is laughably ridiculous.
I guess Im just more partial to Wonder Woman as a superhero fighting super villains than I am to all the mythological stuff. For me the best part of the film came at the very end when gets in a fight with one of her classic villains (don’t want to say who and ruin the surprise) which sets us up for a second film. I’m certain that if they do make a second film, it’s going to be better than this one.
The film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and 5.1 surround sound. As with all DC animated movies it looks and sounds fantastic.
Audio Commentary: This is an okay commentary. The filmmakers’ love and respect for Wonder Woman comes off as so truthful that their comments made me want to like the film more than I did.
A first look at the animated feature film Green Lantern: (10 min) This is a nice introduction to a great character. You get an informative history lesson on who he is and where’s he’s come from before going into what the film itself is going to be about. Christopher Meloni is the voice of Hal Jordan which very, very cool in my book.
You also get three featurettes that have appeared on other DC DVD releases: From Graphic Novel to original Animated movie Justice League: The New Frontier, Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess and Batman Gotham Knight: An Anime Evolution.
Trailers: Lego Batman Video Game, Inkheart, Scooby-Doo And The Samurai Sword and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.
Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream: (25 min.) This interesting piece talks about the times in which Wonder Woman was introduced into comic books and what that mirrored in society and what it meant for future generations.
Wonder Woman: Daughter Of Myth: (25 min.) This one talks about Wonder Woman’s classical myth based origins then goes on to talk about the modern myths that she has developed herself.
Bruce Timm’s Top Picks: (44 min.) You get two Wonder Woman-centric episodes of Justice League Unlimited as chosen by Bruce Timm. These are certainly good episodes, but if you’re going to buy this then odds are you already own these animated tales in another collection. I was hoping for two episodes of the ’80s live action show! Instead, it’s the episodes “To Another Shore” and “Hawk And Dove.”
Wonder Woman is one of the greatest female superheroes ever and in the animated Justice League cartoons she is a fantastic character. Sadly this film, bogged down in her mythological origins, is lacking and doesn’t do the Princess justice. It’s certainly worth a rental to see for yourself, but you’re better off sticking to JL and hoping for a sequel that’s better.
Warner Bros. presents Wonder Woman. Directed by Lauren Montgomery. Starring Keri Russell, Nathon Fillion, Alfred Molina and Rosario Dawson. Written by Michael Jelenic. Based on a story by Gail Simone and Michael Jelenic. Running time: 74 minutes. Rated PG-13 for violence throughout and some suggestive material. Released on DVD: March 3, 2009. www.amazon.com.
Tags: Alfred Molina, bruce timm, Keri Russell, Oliver Platt, Rosario Dawson, Wonder Woman