My only hope is that when DC’s live action debut of “Wonder Woman” finally arrives, that they’ve taken notes from Bruce Timm and Lauren Montgomery’s animated depictions, because they remain some of the best iterations to date. DC and Warner have yet to churn out a cinematic masterpiece in the last five years, but they’ve done remarkably well in the animated department in the past. “Wonder Woman” is one of their crowning achievements as an exciting, action packed, and engaging look at the Amazonian warrior’s battle against her uncle, the god of war Ares.
Turning eight years old, Warner and DC are smart enough to not only remind audiences of the greatness of this animated movie from 2009, but also allow fans a refresher course for the Amazonian warrior. When we meet Diana, she’s a young Amazonian in training who still unsure of herself and lives in Themyscira. When a US fighter pilot named Steve Trevor crash lands on no man’s land, Diana defies her mother by accompanying Trevor back to civilization safely. Things take a turn for the worse, though, when Ares, the god of war (Alfred Molina), escapes Amazonian imprisonment and begins plans to star a massive world war that will wipe out the planet.
Now it’s up to Diana and her mythical armor including her wrist braces and lasso of truth, to stop him. Briskly animated, balanced in tone and garnering wonderful voice acting, “Wonder Woman” is still holds up quite well almost ten years later. Director Lauren Montgomery is able to deliver a movie that doesn’t abuse the PG-13 rating, and successfully appeals to its target audience conveying why Wonder Woman is such a valiant warrior. This is strictly her adventure and origin, so there are no cameos or connecting side characters, save for Trevor who lends Wonder Woman an anchor in to humanity.
Among a fine cast that includes Rosario Dawson, and Virginia Madsen, there’s Nathan Fillion who is wonderful as the spunky Trevor who builds some excellent chemistry off of Diana. Diana as the titular “Wonder Woman” is played beautifully by Keri Russell. Russell lends Diana a boldness, and maturity that the turns the character in to a very engaging heroine who is tasked with saving the world and wants to prove herself in the very end. “Wonder Woman” is still one of the best animated features from DC/Warner, and I hope we get a live action version just as good, if not better, come the summer. The new edition comes with a DVD and Ultraviolet copy of the film, and Warner has taken out all of the promo featurettes, as well as the “Justice League” episodes from the Bruce Timm period.
Which is a shame since Wonder Woman was a titan in Timm’s series and is a part of some of the greatest episodes from the show. There’s an audio commentary by the film’s creative team, as well as sneak peek at the upcoming “Batman and Harley Quinn,” clocking in at nine minutes. It’s surprising they feature this segment for the upcoming return of the DCAU but omit the DCAU “Justice League” episodes for Wonder Woman. “What Makes a Wonder Woman” is a ten minute look at the history and origin of Wonder Woman with interviews with upcoming star of the movie Gal Gadot, as well as Patty Jenkins, Lauren Montgomery, Phil Jiminez, Geoff Johns and many others.
It’s a mix of history of the character along with the upcoming live action film. “Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream” clocks in at twenty five minutes and is carried over from the previous edition. It explores the era Wonder Woman debuted in, and how she and women in comics impacted the world. “Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth” is another port from the previous edition clocking in at twenty five minutes covering her origins, place in mythology, and her personality. Finally, there’s a ninety second trailer for “DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year.”