This Wonder Woman animated movie is decent enough featuring a solid story and a nice selection of voice casting. This was one of DC’s earliest animated releases and probably one of their better outings.
— Commemorative Edition —
Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure
Warner Home Video | PG13 – 74 min. – $24.98 | May 16, 2017
Date Published: 05/12/2017 | Author: The Movieman
“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”
Note: Portions were copied from my 2009 Blu-ray review with updates for this latest release, and with the movie section, some references will be dated.
THE MOVIE — 3.5/5
With the Wonder Woman live action feature film coming in a matter of a month, it’s no surprise the studio would re-release the 2009 animated film. Originally this was rumored to have an R-rated version but instead it’s PG-13 and, from what I can tell, there’s not much of, if any, difference (the original was Not Rated).
The latest member of the DC Universe Original Animated Movies line of direct-to-video movies, Wonder Woman, is a finely animated, though very short, feature film that introduces us to the Amazon princess that before this the masses only knew from Lynda Carter’s live action TV series in the 1970s. Wonder Woman follows other DC Universe animated movies that began in 2007 with Superman: Doomsday followed by Justice League: The New Frontier and Batman: Gotham Knight in 2008.
Wonder Woman is an origin story based on the “Gods and Mortals” comic book story arc by George Pérez released in 1987. The movie begins with a 300-like battle between the Amazon women and an army led by the God of War, Ares (voiced by Alfred Molina). The Amazon’s queen Hippolyta (Virginia Madsen) defeats Ares, and killing their son, but is ordered not to kill him by Zeus to keep him prisoner where he is branded with bracelets that will not allow him to use his powers.
As with the “Gods and Mortals” storyline, Hippolyta receives a daughter as a gift from the gods and together with the remaining Amazons live in peace on the island of Themyscira, cut off from the outside world of man… until fighter jet pilot Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) crashes on the island and is captured by the queen’s daughter, Diana (Keri Russell). After determining Trevor is not a threat, the Amazons hold a competition to see who will represent them and return Trevor to the outside world.
Despite going against her mother’s wishes, Diana competes and wins but her duties go beyond returning Trevor after Ares escapes from his cell (with the help of a fellow Amazon) and now she must, donning the hot “Wonder Woman” we all know and love, hunt down and capture Ares before he unleashes war upon the modern world.
Outside of Lynda Carter’s beautiful, um, performance was Wonder Woman on the TV series, I’ve actually never been a fan of the character (to be honest, Superman isn’t that high on my list either) but I admire what the filmmakers have done with this animated feature film and what DC Universe has been doing with them unveiling a couple each year.
Producer Bruce Timm, the man most associated with bringing us “Batman: The Animated Series”, one of the best animated series ever made, gives Wonder Woman a breath of new life and a uniqueness in the superhero world rarely seen. There’s no doubt the character did a lot in the cause of women’s rights as she was one of the first comic book characters created that could compete with the boys.
As far as the animated movie goes, Wonder Woman is a fun adventure with some of that sly humor and the voice chemistry between Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion was fantastic (the two worked together on 2007’s Waitress). The voice casting for the villain Ares by Alfred Molina brings a bit of sinisterly depth while we get the voice talents of Rosario Dawson as a tough Amazonian, David McCallum (TV’s NCIS and also was the voice of Alfred on Batman: Gotham Knight) as Zeus, Marg Helgenberger (TV’s CSI) as Hera, Oliver Platt as Hades and Virginia Madsen as Diana’s mother.
Wonder Woman isn’t the greatest animated movie but as a re-introduction to a character long dormant (I believe the comic book was cancelled), it’s a good origin and adventure story that could lay the groundwork for either DTV sequels or even a Wonder Woman: The Animated Series for television.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
This release comes with an embossed and glossy slip cover. Inside is a DVD Copy and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Audio Commentary features Executive Producer Gregory Noveck, writer Michael Jelenic, Producer Bruce Timm and Director Lauren Montgomer.
Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream (25:33; HD) – This is a profile on “Wonder Woman” creator William Moulton Marston and the creation of the iconic female superhero and her start at DC Comics. It goes into the breakthrough Wonder Woman had on not only in comic books but on society as well.
Where “A Subversive Dream” covers how the character was created, Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth (25:36; HD) goes over the story of “Wonder Woman” from the comic books, has some information already in the previous featurette but then goes into the mythology of Wonder Woman (i.e. Greek gods) and where exactly Marston came up with the idea.
Sneak Peek at Batman and Harley Quinn (9:08; HD) looks behind the scenes at DC Animated next film.
VIDEO – 4.25/5
|Wonder Woman is presented in widescreen with a 1.78 aspect ratio and being an animated feature, it does look good as unless it’s on purpose, you will not have dust and scratches. Colors are vibrant without being too bright in some areas and with the animation style; it’s not a bad looking film. This 1080p high-definition transfer looks great as I noticed no real flaws within the picture and the animation looks sharp.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
|The original TrueHD track has been replaced with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 one this go around. It’s not the most robust track and is a bit weak on the lower ends as demonstrated by the opening battle sequence. But dialogue levels were clear enough and the music and ambient noises comes through the rear channels relatively well enough.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, this Wonder Woman animated movie is decent enough featuring a solid story and a nice selection of voice casting. This was one of DC’s earliest animated releases and probably one of their better outings. It’s no surprise Warner would release this “Commemorative Edition” as a way to drum up more awareness for their live action feature film, though I am disappointed that the video/audio transfers seem basically the same and the only new feature is a sneak peek at Batman & Harley Quinn animated movie. On the plus side, it is a sweet looking slip cover…
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.