Directed by Lauren Montgomery
March 3, 2009
- Diana Prince / Wonder Woman-Keri Russell
- Steve Trevor-Nathan Fillion
- Ares-Alfred Molina
- Artemis-Rosario Dawson
- Hera-Marg Helgenberger
- Hades-Oliver Platt
- Hippolyta-Virginia Madsen
- Deimos-John DiMaggio
- Etta Candy-Julianne Grossman
- Persephone-Vicki Lewis
- Zeus-David McCallum
- Thrax-Jason Miller
- Alexa-Tara Strong
Pilot Steve Trevor accidentally crashes on the Amazonian island of Themyscira allowing Ares the god of war to escape after centuries of confinement. Now Princess Diana must escort the downed pilot back to the world of man and track down the God of War.
Wonder Woman is a solid animated feature. We have great voice acting and wonderful direct to video animation. By this point DC and Warner Bros. had solidly changed things in direct to video animation. This is no shoddy effort but rather a slick and professional effort by all involved.
The film moves quickly (it is only 74 minutes) but not at a breakneck speed that rushes through or skips necessary story. They do not breeze through important plot points, nor do they race through the narrative. There is no fat here so all they focus on is the narrative which also builds up the characters. We get a good feel for the core characters of Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, and the film’s villain Ares.
Diana Prince / Wonder Woman as in many other presentations is a young individual seeking to explore or simply be a part of the outside world which she only knows from stories and her mother’s fearful statements. She is yearning for something other than what she has known. Interestingly Rosario Dawson who plays Artemis here is the current go to voice of Wonder Woman in the DC animated films.
Steve Trevor is portrayed as cocky and immature. In an inversion of what normally happens, by the end of the film he is the poor damsel that must stay behind while the hero goes off to fight.
Aries is portrayed as a manipulative jerk who treats others as disposable. Alfred Molina was the perfect choice here for Ares. Look at how he treats Persephone who is the Amazon that he has been romancing for centuries. He outright throws it in her face that he convinced her to turn her back on her people.
I know that Persephone’s motivations were questionable for the time and would be considered offensive to some today, but the thing is children and family are the goals of some people. It is something both men and women do want and in that respect she is no different than a normal human. As an Amazon she can never have a family of any type and is essentially by herself in perpetuity.
The majority of DC animated features look good even then. They are done with care and an eye towards quality. I can think of maybe no more than three that are less than stellar in appearance and their stories tend to match. This carries on the tradition of the good-looking DC animated features. Being an animated film, you know that there are no actors performing on a set so there is no camera crew capturing action but they do things in such a way that it looks like it was.
For example, during the battle scenes the camera work is shaky to give you the illusion that it’s being filmed right there. The shots are somewhat dynamic, but you get static shots at times other than that. DC pushed the envelope (and still does) for direct to video releases.
The final battle in Washington will impress you. We have Amazons battling in ancient Greek armor against modern military equipment and they toss in zombies too. Zombies! That was just cool. It has to be one of the craziest animated fights I have ever seen.
My only complaint is that the film is too short. Like I said it is only 74 minutes and I would have liked to of seen more story. I am not sure what more they could have put in, but I love the DC features and they always leave me wanting more. They are some of the best action cartoons out there. I have said this before, and I will say it again, they should do an animated theatrical release. It worked with Spider-Man.
Wonder Woman is a great animated feature. It has good characters and a good story that will hold you from beginning to end. Watch it!