Wonder Woman 2009 DVD: Review By CBF

DC Does it Again with This Brilliant Adaptation of Wonder Woman, the World's Greatest Super Heroine.
  • OVERALL
    4.5
    SUPERB
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
A great retelling of the origin story, great animation as always, and superb voice talent.
THE BAD
Quick explanations, or rather no explanation at all; one is left wondering about certain unanswered questions, like just where did that Invisible Jet come from?
THE FEATURE
Each time DC and Warner Premiere link together again to bring us a new animated film, the results are usually exceeding the standards. The three releases so far of their hugely popular line, the DC Universe Animated Original Movie series, have been of the highest quality and entertainment. They usually follow a specific point in their respected comic book storylines, and never fail to measure up when transferred to the animated film format. The highly anticipated fourth release of the series, Wonder Woman, is nothing short of those unique qualifications that make the series stand on its own.

The feature takes its plot from Wonder Woman's unchanged origin from the days of old, and is loosely based off of the Gods and Mortals story arc. The viewer follows the Amazonians' history - from an epic battlefield showdown with Ares, the God of War, and his army, Ares' exile and the Amazons' seclusion on Themyscira (Paradise Island), and Princess Diana's very existence and her journey that takes her to the outside world of men, when USAF pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on their "hidden" island.

What I like most about the history of Diana's people, the Amazon women, is that they take inspiration from real figures in Greek mythology. Artemis, for example, was a real warrior woman in Greek history and not only has long inspired the character of Wonder Woman by her nature, but she is also in the film as a strong warrior who teaches Diana some valuable life lessons. And let's not forget Persephone, or Alexa, either. There's also Zeus and Hera, who I remember studying about in school, and not to mention Ares, who is one of Zeus' many sons, the God of War and the main antagonist in the film, as well as Hades, the God of the Dead. To me, this fictional history of the warrior women of Amazon tied in with the non-fictional history of Roman-Greek times allowed me to take a realistic view of the subject matter. It wasn't overly fantastic like your Superman's or blinded by vengeance like your Batman's. It was grounded in reality mixed with a rich mythology that deeply ties into the world's ancient history. Astounding.

The voice casting was perfectly chosen, in my humble opinion. Keri Russell, who most might know from the WB teen drama series Felicity, plays Diana/Wonder Woman, and does an amazing job with the character. Other voice actors include Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor, who is sort of like Diana's partner throughout the film, Virginia Madsen as Hippolyta, the Amazonian Queen and Diana's mother, Rosario Dawson as Artemis, Oliver Platt as Hades, Marg Helgenberger as the powerful god Hera, David McCallum as the almighty Zeus, and Doc Ock himself, Alfred Molina as Ares the God of War.

I am sad that when Bruce Timm did his amazing work for the DC Animated Universe during the 1990s, "Wonder Woman" never had her own series. "Batman: The Animated Series" was a smash hit, and soon followed "Superman," "Justice League," and "Justice League: Unlimited." And although she was featured in the Justice League incarnations, it just didn't feel right that she never had her own defining series to complement these other top-tier, A-list properties of DC's roster. After all, she is the third biggest property of DC lining up just behind the capes of Superman and Batman, and also leads the Justice League of America alongside them. For her not to have her own DCAU series or her own movie for that matter, well, let's just say that the time is long overdue. But this Animated Original Movie is well worth the wait and definitely holds us fans over until said official film.
THE EXTRAS
Disc 1 with Movie

Audio Commentary


A deepened look into the film with the creative team behind the project offers more info on the feature. Refer here for deepened history into the Greek Gods and behind-the-scenes conversations with producer Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery and others.

A First Look at the Animated Feature Film Green Lantern

This follows the tradition of each release showing a Sneak Peek of the next one to come. Leading up to the fifth release from the series this summer, Green Lantern: First Flight, this 10-minute sneak preview allows us to see unfinished animation, get a sense of the story detail and glimpse the voice actors behind the project. It looks as if the brilliance will continue with Lauren Montgomery again helming this title that will feature an original storyline of Hal Jordan becoming inducted into the Green Lantern Corps.

From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie - Justice League: The New Frontier

A 10-minute short on the making of the second release.

Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess

An amazing look into the history of the comic book and the making of the film.

Batman: Gotham Knight - An Anime Evolution

The Batman: Gotham Knight Sneak Peek.

Trailers

Lego Batman, Inkheart, Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword, and The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest all make the cut.

Disc 2

Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream
Featurette


The story behind the creation of the Wonder Woman character, the comic book, her different incarnations and her modern-day mediums.

Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth Featurette

Historical Amazon Lore and Its Evolution into the Modern-Day Wonder Woman Character.

Bruce Timm's Top Picks: Bruce Timm Presents 2 Bonus Cartoons

The Justice League: Unlimited episodes, "To Another Shore," and "Hawk and Dove," which both center on the Wonder Woman character.
THE VIDEO
Excellent. Bruce Timm successfully attempts to redefine his animation style with each release, and this one proves no different.
THE AUDIO
Dolby Digital Surround 5.1.
THE PACKAGE
The packaging is outstanding with this Two-Disc Special Edition, from the glossy, 3D silver slip-sleeve encasing to the wonderful design overall that leaves a professional appearance.
THE FINAL WORD
The DC Universe Animated Original Movie Wonder Woman is as entertaining to watch as it is splendid. It is as close to an animated series as we will get, and leaves a promising future for a full-length live action film to follow. I would say that this is the best release in the series, but all the releases to date have been nothing short of spectacular. Except for Batman: Gotham Knight, they have all been based upon comic book story arcs and never fail to please even the biggest kid in us all. This Direct-to-Video is no different. Wonder Woman has always been the strongest of all the female DC heroines and it is why she is in the A-list with Supes and Bats and is the Third-in-Command of the JLA. This movie does her justice staying true to the comic origins while recreating her young look in a new animation style. Hats off to DC for this beloved series.

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Comments (11)

  1. CBF

    @corey Thanks Screeny. Gonna try to finish this series of animated greatness. Although I am skipping two since I don't necessarily own them.

    3 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag

  2. Corey W.

    Great one @comicbookfan. GREAT TO SEE YOU WRITING AGAIN, SIR!

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  3. CBF

    @diaigma@dan1@bawnian-dexeus@narrator Thanks for all the comments, guys. I want to do the rest of the series, but I passed up on two of them ("Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" and "All-Star Superman"), so I can't actually review those DVDs. But the rest I want to. I just might do that. Thanks again for all the encouraging words.

    3 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag

  4. the Narrator

    Lol @dan1. By all means, I'm relieved to see a review from @comicbookfan, redo or not. And a magnificent review it is, although I haven't watched the feature myself so I don't know if I'd agree on certain things mentioned or not. Nonetheless, nice job CBF!

    3 years agoby @narratorFlag

  5. Dan

    *posting one* Jesus. Typos :P

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  6. Dan

    *@narrator's thunder*

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  7. Dan

    @comicbookfan I was gonna say you just stole @narrator's long absence from reviewing by posting on yourself, but this was more of a do over since you were ignored. Excellent all the same.

    Can't wait for Emerald Knights and Year One.

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  8. CBF

    @diaigma Thanks, D. Yeah, this is arguably one of the best in the series. I think Batman: Under The Red Hood gives it a run for it's money, though.

    3 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag

  9. Diaigma

    @comicbookfan - I was planning to review this one :P

    I'm surprised how fun this was. Hopefully DC will look at Thor and realize a WW movie can work ;)

    3 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  10. CBF

    Because MovieWeb was nice enough to delete my review and then ignore me when I asked where it went.

    3 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag