I have been a long time fan of Wonder Woman. How could any growing boy resist Linda Carter signature spinning move, transforming into the the Amazonian princess? It says a lot that even though decades have passed, she is still synonymous with one of the most iconic superheroes of all time. But as popular as WW is, reproducing and recreating this character has been difficult and she has been relegated to small screen appearances mainly from the Justice League series. there has been a lot of talk and false starts about a feature film but it still remains as elusive as the invisible jet. So while we all wait anxiously, i wanted to share some of my thoughts on the recently released animated Wonder Woman on DVD.
This origins story starts at the dawn of Paradise Island. It rapidly moves through the early years of conflict with the Greek god Ares and the birth of Princess Diana. Their seclusion on Paradise Island is interrupted when a US pilot, Steve Trevor, is shot down and accidentally discovers the Amazon’s home. Before long, Diana secretly competes and wins a competition among her sisters to become the new emissary to the America. After a brief ‘fish out of water’ sequence, Wonder Woman is forced to square off against Ares on the front lawn of the White House. A typical day for our nations capital.
The ‘Gladiator’ type action and violence in the first part of the story really helps set this from other DC movies. There is plenty of impalings, dismemberments, and decapitations that would make Russell Crowe crack a smile. Animation isn’t bad but there were a few awkward treatments of Wonder Woman’s face, especially when in motion. I wish she was depicted with a little more elegance and grace. The story moves a little too rapidly and there is barely enough time to appreciate the 2nd characters. My main complaint is anytime you mix Greek gods into modern day life, it becomes problematic. If Zeus, Ares, Apollo, etc exist in the DC universe, where are they? How strong is a Greek god in comparison to say Superman? Would bombs, bullets, and grenades hurt Ares? It just opens up a can of worms that is not easy resolved with any satisfaction. In Wonder Woman’s case, I think it is best left a mystery. The less we know the better. In this movie, there just wasn’t the time like in a comic book series to adequately explain the politics and power struggle of the gods and man. So it ends up being rushed and unsatisfactory. Its a similar gripe I have with other ancient characters like Thor and Captain Marvel.
I’m a big fan of the late 80’s George Perez reboot on WW. I think it was one of the finest eras in her long history. This animated feature is a step in the right direction but there is still a long way to go. However, If you are a Wonder Woman or DC fan, I would still encourage you to check this out.