Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition Blu-ray Review
In the hopes of generating even more buzz for the live-action WONDER WOMAN, Warner Bros. has re-released their 2009 DC animated universe film, WONDER WOMAN. At the time it was the fourth in animated film series and they’re about to release their 28th, TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT. There’s nothing retrospective to look at, other than how much the animation has improved over the years and how their genuine passion and craft was alive and thriving from the get-go.
There isn’t too much of a difference between this animated film and it’s live-action counterpart. The movie begins with a war between two armies. On one side, Ares (Molina) and his mindless minions, and on the other side is Hippolyta (Virginia Madsen) and her fierce army of Amazonian women. The beginning is offputting, rich in unknowns slugging it out and decapitating each other, especially for someone like me who isn’t the well-versed in Wonder Woman’s mythology and comic book origins.
After imprisoning Ares, Hippolyta is granted her own island and a daughter, Princess Diana (Russell), who we’ll come to know as Wonder Woman. Cut to a millennium later and the status quo of the island is interrupted by American fighter pilot Steve Trevor (Fillion) being shot down. Of course that’s not the only thing that goes awry for the island of Amazonians as Ares, guarded closely in his cell, plots an escape route and a devious plan for Earth.
A lot of what makes Patty Jenkins’ vision good is in this Lauren Montgomery film like female empowerment, an even sided battle of the sexes, and light-hearted humor. On that same note, a lot of the flaws are intact for both. Both are a bit muddled in actual Wonder Woman history, struggling to make sense of the Gods, the Amazonians, and the mysterious island that’s disguised from the world of men. I’m not sure how much of an influence the animated version had on the live-action, but I assume the similarities prove that they’re pulling from the same source material. But that also implies that it’s just as confusing and hard to adapt.
The action in WONDER WOMAN is some of the best in DC’s catalogue, but it may be a bit much for younger audiences, unless you’re a terrible parent and think your child can handle on-screen characters beheading each other. The dialogue feels honest and is conveyed wonderfully through veterans of animation voice acting and newcomers like Russell and Molina. It’s unfortunate they don’t do more adult animation work because they bring their acting punch to their drawn heroes and villains.
WONDER WOMAN is great for newcomers who may have missed this nearly a decade ago. It doesn’t add much to the overall arch of the DC animated universe, other than establishing one of the key parts of the Justice League. The movie flies by, but you might give pause when Wonder Woman’s invisible jet comes out of nowhere, literally and figuratively. Here’s to hoping that Wonder Woman continues to get her due on-screen service, animated and live-action.
BLU RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:78:1) The animation is fine, but there isn’t much difference between this and what comes on the DVD copy. Clearly Warner Bros. wanted to make a quick buck.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Audio, just as fine if not equal to its DVD counterpart.
A Sneak Peek at BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN (9:08): A self-explanatory feature, but it takes up until halfway through the feature before I got invested into the preview. It’s generally because that’s when they talk about the synopsis, which should have come at the forefront.
What Makes a Wonder Woman (10:06): This is a compilation of interviews, from the creators of this 2009 movie to the folks behind the 2017 films, talking about Wonder Woman seat at the comic book table and her longevity. There are also some comic artists talking about her in a
Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream (25:36): This feature feels like a continuation of the past feature as we dive into the origins of Wonder Woman. It was a fascinating look William Marston and the women in his life who influenced him to be bold and create a female superhero, as well as some of the minor controversies surrounding her creation.
Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth (25:40): This feature goes through the comic-book origins of Wonder Woman in the comics and her origin stories relation to the movie. There’s also an interesting discussion about how the comics relate to actual Greek mythology and draws contemporary feminist influences.
Commentary by the Film’s Creative Team: Gregory Noveck with DC, Producer Bruce Timm, Writer Michael Jelenic and Director Lauren Montgomery chat on this commentary. Because of the wealth of information and behind-the-scenes stories that each carries, it creates for a rich commentary, without any of them overwhelming each other, sharing the track as equals, only talking with informative tid bits.This commentary must have been done back in 2009.