This is a stylish production of Wonder Woman’s origin focusing largely on the ancient culture from which she sprang. You spend a lot of time amongst the reclusive sisterhood of amazon warriors of Themyscira. In fact, the whole opening act comprises events long before Wonder Woman’s “birth”. She does not don “the outfit” until about a third of the way through.
The one sentence synopsis: A fierce but formidable warrior culture ran afoul of god of war Ares and coincidentally lost all their men in the final battle so the women naturally decided to become recluses on a magically hidden island where their queen raises her miracle baby into the person who would become Wonder Woman before an unlikeable and crude Steve Trevor crashes on their island and is escorted back to the real world by her and along the way she learns more about the nature of men, her culture’s pride, and the power of a smokin’ body.
Wonder Woman depicted here is more likable than the one seen in Justice League: A New Frontier. (Of course that is not saying much.) She is drawn well in a slightly stylized but generally universally appealing way. Her looks are part of the bread and butter of the character, and they took strides to do them right and consistently if slightly simply.
This is the non-flying version of Wonder Woman, and that is fine with us. We do not think she needs that power – besides, it makes the invisible jet lonely. Her fight scenes were well choreographed slug-fests that some of the other DC and Marvel productions should strive to match (cough -Hulk versus Thor). The violence was not scaled back too much, especially in the opening act.
We did have a problem with their depiction of Steve Trevor. Instead of being a very virtuous man he was depicted as a brave but coarse and somewhat depraved warrior. It really was an unfortunate choice. While the movie in general was not overly sexist, there were no good men anywhere to be seen. Trevor is supposed to show the best in the gender, convincing Wonder Woman to measure all people individually. We hope she does not judge all men by him.
After the uncharacteristically bad voice casting in A New Frontier it was refreshing to see voice producer Romano back on her game with solid and appropriate voicing all around. She and Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, etc.) even indulged themselves with cameos. Good work if you can get it.
Wonder Woman was more adult and more interesting that Green Lantern First Flight, and more entertaining and understandable (and less preachy) than A New Frontier. The writing was quality despite their questionable characterization choices, some plot jumps to various conclusions, and some overly plot convenient occurrences. The dialogue and quips are where it is displayed.
The pacing could have been tighter, and the climatic jet chase and hand-to-hand fight scene dragged the tension out a little too long. While it is far from perfect, it is one of the better recent direct to DVD animated features from DC and Marvel.