Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wonder Woman animated movie

Last weekend we watched this 2009 animated straight-to-video movie done by Bruce Timm, the guy behind most of the DC animated shows, including my all time favorite, Justice League Unlimited.

I was hoping it would show some strong female characters for my daughter to see, and otherwise be fun. It was certainly that. Overall, it was well made, with the kind of attention to detail that many cartoons ignore. But there were some crazy moments.

It was more violent than I expected....more so than other similar superhero shows. There was a lot of action violence. Characters clearly died, though frequently the camera cut away from the death blow. Many fights featured bladed weapons. A couple of beheadings were shown in silhouette. I didn't mind letting my 10- and 12-year-old watch it, but I was glad we'd sent the 4-year-old to bed.

I was delighted to identify Nathan Fillian as the voice actor behind the Steve Trevor role. He actually got a line off about Wonder Woman's boobs, when he was under the influence of her magic lasso. This was a bit risque, and also hilarious. I wouldn't be surprised to find many parents deciding this show was too something for their kids. I think they'd be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised.


The storyline starts way back in mythology, and provides an explanation for both the origin of Wonder Woman and the isolation of the island of Themyscira that she comes from. Many minuts of screen time are expended to set up the mythological basis and history of the island.

However, at a key moment, the famous Invisible Jet shows up. With no explanation at all. It's just, hey, we need to send our emissary to the mortal world, here's a jet. There's no other high tech of any kind on the island, but they have plenty of magic, you'd think she'd get a magic carpet. But nope, it's an invisible jet. Heck, it has invisible missiles.

I don't actually know the Wonder Woman storyline very well. I remember the invisible jet being part of the campy live action Wonder Woman show. I was never clear on whether it was part of the comic. I have no idea where the invisible jet comes from. I assume that someone felt it was a required part of the WW canon, so they stuck it in...but it's odd, since they were going to the trouble of retelling the origin anyway, that they didn't either write it out, or give it some justification.

Seriously, I could do that right now: "We thought we should have some modern weaponry/transport just in case, so we stole a jet and draped Mercury's Magic Milkduds over it to turn it invisible." Doesn't explain how WW knows how to pilot a jet, but that's another story.

Okay, as long as I'm writing about this I guess I can do a little research. Wow, the plane gets its own article on Wikipedia, which talks about the plane's origin as an intelligent and shape-changing crystal. I'm sorry I looked. The Wikipedia article about the Wonder Woman animated movie says that the explanation for the plane was cut from the film.

The plane is a convenient way to move WW and Steve around in the story, so this makes sense. The movie would need some serious rework if they took the plane out.

1 comment:

  1. We saw that same movie and had the same reaction; the difference in tone between the Timm-style television series and the film was a bit jarring and really didn't add much to the experience, in my view. Awesome to get Nathan Fillion doing the voices, though.