In 2009, Warner Bros. Animation released Wonder Woman. The film – which starred Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, and Alfred Molina – was the fourth release from the DC Universe Animated Original Movies collection, following the success of Superman: Doomsday (2007), Justice League: The New Frontier (2008), and Batman: Gotham Knight (2008).
Directed by Lauren Montgomery, and loosely based on George Pérez’s reboot of the 1980s Wonder Woman comic, the movie retold the character’s origin story from the ground up. The film featured characters such as Steve Trevor, Queen Hippolyta, and Etta Candy, and focused on Wonder Woman’s battle against the Greek god, Ares.
Released direct-to-video, Wonder Woman received a fairly warm critical reception back in ’09, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. At the time of its release, I believed it to be one of DC’s strongest animated movies, and for Wonder Woman newbies, a great introduction to the character.
Keen to revisit the movie, to see how well it holds up today, I am about to give Wonder Woman a viewing. As I watch, I will record my thoughts in real time below, so be aware that spoilers lurk ahead.
Wonder Woman (2009)
30secs – A truly magnificent opening. Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons v Ares and his army.
2mins 20secs – A decapitation. This becomes a recurring theme of the movie.
2mins 40secs – Queen Hippolyta v Ares!
3mins – Opening a movie with a huge battle scene is great, as it gives the audience some action from the get-go. Opening this movie with a huge battle scene and such stunning animation is simply perfection.
5mins 45secs – Decapitation No.2. I told you it was a recurring theme.
6mins – I should add, Wonder Woman is a PG-13 in the US, and a certificate 12 in the UK. This is most likely, due to the decapitations.
6mins 30secs – After defeating Ares in battle, Hippolyta is ready to kill her foe, but Zeus and Hera intervene. No killing today! Well, except for those decapitations. And of course, any Amazons that died on the battlefield.
7mins 30secs – Although Hippolyta is stopped from killing Ares, she is given an impressive consolation prize instead. Hippolyta and the Amazons are gifted the paradise island of Themyscira to call their home.
8mins – Hera has also given Hippolyta the opportunity to have a child, which she makes out of clay. That child is Diana.
10mins – Centuries have passed since the battle with Ares, and Diana has grown into a young woman. You see, Amazons don’t age like us regular folk, so she still looks youthful while the rest of us wither and die. Seems a tad unfair to me.
10mins 50secs – Although Ares was allowed to live, he has spent centuries locked up in a prison cell on Themyscira.
12mins – An introduction to pilot Steve Trevor now, who is on a mission high above Themyscira.
17mins – Oh heck, Steve Trevor has crashed his plane on the island.
18mins – I should point out that Nathan Fillion is voicing Steve Trevor and he is doing a great job in this role. In addition to Trevor, Fillion voices Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in a number of DC movies, and while he is great in that role, I do prefer him here.
19mins – A little observation now: The colour palette in this film is gorgeous.
20mins – As the Amazons interrogate Steve Trevor, to find out why he is on the island, the Lasso of Truth is introduced. This is a good way to introduce the Lasso and also leads to a funny gag.
21mins – On a side note, which has little to do with the events of the movie, one of the characters is called Alexa. As I am sure you can imagine, every time someone utters her name, my Amazon Fire tablet (which is sat near to the television) goes crazy.
25mins – Back on Themyscira, and Diana is taking part in a contest to prove she is the right Amazon to return Steve Trevor to America. Meanwhile, one of her fellow Amazons, Persephone, has just released Ares from his prison cell. This will not end well.
26mins – The Amazon bracelets – another key piece of Wonder Woman’s costume – have just been introduced.
26mins 50secs – And now the rest of Wonder Woman’s costume is making an appearance. It is red, blue, and star spangled, to reflect the country Diana is headed to. Makes sense.
28mins – As Diana suits up, the Amazons discover that Ares has escaped.
29mins – Diana is now tasked with two missions: Return Steve Trevor to the US, and hunt down Ares.
33mins 45secs – After arriving in the States, Diana and Steve begin their search for Ares, and it is not too difficult to follow his trajectory. Wherever he goes, violence and destruction follow.
36mins – A fun little scene here, with Diana and Steve getting to know each other over drinks in a bar. Diana can hold her booze. Steve cannot.
38mins – Keri Russell is voicing Diana and doing a fine job. She’s strong, confident, and taking no nonsense from anyone.
40mins – Although he is nowhere to be seen, Ares is clearly getting a little spooked, as he has sent one of his emissaries to attack Diana. This has led to a fun fight sequence with Wonder Woman kicking butt.
44mins – Diana and Steve have tracked down Ares and Persephone, who are standing outside the gates of the Underworld. If they open the gates, they could potentially unleash all manner of evil on Earth.
47mins – And the gates are open! Oh, dear.
48mins 45secs – Ares is meeting with Hades to broker a deal. It’s time to prepare for Armageddon.
54mins 30secs – This movie does a great job of balancing the viewpoints of both Diana and Steve, leading to an ongoing dialogue about the sexes. As a result, Steve is able to see things from Diana’s point of view, and vice versa.
55mins – Things are ramping up for the big finale. Ares is ready to unleash hell on Earth!
56mins 30seds – And just as the world enters its darkest hour, the Amazons arrive to aid Diana.
57mins 30secs – Wonder Woman v Ares.
58mins – The US military believe Ares has come from Themyscira (which I suppose technically, he as) and is planning on nuking the island.
1hr – Ares has become incredibly powerful, and has called in some reserves: a bunch of deceased Amazons who have risen from the grave to be his unwitting slaves.
1hr 30secs – Living Amazons v dead Amazons! This battle is freakin’ awesome!
1hr 2mins 30secs – Ares has lost control of the deceased Amazons, and now they are turning against him.
1hr 3mins 45secs – While Wonder Woman is busy with Ares, Steve is tasked with destroying the nuke. Will he achieve his goal?
1hr 4mins – Oh, Steve’s mission is in vain, as Themyscira has its own defence system and the nuke is disabled quite easily. Ha! I love it.
1hr 5mins – Hippolyta has just killed Persephone. That’s what you get for betraying your people.
1hr 6mins 40secs – Wonder Woman has defeated Ares, leading to, yes you guessed it, decapitation No.3!
1hr 8mins 30secs – Ares’ reign of terror is at an end, the world is saved, and all of the Amazons are back on Themyscira. But with Diana’s task complete, she is home… and miserable. So, Hippolyta is sending her back to the US, to help protect mankind.
1hr 10mins – And as the movie wraps in the US, classic super villain, Cheetah appears, leading Diana to transform into Wonder Woman to save the day.
I loved Wonder Woman the first time I watched the movie; loved it the second and third time I watched it; and even today I found so much to love. Wonder Woman takes key elements of the comic book mythology, embeds them into a well written and beautifully animated picture, tops it all off with great gags and plenty of action, and never puts a foot wrong.
Sure, it places its focus on Themyscira, and on a Diana who is not quite Wonder Woman (yet), but it tells such a good story. And it does so with confidence and well-rounded, interesting characters.
Wonder Woman is one of those movies that can be enjoyed by long-time fans and newbies alike, and leaves you wanting more. In fact, my only criticism of Wonder Woman is that this is a standalone tale and not the first entry in a vast series.
Why wasn’t there a sequel to this film? Because despite a strong critical reception back in 2009, Wonder Woman wasn’t as financially successful as Warner Bros. Animation had hoped. The company expected it to sell more copies and when it fell a little short, all plans for a sequel were dropped.
I believe this is largely down to timing, and had this movie been released in 2017, when the first big screen, live-action Wonder Woman film made its debut, then I think there would have been a lot more interest in this animated feature. This would have given Warner Bros. the push to greenlight a sequel, and who knows, maybe we would have had a string of these films by now.
Ah, I can dream.
Either way, this standalone tale is such a great feature and one I highly recommend. If you have never watched the movie then now is the time to check it out.
Thank you for stopping by I’ll Get Drive-Thru to read this post about Wonder Woman (2009). I hope it conveyed just how much I enjoy this movie.
If you’re a fan of Wonder Woman (2009), be sure to let me know your favourite moments, and/or the reasons why you love it so much. And while you’re here, be sure to check out the recommended reads below for more DC-related content.