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Wonder Woman (2009 Film) Animated Movie Review

Wonder Woman running the in the Wonder Woman 2009 Animated Movie
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Image credit: DC Comics and Warner Bros.)

Wonder Woman is a curious character because, despite her status as a worldwide icon, the greatest female comic book character of all time and one of DC’s flagship superheroes, people usually struggle a lot more to mention her best stories than with, say, Batman, Spider-Man or Superman.

It’s a shame, really, because she has some really good stories in her catalog and 2009’s animated film is a great example of the character at the height of her powers and how good she can be when written well. If you enjoyed Gal Gadot’s 2017 Wonder Woman film on the big screen, then this animated version is perfect for you.

What is Wonder Woman?

Wonder Woman, her mother and Artemis from the 2009 Wonder Woman animated film.

(Image credit: DC Comics and Warner Bros.)

This story is actually quite similar to its 2017 live-action counterpart: ages ago, the Amazons fought against Ares, the God of War, and his tyranny and before Hippolyta could provide the finishing blow to him, Zeus decided to punish Ares by putting him two bands that would restrain his powers and make him the Amazons’ prisoner for thousands of years. During that period, the Amazons isolate from the rest of the world in the mystical island of Themyscira and Hippolyta is granted a daughter made out of clay by the gods, named Diana.

Thousands of years later, USA Colonel Steve Trevor lands on the island by accident and Hippolyta decides to run a contest to see which Amazon is capable enough to represent them in the world of man. Diana, against her mother’s orders, wins the contest and she is chosen to wield her sacred outfit and takes Steve to the world of man.

Meanwhile, Ares puts the seed of betrayal among the Amazons and manages to escape, preparing to create a new age of chaos and destruction.

How was it?

Wonder Woman fighting Ares from the 2009 Wonder Woman animated film

(Image credit: DC Comics and Warner Bros.)

I have to say that I’m not a fan of Gail Simone; I often find her work overly silly and derivative, but I have to say that the writing in this Wonder Woman film is really well done and I would even go as far as saying that it’s the best work of her entire career. The pacing is really good, with every single scene moving the plot forward and at the same time delivering enjoyable and believable characters with each and every one of them having a very distinctive voice, which is something not many writers can do, so I have to be fair with Gail in that regard and say that she is really solid in this film as a writer.

The movie itself manages a great balance between serious and funny and between character development and action, which is particularly necessary for a character like Wonder Woman, who usually switches from grounded to epic in one second. If you ever wanted the missing link between Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot’s interpretations of Diana, this movie is the one.

Diana in this movie is charismatic and yet naïve, strong-willed but still with doubts; she is a very human character and she has to learn to let go of her trust issues and misconceptions about men in order to fully embrace her role as a protector of the world. She finds in Steve a better understanding of the nature of good men and their desire to protect, which is a stark contrast to Ares and his never-ending desire to destroy and raise hell.



Steve Trevor is another character that is written very well because they find the right tone for him. A lot of people tend to struggle when writing Steve, but the reality is that you have to set him up not only as Diana’s love interest and gateway to the world of man; he is also her equal not on terms of strength, but in terms of will and core moral values. Steve in this film is cocky and a bit of a womanizer, but he also shows that he is coming of putting his life on the line even when he is against the odds and he does everything in his power to protect Diana.

All of this is perfectly summed up in the hospital scene near the third act when both Diana and Steve finally speak the truth to one another and I find it a very powerful and compelling scene, especially because it’s so true these days when it seems most men and women have lost the ability to speak to one another in a very honest manner. That we have lost the capacity to care and do things for the other without worrying about power struggles or if there is a sociopolitical connotation to what we do.

Eleven years later, this film feels fresh, fun and filled with excitement. The action scenes are really good and they fit quite well with the rest of the story. Perhaps my only major gripe would be how the Amazons showed up out of nowhere during the third act, but I would have to look back on the movie to see if there was something I missed while watching it.



I like the fact that while this film is hardly longer than an hour it takes the time to set up all the epic lore of the Wonder Woman mythos, her origin and still managing to give us a whole cast of characters that feel alive, each having their own unique voice. Etta Candy shows up for one scene as Steve’s secretary and she is already a fully-fleshed character. Hades only has a minor role and he already has main villain potential (I would have loved a sequel with him as the main antagonist). This movie might have my all-time favorite interpretation of Artemis.

My other criticism might be when Alexa comes back to life to fight Artemis and the former cites a spell that allows the latter to bring the dead Amazons back to their old selves, which feels a bit like a cop-out because we never get a proper explanation of how Alexa managed to control herself as a zombie. But that’s a small concern in an otherwise solid film.

The movie does a lot in a very short time and manages to do every character justice in their own unique ways while telling a fun story with a great lesson. And all of that without preaching to the audience, which is much appreciated.

What about the animation?

Wonder Woman holding back  lightning from the 2009 Wonder Woman animated movie

 (Image credit: DC Comics and Warner Bros.)

 

I wasn’t big on the animation, but I have to say that it gets the job done and in the third act raises the stakes a bit more. The visuals are appealing and grandiose like we can see in the thunder scene with Diana and Ares. It’s like an improved version of what we see in the Justice League animated series, in my opinion.

I think it works, but DC and Warner have done better in this department, so that’s why I’m a bit demanding in that regard.

What it represents?

Wonder Woman comforting Steve Trevor from the 2009 Wonder Woman animated movie

 (Image credit: DC Comics and Warner Bros.)

The 2009 Wonder Woman movie is one of DC’s hidden gems as far as animated films go: you have absolutely everything you could ask for in a Wonder Woman story (epic elements, great battles, solid moral values, and heartfelt emotion) and it delivers with a solid pace, not wasting time and doing justice to every character that appears on the screen. I often wonder how much the 2017 live-action film took from this because there are many similar elements, although there is a major difference in the third act.

This is a really remarkable movie that you must check out if you are a fan of Wonder Woman or if you are just interested in a good superhero story. Definitely worth your time.

What are your thoughts on this Wonder Woman animated film? Let us know in the comments section below and sign up to receive our latest blog posts in your email.

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Kevin Tanza

Kevin Tanza is a Venezuelan writer who fell in love with stories, music and soccer/football when he was a child and since then, he hasn’t stopped writing about them. He has been published in multiple websites in both Spanish and English. You'll find his work at MusikHolics, Good Comis to Read, Gemr, The Busby Babe, Chiesa di Totti, La Soledad del Nueve, Sail Away, Colgados por el Fútbol, Genre, United’s Red Rain, Mariskal Rock, Sugati Fashion, Indie Artists Go and Music Existence. He has also published a series of short stories. Feel free to use the links provided below to follow Kevin on social media. For business inquiries, please contact him via email.

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