Wonder Woman has always been a difficult character to get right. Sure, she’s appeared continuously in DC Comics since 1941, but her story hasn’t gotten the same attention over the years as her peers, Superman and Batman. And it’s been a long time since Lynda Carter suited up as the Amazon princess in the classic 1970s TV series.
The best news about the new Wonder Woman animated DVD hitting stores today is that it gets all the big stuff right. The important beats from Wonder Woman’s origin story are all there, from her being molded from clay to Steve Trevor’s arrival at Paradise Island to Diana winning the combat contest to assume the mantle of Wonder Woman. Fans who know the character’s story will be pleased to see that the script by Michael Jelenic’assisted by Wonder Woman comic book writer Gail Simone’has done justice to character’s long legacy.
But there’s also plenty of solid action, great voice acting and high quality animation to make this much more than a rote superhero origin. As with every entry in the DC animation canon since Bruce Timm’executive producer on this title’came on, this is a smart, well-designed and eminently appealing superhero cartoon.
The 2D animation on Wonder Woman is at least as good as last year’s Justice League: The New Frontier. The film, directed by Superman-Doomsday helmer Lauren Montgomery, manages to find its own color scheme and style, coming across as eminently modern. Wonder Woman herself manages to find the balance between beauty and brawn, delivering a believably powerful take on the heroine. Her faintly Greek facial features are a nice touch.
The supporting cast, which includes everyone from Diana’s Amazon rival Artemis to Etta Candy, is fully fleshed out and engaging. The voice acting, directed by DC toon vet Andrea Romano, sets itself apart with talent and with a serious tone. Alfred Molina as Ares and Rosario Dawson as Artemis in particular stand out.
Bottom line: Wonder Woman works as both a faithful adaptation of the classic comic book character’s story and as an entertaining, modern superhero epic.