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Warnerís direct-to-video animated release of WONDER WOMAN ($30) is a highly entertaining, modern re-imagining of the comic book characterís origin story. Unbound by making the story fit into television standards, this PG-13 production proves itself to be fun, character driven and action packed. As for the story of Wonder Woman, it is filled with elements of Greek mythology and begins with a battle between the fierce Amazon warriors led by Queen Hippolyta, and her nemesis Ares, the god of war. At the end of the battle, Ares is defeated, but Zeus prevents the Amazons from slaying him. As consolation, the goddess Hera binds Ares powers and grants the Amazons eternal youth and provides them haven on the mystical island of Themyscira, where they will hold the fallen god of war prisoner for all eternity. To compensate for her sacrifices in battle, Queen Hippolyta is also given a daughter- Princess Diana, which she forms from the sands of Themyscira.

The story then flashes forward to modern times, where American fighter pilot, Steve Trevor, is shot down and crash lands on the hidden island. Queen Hippolyta decrees that the fighter pilot must be returned to the outside world, and a contest is held to determine, which of the Amazon warriors will be a worthy ambassador of Themyscira to escort Trevor home. Despite her motherís strong objections, Princess Diana enters the contest and wins. About the same time as Diana enters the outside world, Ares escapes from his prison and begins a journey to the underworld to plead to Hades to restore his powers. As you might expect, Ares regains his powers and another epic battle ensues. The vocal talent behind WONDER WOMAN features Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson, Marg Helgenberger, Oliver Platt, Virginia Madsen, John Di Maggio, Vicki Lewis, David McCallum, Jason Miller, Rick Overton and Tara Strong.

Warner Home Video has made WONDER WOMAN available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. WONDER WOMAN has been provided with a terrific looking standard definition presentation. Image quality is impressive for this type of 2D animation. Image sharp is great, plus the animation is brightly colored. As this direct-to-DVD program was not produced on film, WONDER WOMAN is free from grain and print flaws. Digital compression artifacts keep a low profile.

WONDER WOMAN comes with a fairly impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Certainly, one will not mistake this for a theatrical caliber soundtrack, but it is fine for direct-to-video. No surprises, the forward soundstage is dominant, but the sound design does utilize the outlying channels. Fidelity is fairly strong, with the track having depth and a solid bottom end. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English and French subtitles are present.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials, which have been spread across both discs of this set. Starting things off on disc one is a running Audio Commentary featuring producers Gregory Novak and Bruce Timm, writer Michael Jelenic and director Lauren Montgomery. Also in disc one is an Exclusive First Look at the upcoming Green Lantern direct-to-video animated release. Moving on to disc two, one will find the following Featurettes: Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream and Wonder Woman: Daughter Of Myth. Bruce Timmís Top Picks include the following two episodes of JUSTICE LEAGUE: Hawk And Dove and To Another Shore. Disc two also includes a Digital Copy of the main feature.

WONDER WOMAN is a terrifically entertaining direct-to-video animated release. Recommended to animation & comic book fans.



Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) (2008)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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