"Wonder Woman" Animated Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Mar 3, 2009.

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Rate and Comment On This Animated Feature

  1. *****

    37.5%
  2. ****1/2

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  3. ****

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  4. ***1/2

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  5. ***

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  6. **1/2

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  7. **

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  8. *1/2

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  9. *

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  10. 1/2

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  1. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    Well, I called it "confusing" because I thought Ares said, "A century long courtship finally culminating in a kiss," making it sound as though the battle happened at the turn of the 20th century. But then I watched the preview on the GL BluRay with the subtitles on, and found out that the exact quote was "A centuries-long courtship, finally culminating in a kiss."
     
  2. Dayspring

    Dayspring Active Member

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    He's not refering to his imprisonment there, he's refering to the courtship of his guard.

    ...Hence the word "courtship" being used?
     
  3. Joker1238

    Joker1238 Active Member

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    Hearcles is the Son of Zeus, so that should play a part in Hearcs strenght.

    Also Hearcles held the entire world up for Atlas. There is no way, even with Amazon inpowerment for Hippolyta to beat Hearcles. As said before, thats like Batman beating Supes in a fist fight right there.

    Hearcles was a God in Mortal form, who conquer death. IE he can not die. So he build a pier, burn his body and burn off the "Mortal" flesh and became a God.
     
  4. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    But his courtship presumably began while he was imprisoned, so the "centuries" long comment refers to the length of both.
     
  5. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    I didn't find the opening confusing at all and I doubt many average people who saw it would be confused either. Just thought it's a war between Amazons and Ares. Seemed straight forward to me.

    I agree that they played it out in a way that allowed us to get to know the characters quickly...but you're still left wondering "Why are these women fighting an army of monsters led by the God of War...?" There's no explanation given to where the Ogres and horned-types come from, or why they'd fight for Ares...and one of the most commonly asked questions about the Amazons is whether or not they have super-powers. Here, it's anything but clear. Sure, the one of the girls loses and eye (they're vulnerable), but Hippolyta is taking on a God. And why? Because he raped her? How did he manage that?

    I prefer the Heracles origin simply because we see it play out in a logical fashion. Amazons were created to bring peace - Mister Big Shot was pushed by Ares to prove they weren't so tough - lost, so he took the underhanded route - Amazons lost their cool getting revenge - went to the island to think about what they'd done and regain their "purity of spirit".

    Obviously, with the limited running time, that whole subplot could eat up twenty minutes though. I just...sigh...I wish they'd have used Ares better, and condensed things in a fashion that still made the following points clear:

    -Amazons are all about peace (whether they were God-created mortals or random ordinary mortal women)
    -Ares manipulates people's anger as a way of gaining influence
    -He'd managed to get the upper hand on Hippolyta in that sense

    I did really like the "purity of spirit" line though.
     
    #165 DisneyBoy, Sep 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2009
  6. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu Frog of Thunder
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    I think there's enough cultural context for the general audience to know that the cyclopes and minotaurs and ogres are the bad guys just because they're pre-verbal monsters. Thus, I don't think it's hard for audiences to figure out that the women fighting the monsters must be the good guys. Does it really matter why specifically the monsters are fighting for Ares or why the Amazons and Ares are at war, especially that early in the movie? I think establishing all those details up front would be a terrible drag, and ultimately is just time taken away from the main attraction.

    I like the George Perez WW just fine, but he knew he had lots of comics to work with and could afford to spend most of a double-length first issue without using the title character, just setting up plot points to be exploited later. This DTV did not have that luxury. I think the opening got it exactly right telling us what we needed to know. Movies and TV are different from print media, and in those filmed media, I think you're better off explaining too little rather than too much.

    It seemed to me that the Amazons were clearly stronger and more durable than normal people to the point of having super powers. Diana lifts up a giant metal desk without any strain, deflects bullets with her bracelets, and shakes off getting thrown through several walls in her fight with Deimos. She's the paragon of her people and exceptional as Amazons go because of the circumstances of her birth, but I didn't get the impression that she's all that unusual compared to the other Amazons. After that, it's just a matter of degree, and I didn't think that mattered for the larger story.

    As for Ares/Hippolyta, the exact details aren't revealed, but I didn't get the impression that rape was involved. It seemed to me that Hippolyta was involved in a consensual relationship with Ares that went very, very bad. Perhaps it always was and she only realized it late, or perhaps they changed over time -- maybe Ares used to be not a jerk, or Hippolyta used to be a lot more bloodthirsty. Again, though, I don't think I need to know what exactly happened there, or how exactly Ares and Hippolyta's son was born or raised.

    Besides, backstory is overrated. There's a difference between what we NEED to know and what we may want to know. The first Star Wars movie had just the opening crawl to set up context, and that was the absolute bare minimum to get audiences up to speed. If that crawl had gone into a tenth of the story material that the prequel trilogy covered, even without the big spoilers, people would have got up and left out of boredom before the crawl was halfway done. They refer to stuff like the Clone Wars or the Imperial Senate without ever explaining them, but that's just color, and I don't think the first Star Wars movie gets any better or worse now that I know what those things were.
     
  7. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    Hey Ed! How you doing these days?

    I think there's enough cultural context for the general audience to know that the cyclopes and minotaurs and ogres are the bad guys just because they're pre-verbal monsters. Thus, I don't think it's hard for audiences to figure out that the women fighting the monsters must be the good guys. Does it really matter why specifically the monsters are fighting for Ares or why the Amazons and Ares are at war, especially that early in the movie? I think establishing all those details up front would be a terrible drag, and ultimately is just time taken away from the main attraction.

    Yeah...but for me, it's all about details, you know? I can't really give this movie my full love, because it willingly skips over some parts just to get to the 'fun', you know? And for me, part of the fun is finding a way to make all that information clear to the audience, so they are still getting to the fun stuff, but have a really deep understanding of the context. Yes, monsters are monsters...but one criticism the movie has had to face was that Ares seemed...a tad generic. Not totally so...but I think giving the viewer a chance to see who he is in an ordinary context would have helped fill in the blanks. As in - we see him trapped on the island, fighting on various battlefields...but we don't know where he calls 'home'. Hard to really care about a characer until you see their dwelling...and it could have provided a context the monsters and Phobos' appearances later on. Here, Ares is just some God of War guy with lots of monsters who can teleport? Maybe? Sorta?

    All this to say...would it really have been a terrible drag? I think there was a way...

    he had lots of comics to work with and could afford to spend most of a double-length first issue without using the title character

    I'm pretty sure issue one was 24 pages, the standard comic size at the time. Just to nit-pick :p

    I think the opening got it exactly right telling us what we needed to know. Movies and TV are different from print media, and in those filmed media, I think you're better off explaining too little rather than too much.

    Sure...and yup, the opening did it's job...covered the bases well enough so we got why Hippolyta is so anti-men. I just...wasn't satisfied I guess. Even though I really got into the entertainment value of the opening and the pacing and animation and music. All that was great. But as the 'intro' to Ares and his purpose in the story? Lacking. Honestly, my heart only really starting beating quicker once we saw the island...that was when the movie became about the REAL Wonder Woman, instead of another DCAU-Timm-Simone-Jelenic-whoever rewrite of the origin to tie a God villain in more closely than needed. Ares and Diana are philosophically opposed...they don't hate each other became of a rape, or because they were neighbours, or one likes Madonna music too much....in the comics, they can be worlds apart, and they're still doing battle. That's part of what I love about them.

    As for Ares/Hippolyta, the exact details aren't revealed, but I didn't get the impression that rape was involved. It seemed to me that Hippolyta was involved in a consensual relationship with Ares that went very, very bad. Perhaps it always was and she only realized it late, or perhaps they changed over time -- maybe Ares used to be not a jerk, or Hippolyta used to be a lot more bloodthirsty. Again, though, I don't think I need to know what exactly happened there, or how exactly Ares and Hippolyta's son was born or raised.

    :eek: Okay, we're on two different pages here...NONE of that stuff occured to me. I never once assumed they dated and it went sour. I assumed this was a new retelling of Hippolyta being bound in chains, raped and then, in a new twist, forced to carry the child to term. Possibly a several months-long torture session. But that just proves my point - it's not clear enough how this all went down...and that's a big question mark. None of us should be having to assume. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE this is a movie. If it were a tv show, then fine - they can mention in a later episode just how it went down. But here, they can't just say ''There was a child 'forced upon' her'' and expect us all to think the same thing.

    I hear what you're saying about the Star Wars info crawl....but wasn't that movie much more innovative and entertainting? That forgives much. Maybe if Wonder Woman was a hilarious and moving thrill ride, I wouldn't care so much. But it wasn't, and so it matters all the more that they got the foundation right. They went the rape route - so we needed to understand that rape.

    I guess I'm just irked because it seems lazy...and I know how hard they were working to cover all the bases here in the film. I appreciate that, as a fan, so much.

    Here's a question to perhaps take the discussion in a fresh new direction - what did you folks think of the design for the Cheetah?

    I found her somewhat mannish, but intriguing. So often she's portrayed in a sexy way, and here she just looked a little awkward. Broad shoulders, muscles...caught off-guard in a nasty situation. You really can't picture who the person inside might be, and that's a good hook. It doesn't look like a costume, but then again, you can't say for sure. And the tail worked - which is awesome. I love that Cheetah uses her tail!
     
    #167 DisneyBoy, Sep 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2009
  8. Pfeiffer-Pfan

    Pfeiffer-Pfan Makin' Whoopee!

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    I have to say I really enjoyed this movie and would absolutely classify it as the best effort from Bruce Timm and his DC Universe crew.

    Not being a die hard Wonder Woman fan... though she is my favorite female superhero... I didn't find any problems with this film apart from the villian.

    Note to DC: Wonder Woman needs better villains.

    I was pretty disappointed with the writing of Ares and even more so with Alfred Molinas performance. I dont know what went wrong but all I'll say is... Victor Garber showed how it should be done when playing a villain.
     
  9. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu Frog of Thunder
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    Eh, you know. This n' that. Arguing with people online a lot ;).

    Maybe, but I would point out that we don't really see any of that stuff for Steve Trevor, either, and he didn't seem to suffer much for it in the movie. From the cultural backgrounds to almost all his appearances in the comics, Ares was always about the (self-)destructive aspect of war. It is his defining trait, and as a god, he's kind of allowed to be one-dimensional. Then again, this all just might be the baggage I bring along as a long-time mythology junkie as much as a long-time comic-book junkie.

    Just checked my TPB and it was 32 pages, vs. the 24 in the rest of the book, so we were both wrong :). Regardless, of those 32, 6 were about Diana directly, so my point that the first issue spends the bulk of its time in an extended setup for the main attraction still stands.

    To paraphrase Yoda, I think what you got out of these scenes was what you took in with you, which was the expectation that sexual violence figured prominently into the origins of the Amazons and the ensuing disappointment (if that is the right word to use) when it wasn't there. Despite the Perez post-Crisis reboot, the details of Wonder Woman's origins are a lot more pliable than, say, Superman or Batman.

    I'd have to rewatch the opening scene again, but I didn't think there was anything there to indicate that rape had to factor into anything that happened. I could say that Ares came to Hippolyta with an offer: become my paramour and bear my child and the Amazons will be the greatest warriors this world has ever seen. It was a lie, of course, and when the child came of age, Ares revealed his true plan of burning the world with his son in the vanguard. And, as they say, hell hath no fury compared to a woman scored, so Hippolyta and the Amazons armor up (especially after Ares' forces kill all their husbands, as they say in the intro) and give him what for. It's consensual all the way around, but the man is still a scumbag who deserves a spear in his gut, and the Amazons still get a real good reason not to trust men with Hippolyta getting a strong reason to kill her own son.

    In some ways, I'd find that a bit refreshing. It seems that EVERY female superhero eventually gets sexual violence figuring into their origin story lately, as though the only way a woman can be pushed into tapping the hero within is to get raped. It's tiresome and cliché by now, and the fact that George Perez was able to make it work doesn't mean that it's the way it has to be forever. If anything, I think this version of Wonder Woman is stronger for NOT involving an explicit rape in the origin. It places the women on a more equal footing to the men superheroes, and it keeps the focus on the Amazons as a warrior culture (which, IMO, was definitely one of the things the movie got right, and I credit at least some of that to Gail Simone's groundwork, since I saw quite a few things I think she'd have come up with).

    But the point is that both of our guesses are a lot less important than the fact that the Amazons have reason to hate Ares. In the end, I think you're doing the equivalent of saying Star Wars didn't work for you because we never found out what the Clone Wars were. That's true, but also a detail that's really not as important as current events.
     
  10. GL's Light

    GL's Light Keeper of the Green Flame

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    Wonder Woman is now at $4,974,159 in DVD sales revenues. That's 95% of the DVD sales revenues of Justice League: The New Frontier and Invincible Iron Man. Wonder Woman had significantly lower first week sales than either of those movies, but has held up extremely well over time.
     
  11. Dayspring

    Dayspring Active Member

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    I thought Green Lantern had the highest first week sales out of the DCU movies, not New Frontier.
     
  12. GL's Light

    GL's Light Keeper of the Green Flame

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    I wasn't comparing it to the titles with the highest first week sales, just to the two titles - DCU and Marvel - that it's now almost equaled, despite having significantly lower first week sales than those two titles. Green Lantern: First Flight currently has the fourth highest first week sales out of the DCU titles. The top three, in terms of DVD sales revenue, are:

    1. Batman: Gotham Knight
    2. Superman: Doomsday
    3. Justice League: The New Frontier
     
  13. ABrown

    ABrown Active Member

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    I also caught up on this DCU recently. The only problem that I have with this movie is that I'm still one of those people who are a little uncertain of Diana's strength/abilities in this movie. I get the sense that her abilities are just pretty equal to the other Amazons. I mean, yes, I realize that she won the contest in the beginning of the movie. Oops. Sorry. I hope I didn't just spoil that for someone. Ah, that shouldn't have been a mystery to anyone anyway. But getting back to the point. I think Diana's abilities are that of about the strongest Amazons, but not really superhuman. On the other hand, she did lift up that desk with one hand. So like I said, I'm still not exactly sure how strong she really is in this movie.
     
  14. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    Book point on the desk there. It's a typical comic book move, showing the hero lifting up the desk like it's nothing (they did it on Smallville just last year), but it never made sense to me. Even if I'm lifting up an empty square cardboard box, I can't just bend, extend my arm and lift. There's a way of holding it that's necessary, even when the object is light...

    I'm getting off-point :p I'm yapping about the pose of the character and you're just saying "How can she do that when she's not really seen to be super-powered elsewhere?" And I agree. She leaps high and runs fast, but needs a jet to fly and ain't the Flash. The desk moment broke with that. And I personally needed to see a bit of scratches near the end there, when Ares was tossing her around the White House. Though really, I was so irked with the Ares design and dialogue at that point that I wasn't paying attention to too much.

    I'm more a fan of the notion that Diana is blessed by the Gods, and separate even from her sisters, but the notion that all the Amazons are amazingly abled is rather cool too. Too bad we didn't see much of it at the end of the movie, then. I don't remember Artemis running really fast or leaping really high. Hmmm. Maybe if there had been more lead-in time to consider these choices, there would have been more consistency. But they did well overall. It wasn't really strange, other than the desk moment, and even there, as I said, it's a standard move.
     
  15. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    The score to the 2009 Wonder Woman animated feature is now available to own! Please click on the thumbnail below to discuss the new release.
    [​IMG]
    Wonder Woman - Music From The DC Universe Animated Original Movie is now available for digital download. La-La Land Records is releasing the score to Limited Edition compact disc on March 23rd, 2010.
     
  16. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    Random little addition. Haven't watched the movie in a while, and saw a few clips. The look of the film is really impressive! Great backgrounds, nice lighting in the scenes, all the characters have a variety of costumes and props. The colors really pop, and the scenes have a lot of atmosphere, whether romantic or threatening or serene.

    You can tell the staff really threw themselves into this one with a lot of passion.
     
  17. aiwac

    aiwac Member

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    OK...I finally got around to seeing this movie. Excellent in some ways and lacking in others, it nevertheless unequivocally established Wonder Woman's potential as a relatable and interesting character. Here's hoping for a sequel.

    Another thing I liked was how the self-referencing Greek world wasn't confusing or foreign. Up until the last 20-odd minutes (more on that in a minute), the heavy degree of immersion made me accept all the Byzantine discussions of Greek god-politics with stride. Even Hades shines. I feel familiar with Diana's world on a level I never did prior to this movie; a critical step to making her relatable.

    I agree that there were a lot of opportunities missed for development with Trevor. The worst chance missed was Trevor's loss of the female rookie and his other wingman. A perfect chance to flesh him out (say, by making makeshift graves on the island or mentioning the loss to Diana) was missed. One hopes they will do more for him in the (hoped-for) sequel.

    The women-men thing was hit-and-miss. Some stuff (like the womanizing and glass ceiling) were dealt with nicely. But positive male attributes - such as bravery and self-sacrifice at least on the level of the Amazons - could have been developed more, which brings me to my next paragraph...

    The climax of the movie was just insulting. Stupid. Insipid. On every level. Let's start with the US. The USA is a military superpower, possessed of the most advanced weaponry in the world. We have seen their capabilities, for bad and good, on JL and JLU. The idea that they would be so quickly and routed by such a small force (the DC Metro PD probably has more manpower than Hades' little marching band) is simply NOT PLAUSIBLE. AT ALL. Where are the Secret Service? The Air Force? the FBI? No, sorry, Ares "put people to angry sleep" won't cut it - if Steve wasn't affected, then surely there were thousands (maybe even armed civilians) more willing to join in the fight alongside the Amazons.

    Ares' plot made no sense whatsoever. Surely having the president declare (or come close to declaring) full DEFCON 1 (i.e. launch All the nukes, resulting in nuclear war and destroying the planet) would have served his purposes much better. This is just what he promised Hades, and switching it to just Nuking Themyscera riddles the entire threat with plot holes bigger than that created by a mushroom cloud.

    That said, the battle scenes are beautifully done, the music is nothing short of fantastic, to the point that I almost (read: almost) ignored the logical train wreck that was the movie's climax. I very much enjoyed the violence - it was perfectly in place in a "warrior's world".

    One more thing, though - DC animated movie makers have got to let go of the glee with which they cross lines for it's own sake. We get it, you're not censored as much as you were before. Get over it. Gore, violence and/or swearing without a real, plausible and interesting connection to the story or characters is good only ONCE for shock value. After that, it's just annoying and immature (ironically). The "crap" joke is one example of something that should have never passed the first drafts.

    Now that the origin is dispensed with, here's hoping they go where they left off with the final scene, and help continue to make Wonder Woman the heroine she truly is.
     
    #177 aiwac, Mar 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2010
  18. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    Interesting point - I hadn't remembered that his partners had died. Very good point.

    Another very good point. Would have been interesting to see Steve taken over though, and forced to resist. This was the one place where where I thought the JLU Ares was better used. His presence was able to anger even Diana to the point of nearly killing someone. Though Dove got away with never being affected, sans explanation there too, so clearly it's a stumbling block for writers.

    And I agree, the rush to getting into that final fight was felt when there was nearly no exposition leading up to it. Ares didn't have to use the US's nukes when there are plenty of other countries with the same weapons. What was the in-story reason for going there? And why nuke only Themyscira when he's hardly said a word about really hating that place, or about how killing the Amazons will further his goals. I was rather bothered by the monsters present, especially since they just disappear after the battle is lost. It's okay to have fantasy elements, but I've never been one to enjoy creatures just randomly showing up in the WW book. Doom's Doorway had them, and that was cool, but I see no logical reason why Ares would have an army of them. Then we have Ares suddenly explaining that a nuke alone can give him power. That was a bit of a leap.

    Great review aiwac!
     
  19. bat313

    bat313 Active Member

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  20. DisneyBoy

    DisneyBoy Searchin' My Soul

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    Actually, that's just a one-time figure they included in a special Blu-Ray pack. It's made from the smaller DC figures that are out there right now, only with a new head, I believe.
     

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