Wonder Woman (2009)

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Wonder Woman (2009) Movie Poster Image
Animated superheroine tale earns PG-13 rating.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 75 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Wonder Woman herself has been an icon of brave, strong, heroic girlhood for generations, and nothing here contradicts that. Steve, Wonder Woman's love interest, is introduced as a sort of womanizing rascal, but he turns out okay, even as he introduces swearing to the Amazons. One Amazon who favors reading and intellect instead of prowess in battle provides key information that saves the tribe. On the other hand, a different Amazon betrays the group in the name of love, with dialogue indicating that it was a girl thing.

Violence

Frequent "cartoon violence," taken to more-severe-than-usual levels by actual deaths, blood flowing, and (silhouetted) decapitations. Combat of all sorts, from fist-fighting and body-slamming wrestling and smashing, to gunfire, warplane dogfights with missiles, hails of arrows, lightning bolts, swordplay, etc. An onslaught by zombies, some in gruesome stages of decay. Fatalities include an occult human sacrifice.

Sex

Some cleavage-baring and skimpy superheroine outfits. A brief scene of Amazons bathing topless (long, flowing hair covers the super-busts). Fleeting, jokey references to prostitution and pick-up lines. Wonder Woman is complimented on her "nice rack."

Language

"Crap" used (and defined) as a swear word. The Amazons scorn such vulgarity, but Wonder Woman ultimately adopts it.

Consumerism

Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in a bar. Attempt to get Diana/Wonder Woman drunk ends with a declaration that her mighty all-female tribe are also champion drinkers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that though Wonder Woman derives from a vintage comic-book character, the script is pretty up-to-date with the violence, including beatings, stabbings, decapitations, and blood flowing from a human sacrifice. Sexually suggestive lines include references to prostitution, seduction, and Wonder Woman's "rack" (wonder-rack?). Some Amazon women are shown skimpily clad or bathing, and Wonder Woman proves to have super-powers of alcohol consumption. "Crap" is uttered (and treated) like an obscenity. Viewers with little knowledge of Greek mythology might be confused about fine details; ultra-religious household might be put off by the trappings of pre-Christian pagan worship.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 year old Written bypete_in_ca March 5, 2009

Designed for adults, NOT kid friendly

If you are watching with the kids, be forewarned that this is very similar to last year's Justice League also released by Warner Animation. This is also in... Continue reading
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byMattmchugh March 3, 2011

A good take on the Wonder Woman story, but not for little ones

As an aging comic book geek, I quite enjoyed this. It's a good rendering of the current comic arc of the Wonder Woman character, which does away with whole... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old September 5, 2009
Teen, 13 years old Written byThe Superhero Nerd February 11, 2018

Brilliant Story Line

I enjoyed this movie. There is a lot of violence. Beheadings and blood happen a lot. Since it is animated it's not too bad. There is some sexual banter but... Continue reading

What's the story?

A Herculean helping of Greek mythology explains the origin of the 20th-century comic-book heroine WONDER WOMAN. Her mother, Hyppolite, fought a ruinous conflict against Aries, the war god. Mighty Zeus decrees that the Amazons be given an invisible island on which to dwell unmolested, with Aries, deprived of his powers, as their prisoner. On this timeless island Hyppolite "conceives" (literally molding from sand, without a father) a daughter, Diana, who grows up to become a foremost Amazon warrior. When a macho, modern-day USAF fighter-pilot, Steve, crash-lands on the island, the outraged-but-intrigued Amazons assign Diana to take him back to his world (New York City, it so happens). But Aries simultaneously escapes, and to prevent an apocalypse Diana -- with Steve as a guide -- goes into the modern world with an emblematic breastplate, magic lariat, and tiara as Wonder Woman.

Is it any good?

Like the Amazon archers themselves, this movie hits it targets more often than not, despite the familiarly basic TV-level animation. While a Wonder Woman blockbuster lingered on Hollywood's drawing-boards, this engaging, action-crammed cartoon feature reached the home-video marketplace first. Some sequences, like a jet dogfight, are truly kinetic and exciting, and the script puts modern wit, battle-of-the-sexes dialogue, and feminism into a lively cauldron with the ancient Greek myth -- well, DC Comics' selective notion of it anyway.

Setting Wonder Woman against a basically all-powerful god is bit of a stretch, even by the wobbly logic of superhero antics, and Aries is a one-dimensional baddie. But chauvinist Steve gets a zinger with his line that a nice-guy god would probably never even have a girlfriend, as Aries does. A sub-theme proposes that the self-reliant Amazon women go wrong by aspiring to remain chaste and aloof from romantic love; interestingly, the novelization (but not the movie) of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith claims the Jedi Knights make the same mistake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of Wonder Woman, a character practically as iconic as another DC Comics mainstay, Superman.

  • Ask kids if they think female superheroes with idealized bodies and skimpy clothing help the cause of women or set it back. What other female costumed heroes are hot right now, and why (besides the idealized bodies/skimpy clothing)?

Movie details

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