A lot or a little?
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is the first animated movie featuring the female superhero since 2009. Once again, it's an origin story: The Amazonian princess leaves her home planet, Themyscira, and transforms from Princess Diana to Wonder Woman. She joins "Man's World" to save it from a powerful evil. Other than Steve Trevor, her ally, the movie is populated by women in all the significant roles. As in other DC/Warner Bros. Justice League stories, this movie is jam-packed with action sequences: explosions, swords, assault weapons, bloody deaths, sad deaths, brutal hand-to-hand combat, and the appearance of demonic villains. There are a few curses heard -- "s--t," "bitch," "screw him," "dammit" -- and there's one romantic kiss. Though many of the characters are already established enemies of the Justice League and will be familiar to DC fans, the movie stands on its own for new viewers.
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What's the story?
The Amazon princess Diana (Rosario Dawson) uses her strength and smarts to save army officer Steve Trevor (Jeffrey Donovan), whose aircraft is under attack from demonic villains in WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES. The two form a bond as he recovers from his injuries on Thermyscira, the Amazonian home. Aware that the same villains plan an attack on Steve's world, the strong-willed princess defies her mother, determined to return the courageous pilot to his Earth and, as Wonder Woman, save his civilization. Wonder Woman finds a temporary home with archaeologist Julia Kapatelis (Nia Vardalos) and her young daughter, Vanessa (Marie Avgeropolous). She begins to learn the ways of this new planet. Sadly, Julia's neglect of Vanessa and obvious obsession with Wonder Woman deeply affect the vulnerable girl. Furious (and deeply hurt), Vanessa -- transformed by a virus into the diabolical Silver Swan -- joins forces with the enemies of Man's World on their destructive quest. As the villains multiply, ever more powerful and dangerous, Wonder Woman's first adventure on Earth, along with a trip home to find a vital healing ray and face her mother once again, may be more than the idealistic Amazon princess bargained for.
Is it any good?
Classic animation, thoughtful character-building, and an easy-to-follow story help this movie prove that female superheroes (and villains) can be as powerful and relatable as their male counterparts. Performances are solid. There's enough exciting, well-drawn action to please Justice League fans of all genders. An added bonus is the satisfying emotional arc for many of the principal characters. While Wonder Woman has appeared in most of the Justice League films, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is the first DVD/streaming movie in a decade to star the Amazonian princess. Her appearance now, in this better-than-average tale, is a fact that can be attributed to the financial and critical success of the live-action features Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how knowing a character's "motivation" enriches a story. The Wonder Woman: Bloodlines filmmakers were thorough in building Vanessa's reasons for her turn to the dark side. How did that affect your feelings about the character? In spite of her actions, did you retain some sympathy for the young girl? Why or why not?
Wonder Woman supports the young Vanessa when she says, "It will get better," a familiar declaration. How is it a part of today's culture? What does it mean? How is it relevant for Vanessa?
When Princess Diana disobeys her mother in Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, it's devastating for both of them. Did you agree with Diana's decision, and if so, why? How do you handle a problem in which you truly believe you're right and your parent(s) are wrong? Are there consequences? How do you resolve the issues?
- On DVD or streaming: October 22, 2019
- Cast: Rosario Dawson, Jeffrey Donovan, Marie Avgeropoulos
- Directors: Justin Copeland, Sam Liu
- Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship
- Run time: 83 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of fantasy action and violence, and some bloody images
- Last updated: July 29, 2020
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